Jeremy S. MacGray: Think of community

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— To the anti-development bloggers:

Your cowardice is clear from your usernames, and your ignorance is exposed in your comments.

I have lived full time in Steamboat Springs for more than 11 years. I was married here, have three children here and have started and maintain multiple businesses in town that serve the community and provide for my family. In the past 11 years, our companies have provided employment and livelihood for hundreds of different people in Steamboat, including singles, families, men, women, businessmen and businesswomen, ski bums and various other types of locals.

Today, our companies provide a paycheck for more than 80 families with more than 100 children in Steamboat. All these people are the ones you see eating at restaurants, at the parades, shopping, dropping their children at school, working out at Old Town Hot Springs, on the Yampa River Core Trail, in the grocery store and at all the other activities that make them a local. We have built numerous affordable houses for local families and have built just as many "unaffordable" second homes for part-time residents. We work with local charities in raising funds for nonprofits, and we donate hours of work to the same. We are involved with housing committees, development committees, growth committees and education committees - all that work to protect Steamboat and provide for its people and future.

To assume that developers are from out of town and are just here to "make a few million and then leave" shows enormous ignorance and self-centeredness. To assert that you know better than the thousands of community members that participated in the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan and the Mountain Town Sub Area Plan localizing density and growth at the base area is ridiculous and shows that you do not really have the community's interest in mind but, instead, your own self-serving agenda. To threaten elected officials shows again the sub-level character from which you operate and the lack of maturity you possess in dealing with contention. And, above all, your comments reveal the fact that you are not truly part of the core of the Steamboat community.

What City Council has kept in mind and continues to keep in mind is the large majority of people that make up our community. The ones who actually live and work in our community and are not just spectators; the ones who actually participate organically in making Steamboat Springs a living, breathing, operating community of people. People who need jobs, need the opportunity for homes, need parks and trails, need schools and libraries, need streets and public spaces and, above all, need a governing body that is planning for their futures. These people need a mature, determined council, such as we have, that will guide the growth of our community, not obstruct it, and in turn provide for them the opportunity to make a living.

I strongly suggest that every person and family that is living and making a living in this town consider the impacts, short term and long term, of our primary economic engine - the base area - lying in ruins and, worse yet, under-developed. Every working-class community member, from waiters, carpenters, fishing guides, ski instructors, coaches and teachers, investors, Realtors, entrepreneurs, main street business owners and base area business owners, along with their futures, will be detrimentally affected by a short-sighted redevelopment of the base area.

May we all realize the opportunity that is at our fingertips and the legacy of provision we can leave for our families - the next generation of locals.

Jeremy S. MacGray

JSM Builders, Inc.; KM Management, LLC; Capstone Endeavors; Affordable Housing Group; Corpus Development Group, LLC; Mambo Italiano Restaurant

Comments

trump_suit 5 years, 4 months ago

Well spoken Jeremy...

LTFO, you still have a bad attitude. This economy is not going to bankrupt us all and 10 years from now those of us that want to will still be living in this beautiful valley.

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trump_suit 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't know why the Pilot quit running the Sales Report. Brent?

What I do know is that those numbers are available if you do any looking at all. The Purdential Ad that came out on Friday show them, and they have been buried under several articles on related topics.

http://www.steamboatpilot.com/polls/2009/jun/june_12_there_has_been_more_13_million_worth_real_/

The market/local economy has not returned to normal in my opinion, but what I am hearing from friends and aquaintances is getting better not worse. Most of them are booking more business, making payments and generally making out OK.

In RE: to the developers. Just like all aspects of life, you can find good people and not so good people. Who do you choose to fill your life with? If the people of this community truly want affordable housing then someone has to step forward and develop it.

They will not do so for "the good of the people" and we cannot expect them to. A fair profit must be the goal so that they can continue to operate and provide growth opportunities and jobs in our community.

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Dan Hill 5 years, 4 months ago

Well said Jeremy.

You can be pretty sure that when one group resorts to demonising their opponents, they pretty much have no other argument. In rugby (I'm a transplanted Aussie) we call it playing the man and not the ball and it's considered dishonourable and a sign that you lack a real game.

I don't want this town to become a zoo like Aspen either, but I'm not expecting that we can suspend the laws of supply and demand.

The reality is that lots and lots of people want to live in paradise. That growth in demand isn't going away. So if you constrain supply by restricting development, prices will go up and up and up. Maybe as a community we're fine with that. Those of us who already own property in the 'Boat may even think that's a good thing.

These are not easy choices. But what really gets me riled up is that many of the people who are most anti-development are also the ones who are most pro-affordable housing. Please, they need to stop thinking they can have their cake and eat it too.

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 4 months ago

Maybe if some developers would criticize the bad actions of other developers then there would be less of an anti-developer feeling.

