Our View: The long, slow recovery


Editorial Board, January through May 8, 2011

  • Scott Stanford, general manager
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • Traci Day, community representative
  • Dean Vogelaar, community representative

Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or editor@SteamboatToday.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

Two events during the past week underscore just how far the local real estate market and construction industry are from recovering, let alone stabilizing. First was a group of local subcontractors seeking legal recourse to collect on what they say are several months of unpaid work from the owner of Kyteler’s Irish Pub in Wildhorse Marketplace. The workers claim to be owed as much as $150,000 for work dating back to December.

While the Kyteler’s situation remains fluid, it makes clear what many already know to be the case: Limited construction work in Routt County has decimated an industry that previously served as a barometer for the strength of our economy. The combined building permit valuation for Routt County, including the city of Steamboat Springs, for January and February was just $1.5 million. That’s down from $4 million in 2010 and $11.4 million in 2009.

Routt County Building Department official Carl Dunham said March already has seen 23 permit applications with a combined valuation of $5.8 million, but one of those permits — an exterior renovation at The Phoenix condominium complex — accounts for $3 million of the total.

And it’s unlikely the building industry will recover so long as the price gap between existing and new construction remains so wide. Nationwide, the gap between the price of existing homes and new homes reached 15 percent.

The second telling event last week was Routt County Assessor Gary Peterson’s report to the Board of County Commissioners that declining property values and a record number of foreclosures are continuing to put downward pressure on the county’s tax base. Peterson expects local property values to be down an average of 20 to 30 percent in the latest round of valuations, and that’s on top of the 20 to 25 percent decrease of the past year.

The foreclosure rate continues to hover at a record level, with Peterson expecting more than 300 foreclosure filings in Routt County this year. And while local Realtors say the demand for those distressed properties is beginning to catch up with the supply, stabilization in the real estate market won’t happen until those distressed properties are gone.

If there’s a bright side, it’s that some local families now are able to achieve the dream of home ownership at prices never thought possible in Routt County just two years ago. But their good fortune is someone else’s misfortune, and there’s still simply too much of that to signal an end to our struggles.


seeuski 6 years, 1 month ago

End the FED and shut down Fannie/Freddie and let the private sector correct the market. The decades long manipulation by the Government, Barney Fwank and others, created the bubble. Anyway, knowing that SEIU operatives like Lerner and other cronies connected to Obama are actively working towards the demise of the free market Capitalist system and our Justice dept. is ignoring it is quite telling. 2012 can't come soon enough.


kathy foos 6 years, 1 month ago

Employers control all of this.They hire immigrants,visa workers,or illegals contractors over the locals who helped build the town.Longtime locals and even contstruction contractors are loosing their homes,but they lost their jobs a long time ago to the Vail Valley contractors who hire illegals, if they want.Our schools and social services and charitys,serve these imported temporary workers who send their money elsewhere.As local we are supposed to support transportation subsidy to bring in the tourists, with our taxs.That would make sense to support that transportation subsidy ,if we were being hired before the Visa workers,but that is not what is happening.Visa workers are probably more profitable for the employers ,so they ignore locals and hope we go away so that the new visa workers can buy our hard earned homes for cheap.Visa workers are here by law only for jobs americans dont fill,when there arent enough american workers available.Steamboat employers have cheated this system to the hilt.Now the locals are paying the price.I think that these "rogue employment rule" employers should be sued in class action suits, by rejected local employees who applied for a job and a visa worker got it over them ,they remain unemployed through ski season and locals wanting to work suffer and and loose all. The national situation of the economy is out of our immediate control,but local employment hiring guidelines are within our grasp to control.Employers please hire Routt County residents first and make them jobs that people can survive the cost of living in this valley to raise a family and have a proper chance.Our children leave the valley because they cannot make a decent living here.That is just not right.If the employers cannot adjust and make decent paying jobs for Yampa Valley resident first,they dont deserve to be in business,bad money managers,they deserve to loose their business just like the workers are loosing their homes.Dont vote for airline subsidy to bring in their guests ,they dont share any wealth ,they hire visa workers who spend the wage money elsewhere.


