The Alpiner Lodge on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs is closed for the immediate future as its owners re-evaluate their plan for the property.

File photo

The Alpiner Lodge on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs is closed for the immediate future as its owners re-evaluate their plan for the property.

Alpiner Lodge in downtown Steamboat closes to re-evaluate future

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— The Alpiner Lodge on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs is closed for the immediate future.

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The Alpiner Lodge on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs is closed for the immediate future as its owners re-evaluate their plan for the property.

Chris Paoli, who owns the Alpiner with fellow Colorado Group Realty broker owner Jon Wade, said it was shut down to re-evaluate the options for the 33-room motel that the pair purchased with investors in 2007.

“It just wasn’t working,” Paoli said.

The Alpiner closed down to get a new roof a couple weeks ago, he said, and it seemed like a good time to take a step back and formulate a new plan.

“Everything is a possibility,” Paoli said about the property's future.

Paoli and Wade purchased the Alpiner for $3.1 million in 2007. It had sold for $2.2 million only 14 months earlier. In October 2002, it sold for $1.54 million.

In 2007, Wade said that he could envision several ways to make the business successful and intended to capitalize on the build up that was expected in the downtown in the following years.

Right now, Paoli said, they don’t know what they’re going to do with the property. There’s no new development plans in the immediate future, he said, and they’re considering all their options.

“We’re probably going to do something sooner rather than later,” Paoli said.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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Comments

Dan Hill 1 year ago

Obviously they paid too much for the property during the boom. There's a lesson for others about taking what realtors say about property values with a does of salt.

This place must have been performing very poorly to close right before the ski season starts. Or perhaps they were up for a big expense (other than the roof) that they couldn't justify. Sad though to have another empty property in the middle of main st.

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John Weibel 1 year ago

It really is a matter of time before the simple law of supply and demand kicks in and rents start to decline.

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Scott Wedel 1 year ago

May the City of SB will buy it to provide worker housing. It'll fit in perfectly with the Iron Horse.

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John St Pierre 1 year ago

great idea!!! would make a great City Hall also... or maybe a Police station!!!

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Martha D Young 1 year ago

Don't forget that the Western Lodge is for sale, too. Great location.

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Martha D Young 1 year ago

The Western Lodge is for sale, too. Great location.

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Scott Wedel 1 year ago

Martha,

Yeah, you can see how quickly a motel gets run down when it is operated in a holding pattern to redevelopment like the Western and Alpiner.

Meanwhile, motels being run by their owners to be motels like the Nordic Lodge and Rabbit Ears stay far nicer.

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Scott Wedel 1 year ago

I went to Yelp to see the online reviews. Average of 2.5 of 5 stars with comments saying it is okay cheap to bad cheap without working AC and paper thin walls.

Interesting that Jon Wade gave it 5 stars and wrote: 5 Star for the price, this isn't the Marriott - Great local motel in the best spot downtown. I recommend the Alpiner for my friends since the staff is nice, the rooms are clean and they are close to everything downtown.

Pretty bad when the owner feels the need to give it a 5 star review to bring up the average, but didn't use Yelp's option to update the business listing and show a photo.

BTW, Rabbit Ears Motel and Nordic Lodge both have 4 Yelp stars.

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Tim Keenan 1 year ago

We've had friends stay there, and it was certainly small and no frills, but clean and cheap. Five stars might've been pushing it, though. It was great in the winter when every place else was full or much more expensive.

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John Fielding 1 year ago

Scott,

You can hardly say the Western has been in a holding pattern for development as the same Mom and Pop owner operators have been there for decades. It only has come on the market recently as Peter's advancing age has taken its toll.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year ago

I think I remember staying at the Western when they had an outdoor pool in the parking lot.

