Resort Ventures West expects Wildhorse gondola construction to begin on the Trailhead Lodge site as soon as Aug. 3.

Photo by Tom Ross

Resort Ventures West expects Wildhorse gondola construction to begin on the Trailhead Lodge site as soon as Aug. 3.

Wildhorse gondola construction to begin in August


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Trailhead closings to resume this week

Trailhead Lodge development principal Brent Pearson said Thursday that although progress is being made in the effort to close contracted units at the five-story condominium building, there have been no additional closings since three cash deals were consummated in June.

He said that's about to change.

Pearson said he expects to see some closings in the coming week, with multiple closings to follow each week thereafter.

"What's been delaying the closings are the continuing surprises in the financial world," Pearson said. "Buyers have believed they were close to closing, only to have the date pushed back further. It's been frustrating for everybody."

Pearson said Cal Con Mutual Mortgage continues to be RVW's preferred lender. Cal Con has a track record with funding resort condominium project and is affiliated with Dakota Mountain Lodge in Park City, Utah.

Some of the delays are attributable to buyers who naturally have turned to their own existing lenders only to find that funding resort condominiums in the midst of tumultuous financial markets adds layers of complexity.

- Tom Ross

— Evidence of construction on the new Wildhorse pulse gondola could appear by early next month.

"By Aug. 3, they should be mobilizing right on site and continue working on the towers mostly through August," said Resort Ventures West Principal and Chief Financial Officer Brent Pearson.

The developers of Wildhorse Meadows and Trailhead Lodge announced July 14 they had signed a contract for the about $3 million gondola to be manufactured at Leitner-Poma's new factory in Grand Junction.

Completion of the public lift intended to move people from the vicinity of Trailhead Lodge to Gondola Square at the base of the ski area is anticipated for February 2010, in time for use this ski season.

"It fulfills the vision that we've committed to our homeowners, creates and enhances the value in Wildhorse Meadows and completes it all two years earlier than expected," Pearson said.

He previously had told the Steamboat Pilot & Today that advancing the timetable of building the gondola was critical to boosting the confidence of Trailhead buyers, who have 60 contracts to purchase condominiums pending and set to resume closing in the coming week.

The gondola will cover the 2,000-foot distance to the resort's base in four minutes and will feature four groups of two, six-passenger cabins for a capacity of 340 people per hour, with the ability to add as many as six groups of three cabins for a maximum capacity of 500 people per hour.

Pearson said the original capacity substantially exceeds what is needed for Trailhead Lodge, First Tracks and homes that could be built at The Range. Additional capacity would be added as other phases of the development near completion.

In late May, RVW was hoping to build a higher capacity detachable gondola in partnership with the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp, but Ski Corp.-parent Intrawest declined to fund the project.

Pearson said the ski area continues to cooperate by lending its expertise in gondolas and is considering a proposal to staff operations and maintenance of the Wildhorse gondola.

- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail


steamboatsprings 7 years, 10 months ago

Good news that they are putting in the gondola but with only 3 closings since they started in the beginning of June a lot of people are worried that this could be a distressed project. Lets hope that they can reach the 75% sold numbers that they continue to advertise.


greenwash 7 years, 10 months ago

Ive heard same rumors...Some realtors are being asked for a portion of commissions back due to contracts not closing.I think they got a portion like 1% at could they not be struggling?Poor guys.


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