Minturn trailer park closing and land to be home to new rentals, owners say | VailDaily.com

Minturn trailer park closing and land to be home to new rentals, owners say

MINTURN — After a fire and other problems, one of the valley's most affordable housing options will close at the end of next month, says one of the owners.

The Quintana mobile home park in Minturn is closing by the end of May. The land is being sold, said Randy Quintana.

The new owners, who have not been identified, plan to build rentals, Quintana said.

"We chose them because of that, for the community, for everyone," Quintana said.

The Quintana family charged only $900 to rent one of the trailers they own in the mobile home park, Quintana said.

Tenants have been told the park was closing and were renting the mobile homes month to month, Quintana said.

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"We house many, many local people in that trailer park — older people who have their own homes, young people starting out," Quintana said. "The demand for housing is so ridiculous. We get calls almost every day, asking if we have a place for rent."

Families displaced

While losing the nine trailers might not seem like much amid the valley's overall housing issues, it's a huge deal if you live there.

Late last month, a fire destroyed Christopher Smith's trailer. Smith, aka The Sound Guy, was one of five families displaced by the fire and problems with natural gas connections that did not pass Xcel Energy's requirements.

"Five families living in five trailers that cannot be repaired or replaced," Smith said.

The valley's housing woes are immediate for Smith and the others.

"It's not a housing shortage, it's a housing crisis," Smith said.

In a conversation two days after the fire, the families said they're thankful to the Quintana family for keeping their rents so low for so many years. However, they're now scrambling for a place to live.

After the fire, Xcel energy inspectors examined several other trailers. They determined that besides the one that burned, four others were not safe and turned off their natural gas service.

It became a safety issue and a potentially dangerous situation, explained Mark Stutz, with Xcel Energy.

Because the gas has been shut off, the structures do not have access to heat and hot water, required under the international building codes, said Mike Sawyer, Minturn's town attorney.

According to Minturn's town code, if repairs cost more than 50 percent of the value of a mobile home, it cannot be repaired but should be replaced. That replacement must meet federal housing standards.

However, because the Quintana family is selling the land in a month, they opted against replacing the older trailers with new ones.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.