Our View: Senior living community a boon to Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: Senior living community a boon to Steamboat

The start of construction at the Casey's Pond Senior Living community in Steamboat Springs is a significant milestone for the housing and medical needs it will fulfill as well as for the jobs it will create.

Earth-moving equipment operators have been hard at work at the development site immediately north of Casey's Pond at U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road. If all goes as planned, the 117,000-square-foot project will be ready to open by fall 2013. With an estimated price tag of as much as $40 million, the construction and financing of Casey's Pond Senior Living is no small feat, particularly in these economic times.

This is not a resort community development for second-home owners. Casey's Pond Senior Living will include independent and assisted living apartments. It also will replace Yampa Valley Medical Center's Doak Walker Care Center, whose residents and staff will move to a new 60-bed facility at Casey's Pond. The senior living community also is expected to include skilled nursing rooms and the region's first secure memory care housing.

In addition to creating short-term work for some in the local construction industry and long-term jobs in the health care industry, Casey's Pond Senior Living will dramatically expand the services and housing options available to the oldest members of our community. The potential public benefit a development like Casey's Pond offers can't be overstated, and that's why we're celebrating the commencement of construction. The development is possible because of tax-exempt bond financing that was secured earlier this month by Pearl Senior Living, the project's developer.

Although the project will be developed, marketed and managed by Pearl Senior Living, it will be owned by the nonprofit Colorado Senior Residences Inc., branded locally as Casey's Pond Senior Living. Casey's Pond board of directors includes local community members like Karl Gills, the recently retired former CEO of Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Pearl Senior Living executives have made a point of emphasizing the value of the relationship their company has formed with YVMC throughout the planning stages of Casey's Pond Senior Living. We're optimistic that, when complete, Steamboat's new senior living community will have a lasting impact on the community similar to what Yampa Valley Medical Center has meant to health care in the region.

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