In particular, it is bad for the community when a developer chooses to demolish before being ready to rebuild. So the Town loses dozens of affordable mobile homes at 3rd and Yampa for there to be a vacant lot. So the Town has vacant lots at half of Ski Time Square.

Or when building in an established neighborhood in which the setbacks where supposed to give options where to place a modest house and were not to be the boundaries of a massive monster.

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freerider 5 years, 4 months ago

Jeremy talk about ignorance and self centeredness and a self serving agenda your article reeks of it , you only write this to back your profession. Not everybody in Steamboat is a builder and could care less about it. I've seen cowboy contractors come and go like the wind in Steamboat and growth isn't always a healthy solution , especially when ignorant developers, builders and planning commisioners are involved. Not once from you or Rob Douglas or the planning commisioners have I once heard one ounce of intelligence regarding the traffic issue if the 700 club development goes through. And for you to call people cowards because they disagree with you is pathetic. I thought as a good Christian you are instructed not to be judgemental. I guess you need a little more bible study before you start ranting about your neighbors. your a hypocrite to the max

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trump_suit 5 years, 4 months ago

A community without growth is a community that is watching its young people leave town for richer opportunities.

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ybul 5 years, 4 months ago

I think that Scott Wedel said it well - "In particular, it is bad for the community when a developer chooses to demolish before being ready to rebuild." That is the crux of the problem, the dollar signs were flashing in everyones minds, fueled by cheap credit.

The developers went hog wild thinking that if I build it, they will come. They have built it and now affordable housing is most likely to come as the market is saturated. Their efforts to rebuild the base area with luxury condos, required that they buy up condos taking product off the market fueling prices and in their minds (as supply decreased) the ability to sell ever more expensive condos.

All the sudden the credit markets dry up, national personal wealth declines by 30+%, their buildings bring more supply onto the market and prices fall. Not that hard to foretell that condo prices were going to decline, even without a decline in weatlh or the tightening credit markets (though a rise in interest rates was not that hard to see either.)

Their mistakes will most likely slow development in the future. But as the trailer park is now gone, three of the four needed intersections for one waying oak and yampa streets are easily obtained to alleviate traffic issues. Move the land trust office, take part of the PO parking lot and the other one, the old trailer park and if one got creative and went through the city offices put them in empty office space in the near future when those prices decline then you would be able to close down lincoln easily.

This would facilitate events like the mustang roundup, winter carnival and other events with less headaches.

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Tubes 5 years, 4 months ago

I wonder if he had to dislocate his shoulder prior to all of this patting himself on the back. Beyond that nonsense, what exactly is he saying?

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telebikebird 5 years, 4 months ago

That he is dedicated to Steabmoat Springs and his endeavors have helped out numerous folks here.

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telebikebird 5 years, 4 months ago

That he is dedicated to Steamboat Springs and his endeavors have helped out numerous folks here.

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Tubes 5 years, 4 months ago

okay.......well thanks for the editorial and going on record to clear that up....because we were all wondering!

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 4 months ago

Jeremy, its one thing to complain about public insults from invisible people. I agree with your opinion of them. But it is another to mingle that into a complaint against anyone who would apply boundaries to development, such at the base area where you are a significant stakeholder.

I have attended many meetings in this community dealing with development. From where I sat, this community's voice (as represented by those with names and faces) has been unmistakable: We are all stakeholders. Yes you create jobs and take much of the risk. But that does not trump the sincerity of intention brought by the people who will live beside what you build and who will live with your impacts.

Honestly Jeremy, your letter surprises. In my opinion, our current Planning Commission and City Council have bent over backwards for you. Aren't you aware of the City's URA underwriting of improvements at the base area to support you? Aren't you aware of the significant density and height increases in the newly revised Base Area Plan?

What more do you want?

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 4 months ago

That said, I do understand Jeremy's (and Kim Kreissig's) stated frustration with insults written by the nameless posters in this forum. At least Jeremy and Kim allude to the reality - the only people stooping below a civil level of respect in Steamboat's discourse are anonymous and invisible, afraid to lend their names to their opinions.

But Rob Douglas would have his Pilot readers believe that these invisible people are real, and a threat to developers. Rob wrote an entire column Friday railing against these "naysayers", "community connivers" and "selfish souls". To his discredit, for material, Rob has only anonymous posters. Worse, Rob fails to acknowledge to his readers -these sources he's quoting have no name. Who else does that, Rob? You might as well claim your nightmares are real too.

The sad irony is Rob's own tone. Rob Douglas: "the word developer is spat from their lips awash in condescending vulgarity", "the usual real estate development haters spewing their typically shallow insights", and "know-nothing know-it-alls".

Brent?

