Pictured is the south exterior elevation of the Casey’s Pond Senior Living community. Casey’s Pond was envisioned to include a range of housing opportunities for older adults including skilled nursing accommodations, the valley’s first memory care units, assisted living apartments and independent living apartments.

Pearl Senior Living / Courtesy

Pictured is the south exterior elevation of the Casey’s Pond Senior Living community. Casey’s Pond was envisioned to include a range of housing opportunities for older adults including skilled nursing accommodations, the valley’s first memory care units, assisted living apartments and independent living apartments.

Casey's Pond Senior Living community a go

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— Health care already is the fastest growing segment of Routt County’s employment picture, and the new Casey’s Pond continuing care retirement community, poised to break ground as soon as May 1, could add more jobs to the sector.

Charles Gee — a principal in Pearl Senior Living, the development management firm for the project — confirmed this week that the intent is to move forward with vertical construction when weather permits.

“We’re still on target for a May 1 start,” Gee said. “We’ll have a formal announcement with more detail in about four weeks.”

Gee confirmed final negotiations are under way with a general contractor, and Routt County Building Department official Karl Dunham said late last week that his office is down to the details before it will be ready to issue a building permit.

Gee said the 117,000-square-foot, multistory building will be stick built. The first stage of construction in the spring will involve forming and pouring a large concrete pad, he said.

The project was envisioned to include a range of housing opportunities for older adults, including skilled nursing accommodations, the valley’s first memory care units, assisted-living apartments and independent-living apartments. The business plan calls for the living units to be rented, not sold, giving residents the flexibility to try the lifestyle and determine whether it is right for them, the developers said.

Casey’s Pond Senior Living will be owned by the private, nonprofit Colorado Senior Residences, which is controlled by a predominantly local board of directors, Pearl Senior Living principal Phil Shapiro told the Steamboat Pilot & Today in August.

He added that Pearl Senior Living also has been contracted to provide Colorado Senior Residences with marketing and operational management at Casey’s Pond.

Shapiro also said in August that Casey’s Pond could create as many as 50 new jobs in the community.

In the shorter term, the construction project will add a boost to the local construction industry, as well as contribute building permit fees and likely building-use taxes to government coffers.

Health care employment

Michelle Krasilinec, of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, published a report about employment in the Yampa Valley this month in which she reported that the health care and social services fields together account for 8.6 percent of jobs and 9.6 percent of wages in Routt County.

Krasilinec relied on statistics gleaned from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and researched by Yampa Valley Data Partners.

She wrote that there are 170 health care-related businesses in Routt County, with Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs having the greatest impact. The hospital has a credentialed medical staff of 85 doctors and employs 561 full- and part-time workers.

“Compared to other industry sectors, the personal income being generated from Routt County’s health care industry at $80 million annually is greater than the dollars generated from the retail sector ($77 million) and greater than the mining industry, which includes coal and natural gas ($70 million).”

One result of the anticipated completion of the Casey’s Pond neighborhood in fall 2013 is the relocation of the continuous care beds located within YVMC at the Doak Walker Care Center.

YVMC CEO Karl Gills previously told the Pilot & Today that the Doak will be better supported financially in the context of the continuing care retirement community at Casey’s Pond. The space made available by the departure of the Doak would allow the hospital to expand other programming.

Gills told Krasilinec this month that YVMC plans to expand its services in the areas of oncology, orthopedics, cardiology and women’s health.

Casey's Pond Senior Living site location

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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