The redevelopment of the Ptarmigan Inn entails razing the existing four-story hotel to build a 10-story condominium complex standing 105 feet

Photo by Matt Stensland

The redevelopment of the Ptarmigan Inn entails razing the existing four-story hotel to build a 10-story condominium complex standing 105 feet

Ptarmigan Inn plan concerns some in Steamboat

Hotel could be redeveloped into 10-story condo complex


Past Event

Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

  • Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
  • Centennial Hall, 124 10th St., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free


Agenda highlights

5 p.m. Steamboat Springs Liquor License Authority meeting

5:10 p.m. Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority meeting

5:30 p.m. Call to order; proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month; review of the noise ordinance; consent agenda including a resolution to approve the 2012 operating plan and budget for the Downtown Steamboat Springs Business Improvement District, first reading of an ordinance to update the city’s municipal code related to water and wastewater charge discounts for elderly and disabled persons and first reading of an ordinance to adopt and set appropriations for the city’s 2012 budget.

7 p.m. Public comment; Steamboat Springs Planning Commission written report; consideration of final development plan for the Betterview Business Park Lots 4 and 5, pre-application for a building addition to the Tread of Pioneers Museum and a conceptual development plan for the Ptarmigan Inn Condos; a request from City Council member Walter Magill to move $7,500 in community support funding from the Bike Town USA Initiative to the city’s Rodeo Board.

— A major redevelopment project at the base of Steamboat Ski Area is moving forward, but it’s also drawing the ire of some of its neighbors.

The redevelopment of the Ptarmigan Inn entails razing the existing four-story hotel to build a 10-story condominium complex standing 105 feet, according to a conceptual development plan application the Steamboat Springs City Council will consider Tuesday. City Council members are scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall.

The Ptarmigan Inn House Condominium Association, the Chateau Chamonix Board of Managers and the Dulany Homeowners Association are among the nearby properties that have sent letters to the city specifying issues they have with the proposal.

Even One Steamboat Place expressed concerns about the project in a letter to the city.

Scott Boyle, a project manager for One Steamboat Place developer Timbers Resorts, cited a limited number of parking spaces for the number of units and increased traffic from the development. He also questioned the project’s density, height and whether it met Mountain Base Area design standards, among other issues.

On Friday, Boyle said One Steamboat Place’s concerns had nothing to do with competition.

“It’s about maintaining the best interest of the location at the heart of these issues,” he said.

Architect Eric Smith, of Eric Smith Associates in Boulder, is working with OZ Architecture, of Denver, on the project. He said owner Bruce Shugart, who co-developed The Porches at Steamboat, cares about the input from neighbors but that the project complied with the city’s development and zoning codes.

He said the Ptarmigan and One Steamboat Place are ideal projects for the base of the ski area. He said they create high-density residential areas to support the vitality of retail, restaurants and other businesses there.

“It’s just a great redevelopment opportunity in my opinion,” Smith said about the Ptarmigan project. “The existing hotel that’s there really underutilizes the potential and capabilities of that site.”

The Ptarmigan redevelopment would replace the 77-room 1960s-era hotel with 71 two- to five-bedroom condos totaling more than 256,000 square feet. The new development would include 65 parking spaces.

The project is the first to try a new approval process that Planning Director Tyler Gibbs termed the “conceptual development plan.” He said it allows developers to get preliminary approvals on things such as maximum height, minimum setbacks, allowable uses and parking requirements before they invest significant time and money in their projects during tough financial times.

“It’s so tough to get a project going or financed these days, we want to be able to give a project that initial feedback before they have to spend a lot of money,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs added that the Ptarmigan still would have to get final development plan approval, which would be the next formal step in the process. He said if it’s well received by developers and the City Council, Steamboat officially could add the preliminary approval process to the community development plan.

Until the Ptarmigan returns for final development plan consideration, its neighbors won’t have all their questions answered about the project.

“Please don’t let this type of development further obscure the views and serenity of our magnificent ski area,” Dulany Homeowners Association President Jonathan A. Melnick wrote.

They sent letters to Senior City Planner Bob Keenan before the Planning Commission considered approving the conceptual development plan Sept. 22. Planning commissioners approved it, 5-1, with Rich Levy dissenting.

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email


Scott Wedel 5 years, 7 months ago

How can 256,000 sq ft with 71 units have 65 parking spots? 3,000+ sq ft units need less than one parking spot each?


rhys jones 5 years, 7 months ago

Dang, gonna have to park my truck somewhere else.


exduffer 5 years, 7 months ago

Scott, without the new flights there will never be enough people in town to need more parking spaces.


1999 5 years, 7 months ago

hey...thanks to Walter Magil for requesting to move public funds AWAY FROM BTUSA>

finally some sense regarding the funding of BTUSA.


mtroach 5 years, 7 months ago

Nice catch '99 almost missed the unfunding of btusa. I support funding the Rodeo over btusa.


Scott Wedel 5 years, 7 months ago

Ex, What? These are going to house pilots and flight attendants?

Though, have to admire the Chamber for having the foresight to start off by contracting for the flights with the empty seats and so they can use the sales tax to bring in the flights that will be 100% occupied.

And that is not even satire because Chamber CEO in his letter to the paper did state that 44,000 more seats into SB will result in 44,000 more tourists.


gettinold 5 years, 7 months ago

out of the 65 parking spots, how many will be filled by employees?


rhys jones 5 years, 7 months ago

I worked at the Ptarm the great winter of '07-'08. Parking was not generally an issue, in the winter, as most of our guests flew, but summers could get crowded. Slopeside parking WAS nice for employees, and not generally an issue.

I don't know how the guest dynamic might change, with the larger units, possibly inviting more permanent guests; their development at one point included some form of "affordable housing" probably for a lucky honcho. Despite fewer rooms, there might be more cars.

The Ptarm also housed the bands for the free shows in summer and the tent stuff in the winter, and their equipment trucks were occasionally an issue, especially with one owner at the Ptarm House next door. If the room adjacent to Drew Emmitt knew who was playing, they might not have been so anxious to complain about the noise. Had I been working, I would have suggested the (South Face?) room off the bar, and poured the beer.

Funny thing, in my year there -- I never heard anybody go to the bathroom. The "P" is silent.


Steve Lewis 5 years, 7 months ago

Did they change the base area plan and zoning? This parcel was once specifically zoned to a limited height to maintain the base area views to the South. For that reason, the 2007 city planning commission gave a pre-application thumbs down to the Ptarmigan on a smaller building than this.

In a CC campaign with little definition, this question of height sets the council candidates apart, particularly in the Levy - Myler race, if I remember their 2007 comments correctly.


rhys jones 5 years, 7 months ago

lewi -- I do remember a proposal being shot down by planning when I worked there, based on exactly that, density and height. Steamboat One won't like their new neighbors blocking their view, and a 10-story behemoth right there might not be in character with the rest of the base area. But it's work for somebody, so I won't complain. It'll look tiny by the time you reach the Christie ridge.


Steve Lewis 5 years, 7 months ago

Its getting to be my refrain:

We should not lower existing standards to shoehorn extra condos into a market whose biggest problem, by far, is an oversupply of condos.


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