Skiers who can manage the $40,000 membership fee will enjoy an unprecedented level of service at the base of Steamboat Ski Area this winter, when the private St. Cloud Mountain Club opens.
In addition to valet parking and ski service, members will be served breakfast, lunch, cocktails and aprÃs ski meals.
Developer Jamie Temple said the concept is modeled after successful ski base clubs in other resorts, some of them with heftier membership fees.
"It's not inexpensive, and it's not for everyone," Temple said.
The business plan is intended to deliver many of the luxuries of ski-in/ski-out living to people whose luxury digs in Steamboat don't happen to be slopeside.
The St. Cloud Mountain Club is under remodeling in an existing building in Torian Plum Plaza. The location, previously occupied by Home on the Range, is immediately behind the sales center for One Steamboat Place and across the plaza from Cafe Diva and Terry Sports.
Temple is a principal in Momentum Steamboat, LLC. He and partner Colgate Holmes have entered the city planning process with a proposal for a large luxury condominium project nearby - St. Cloud Resort and Spa.
Despite the similar names and shared ownership and management, the club and the future resort are separate projects, Temple said. Someday, he added, St. Cloud Resort and Spa will need a similar club of its own in order to command slopeside prices on condominium sales.
The St. Cloud Resort and Spa will not begin the lengthy process of petitioning the city for a development permit until the economy recovers from the current crisis.
"That could be 10 months or a year away," Temple said. "We'll let the capital markets and the local real estate market get healthy again."
In the meantime, the St. Cloud Mountain Club will represent the first introduction of the brand in Steamboat.
All the amenities
The club is designed to welcome no more than 230 families into membership, and only the first 25 founding members will join for $40,000. Those who come after will pay $45,000.
What else will they get for their money?
When members wind down their skiing day, attendants will meet them at the edge of the snow and take their equipment to storage. Boots will be dried overnight on individual boot driers.
When they walk by the indoor/outdoor fireplace and enter the doors of the club, members will be confronted by the plush-but-modern aesthetic of designers from Hirsch, Bedner and Associates, the same firm that won awards this year from "Travel and Leisure" for its work on the Ritz Carlton in Beijing.
There will be a full bar, including espresso, flat-screen televisions and comfortable furniture, as well as a separate children's area.
The concierge staff will arrange for the purchase of lift tickets, ski lessons and alternative outings.
Temple said he studied similar clubs in Aspen, Vail, Telluride and Park City, Utah, and concluded that Steamboat was being underserved in that area. A similar membership in Vail is priced at $250,000, he added.
He said he recently previewed St. Cloud Mountain Club to 50 interested people during a launch party at bistro c.v. and judged the response as enthusiastic.
"At lot of people will really appreciate this service," Temple said. "It's ideal for homeowners at Storm Mountain Ranch, for example."
St. Cloud Resort and Spa entered the city's pre-application process in March. The tentative plan for the building would include 780,000 square feet and 201 residences in multiple buildings.
The development would be built on the site of the existing Clocktower Building and the parking garage at the entrance to Ski Time Square, which is owned by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
The Steamboat Ski Area sent a letter of permission giving the developers the ability to enter the city planning process. However, a sale of the parking structure has not consummated.
"We're aware that they have contemplated that parking structure in the pre-application and have acknowledged that we have no objection," Ski Corp. Vice President of Development Doug Beall told the Steamboat Pilot and Today at the time.
The general contractor for the St. Cloud Mountain Club remodel is GE Johnson, the same firm building Edgemont.
Temple was the developer of Storm Mountain Ranch in Steamboat with his brother Jeff, as well as Water Dance in Frisco and Uptown Broadway in Boulder.
Holmes is a founding partner and former president of the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. His background includes operation and development of resorts and hotels in locations including southern California and Phoenix.