Tim Smith, left, and Andrey Chebanyuk work on building an expanded ski valet tent area Thursday at the Ptarmigan Inn.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Tim Smith, left, and Andrey Chebanyuk work on building an expanded ski valet tent area Thursday at the Ptarmigan Inn.

Ptarmigan proposes to build green at ski base

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Two Colorado developers propose to redevelop the Ptarmigan Inn into a seven-story building that would comprise 57 slopeside condominiums.

— The proposed redevelopment of the Ptarmigan Inn, which first emerged in 2005 and resurfaced in August 2007, is active again at the city planning department. This time, the developers say they aspire to meeting LEEDS green building standards.

Bruce Shugart, president of Mountainside Development Corp., has submitted an application for a development permit for a 57-unit condominium building that would go up where the 1970s-era Ptarmigan Inn Best Western stands now.

It's the first public sign of activity on the project since it came through the city's pre-application process in August 2007.

"They certainly have addressed some of the comments they received in the pre-application process," Senior City Planner Bob Keenan said. "The architecture is substantially different."

Some of the design changes have addressed the mass and scale of the building, he added.

At the pre-application phase, the project proposed 39 large condominiums. In the intervening 14 months, the number of condos in the project has increased to 57 with the potential for some interval sales, the developers wrote in a memo to the city. The net sellable square feet as proposed would be 138,043.

Other features of the new plan include a snowmelt system for public plazas and walkways.

Another principal in the project is Richard Dean, who like Shugart is a building contractor. They promised to meet green building standards in their pre-application documents. The city just adopted a change to make green building its highest goal for developers asked to provide community benefits to offset variances from the development code.

"The new Ptarmigan will attain LEED certification for environmental and sustainable design methods, materials and construction practices," they wrote. The developers also committed to using wind energy credits to offset the building's energy usage.

The Ptarmigan Inn adjoins the lowest slopes at the Steamboat Ski Area on their south side. The redevelopment does not involve the adjacent Ptarmigan House condominiums.

The Steamboat gondola passes directly in front of the Ptarmigan Inn. The redevelopment site is tucked between the existing Dulany Condominiums on the west and Chateau Chamonix on the east. The large One Steamboat Place development, currently under construction, is virtually next door.

Shugart and Dean say they intend to develop a community park with a snow-melted hardscape, as well as a pocket park with a historic display close to a trail that would lead along Burgess Creek to the ski slope.

In order to make the parks more appealing and accessible, they hope to work with Ptarmigan House and Ironwood Condominiums to convert the long driveway to AprÃs Ski Way to a snowmelt system.

Plans to redevelop the ski-in, ski-out property represented by Ptarmigan Inn were first broached by Steve Peer of Cafritz Interests, of Washington, D.C., in 2005. He withdrew planning documents for the project then known as Aspen Ridge, and Cafritz subsequently acquired the Thunderhead Inn and Ski Time Square on the opposite side of the ski area. Cafritz assigned the role of developer to The Atira Group.

The Ptarmigan Inn site appears as "Gondola-1" on the city's zoning map, a designation that comes with lower maximum building heights than, for example, On Steamboat Place, which is zoned Gondola-2.

The maximum height in the G-1 district is 63 feet, and the project's tallest elevations are as tall as 94 feet in some places, Keenan said. Mountainside Development is not seeking a zone change, but is asking for a building height variance, he added.

Shugart could not be reached directly for comment.

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