Improvements being made to Butcherknife Creek in front of what soon will be The Ghost Ranch Saloon has resulted in the closure of Seventh Street between Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Improvements being made to Butcherknife Creek in front of what soon will be The Ghost Ranch Saloon has resulted in the closure of Seventh Street between Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street.

Construction rolls on

Butcherknife Creek, Yampa Street projects just beginning

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— Several downtown construction projects are wrapping up, but Steamboat Springs residents shouldn't expect a total respite from the related headaches anytime soon.

The headaches likely will just switch locations.

Laura Blazey, a construction site inspector with the city of Steamboat Springs, said work that forced the closure of Seventh Street between Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street will continue today, Monday and Tuesday. The road will be open Saturday and Sunday. The closure is because of a restoration of Butcherknife Creek related to The Ghost Ranch Saloon project.

Blazey said although major downtown construction projects such as Alpen Glow, The Victoria and Boathouse essentially are complete, others still have months to go or have not yet even broken ground. One of those projects is The Ghost Ranch Saloon, which Blazey estimated won't be complete until January.

The project, at the former location of the Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, will require two or three more closures of Yampa Street after the current one, Blazey said.

Jeff Clary of Rivers Unlimited is the project coordinator for the current restoration project, which he said will add drop pools, boulders and landscaping to Butcherknife Creek in front of the future saloon.

"The owners wanted to daylight the creek in front of the saloon," Clary said. "It will just dress it up and be more exposed. At least twice as much of it will be exposed."

The building was purchased in November 2007 from former Off the Beaten Path owners Dick and Leslie Ryan for $2.1 million. The owner of The Ghost Ranch Saloon is a California almond farmer, Jean Sagouspe.

A project known only by its address, 655 Yampa, has yet to break ground not far from The Ghost Ranch Saloon. That project is being developed by Howard Ulep and Dennis Frank of Annapolis, Md. It was designed by Steven Eggleston of SCE Studio in Steamboat and was approved by the Steamboat Springs City Council in November 2007. It will replace a large white house on the site.

Eggleston said the project is set to begin demolition and river restoration in a week or two. He said a foundation will be laid in two weeks to a month.

"We're just finalizing the budget," Eggleston said.

Eggleston said the project will be under construction for 12 to 18 months.

"They're on hold, but once that starts, it's going to be a pretty big impact on Yampa (Street)," Blazey said.

Blazey described 655 Yampa as "a very tight site." She said a construction trailer will be located in the Yampa Street right-of-way, forcing adjustments for vehicles and pedestrians.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

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