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john bailey 1 year ago

the Nights Rest was a blast , especially the couple next door having makeup sex.........oh my..~;0)

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John Fielding 12 months ago

I had occasion to visit the Iron Horse the other day, helping someone move their things. The degree of neglect left me distressed and angered to realize that I am an owner of that establishment. Most disturbing was a large ice accumulation on the walkway that was treacherous for the ordinary person, truly dangerous to me with my challenges in mobility. The worst part is it was completely avoidable, the ice could easily be removed by simple mechanical means for the most part, and a little melter to finish it off. The source was a leader from a gutter that was damaged and disconnected, allowing the water to come down the heating cable and escape onto the sidewalk, all easily repairable by a maintenance staffer with the most basic skills.

Next to that there was a window broken out, I was told it had been thus all week. The temporary patch was a loose board and some pieces of cardboard, not very tight to weather nor secure against entry. I realize a replacement for the old sash could take some time to order in, but there are any number of professional craftsmen in town who could easily fashion something tight and secure, even good enough to use permanently by using Plexiglas.

When my friend moved in I made a loan of my vacuum as the place was not very clean. It came back with the canister full, an accumulation from an area of less than 200 sf that clearly indicated some long use since a good vacuuming last occurred.

Conditions such as these are only possible when the owner has little or no regard for the health and safety of the guests. Unfortunately, that owner is us. I for one object, and demand that conditions there be improved to a level that meets ordinary standards of maintenance, or that the property be passed out of our ownership and liability.

In my experience, I find our City facilities are generally very well maintained. Why is this a glaring exception?

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Scott Wedel 12 months ago

Iron Horse is a glaring exception because the city does not want it.

City with their layers of overhead manage to have negative cash flow renting out rooms there. In addition, the city has to pay a bunch (half million or more depending where we are on the amortization schedule).

I think their is a reluctance for the city to deal with Iron Horse because any such action is going to put a clear number on what the Iron Horse adventure has cost the city and greatly dampen the public's willingness to undertake similar ventures. A backlash against other city adventures could be expected and might stop them from other ventures such as Yampa St projects. Certainly, the city cannot argue that their financial projections for their projects have any credibility.

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Pat West 12 months ago

How do you propose to " pass (it) out of our ownership and liability "?

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Scott Wedel 12 months ago

Pat,

The city has said it can transfer the debt's secured asset from the Iron Horse to other city property. So then the city can sell the property. The city will take a huge loss on the sale, but that is what happens when the city grossly overpaid when buying it and then let the property deteriorate

Similar issue faces the owners of the Alpiner.

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John Fielding 12 months ago

We certainly must face the fact that some loss is involved no matter what we do. I suggest we lease it to a bondable entity at a rate that will allow them to operate it at a profit. Maintenance and damage provisions in the lease will assure that depreciation is not excessive. Credits for improvements will help encourage that practice as well. An option to purchase at the appraised value in five years will give the operators the opportunity to keep the equity they build by positive business practices. It is unlikely we will lose any more than we are now, and we will no longer be slumlords keeping a property in disgraceful condition and risking negligence lawsuits.

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Scott Wedel 12 months ago

John,

A lease with requirements and credits for maintenance and such to then sell it at a price to be determined in 5 years is the sort of complicated lease that can go wrong very quickly. Remember the city originally found a local property management company willing to least it at a good rate. When the economy turned then they were more than willing to let the city fail to comply with getting rid of bedbugs and thus get out of the lease.

I'd say forget the idea of some complicated lease purchase agreement and just sell the property.

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John Fielding 12 months ago

A lease with option is just a holding pattern, to get someone who cares to take care of the property till it presumably will appraise higher in a few years.

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Pat West 12 months ago

Let's just "say" Yampa street extends over the river, to include the Iron Horse, use the funds from the Accommodations tax to fund its change into open space. Pay off the bonds, and bulldoze the buildings.

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john bailey 12 months ago

Pat, great idea and no bars around for noise pollution, but for the road above....

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Scott Wedel 12 months ago

Let's just say pigs learn to fly at the iron Horse so then use the accommodations tax to build a pig flight control tower.

The Yampa River through downtown is considered to be a highly attractive feature and it is not going to be covered up by a road.

