Mark Garcia grills his lunch outside the Iron Horse Inn in Steamboat Springs on Thursday afternoon. The city is seeking proposals from private firms for a management plan for the inn.

Photo by Brian Ray

Mark Garcia grills his lunch outside the Iron Horse Inn in Steamboat Springs on Thursday afternoon. The city is seeking proposals from private firms for a management plan for the inn.

City seeks Iron Horse ideas

Hoteliers discuss implications of city-owned competition

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— The city of Steamboat Springs is seeking proposals from private firms for an Iron Horse Inn management plan. Meanwhile, some local hotel operators see the public ownership of a competing property as a less-than-ideal situation.

"If the city bought it for employee housing, I think that's what they should use it for," said Greg Koehler, owner of the Rabbit Ears Motel in downtown Steamboat. "I don't particularly care to be in competition with the city for lodging."

The Iron Horse Inn was purchased last year in a deal approved by the previous Steamboat Springs City Council. After honoring existing reservations this ski season, the city initially planned to spend $1 million - of the $5.3 million borrowed for the purchase - to renovate the hotel's 52 rooms into 40 traditional apartments that it would rent as affordable housing.

The current City Council, however, would rather minimize the Iron Horse's cost to the city by not renovating the property and keeping nightly rentals in play. The city currently is providing long-term rentals in 29 rooms for city workers and those of other Steamboat employers.

Alpiner Lodge owner Jon Wade believes the Iron Horse Inn purchase was a rotten deal for the city. He reserves blame for the previous City Council, however, and applauds the current one for doing what it can about the situation - even if that means competing with his business.

"The current council is trying to make the best of a bad situation," Wade said. "I wouldn't feel any inclination to give them any heat. Obviously, it would be best for me if the Iron Horse closed, but that's not what I'm thinking about. We've got to do what's best for the city."

Supporters of the Iron Horse purchase have cited the inn's ability to help the city attract and retain employees, the local need for workforce housing, and the value of securing riverfront property near Steamboat's downtown corridor.

In addition to keeping nightly rentals in play, the City Council instructed city staff to solicit private-sector partnerships and ideas for the management of the inn. The city has advertised and sent out a request for proposal for a management and operation plan for the inn. Proposals are due Feb. 15.

Thursday, Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said the city would be open to anything from mere suggestions to a company's proposal to totally take over the operation and management of the inn. But DuBord, who formerly worked in Steamboat's property-management industry, said she is skeptical a private company will be interested in providing a mix of long-term workforce housing and nightly rentals.

"I kind of doubt that a private-sector management company can do what we're doing and make money," DuBord said. "We're not operating from a profit-margin standpoint. All we want to do is cover our direct expenses. : But we would consider anything that is an improvement on what we're doing."

The fact that the city isn't as reliant on making money as other lodging properties is one of the problems with it owning and operating the Iron Horse Inn, Koehler said.

"I just think it gives them an unfair advantage," said Koehler, who noted other advantages such as the city's ability to provide extensive employee benefits.

Disgruntled hoteliers have not contacted the city, DuBord said, perhaps because business is thriving in Steamboat.

"I think everybody's full," she said. "Obviously the fact that (the Iron Horse Inn is) full and has a waiting list shows there's a need. There is not enough rental housing in this community."

Wade said the Alpiner Lodge was full all summer and is running at about 80 percent occupancy this ski season.

"It would be a good thing for me if they weren't there from a supply standpoint," Wade said. "But if they need to do some nightly rentals to make it a better deal for the city, I guess I'm OK with that. : The Alpiner is operating at our expectations. There's always room for improvement, but I'm not going to blame my inability to improve on the city."

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

nxoby36 6 years, 10 months ago

" The current City Council, however, would rather minimize the Iron Horse's cost to the city by not renovating the property "

Socialism brings you the town of Steamboat Springs a " Slum Lord " !

featuring : four unrelated occupants to a room, an out of date run down property, unfair competition with the private sector for nightly rentals thru government backed cut rate prices, discriminatory criteria for the eligibility of an employee to rent as only a select few employers staff qualify

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elphaba 6 years, 10 months ago

Condo-Agreed and Agreed. The City should not be competing in the private sector for nightly rentals.