blue_spruce 6 years, 1 month ago

so you know the neighborhood where that crazy guy shot the 10-year old kid's dog....i bet anything that seeuski is that nut job (tea-bagger) on the hill with the hand painted signs in his lawn!! hahahahahahahahahahaha


rhys jones 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree with seeuski. The Fed has a stranglehold on this country. Privately owned, not even publicly traded, they print the money, sell it to the government at interest, then create the need for perpetual wars, so they can lend the government more money, at interest (treasury bonds) to buy bombs and bullets. Your sons and daughters are expendable; we're overpopulated anyway. Bush's crowd is tightly interwoven.

What recovery? It's getting WORSE!! The only reason the unemployment rate goes down, is there are fewer jobs to lose!! People who have exhausted their claims don't count any more.

Our annual deficit is in the trillions; China is floating us. Yet the Fed gets fatter. Property values continue to plummet. Yet the DOW seems healthy. The gulf between rich and poor gets wider. We are living on borrowed time, my friends.

Speaking as one who has nothing, I am loving this. I hope the balloon pops, the sooner the better. Widespread Panic will be more than a great band.


Erik Dargevics 6 years, 1 month ago

The painful article & comments while accurate are encouraging as folks are finally seeing clearly. The more the merrier and this will effect change.

At our local level all we can do is stop the madness. Recognize we have well meaning public servants, but that is all they are. Few have meaningful business experience, thus the easy way out is tax and spend.

The only way to cut them off is to cut off their taxation. Voters did not authorize inexperienced public servants to spend millions on Courthouses, public buildings, over promised useless gondolas, the destruction of Ski Time Square & base area without bonded improvements with a tax and spend policy.

Local governmental failure to protect the voters is apparent, and pointed out by comments. County officials were overly zealous in the building department with small contractors. They let the big boys pull off public funded projects funds with no consequence for gondola substitution, or knock down of performing mountain property.

After buying an empty hotel, now our government wants outfitted swat teams, increased pensions & wages, with ill prepared kids from our school systems.

It is an honor and privilege for elected officials & government workers to serve our public. They are rewarded with superior benefits relative to our small business economy that supports them.

They have an obligation to perform with excellence which as we can see is coming up short. Keep talking, commenting and let them know there is a price for mediocrity. The public is tapped out, and just starting to let them know.

Let the big cities have the swat gear. Be proactive getting our people back to work. This is Steamboat think global, remember to act local !


sledneck 6 years, 1 month ago

See and Highway are right about the Federal Reserve. It is not federal and it has questionable reserves. Snozone is right about people having a right to expect a hell-of-a lot more from their government than they are getting.

The problem is the 75% of the population who doesn't know which end of the tube the round comes out of, considers "BAHAHA...." intellegent rebuttal, sucks at the governments tit and, worst of all, can go into the voting booth and cancel out the votes of other, informed Americans who actually have a clue.


Neil O'Keeffe 6 years, 1 month ago

WOW, has everyone gone bonkers or what? The prior comments are lacking in any sane reasoning or rational understanding of all the factors involved. Get a grip people!


seeuski 6 years, 1 month ago

Socialism is destroying Capitalism. It is NOT reasonable to continue the Socialist experiment while ignoring the results we are now living through O'Keeffe, why not post some thoughts instead of a continuance of the name calling that the loser left always resorts to?


trump_suit 6 years, 1 month ago

Seeuski could walk thru Wal-Mart and find a Socialist behind every clolthing rack.


jimmmmmm 6 years, 1 month ago

You've probably got a lot of pent up frustration Seeuski-it's been too long since I've had a chance to debate with you. Why are you so excited about 2012? Is it because Obama will be elected for 4 more years? Why do you still have the quitter as your login picture?

