The Sheraton Steamboat Resort will launch an $8.2 million construction project in June to complete the conversion of four floors of hotel rooms in the original east hotel tower above Bear River Bar & Grill into 56 suites.

John F. Russell/file

The Sheraton Steamboat Resort will launch an $8.2 million construction project in June to complete the conversion of four floors of hotel rooms in the original east hotel tower above Bear River Bar & Grill into 56 suites.

Sheraton Steamboat Resort plans $8.2 million project to resurrect hotel suites

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— The Sheraton Steamboat Resort will launch an $8.2 million construction project in June to complete the conversion of original hotel rooms into 56 suites, hotel Director of Sales and Marketing Kristal Eckley said Tuesday.

Eckley told a gathering of businesspeople at a breakfast roundtable hosted by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association that when complete, the project would return the hotel at the base of Steamboat Ski Area to 285 guest rooms.

“Starwood is definitely investing in us,” Eckley said after the meeting.

She explained that in the middle of the past decade, hotel owners Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide had launched a project to convert rooms in the original east hotel tower that directly overlooks the ski slopes to timeshare units for Starwood Vacation Ownership. However, the project was only about 60 percent complete in 2008 when demand for luxury timeshares evaporated.

Completing the conversion of the rooms involves moving some walls and building some exterior decks, Eckley said. The suites will have kitchens and in-room laundries, she added.

In response to a question from the audience, Eckley said Starwood is bringing from outside the community a general contractor, with which it already has a working relationship.

The rooms comprising four floors of the building directly over Bear River Bar & Grill have stood unoccupied since 2008, Eckley said.

Starwood also has approved other plans for the Steamboat property. Work will begin in September on an upgrade to the swimming pool deck on the south side of the hotel. And on June 5, during a Chamber mixer that follows a benefit golf tournament, the Sheraton will debut a smaller version of a permanent tent it hopes to build next summer at Rollingstone Golf Course.

The Sheraton currently uses a large tent at the hotel to entertain large groups of hotel guest outdoors. The golf course tent would be similar.

Summer business

Turning to this summer’s bookings at the hotel, Eckley said that the summer will begin with a strong June but that July and August currently look “a little soft.”

“We don’t have the big groups returning this year,” Eckley said. “They like to visit a different city every year.”

The Sheraton also will feel the impact of the departure from Steamboat Springs of the general contracting firm TIC, which formerly held its annual company convention here every August. The loss of that business represents more than 600 room nights and $240,000 in hotel revenue, she said.

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

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