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justathought 6 years, 10 months ago

The city should not be competing with any business, period.

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steamboatsprings 6 years, 10 months ago

I am glad to see that the City is looking for the best way to operate the Iron Horse Inn and doing it through a public process. It was bought secretly based on unrealistic plans for renovation costs and operation and structured so it was difficult to change if the group that put it together was any bit less than all knowing and things needed to be adjusted.

It is too bad that the Rabbit Ears Motel's management is not savvy enough to compete with the City given their experience, location in Downtown, name recognition and long standing customer base. It is embarrassing to see them whine like that especially when the City's purchase and use of a large portion of the Iron Horse for long term housing still takes rooms off the market that they were competing with previously.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't see Mr. Koehler as whinning, I see him as being honest and forthright as the venerable business owner he is. I don't want to hear crap like that, it's an embarrasment to good thinkers. These purchases need to go to the voters, the council has no right to that kind of power, if the voters go for it then so be it, nobody to blame but ourselves. To mock the private establishment owners is a embarassment and an affront to the entire community.

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andymanout 6 years, 10 months ago

This is the first time I have ever heard of a city owning and running a hotel. I don't see any specific wrong in a city doing so as long as a majority of its voting citizens don't object.

I agree with Condoguy in that these purchases need to go to the voters. We need more transperancy in our city council. There seems to be a growing distrust of the counsil expressed in these blogs.

Simply put the city needs to turn a profit. If they can't do that then the Iron Horse should revert to private ownership.

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another_local 6 years, 10 months ago

If the city needed housing for employees they should have purchased condos on the open market one at a time. It would have been less expensive and cash flow positive. Buying the hotel was stupid.

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addlip2U 6 years, 10 months ago

Do you know of any occupants recently being moved out due to bed bugs or the place being infested with undesirable rodents?

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree the Inn should be for employee housing, its stated purpose, once the obligations/reservations are satisfied. Nightly rentals competing with the other hotels is the new council's idea.

"Steamboatsprings" makes a valid point - the previous Inn was full-on competing in the nightly rental market. The other hotels have less competition now.

The purchase price was <$80,000 a unit. (I thought there were 70+ units?) Even with repairs this was a smart buy by the city. Go buy another 20 units at that rate and then Jon Wade will have an argument that it was a "rotten deal". He's wrong. -Steve Lewis

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

steve, so far, it's a "rotten deal", you're gonna have to put a lot of lipstick on this pig before it's not..................

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 10 months ago

It would be nice if someone would build more rental apartments that would be ... 1. rented by SS businesses for their employees a. this would guarantee a 12 month lease b. would also guarantee the rentals would be paid 2. over flow units could be rented to the general public.

This may bridge the need for affordable housing from the week to week renter and those that are able to afford the deed restricted condos'/homes for area residents. There seems to be a huge gap in the mid range of affordability.

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

What midrange affordability? $2500.00 a month? The workers of this little burg are the ones with small children. The ones with more mouths to feed. We also happen to make less than most everyone else. How about a reasonable rent for two bedrooms and a bath?

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andymanout 6 years, 10 months ago

STEMBOATwannabe

That has a spooky sound to it for me. My Moms side of the family were from a coal mining town. A company town. The company owned the store, the house you lived in, in short everything. They charged just enough so that a worker could not save enough to move on. When my Mom left that town she walked out.

I think I would rather contend with a real estate management company thank you very much. In a free market at least there is the illusion of beneficial competition.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

The government has no business running a hotel. Is that even within their legal authority?

The city should approve some high density apartment plans for the site. Sell it do a developer at a nice profit for the city and they can knock the pile of crap down. They city could make a few million bucks and cut some of our taxes!

Build a freaking 6 story market rate apartment building there with underground parking.

Then all the people that want to live and work in Steamboat seasonally will have an affordable place to live.