Highwaystar-is it really getting worse? Can you think back to the end of 2008 for me? Oh I know, the debt. Your right, that's a big problem, but losing 1/2 million to 3/4 million jobs a month was pretty bad too-don't you think? We've actually been adding jobs for the past few months, not many but its an improvement. I don't remember Obama saying this would be a quick fix-I actually remember the exact opposite. Remember where the stock market was in late 2008?
I know, according to Sean Hannity, and really most of the Fair and Balanced crew (with exception to Shep and Bret) the sky really is falling. And if Fixed News was my only news outlet, I'd actually believe it too. We've got a long way to go, but stating things are worse is playing Hannity politics.


sledneck 6 years, 1 month ago

I don't remember Obama promising to take us into another "stupid war" (re Iraq) either I actually remember the opposite... but he did it!

Meet the new boss-same as the old boss. Bought and paid for by the fat cats on Wall street and the War machine... JUST LIKE BUSH. And those dupes who defend him are the mirror image of the brainless dupes who defended Bush. Neither set of fools have the courage or character to admit THEIR emporer wears NO clothes. They would rather use THEIR emporer to rule and plunder their neighbors.


NamVet 6 years, 1 month ago

If Capitalism is the way out of our financial mess then why did the new Republican Congress give the Oil Industry $30 Billion in subsidies this month? Why are we still giving farm subsidies of $18 Billion a year?(Corporate Welfare) Why are we still bankrolling foreign governments like Iraq, Israel and Afghanistan to the tune of over $200+ Billion a year. If we are going to get our fiscal house in order start by getting rid of this type of waste that amounts to something instead of going after Planned Parenthood and NPR. GE just announced they made $14.2 Billion in profits last year and paid zero income taxes, So much for our Corporate Income taxes are too high when 80% of all corporations last year paid zero income taxes. It pays to have friends in high places like Congress which assures you a tax loophole for a generous campaign contribution.


exduffer 6 years, 1 month ago

Nam- corporate tax rates are too high. That is why corporations spend millions on accoutants and tax lawyers to find any loophole to avoid paying them. I will say this again, you raise my taxes by $1 million, I will higher a couple of tax attorneys for $500,000 and cut my tax bill by $2 million.


sledneck 6 years, 1 month ago

Nam, Here are your answers seriatim.

  1. Because the republican are just as socialist as democrats. (and they only control the House of Reps, NOT "Congress")

  2. Because Farm lobby has their claws in BOTH parties.

  3. Because running other countries gives the war machine power to lobby for endless piles of our tax-money and it can be sold to dupes on both sides as "the patriotic thing to do". The current president, whom you supported just dropped more bombs on Libya than Japan dropped on Pearl Harbor. Was one an act of war and the other something else? How partisan can you get, Nam????

4.All waste is wrong and should be stopped, INCLUDING the Endowment for Arts, Planned Parenthood, NPR, etc.

  1. The comment about GE shows how willfully blind YOU are. GE's Chairman, Jeffery Immelt is big buddies with OBAMA... NOT with republicans in congress as your comment insinuates.

  2. It does indeed pay to have friends in high places. Tax loopholes could be closed with a flat tax, something the lawyers and accountants would never let their bought-and-paid-for democrats do.


sledneck 6 years, 1 month ago

And can we PLEASE get something straight folks??? Please!

Corporations DO NOT pay taxes. Never have, never will.

Corporations only COLLECT taxes from those who purchase their products... you and me.

Anyone who cheers for higher corporate taxes is begging for higher prices and asking that Uncle Scam get even more money to squander, nothing more.


freerider 6 years, 1 month ago


You almost have this right

End the Fed End the IRS End the wars

Stop taxing income and start taxing consumption

Democraps= Gambino crime family Re-puke-licans = genovese crime family



seeuski 6 years, 1 month ago


you are almost on the right path



pitpoodle 6 years, 1 month ago

Nam, the Dems are still in control. Any issues you have stem from the Dems - they have had the votes to make positive changes for years. Instead we have the highest debt we have ever had, yet another war that never got congressional approval, highest unemployment I can remember, housing prices in the toilet, an intrusive health care policy that has already cost regular citizens (not to mention employers) a fortune in increased premiums (with no end in sight), and a FED that is out of control.

Here's a thought, stop voting people into office who can't do the job.

