Wildhorse is quick out of the gates | SteamboatToday.com

Wildhorse is quick out of the gates

Someday in the not-too-distant future, when residents and guests check into Trailhead Lodge or a home in Wildhorse Meadows’ The Range subdivision, they’ll have some of the most colorful street addresses in the Steamboat resort area.

Interior streets in the development now under construction have been given names like Cattle Kate Circle and Bronco Buster Loop.

Even as Trailhead Lodge prepares to rise from the ground at Wildhorse Meadows, principals in Resort Ventures West are looking ahead to next summer, when they intend to break ground on the required affordable housing for their development.

“What we’re really focused on is Parcel 7, where the affordable housing required by the city of Steamboat Springs will be built, and the public plaza at Trailhead,” Resort Ventures West President David Hill said.

The concrete footings and foundations for Trailhead Lodge were being poured early this month in preparation for subsequent concrete pours that will make the first two floors. After that work, construction crews will proceed with the wood framing of the remaining four floors. They’ll continue framing through the winter using panelized construction, Hill said.

Already this month, the first course of asphalt for interior roads was paved ahead of schedule.

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It’s also possible that developers of single-family homes in The Range subdivision to the south of Trailhead Lodge could break ground this fall. Hill said owners at The Range have been given the green light from the city to apply for building permits. Steamboat architect Michael Olsen has entered four or five homes into the in-depth architectural guidelines for the subdivision where the maximum home size is 3,500 square feet.

Even before work began on the building’s foundation, Trailhead received a noteworthy vote of approval in late July when 62 of 86 condominium units were put under contract at a Denver marketing event. Prices ranged from $430,000 to $2.25 million, and the aggregate transaction value was $56 million.

Although Trailhead Lodge is the start of the show and broke out of the starting gate first, the first two buildings of affordable community housing are critical to the overall project.

RVW Vice President Brent Pearson said the first two buildings of the community housing would include 50 units. When that phase of the project is complete, it will include 96 units, enough to cover the affordable housing units for a separate development, One Steamboat Place, as well.

Pearson said the community housing development has entered the city planning process and that his company intends to begin marketing them “very soon.”

“It’s just like any other project – it’s important to get ahead of the game,” Pearson said. “Given the location and its convenience, if they aren’t desirable in that affordable housing market, I think we’ve got a real problem.”

Pearson said his company has sought outside expertise to try to ensure the success of the deed-restricted community housing.

“We’re not going to leave anything to chance,” he said. “We’ve entered into an oral agreement with an experienced consultant” to make sure they design and market the housing appropriately.

Wildhorse developers take reins of center

The principals in Resort Ventures West have always had their offices in Wildhorse Marketplace. That might seem a natural fit because they are the developers of the nearby Wildhorse Meadows residential project. But while Whitney Ward, a member of the Resort Ventures West team, was the developer of Wildhorse Marketplace, Resort Ventures West President David Hill and Vice President Brent Pearson didn’t have direct involvement in the commercial center.

Now they do.

Hill said this month that RVW has acquired a financial stake in the commercial center and will take responsibility for its management. They plan to take an aggressive posture in attracting a standalone restaurant on a preapproved commercial pad at Wildhorse Marketplace. They’re also optimistic about beginning construction of the second phase (to the east of the steel horse sculpture in the Wildhorse roundabout) as soon as next summer.

“It’s so important to this corridor. We already have the starting place of a nice place to visit,” Hill said. “We’d like to develop a little more of that liveliness to complement the Strings festival and the cinema.”

As high-end clients begin moving into Wildhorse Meadows, they could provide a natural clientele for the commercial center, but Hill observed there’s more than his own development taking shape in the neighborhood. The major expansion of the nearby timeshare condominium project, Wyndham’s The Village at Steamboat, is expected to provide an expanded bed base that will turn over frequently and boost the commercial center.

Wyndham’s project will add 142 new timeshare condominiums in four buildings, more than tripling the size of the development originally approved for 64 units in 1980.

Hill said he and Pearson are interested in attracting a fusion-style restaurant, a Western steakhouse and perhaps an Irish pub to provide a range of dining options he says should complement the nearby Three Peaks Grill.

“We’ll try to identify good local (restaurant) operators first and then look to other mountain areas,” Hill said.

– Tom Ross