Then we can all bitch about all the traffic this new wonderful affordable housing project added to our community.

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armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

addlip2u Yes some of my employees were moved out but I don't know if it was bed bugs or what. One gal developed a skin rash and spent $650.oo at the hospital emergency room. Should have gone to a local doctor. They don't know they're from out of the country. What a shame.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

condoguy, Can you be more factual with your conclusion than how much lipstick is needed?

Seriously. Using Cari's numbers, run as is the place loses $530,000 in TEN YEARS, right? That's peanuts, given in ONE YEAR the place APPRECIATES twice that amount. (125% x $4plus mill purchase price = $1,000,000) Not my idea of a bad investment. Not even close.

Sporty, Native, Holding onto Steamboat real estate is proving to be one of the best investment strategies possible. Acquiring it might be the second best strategy (note Intrawest's recent announcement of plans to do just that). But the converse suggestion - selling the Iron Horse Inn - would be the most ill advised strategy of all.

And if selling quickly is bad advice for a normal player in our real-estate market. Its a much worse strategy for a municpality who is obligated to meet our capital investment needs for the long-term. -Steve Lewis

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Well then Steve the city should start buying up single family homes and condos to "Sit on". Maybe they should speculate on a few lots at Marabou while they are at it.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 10 months ago

Buying the Inn was probably a good idea at some point.

Better that the city makes a few sheckels on it in the long run than someone else. Hopefully any profit that is realized from the Inn will be able to serve "we the people" in a better way. At least the funds realized from the profit of the Inn ( if there is any.... hopefully with appreciation there will be some) will not be from our taxes. ( yeah, I know our tax dollars were used to purchase the facility).

Any constructive ideas on what could be done with the Iron Horse facility in the future?

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

steve, even a blind squirel finds a nut once and a while, you said it, you have to be very unlucky or very stupid to lose money on real estate in Steamboat, but you just watch the city botch this up, you guys are going to have to dress this up real good "lots of lipstick" to make a profit, not to show a profit, but to realize and make a no cooking the books profit. This is just the beginning, we have not gone through a flat or depreciating period for a long time, this property needs improvements and has considerable deferred maintainence, don't forget accounting is a factual representation of the past, we have yet to see the past, give the city manager of Lafayette a call and ask him how their real estate investments are doing ................

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justathought 6 years, 10 months ago

"ONE YEAR the place APPRECIATES twice that amount", aren't the democrats telling us how bad our economy is and we are about to go into a recession/depression? What happens to the price of government owned hotels if the working class goes under?

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 10 months ago

The economy is bad everywhere except in Steamboat.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

wait till the money drys up in Steamboat, not everybody pays cash, the mountain communities are not immune to national conditions for long, when the butterfly flaps it's wings in Indonesia it snows in Steamboat..................

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

justathought- home appreciation has to do with having a buyer who will pay the price...not the economy in general. Most stuff in Steamboat is severely overpriced as it is.

It's the same thing with my comic collection: it's probably worth over $50,000 dollars according to Comic Sellers Guides. The only problem is finding someone to pay that much. That means it not worth anything if nobody will pay the price.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Thanks to the above posters. I expected to return to this blog and see another day of the same old same old. Hardly the case. The nature of your responses moves the conversation to more useful questions about the future of the Inn.

I believe the Inn is already taking an important first step. Its teaching players on both sides about workable public-private partnerships to provide employee housing needs of either sector.

Jim Chappell of YVEA was recently explaining his need for securing rentals for long term employee positions. YVEA has a good track record providing their service. Housing is not what they do. YVEA wasn't talking about many employees, but I suggest they would be happy to finance a slice of another project like the Iron Horse serving the private sector.

So it benefits companies like YVEA to see the first draft of that partnership in the Iron Horse. Its the beginning of a model which I believe YVHA could repeat very succesfully for the private sector.

I'm in favor of the Inn continuing with and improving on its mission as employee housing. To turn from that mission to sell or do nightly rentals... that seems like we're telling Jim Chappell to go figure out housing out on his own. -Steve Lewis

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

And anyone interested in buying my comic collection, let me know!! LOL!