Oh yeah, one more thing. I have a corporation and I collect taxes and pay, and pay taxes. Always have. Always will. That is more than Obama's Treasury Secretary can say. Well, I guess he was finally forced to pay up.


freerider 6 years, 1 month ago


well we agree on some things , but I can't get behind Palin

She's a media whore and a quitter , PMS scares me when it has it's hand on the nuke button


freerider 6 years, 1 month ago

Question here for the pilot staff ??

does anybody know what the total amount of foreclosures on the market is vs. the number of actual foreclosure sales ??

The demand is up for foreclosures...hmmm really ??

let's see the numbers

This sounds like realtor snake oil fantasy world


rexrox77 6 years ago

Yes, Please nominate Sarah Palin in 2012!, then Obama will be a shoe-in again!

Sarah Palin is so ignorant she thought Africa was a country, and she could see Russia from her home.

Here are some gems that her pea sized brain produced;

"'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!'" --a Tweet sent by Sarah Palin in response to being ridiculed for inventing the word "refudiate," proudly mistaking her illiteracy for literary genius, July 18, 2010

"But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies." --Sarah Palin, after being asked how she would handle the current hostilities between the two Koreas, interview on Glenn Beck's radio show, Nov. 24, 2010

''They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan.'' —Sarah Palin, speaking at a fundraiser in San Francisco, Oct. 5, 2008

''I'm the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can't.'' —Sarah Palin, as quoted by former City Council Member Nick Carney, after he raised objections about the $50,000 she spent renovating the mayor's office without approval of the city council


seeuski 6 years ago

The reality of a left winger, they just don't remember that Obama thinks he visited 57 US states during the 08' campaign and that a Marine Corpsman is not a corpseman as Obama labeled them to the whole Country. Are we not endowed by our creator in the Declaration of Independence? Obama keeps forgetting that one. Gaddafi must go, as warned by the big tough Obama, but this war is to protect his people and it may be OK if Gaddafi stays? The Obama doctrine, invade a country of his choosing to protect people Obama seems to care about, is Israel next? Besides the fact that all these so called Palin quotes are bogus and made up by the leftwing lying media because they know that Palin IS their biggest threat in 2012. But no matter, whoever ends up running against Obama in 2012 he will lose because the American people will vote against the continuing destruction of the USA.

Palin quote at the slip of the tongue in the Beck interview between North/South...... "Palin replied with an almost reflexive, "yeah," but corrected herself in the next remark: "And we're also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes."

And can one actually see Russia from parts of Alaska? "The island is called Little Diomede. It looks like a rock plopped into the Bering Strait. Only about 150 Alaskans live on the whole island. And just about two miles away; in full view of every single house on the island is the nation of Russia. Specifically, it is the Russian Island of Big Diomede which sits about 25 miles from the Russian Siberian mainland (which you can also see from the American island.) Most everybody on Little Diomede had relatives who lived on Big Diomede."

At least Palin stands with our Allies and not our enemies, Obama seems to enjoy things like arming the Rebels in Libya who happen to be Al'Qaida allies, and encouraging lawlessness in places like Wisconsin by standing with the Union thugs and telling them to fight on. Or giving billions of American tax dollars to Brazil to help them and Soros drill for oil while we refuse our own drilling here and then have the gonads to tell Brazil "we will be your biggest customer" for oil. Just awesome.

But we have Obama on video, good stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ro-El... And these people still voted for the guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of61E1... Gaffes? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rjITz... Gaffes? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z16iVr...


seeuski 6 years ago

And don't get me started on crazy ole' Joe Biden. The White House is in full bloom with the Gaffer in Chief and the VP Gaffer in waiting.


seeuski 6 years ago

Just a response to 77, and it won't matter to me which person is the choice against Obama, just that they restore sanity and save this Country from the Progressives.


seeuski 6 years ago

I am all for protecting the air and water and for keeping our communities and land free from pollution but when Chuck McConnell sent a letter into the Pilot about the terrible destruction of raw land at the AZ border caused by illegals these same climate mongers took a completely opposite position, Hypocrites? I think so, and I think it partly proves my contention that this thing is about wealth redistribution and not the climate or the health of the earth.


seeuski 6 years ago

Oops, above posted at the wrong blog string.


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