The large TIC campus in Steamboat Springs went dark in October. Now, community members are already brainstorming about what the property could become in the future.

Photo by Scott Franz

The large TIC campus in Steamboat Springs went dark in October. Now, community members are already brainstorming about what the property could become in the future.

Community members buzzing about future of vacant TIC campus in Steamboat Springs


— The size and prominence of the now empty TIC campus in Steamboat Springs has several community members buzzing about what could move into the space.

Local resident Eve Bevill wants to see a grocery store built on the large parcel that sits prominently at the city's western edge.

Community members who were angered by their city's idea of building a police station at Rita Valentine Park suggested the city instead build it at this prime piece of real estate.

And Steamboat Chamber Resort Association CEO Tom Kern has his own pipe dream of one day establishing a campus of outdoor manufacturers at the site that encompasses about 14 acres bordering the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and Elk River Road.

“At this point, it's just on my wish list,” Kern said Wednesday. “Amassing the capital and the political wherewithal behind it have not yet occurred; it's just part of the conversation.”

TIC stopped nearly all of its operations at the property in October after completing the final stage of its withdrawal from Steamboat to offices on the Front Range.

The national contracting firm, which was founded in Steamboat in 1974, was acquired by Kiewit in December 2008.

The campus here mostly was quiet on Wednesday except for the presence of several cars at the central office building.

Signs touting the company's safety record still adorn the property.

Kern said his conversations with developers about the sale of the campus have been very preliminary at this point, but he has been able to go to potential buyers with some new insight into TICs plans for selling the parcel.

City staff in October said they were told the campus only could be sold as one piece with a price tag around $14 million.

But Kern said Wednesday during their latest meeting with a real estate representative at Kiewit, he and City Manager Deb Hinsvark were told the company may be willing to entertain selling the central office building and an accompanying six acres separately.

Kern predicted the community soon would have a broader conversation about what they'd like to see the property become.

“At this point, it's more about making people aware of the property than it is anybody specifically saying 'I'm really interested in that,'” Kern said. “As far as I know, it's the single largest industrial-zoned piece of property in the mountains. That in itself is both a positive and a negative.”

Hinsvark said the city and the chamber initially were working to identify a consortium of businesses that could move into the campus together, but that idea didn't have much success.

She said it likely will take time for a new tenant to become apparent.

"It's something we continue to look at and work on to help find that user," she said.

Have your own idea for the future of the TIC campus? Share it in the comment section below.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 5 months ago

Kern predicted the community soon would have a broader conversation about what they'd like to see the property become.

I'd like the property to become an example that the free market, not city government, determines what investors think will be the most profitable use of a commercial property.


mark hartless 2 years, 5 months ago

Oh crap, I agree with him too.

But if I had a vote it'd be a grocery store.

Listen to the hubris these people display. One might/ could almost assume from these comments that this is THEIR property. Unbelieveable.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, even a broken clock reads the right time twice a day. :)

I think the idea of a collection of outdoor manufacturers is extremely dumb and naive because, in the real world, companies are competing with each other, hiring key employees from each other and key employees leave to start their own companies. Not a whole of lot of reasons wanting to be located on the same campus with your competitors.

I would not be surprised by a proposal for big box retail. I could see Walmart or Target asking for a normal sized for them store. They could present statistics on all of the 'leakage' that could prevent by being able to carry more products. That probably would include a full grocery. Likewise, I could see Home Depot or Lowes making the same argument of stopping leakage.


Nora Matteo 2 years, 4 months ago

It's too large of a parcel for any of those ideas. The city needs to look toward the future - and stop looking at itty bitty parcels (Ironhorse & Rita Valentine) to build what we need for the next fifty years. The TIC property would let us consolidate several city owned services and sell off the land in the heart of downtown. Think about police department, fire department, water department, ambulance barn, city offices, etc. etc.


mark hartless 2 years, 4 months ago

Yes, by all means let's have the municipal government, which needs no commercial exposure whatsoever and which could easily function well off the beaten path, just go ahead and squat on the most prime piece of commercial land on the west side of town.


Forget the revenue potential of a shopping center. Forego those multi-millions annually so that we can stick a police department there.

Who needs a tax base when we can just confiscate and emminent domain our way to utopia?


Scott Wedel 2 years, 4 months ago

I don't see Apple, Microsoft and Google sharing a campus.

Potential customers find it convenient to go to one spot to shop. Thus, we have shopping malls, auto dealer strips and so on.

The article said "outdoor manufacturers" which would be far more like my first example of Apple, etc. If the goal was a bunch of retail shops selling outdoor equipment then it would make sense to co locate. But that is a heck of a big expensive parcel for a bunch of outdoor products shops.


John Fielding 2 years, 4 months ago

Costco anyone? It would save $6000 leakage annually just from my family. And of course if it was here most of the other half of my household expenditures would also be spent there saving me enough for a season pass or two. If I am near average that would be many millions each year and a big fraction of that in the form of savings spent at other local businesses.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 4 months ago


Costco appears to require a more populous area to locate a store.

We would appear to be close to being big enough for a Home Depot based upon some of their other locations.

I am not rooting for anything in particular. That will be decided by those with enough money to develop that lot. I am hoping that locals whom believe they have an ownership in that parcel are not allowed to discourage real investors from moving forward.

The $14M offering price should have YVEA owners, woohoo that is us, feeling real good about YVEA's recent purchase just up the street. If TIC is worth $14M then YVEA's new parcel would be worth several times the purchase price. (btw, if local people want land for local growing then I'd ask YVEA if some of their land could be used. YVEA has wisely bought land at great prices to give themselves options in their future plans so the land appears to not otherwise in use right now. In theory, YVEA has several acres they could allow to be used as a community garden.)


Fred Duckels 2 years, 4 months ago

Development here will be like pulling teeth with the status quo each looking out for number one. The merchants would fight to the death in order to preserve the Lincoln Ave. gridlock and this is just an example of the hurdles. Look at the SB700 experience and tell me what developer is going to risk anything. That debacle is going to come back to haunt us.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 4 months ago

SB 700 was a hideously complex annexation based upon economic projections of the bubble not bursting.

I think potential investors would be more put off by SB's rules against large retail stores.

It makes little sense for the city to talk about leakage while making it hard for certain stores to open a SB store.


mark hartless 2 years, 4 months ago

"I am hoping that locals whom believe they have an ownership in that parcel are not allowed to discourage real investors from moving forward."

Hope all you want. The culture in this town says otherwise.


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