Owner Tim Kirkpatrick, right, and Realtor Brian Ladd admire the view of cottonwoods along the Yampa River from the future home of Steamboat Flyfisher in The Olympian.

Photo by Tom Ross

Owner Tim Kirkpatrick, right, and Realtor Brian Ladd admire the view of cottonwoods along the Yampa River from the future home of Steamboat Flyfisher in The Olympian.

Steamboat Flyfisher lands a new spot on Yampa Street

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Transfer fee benefits Winter Sports Club

When Tim and Jen Kirkpatrick of Coconut Enterprises closed on the $1.6 million purchase of two commercial spaces at The Olympian, they wrote an extra check for $8,500. That amount represents one-half of 1 percent of the total sale.

The money goes to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club under covenants imposed by The Olympian developer Paul Franklin. He established the transfer fee to benefit the club that supports youths in their competitive skiing careers.

Franklin said the fee would be collected in perpetuity from future re-sales at the project. Funds generated for the club from several closings last week totaled just more than $14,000, Franklin said.

In addition to the Kirkpatricks' closing Dec. 19, Franklin said he also closed on the sale of a smaller commercial space, one of three deed-restricted affordable housing units, and a market-rate residence.

The one-bedroom-plus-den, market-rate unit sold for $639,000 to a single man who wanted to live downtown, Franklin said. The affordable unit sold to a Steamboat couple, both of whom are working.

Franklin said he also is in the process of furnishing three additional units so they can be marketed for nightly rentals through Pioneer Ridge Management.

The project includes 23 residential units at Fifth and Yampa streets.

"People are coming back into town, and we're pretty optimistic that this spring we'll see quite a bit more activity," Franklin said.

— The principals in Steamboat Flyfisher hope a $1.6 million investment in Yampa Street real estate will secure the future of their business and allow them to reel in more customers.

Coconut Enterprises, a business entity created by Steamboat Flyfisher co-partner Tim Kirkpatrick and his wife, Jen, paid full price last week for the two largest ground floor commercial spaces in The Olympian, recently completed at Yampa and Fifth streets.

Steve Henderson, Kirkpatrick's partner in the fly-fishing business, was not a party to the real estate purchase.

The Olympian developer Paul Franklin confirmed that the purchase worked out to $450 a square foot. In addition, Franklin said, on Dec. 19 he closed on a smaller commercial unit, as well as a one-bedroom-plus-den residential unit and one of three deed-restricted affordable housing units in The Olympian.

When Steamboat Flyfisher moves in spring 2009 from the Gooding Building at 507 Lincoln Ave. to its new location, it will find itself within easy casting distance of the Yampa River at Ski Town Lion's Park.

Kirkpatrick said the ability to invite customers to take a topflight fly rod and reel across the street and actually test drive it in a productive trout stream should prove to be a great strength for his business.

"The Olympian is a natural fit for us," Kirkpatrick said. "We want to look like a fly shop first and foremost."

For the foreseeable future, Kirkpatrick and Henderson do not intend to occupy both of the commercial spaces purchased by Coconut Enterprises. Instead, Coconut plans to lease the prime corner location to a yet-to-be-determined tenant.

The tenant finish on the storefront that dominates Yampa Street will begin shortly after the first of the year. Kevin Rusk of Habitat Construction will do the work. The architect is Bill Bickford of DePree Bickford Associates in Chicago, Ill. When complete, perhaps as soon as April, the new shop will double the space of the current store.

That's important, Henderson said, because during the prime summer fishing months, people begin to queue up and wait outside the current location any time there are eight people stuffed into the 1,000-square-foot space.

Henderson said the ability to showcase portable watercraft for fishermen is just one example of how the new space will transform Steamboat Flyfisher.

The new store will afford many luxuries, including a conference room that will double as a classroom for fly-tying demonstrations, a media room where fly-fishing destinations will be presented, and even drying and changing rooms for clients and their wet waders and wading boots.

Kirkpatrick is focused on the new display cases for flies that will greet customers as they enter the shop.

A bunch of $5 to $18 sales support our business," Kirkpatrick said. "It's the local guy who comes in two to three times a week and buys a dozen flies each time. Establishing that relationship is really important to us."

He maintains an inventory of about 30,000 flies, with many of them stored out of site. When Jake Emanuel of Fishing Touch Carpentry is done building the new display cases, Kirkpatrick and Henderson will be able to store 45,000 flies, with all of the patterns in plain sight.

As much as flies that lure trout figure into the Steamboat Flyfisher business model, they also help explain why the Kirkpatricks took the leap and invested heavily in their real estate.

"There is a limit to the number of flies I can sell every year," Kirkpatrick said. "Just as there are a limited number of guided fishing trips I can sell. With rents going to $35 and $40 a square foot, owning your own space is really the only way to control your own destiny and work on building your reputation."

Tom Wilson of Prudential Steamboat Realty is the listing agent for The Olympian. Brian Ladd of Ski Town Real Estate represented the Kirkpatricks in the transaction and also will act as the leasing agent for the corner space at The Olympian.

"I'm a big fan of downtown Steamboat, and I think there's a real shortage of commercial spaces for sale there," Ladd said.

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