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Matthew, I often agree with you but not here. Steamboat values are a bargain compared to the other resort markets in Colorado.

Yes there is always some risk in housing investments. But in this lifestyle market that values resorts so highly, the rest of the country preceeds us into recession, forcing interest rate cuts before we ever feel it.

The Iron Horse was a rational investment. I believe any speculator would enjoy owning it at that price. Even so, the conversation about risk has one additional argument I would ask you to consider. The city isn't a speculator. The City is housing employees that perform its municipal service obligations. Those go beyond the speculators rationale you are using. In other words, the City isn't looking to sell. -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Demand for rentals is a bit more solid than demand for your comic books. But good luck selling them. -Steve Lewis

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Steve-

This is true, but when an approx. 1000 sq ft. home on Oak St. (pictured last year in B section of Pilot- don't remember which house, though) built in 1908 on .17 acre lot is listed as a starter home for $600,000, that's ridiculous. Same with a Walton Village 1bdrm 600 sq ft condo costing $250,000+ now.

I agree that the City buying the Iron Horse was a wise investment. Steamboat is changing in the fact that if you can't provide housing for your employees...you pretty much lose employees to a community that can provide it. I had to do it for my employees, too, as do a lot of businesses.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Anyone know what the size of the lot the Iron Horse sits on?

They are talking about making 40 apartments. Rather than throwing the cities good money behind an aging building they have the power to change the zoning to allow higher density.

Why not push for 80 units? It's centrally located and those families living there could utilize the bike paths, city buses to get to work easily from there.

The cash flow from an 80 unit apartment building should attract many private developers. The upside is the city would walk away with millions upfront and the private sector would assume all the risk associated with the project.

Scrape the asbestos heap and go big!

I also don't think it's fair for the city to take control of all the affordable units. What about all the other small businesses that need employees and affordable housing to attract them to Steamboat?

Cheap housing for the city is no more important to me than cheap housing for the young cashier that works at Ace or another understaffed business. How many times have you gone out to a local business and gotten crappy service because they are understaffed? Answer=All the time.

If the city wants to rent them from the private developer they could do so. If Village in needs a couple units they could rent them.

Pack the units in and let the free market roll from there. Best solution for the ironhorse IMO.

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

The only way this should be developed is if the city has NO involvement except for up front in the negotiation of the sale and the project/permit approvals.

The city should not put ANY money into this toxic eyesore for renovation or even any execssive maintance.

The city shouldn't spend a dime on any remodeling or reconfiguration for short or long term usage unless and until whatever they propose PASSES by a majority vote. They should include in the ballot initiative the option of selling outright with the ramifications.

The city should start right now (with the input they have on this blog) to draft this ballot initiative.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Sell the property? Have any of you saying that ever sat on the community's side of the table? The advice you offer the City (to sell the Iron Horse and stay out of the real estate market as that market soars) would scuttle a business like Lift-Up, VNA, the hospital, or Horizons. If you have ever sat on such a board, why is the City so undeserving of the means necessary to deliver your tidy town and services to you every day.

Get the property into the hands of a developer you say. The employees and employers needs are also totally irrelevant to you?

I'm reading hate, distrust, riverfront property lust, or something... but its more ill will than advice.

But I do agree with a ballot question of the Iron Horse sale. Because you would lose. Big. -Steve Lewis

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mud 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi, you are an; Idiotic, arrogant,Liberal,Fascist, socialist, marxist FOOL! And by the way, only a marxist fool would resort to calling you names. Because when you can't argue the facts, you resort to name calling. "Don't attack the message, attacck the messanger" is a common ploy in politics that svbor would never partake in. For he is too ethical in the realm of political objectiveness. I did not know there was an equivalent to the PC movement on the right, but AJ has shown me the way.