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 4 months ago

Steve, I went back and read Rob's article and I enjoyed his view of matters. It seems that you are very critical of him. Dan, I think that the affordable housing advocates may be using that as a tool to make development more difficult, thus advancing their no growth agenda.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 4 months ago

Fred, Rob Douglas: "the word developer is spat from their lips awash in condescending vulgarity", "the usual real estate development haters spewing their typically shallow insights", and "know-nothing know-it-alls".

I'm too critical? Give me a break.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 4 months ago

And Fred, please stop making false statements. In the Douglas blog you attributed actions to Community Alliance that never happened.

Who has a no growth agenda? Fred, can you quote someone, anyone, to back up your statements these past few days?

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 4 months ago

I'll drop it. I lost this anonymity argument months ago. Truly the problem is the insults some seem to enjoy. Maybe I'll "suggest removal" and see what Brent does. I posted more when I could engage without having either side insulted or laughed at.

And what pissed me off? The 10% of Pilot readers who read the blog know the insults flow from either side and are typically anonymous. But last Friday Rob quoted crap out of that anonymous sewer and credited it to anyone, like me, who would question development.

Jeremy take heart, at least you don't have a paid Pilot columnist insulting your kind. And if given a choice, surely you'd rather be insulted in this blog, than be insulted in print on Friday's page 2.

Have a nice day.

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greenwash 5 years, 4 months ago

Carrying costs every month,day ,week,hour on a a unfinished , unsold , unrented project is a LOSS,LOSS,LOSS.PERIOD

Whether a small backyard/constuction co. like JSM or K&K or big like Atira or Timbers it doesnt really matter. If you owe the bank and you built a formula based on sales etc than everyday counts.As I look around and see some nice product I.E. Victoria ,Olympian,Howelson,Alpen Glow,Wildhorse all sitting virtually empty I see a LOSS LOSS LOSS how can anyone deny that?STS/TH vacant and costing hundreds of thousands per month is a LOSS, LOSS, LOSS.Steamboat 700/360 carrying each month is a LOSS,LOSS, LOSS.

I am not against any project for the record. In fact I support all of them.But sadly I do think they are ALL BLEEDING .

I also question Jeremy's 80 full time employees statistic.Could you elaborate on that please?If this is true than GOOD JOB thats alot of wages to support our community.

Who is this Fred Duckles guy anyway?Is he the explosives expert legend we all laugh about?Or is he Rob Douglas long lost brother?

GOD BLESS.

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Greenie is right about the carrying costs. That's where bankruptcy and net operating losses come from if it gets bad enough.

The thing nobody has mentioned in this thread is the impression that visitors got when all they saw was construction, red mud and snow, traffic cones, holes in the ground downtown and chain link fences around construction sites. Would you go back to a beach that looked as bad as Steamboat has looked for a couple of years? Not me. It will eventually pass away and people may come back, but we've got to remember why they come.

Frankly, if I didnt' own a home here when it all started, I'd have been skiing elsewhere and probably bought elsewhere.

We got some bad reviews from the ski magazines. People who want to carry their skis through a construction site can do that in their own town.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Jeremy for the note you sent me too.

As Kim Kreissig experienced, you will likely not entice anyone using an alias in this forum to get any closer to reality by actually corresponding with you. As I wrote you, I encountered a huge argument here, many months back, when I suggested posters leave the shadows and back up views with their real names. "Fear of retribution" was the reply I got. Huh. Americans die so we could speak our mind. How bizarre that Americans in here are so afraid of other Americans that they'll accept a role of hiding, separated from their beliefs.

And worse. After making fun of your letter, Tubes asked "exactly what is he saying?". From what I read today, you tried to answer him and its now obvious Tubes was never interested in understanding your view. I guess his mind is made up, or maybe its more entertaining to poke fun at people.

Please don't equate your neighbors who attend meetings and present their development views in person with the wraiths who only exist in the shadows of this forum. The folks I meet with are talking about how achieve goals already written into our area plans, and what data/rationale to present that helps us get there. Unlike Tubes, we'll make the effort to listen to your views and answer you responsibly.

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Brent Boyer 5 years, 4 months ago

LTFO and trump_suit:

We recently improved the way we publish weekly real estate transactions, both online and in the print edition of the Sunday Pilot & Today. During that transition, we neglected to continue to post the transactions to Steamboatpilot.com. We have since posted the transactions from the past two weeks. Last week's can be found here:

Significantly, our revamped SteamboatHomefinder.com Web site includes detailed transactions listings, complete with property photos and other relevant information - square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. The transactions are often updated throughout the week.

Just log on to http://www.steamboathomefinder.com and scroll to "Recent Sales" at the bottom center of the homepage. I hope this helps, and sorry about the confusion.

Brent Boyer Editor, Pilot & Today 970-871-4221 bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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carlyle 5 years, 4 months ago

A comment on Mr. Boyer's blog... The Homefinder site is excellent. Thank you.

