New owners, new hopes for Steamboat’s Ski Time Square
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Two prime pieces of real estate at the base of Steamboat Resort sold Sept. 28, bringing a new sense of excitement to those who have been waiting for the redevelopment of Ski Time Square for 10 years.
“I think the sale is fabulously good news,” said David Baldinger Jr., broker owner at Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty. “I think being under new ownership, with somebody who potentially has a new plan, is good news for the community.”
The two pieces of property were purchased for $11.58 million by DBT Thunderhead, a limited liability company out of Washington, D.C.
The sale included the parcel in front of Ski Time Square Condominiums, which includes everything between the Kutuk Condominiums and the Clock Tower property. The sale also includes the site of Tugboat Grill & Pub.
The other parcel, which is divided into three sub-parcels, was the site of the former Thunderhead Lodge and Condominiums next to Slopeside Grill. It does not include the lot where T Bar is located.
Records at the Routt County Assessor’s Office show Steamboat STS Development and Steamboat TH Development, subsidiaries of Fortress Investment Group, purchased the properties from Ski Time Square Enterprises in April 2007 for $54 million. Fortress’ Drawbridge Capital Fund was listed as the seller in the most recent transactions.
Fortress previously owned Intrawest, the parent company of Steamboat Resort, before it was sold in April 2017 to what is now Alterra Mountain Co.
Jon Wade, broker and owner of The Steamboat Group, said he believes the new buyers of the property saw a bargain and an opportunity.
“I think they thought it was a good value,” Wade said. “There is not much prime base area land anywhere, particularly in Steamboat. It’s the best parcel up there.”
Wade said he expects the conversations about development at the base of the ski area to bring excitement.
“New things at a ski area bring interest,” Wade said. “We have two new things this winter. We have the Ikon Pass from Alterra. … Now we have a development. When there is a development, that often brings interest. We will see what happens. It brought big interest in ’07, and we will see what it brings this time.”
In 2007, development company The Atira Group proposed to redevelop Ski Time Square and Thunderhead Lodge on behalf of Cafritz Interests, a development company out of Washington, D.C.
The Ski Time Square buildings were demolished in 2008, with the exception of the Tugboat, which closed in 2013 after it was seized by the Colorado Department of Revenue for unpaid taxes and penalties.
Atira won city approval in February 2010 to redevelop the Ski Time Square property into five condominium buildings that included 200 luxury units. Atira submitted development proposals but asked for a 10-year vesting period before it had to start the project. The Steamboat Springs City Council granted six years. All of those approvals have since expired.
“In today’s market … the same types of units, products, sizes, buildings — from both the planning and market standpoint — would likely be dramatically different,” Baldinger Jr. said.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.