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justathought 6 years, 10 months ago

lewi asks "The employees and employers needs are also totally irrelevant to you?" the answer is Yes, when private businesses are being subsidized with public money. Why not see how many businesses that need employee housing are willing to help pay for the privilege. Get the businesses to form a co-op and buy the inn from the city, If it's such a good investment they should jump at the chance. Set the co-op up so the shares can only be sold for employee housing, if one business no longer needs it they can sell to another business that does. If there isn't enough businesses willing to pay for this, then why should the taxpayers? How many city employees living there now? The city could actually buy into the employee housing co-op for only the housing they actually need at the same cost other businesses are paying. If you want to deed restrict something, this is it. I'm sure something of this nature could be worked out if the businesses are actually behind employee housing and not just public subsidization.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi answer this.

Why should the city use tax payer funds and monopolize a project for themselves? Affordable market rate rentals are needed for every business in Steamboat not just the city.

The free market could maximize the Iron Horse lot to benefit the ENTIRE community as well as the City of Steamboat Springs. It can be a win/win for the community as it should be.

The City made the first move to purchase the property. Now is the time to maximize that investment and eliminate the risk for the tax payers.

It's one thing to create value by renovation but EASIEST way for the city to really create value in the lot is to increase the density like I said earlier. The location is centrally located and ideal for high density and less traffic impact on our city.

In fact if the city would pursue my plan they would easily have a few million dollars to roll into another piece of land. Perhaps a parking garage in the same area that could be used by locals and skiers heading to either downtown or the mountain.

If we had a central parking garage with better bus service we could simply park there and hop a shuttle back to downtown or the mountain to do our business.

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

It's not ill will. It's people's earnest outlook concerning a multimillion dollar investment that as the first blog comment correctly states, "was bought secretly based on unrealistic plans for renovation costs and operation and structured so it was difficult to change if the group that put it together was any bit less than all knowing and things needed to be adjusted."

That is just fact as MANY people see it. Anything short of or different than continuing and expanding the City's roles as Builder, Realtor, Landlord and Property Manager of Affordable Housing are just discounted by you, Lewi. Many and most see all these as roles of PRIVATE competitive businesses. Why? Because of the City's horrible track record and lack of experience in these things.

A private sector scenario: A reasonably financially successful person wants to build a house. Go find the real estate agent that won't do what you want even when you tell them explicitly over and over (i.e. the recent Surveys that the City has conducted), and then hire a builder with the resume of being chronically over budget and not forthcoming (dishonest?) about the spending of YOUR money. That is NOT how any person goes about building their house. i.e. NOT how the citizens want to go about providing affordable housing. It's not that anyone doesn't want to see workers (us!) not have a decent and nice place to hang OUR hats, it's that the City has no experience in being a developer of any type of housing anywhere near this magnitude. Employers and employees are not irrelevant to us, Lewi. Us are them! How arrogant of you to say that!

I got this comment off of another blog: "It would be cheaper to construct new buildings on currently vacant City property."

And this one off of another: "Ironic that no one has so far commented on the use of certificates of participation. That's one way of avoiding a community ballot queston on further taxation via a bond issue for purchase. Where is the Housing Authority on this one?????? Once again, the council is circumventing any public process."

These are valid thoughts and questions that don't have any ill-will behind them. Quite the contrary, actually.

Mr. Lewis, I honestly don't know what you do besides being a Planning Commissioner. I am actually curious if you have a day job and what it is. You must be a City employee. Why is it that the City doesn't heed the results of IT'S Surveys asking what people want or don't want for the City? WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? Do you know? I would really like your honest answer.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

justathought, Well I agree with you. The package you are describing is what needs to happen. As you said, "see how many businesses that need employee housing are willing to help pay for the privilege." I couldn't agree more, and fully pay rather than "help pay" for their employee housing.

I don't believe there is any subsidy of private businesses' employee housing at the Inn. I believe they are paying at least their share of the Inn's breakeven budget.

But the housing package we are talking about needs to be in new projects. We have been behind on housing and the need is only going to grow. That site is not all that is needed.