To those who object to anonymous posts: I am a consultant to the U.S. Treasury. I have been a consultant to that organization for years. I guarantee you that if you work for government in any fashion you would never reveal your real name on a forum like this one, even if everyone knows who you are by your comments.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 4 months ago

Carlyle, Why? Surely you can manage writing that represents yourself without antagonizing your employer.

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trump_suit 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree with carlyle. As the owner of a small business, I am absolutely sure that some of the opinions I have expressed on these forums would effect my revenue. There is value in remaining anonymous.

I think what really matters here is the quality of your comments and whether or not you choose to use your anonymity to attack others on a personal level.

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ybul 5 years, 4 months ago

Steve,

 Maybe, maybe not.  If one does post in an respectful manner, does it really matter wether they are anonymous or not?   I would prefer not to draw attention to myself and so I post anonymously.  I used to write in real letters to the editor and group discussions and received phone calls (both positive and negative).  I prefer not to have people call me up about some thought I have put in the paper in ink (which I rarely do now) or in bits and bytes, at random.

Yes this facilitates the bashers, but also allows some to voice their opinions in peace (not that if a real conversation were needed/desired, would I turn it down.)
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Tubes 5 years, 4 months ago

My last post was removed due to a violation of terms...The only reason I can think of is due to my use of the word "crap." I now look for this post and Mr Lewis' above to now be removed--crap!

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stephb 5 years, 4 months ago

To "Ismellpoo" This is some serious food for thought... Especially for the wives or gf's that get money from our government to stay at home all day with 8 kids.. who eventually move back home and have 'daddy' send money home to provide for them. I'm all for someone wanting to make a better life for themselves. Bring your family here, and stay here. Dont just push out babies and rack up medical bills then run back to your country, and leave us with the debt.. We pay more and more every year because of this, and then if they are "legal" most of the women have medicare. Heres and idea..." Use some birth control, and get a job."(in case your confused, I am referring to the impact of the illegal/semi legal workers who drain our economy.)

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Viper 5 years, 4 months ago

Well said Jeremy.

That trailer park was a dump, so was the Harbor Hotel. Ski Time Square was a tinderbox waiting for a flame. That old liquor store was an eyesore. Some of these developments should have been re-classified as improvements. The same could be said about the base area IMPROVEMENTS as well.

I would like to say thanks to the builders and developers that are IMPROVING our town. Maybe they could do Dream Island next.

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

I think we need a pyramid and an Eiffel tower, like Las Vegas. Maybe a roller coaster at the top of a fake space needle. Make the entry to Gondola square look like a Gondola, and make it square. Rename it Gondola Square.

Put up high-rise facades with murals of mountains painted on the front since we won't be able to see the mountains.

Are people so jaded they cannot remember why visitors come to town in the first place? They come from concrete jungles and strip-mall ghettoes to see snow and fir trees on ski slopes.

Many visitors to the West are amazed by the wide-open skies and vistas. Jamming them into high-density residential, commercial and parking structures is the exact opposite of what they are coming to enjoy.

Watch a few Christmas specials on TV and look at how the sets are constructed. Log cabins, mountains, trees, etc. Notice how you never see an elevator that smells like smoke, urine, vomit or hot oil in a Christmas special?

I remember very well my experience of selling the first house I built out here. The female of the couple was pregnant, and she said, "I can imagine my children coming down that staircase on Christmas morning." There was an empty, lower priced spec house sitting next. The problem was that it was, well, just a house. There was nothing special about it. The builder had lost the vision of what people are looking for when they come to Steamboat.

Lots of people drive in here, and don't stay at the base. Why should they drive past Copper, Breckenridge and vail to take a 90-mile detour to an obstacle course in Steamboat?

Maximizing cash flow at the base is not necessarily the best thing for the rest of the town. Impressions count and the thing we should be looking at is the declining number of visitors.

This is the same town, you'll remember, that built a brand new air terminal next to a runway that is too short for any airplane currently in commerical service. That same level of thinking is working at the base area.

But, shorter lift lines for me would be good. Forget everything I wrote.

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stephb 5 years, 4 months ago

Hey Viper, Before you go rooting for Dream Island to be leveled, why don't you stop and think about the people that would be uprooted, and have to leave the valley because they have no where affordable to live! The only thing being built is unaffordable cheaply made places. There are several employess for the hospital, including nurses, techs, and ems that live at Dream Island. There are school employees, and hard working people that make our town run that call Dream Island home. Sure, its not a pretty place to live, but that is a reality in this town.... Living in a trailer is affordable housing... Sure it would be easy for you to blow it off like its just an ant colony under your boot, but those ants help run this town. Instead of smashing everything you think is an eyesore why dont you think of the bigger problem. There is no where affordable for these people to go when that park is gone.

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