The city allows developers to use the Steamboat Hotel, a lodge, as accommodation for Ski Corp employees.

Two developers are under contract to purchase the Steamboat Hotel and Steamboat Mountain Lodge and use them for affordable housing for the workforce. l Steamboat Pilot & Today Archive

Steamboat Springs City Council members have given the first green light to two development groups that have purchased the former Steamboat Hotel and Steamboat Mountain Lodge to convert hotel rooms into housing units for Steamboat Resort employees.

Council approved the first reading of an ordinance on Monday, but with an additional caveat that groups would accommodate no more than two people per bedroom.

“I don’t want to see two bunk beds and four people in these tiny hotel rooms,” board member Michael Buccino said. “I think that would be contrary to the intent of our affordable housing initiative.”

The groups – Reliant Group Management, based in California, and K2 Developers, in Denver – are under contract to purchase the former Steamboat Hotel, located at 3195 S. Lincoln Ave., and the former Steamboat Mountain Lodge, located behind the hotel. , and plans to close on Thursday.

Joe Sherman, CEO of Reliant Group Management, told board members for the 2021-22 winter season that the properties would be used as sleeping quarters, with two people sharing a bedroom and a common kitchen shared between several rooms. Sherman said rental rates would be around $ 475 per person for an unrenovated room and $ 515 for a renovated room.

“It seems affordable compared to what the market is charging,” Sherman said.

The dormitory-style accommodation would only be used for the coming season, and in the meantime the developers have said they will work to convert the property into more permanent labor accommodation.

To approve units before the winter season, the council and the planning department waived certain requirements of the community development code, with the agreement that the developers would seek council re-approval before next season, with the intention of follow all city codes at that time.

“You usually won’t hear any recommendations to forgo the CDC,” said planning director Rebecca Bessey. “But on the sole basis of the many discussions that we had with the city council and the housing subcommittee, we thought that this could be a creative solution to afford housing this ski season while ensuring a development of quality and compliance with our codes at the end. “

Kathi Meyer, Board Member, expressed concern that the units would only be used by employees of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.

Suzie Spiro, a community member who spoke during the public comments section of the meeting, echoed Meyer’s concerns and said other community workers are in urgent need of affordable housing as well. .

“While housing for the workforce is important in the mountains, there are other people we need to take care of,” Spiro said. “Catering workers, people who work in stores, shuttle drivers. “

The Vice President of Human Resources for Ski Corp. Trish Sullivan said in response that as one of the area’s largest employers, providing more housing for its employees frees up other members of the community to find affordable housing options for other employees.

“This is a short-term solution to a major workforce housing problem that we have in our community,” Sullivan said. “By setting up this project and approving this ordinance, it relieves the rest of the community, potentially opening up other opportunities for other business owners and their employees.”

Council members also expressed concern about the number of people living in a small space and sharing a common kitchen.

“I anticipate that most of the people who enter this style of accommodation will be from a lower economy class, and they will not have the money to go out and eat out every day,” said Lisel Petis, member. advice. “There should be something to make sure that if people can’t eat out, they’re not on their own. “

Sherman said the developers are working to add mini-fridges in every room to help address this issue.

The developers will present to the council again in 2022 a more elaborate plan for the permanent housing of the workforce.

A similar project by local development group Ski Town Commercial LLC would see the Hampton Inn & Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott transformed into housing units for the workforce. This project is still making its way into the city planning process.

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