If the City hadn't done the Iron Horse we'd take another 3-4 years to get something organized for employer owned employee rentals started. I'm content that the City owns the experiment everyone else is learning from. Still believe they shouldn't sell it. Its a great capital investment that they will fully utilize with partners like the school district. -Steve Lewis

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

So YES, lets have Council DIRECT Alan Lanning to draft a ballot language for a ballot initiative saying something like the following:

Citizens of Steamboat, concerning the City's recent purchase of the Iron Horse Inn, do you want:

A) The City to renovate and remodel the current structures to yield ## units be made available as an affordable rental property in 200X and operated and maintained by the City with an annual operating budget of $## and revenues of $##. B) Private Developer's to bid on the property to the City to renovate and/or raise the current buildings and utilize the property as an (affordable?) rental property in 200X and operated and maintained by the a third party for profit. C) Put the property up for sale as soon as possible for market value of $XX and a cost to the taxpayers of $XX to pay off the certificates of participation.

Can anyone help me refine this? Add or subtract.

WE should all be drafting an e-mail and sending our thoughts directly to our Council members. (Especially you, Lewi. You said you liked this idea, right?)

http://www.steamboatsprings.net/index.php?id=109

Click on "Contact Council" Cut and paste this or any other ideas. There are allot of good ones in this blog. Just for the many of us can't make it to the Council meeting every week and wait for public comment.

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justathought 6 years, 10 months ago

Sorry lewi, when I said "help pay" I meant it as sharing the cost with other businesses, the full cost should be shared by those using the facility and managed by the co-op, not the city. You said If the City hadn't done the Iron Horse we'd take another 3-4 years to get something organized; I don't believe that, if the idea were given to the business owners and they were actually dedicated to employee housing, they could make it work much sooner. The private sector can usually move a lot faster than government if it's in their best interest, that is if the government doesn't regulate them to death.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Yes, and let's stop electing representatives and vote on every small issue that comes up so things only come into play once a year and nothing gets done. Way to micromanage. We can now have Election Day as a day all businesses must be closed since the ballot will contain more idiotic votes such as this to confuse voters or make them completely apathetic. Next, we can all vote on which color to paint the fire hydrants because some people have an aversion to red.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

btheball, Honest answer - the City is likely heeding page 40 of that survey, where respondents feel the City should allocate $12.61 of $100.00 possible to affordable housing. Ranked 3rd of 10 possibles.

In the survey's fulltime residents of Steamboat, the affordable housing amount was $14.91 and was ranked 2nd of 10 possibles.

I'm not really fond of using that survey with the certitude that sbvor does. Its cherry picking. The poll showed an even stronger preference for growth management. Not my agenda or sbvors. Open space anyone?

People keep pointing to tax preferences in that survey. With the Iron Horse so close to breakeven financing and with healthy appreciation more than offsetting it. I don't see your tax dollars being squandered or used against public opinion. But yes your sales tax dollars are being used against your individual wishes. -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

justathought, I'm not a fan of government per se, but yes a huge fan of housing workforce. I've disagreed strongly with council on the Hist Pres proposal of mandatory preservation:

Also I publicly opposed the URA and the LMD. I have admitted lately I was wrong on the URA. Where did you stand on those govt subsidies to the private sector back then?

You said "if the idea were given to the business owners and they were actually dedicated to employee housing, they could make it work much sooner." But the idea was not happening. I agree the private sector moves faster and more cost effectively, WHEN IT MOVES. The City is ahead of the curve right now. And did it cost effectively. Everyone, including YVHA, is learning "how" from that City initiative.

Thanks for the cordial converstaion. -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

I took the question of subsidizing private sector employees at the Inn to City staff. City transit workers have the only room subsidies in 6 units or less of the project. 22 units are fulfilling the nightly rental mission. 30 fewer than before. The private sector rooms are market rate and netting a positive return.

If Lift-Up approached the City for a room, they might need some subsidy from the City. I would support that. Expect this blog would not? -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor, I am focused on all workforce housing. Including the wealthier tiers. I have been suggesting newly developed packages of employee units that the private sector owns slices of. It just hasn't been getting done. I hope it will soon, and will support zoning that creates those opportunities.