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john bailey 12 months ago

? go get your gloves on....Maynards waiting

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Scott Wedel 12 months ago

Oh he is? Where? If he is talking smack that he is waiting and wanting to fight me then tell me where. It would not be a fair fight because he is an old man, but if you say he is asking for a fight then I am not afraid to bring it.

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Scott Wedel 12 months ago

A lease for a run down property would be terribly complicated because the city does not want to pay for maintenance and refurbishing the property. The person leasing the property would not want to invest lots of money into the city's property.

Sure the lease can provide for reimbursements, but that creates an incentive to hire professional contractors for every little thing instead of having a maintenance staff fixing it for far less. The professional contractor can present a bill for fixing a leaky drainpipe. Staff can say how long it took to fix it, but it is hard to document to the city how long it took staff to fix it. The city is not a sophisticated property manager and is costing the taxpayers money every day it continues to own the Iron Horse.

The market value for any property takes into consideration the expectation of future value. Even during the depths of the Great Recession, when property values could be expected to recover there was always the risk that values would further decrease. Detroit is an example that areas can have property values decrease to be less than the property taxes.

City should sell the Iron Horse in an open process. It is possible that city could decide to add deed restrictions so that the parcel must be used for affordable housing or affordable rentals. In that case they could add deed restrictions prior to the sale.

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John Fielding 12 months ago

We already have an affordable housing parcel, that needs to be sold at a loss now as well. Just as in the case of the Iron Horse, it is so unlikely to ever gain enough in value to meet the cost of keeping it that the best route is take the loss now and stop the bleeding. At least then both properties could return to taxpaying operations.

Appreciation of vacation properties is growing less likely every day as people are receiving their new insurance bills. If the present trend continues for a year and the projected numbers of people pay so much more than before, we will see another downward spike in non essential spending, starting with vacations.

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Scott Wedel 12 months ago

Big difference between Iron Horse and Elk River parcel is that Iron Horse has existing buildings One that is being rented at an affordable rate and another which is apparently "too nice" for the city to rent to monthly tenants.

It wouldn't be so crazy to say the future use will be apartments. It is not an unreasonable location for apts and SB's median wage is so high that market rate for apts falls within normal definitions of affordable housing.

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John Fielding 12 months ago

But both of them are removed from being fully productive tax paying entities.

Regardless of any other consideration, we must insist the maintenance be brought up to par. Or is it our policy that the beleaguered tenants there "do not deserve" standard treatment because they are "charity cases"?

The charity I dispense privately does not come with substandard treatment. What is being done there in my (and your) name is offensive.

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Michael Castagnet 12 months ago

Hopefully this does not head down the trail of blight developing in the southern end of town. I would love to see the plot adjacent to Rabbit Ears developed sooner v. later.

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John St Pierre 12 months ago

The whole Iron Horse complex would make a great City Hall..... the old city hall would make a great police station site..... !!!!!!

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John Weibel 12 months ago

Too bad you can not just call the certificates of participation, what they are debt, and get out of the terrible terms that are involved in the debt agreement. A debt agreement that should have required the vote of the public who are now saddled with the debt. It is so nice how some in Government got around the spirit of the law requiring a vote of the people to saddle the community with debt.

It seems that those who would circumvent the process, place city employees wages and critical infrastructure in jeopardy should not be leading any sector of our government....

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Scott Wedel 12 months ago

The certificates of participation are technically a form of a lease. So the Iron Horse could always have been turned over to the holders of the COPS. It has consistently been stated that SB's bond rating would be hurt if they walked away from the COPS. But that cost was never attempted to be determined and it would seem hard that it would have been nearly as much as the COPS payments. It isn't as if SB has a huge debt that has to constantly be refinanced and so constantly has to go to the bond market.

Another untold story of SB mishandling money is the city of SB loaned $1M to help YVHA purchase Fish Creek Mobile Home Park. And SB is such a generous lender that they don't care that YVHA has yet to pay on that debt. In fact, YVHA is trying to make official that YVHA only has to pay if ever they have the cash to make payments. For all practical purposes, the city has given YVHA $1M with no public discussion on that gift.

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