Steamboat promenade bids $2 million below estimate |

Steamboat promenade bids $2 million below estimate

URAAC to decide how much of base area project is possible

Jerry Villanova, of New York, relaxes Tuesday on the patio of Vintage Bar at the base of Steamboat Ski Area. Base area officials are planning how to best use money to expand the promenade.

— There was good news Tuesday morning when proposals for the summer promenade construction at the base of the ski area were opened. However, members of the citizens advisory committee guiding progress of the work still have tough decisions to make before March 25, when they recommend how much of the project is financially feasible.

Base Area Redevelopment Coordinator Joe Kracum told the Routt County Board of Com­­missioners that instead of the estimated $9.5 million, proposals from contractors tentatively range from $7 million to $7.5 million. With $4.5 million in bond proceeds available to build the promenade, Kracum said, members of the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee are intent on finding ways to squeeze a little more money out of the budget. One possibility is a dramatic reduction in the premium paid to cap bond interest rates, he said.

It remains a possibility, Kra­cum said, that the committee will recommend building the promenade as far as possible from its beginning above Torian Plum into the horseshoe around the lowest ski trails without undertaking any of the hoped-for daylighting of Burgess Creek itself.

"There are some on URAAC who want to do a portion of the creek, some who do not," Kracum said. "We'll negotiate the scope of work for the money we have in pocket. The key is that what we do this year is complete and functional. … We're probably seeing the best price we're going to see right now."

Committee members are optimistic that beginning at the northern end of the horseshoe-shaped promenade, they can build south to at least the Sheraton Steamboat Resort's Morningside Tower and perhaps as far as Gondola Square.

Along the way, they'll be able to build a complex portion of the promenade that describes an arc around a small, grassy amphitheater as it descends from the rooftop of the Torian parking garage to the elevation of the lower Christie Peak Express chairlift terminal.

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Kracum told the commissioners that the Torian Plum Homeowners Association is considering investing as much as $2 million in improvements to the top of its parking garage concurrently with promenade construction.

Initially, work would involve removing the existing natural sod surface to allow repairs to make the roof waterproof. Tentative plans include turning the natural turf into more of a plaza in keeping with the design standards of the promenade, Kracum said.

He added that the Sheraton and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. are contemplating taking on concurrent projects that would allow the entities to benefit from volume pricing on everything from brick pavers to light poles.

Nine primary contractors and another 30 or so interested subcontractors attended an informational meeting about the promenade and creek daylighting process, Kracum said. Of the nine, five submitted detailed proposals with 200 firm bid items for the two-year project. The group consisted of four local firms and another from the Front Range.

A contractor selection committee met Tuesday morning and reduced the five proposals to a short list of three. Oral interviews are expected to take place Thursday, and URAAC is expected to make a recommendation to the City Council, acting as the Urban Renewal Authority, by April 6.

Construction is scheduled to begin April 16.