So I'd say we disagree on the extent of the need. 100's of cars on Hwy 40 west every am and pm is not a sustainable solution to my mind.

Of course we won't agree on your interpretation of the 2005 survey. You pick a page that you like. I pick one I like. Neither page benefits the conversation very much. -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor, And the LMD and the URA? Did you support those subsidies? -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor, Your biggest gripe is govt subsidies that weren't voted for. 100's of your words slamming govt subsidies. I'm clarifying the absoluteness of your position by refering to 2 such subsidies.

It remains a fair question: The LMD and the URA? Did you support those subsidies? -Steve Lewis

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

It is a small issue because history of Steamboat Springs says it will increase in value as long as it is kept up.

How many property have you seen DEvalue significantly as long as upkeep is maintained? Plus, the land alone on the river will increase in value, even if the building doesn't. Trailer Parks anyone? Ring a bell?

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor I could care less about debating the LMD or URA. But a subsidy is a subsidy.

How sturdy is your anti-govt soapbox? Answer the simple, relevant question on govt subsidies you supported, or did not. Feel free to explain why. -Steve Lewis

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

"We, the people" elected the representatives. I'm not taking away anyone's vote. It's how the Republic was set up. Remember that's how our government works? No...you seek to overthrow government with links to crap. That's a fantasy world.

Sucks when the vote goes against you, don't it? That's the American way.

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armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

Why is no one talking about the liability issue when it comes to the Iron Horse. Should there ever be a fatal fire in that building the city would pay out millions. City council is worried about getting sued hence the reason for tonight's council meeting and getting rid of the responsilbilty with regards to alcohol yet nobody cares about the responsibilty of the city when dealing with life and death.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Problem is, Bore- you aren't a part of Steamboat's We The People?

The property will appreciate in value, no matter what. You still didn't prove where it wouldn't. C'mon, Factoid- show us the facts you purport.

The "We the People" also voted in people who work with developers to a degree, or who have developed properties themselves. You might be out of luck.

If you were so up in arms...AND LOCAL...you'd start a recall. Ain't happenin' by you, is it?

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

I would love to know how many people allocated money to open space and affordable housing in that 2005 study.

The two seem to be working against one another.

Also, does anyone know how often those studies are done? A lot has changed since 2005.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Good point armchair. Yet another reason for the city to wash it's hands of the risk. Earlier I was talking about the inherent risk of speculating/developing.

Simply put any real estate project has risk. The city has no business running a long term hotel project.

The city needs to stay in the business of regulating the land planning within the city limits. Forget about the ironhorse for just a minute. The city could work with the current land owners who have suitable land for Market Rate Apartment rentals.

Land cost is obviously an issue. By increasing their density private developers would step in and the land owners could either develop the site or cash out.

All this deed restricted BS needs to be tabled. It's not a birth right to be able to afford a ski in ski out condo in one of the most beautiful areas in our country.

You want affordable homes to purchase? Go to oak creek, yampa or beyond. Why should a first time home owner get any preference. Please.

Market Rate Rental Apartments. Market Rate Rental Apartments. Build them between the mountain and downtown. Build them between the mountain and downtown.

This solves many of our cities issues AT ONCE without creating more problems.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

That's correct. At least I can prove my residence and prove my working in the City.

But guess what? I also can still vote? Can you linky how? Are you that smart? Again- answer is no, you aren't. LOL!!!!!

As I've said: I am open to all to see and have nothing to hide. So what does your lack-of-point prove? Nothing. It proves that you still aren't a resident. At least I can prove I'm not an outsider looking in.

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't have the understanding of politics that Sbvor, Steve and several other posters have shown. I work for a living. I make a little more than most because I have been at it longer. I still have a hard time keeping a roof over our heads.

I do know the workers in this town need someplace to stay. Somewhere that isn't thirty miles away. Gas is expensive. We need a house rental in town that doesn't cost $2500.00 a month.

I think Sbvor makes the most sense here but what do I know. Here is my suggestion,

Zone more area north and south of town for high density development. Do that and private developers will build it up. Hopefully they will build some shotgun houses. I don't care if my yard is big. I just need roof for my family.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Amen 424. Get involved man. Get down to the city and speak your mind. They need to hear from all of us. The City has no business being the City of Steamboat Springs Development LLC.

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi, I'm just really curious....what your day job? You seem to have plenty of time to blog all day on any given day. Do you work for the City? In what capacity? Are the taxpayers paying you to fulfill some role or produce something?

It must be common knowledge since you sign your name to everything. Can you divulge? I am really just wondering.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

b- Use the Search Function on this site. Steve comes up in plenty of articles.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Native, About those units between the town and mountain. Pretty scarce raw land left there and little else there is old enough to redevelop. But maybe it could bring a lot of units. I've usually weighed the "infill more densely" policy of our area plan as a good policy to follow. What do you think such units would sell for? $600,000 for a two bedroom? Sundance North has something coming. What are they asking pre-construction?

Btheball, That's some irony - you are anonymous, but you need more details about me after I gave you my name. The world knows nada about you. You don't even have a face. -Steve Lewis

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

Not too ironic, just freedom of choice. You seem proud not to be anonymous so I just thought you might be representing a city dept in some way. I did the search function learned more. I still didn't learn if you have a day job just that you are the Chair of the planning commission. Is carving out the City's role in providing Housing something that you see a larger role for the planning commission a future paid position(s) with the city? I am really just curious about your angle.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

btheball, steve is the chair of our planning commission, not an easy job, while I disagree with steve over his position at Iron Horse, and maybe others from time to time, I belive him to be a sincere, hard working public servant, and do need to say thanks to him and his co comissioners, this is not easy work, I could not do it. we more often fail to recognize the important good work that is done, now enough kissing up, steve, the city should not be in the Iron Horse....................

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justathought 6 years, 10 months ago

btheball, lewi and I sure don't see eye to eye on most of the issues and we are both very vocal when defending our beliefs but that doesn't mean either one of us (or most anyone else on this forum) has "an angle". The questions you ask of him appear as if you're trying to find "an angle" just to discredit him, are you that frustrated that you can't get your point across in a spirited debate? kielbasa is proud of using his real name, are you digging for "an angle" on him also? You started out with opinions and ideas then chose to get personal against an opposite opinion, what a shame, we don't need another kielbasa/sbvor grudge match.

And before you accuse, I have never met lewi.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

No angles on me. I never have anything to hide, but thanks though. The Darwin comment was a joke, BTW, jthought. I was taken aback by the comment. You'll see it shortly, I imagine.

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oldskoolstmbt 6 years, 10 months ago

how many drunken sheriff's could this place hold in one night...maybe they should turn it into an undercover detox house

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

I was really just wondering and thought it was probably common knowledge if Lewi was also employed by the city? That would be germane to his point of view. I don't see any accusations and certainly didn't intend any (maybe angle was the wrong word maybe point of view). When one chooses not to be anonymous, there is implied consent to knowing things about that person.

Lewi said in this thread "I'm reading hate, distrust, riverfront property lust, or something... but its more ill will than advice." Those are accusations that I think are largely untrue. I accept your comments and criticism and agree that they should apply universally.

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

oh, I wasn't addressing kielbasa at all here, but good to know the response....

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

Steven Gates Lewis (aka Lewi) is not employed by the City.

He is a semi-retired engineer and property owner/landlord.

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colobob 6 years, 10 months ago

one has to wonder why if the Iron Horse was such an boon to the people of Steamboat its purchase was not put before the voters to decide on, but instead quietly slid by those it will effect for a long long time to come. "oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

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Nitro 6 years, 10 months ago

As I understand, any purchase of real property must be approved by ordinance. This means the issue must be presented to City Council, not once, but twice, in a public meeting, at which time any member of the community can make a comment.

Where was the deception?

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