Posted on 23 Jan 2019

Steamboat's Real Estate Update

Over the past 10, 15 and 20 years, loyal Steamboat visitors have experienced some very dramatic changes throughout town.  Hold on tight, as there is a good chance the next cycle of development will have a far greater impact on the long-term look of this charming mountain community.  The last real estate cycle (2003 to 2008) brought a big transition to the base area and downtown.  Developments like One Steamboat Place, Edgemont, Trailhead Lodge, Howelsen Place, The Olympian, Alpen Glow, and The Victoria all changed forever the look of both the ski area base and downtown.  While these properties ignited change, Steamboat was still a maturing market with an evolving experience lagging behind the expectations of the development community. 

 Real estate market | Moving Mountains 

For real estate developers, the old “Chicken or the Egg” conundrum could be translated to “Real Estate or the Experience”.  In 2006, 2007 and 2008 we saw real estate developers build the properties with the hope the experience would be completed by the new ski area owner, Intrawest.  Unfortunately, what we saw was the worst economic downcycle in a half-century which put big investment by Intrawest on hold and left many developers struggling to sell luxury properties in a market without a spark.

It’s time to turn the page!  While 2010 through 2015 were the years of real estate struggle, the Steamboat community experienced a major transformation through private and public investment downtown.  Following a significant investment by restaurateurs, resulting in a culinary explosion, the City of Steamboat approved a major downtown capital improvement project. 

Street Scape | Moving Mountains$10 million in enhanced streetscape, sidewalks, infrastructure, lighting, and buried power lines

Completed in 2017, Steamboat now boasts a wonderful downtown walking corridor along the Yampa River with excellent dining options for even the most sophisticated palate.  

Steamboat Restaurants | Moving Mountains

 Through no fault of their own, during this period of downtown revitalization, the ski area remained in purgatory.  With an owner/operator struggling to restructure and the surrounding major property owners in failed investment partnerships, everything was on hold. 

An Exciting Future:

New Ski Area Ownership:  Steamboat is now owned by Alterra Mountain Company.  A partnership of KSL Partners and the Crown Family (owners of Aspen Ski Company). This new resort owner/operator has assembled a collection of premier resorts (16 in total). 

IKON Ski Pass:  The best value in ski resort travel.  With 38 resorts under one umbrella, the IKON Pass has changed the paradigm in the ski industry, offering a better option to Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass.  Steamboat’s early season snow and the new pass have already resulted in record-setting visitor days. 

In a conversation with Robin Craigen, owner of Moving Mountains, Steamboat’s premier luxury vacation rental company, there was definitely optimism and enthusiasm when we discussed how the rentals were working out for his owners this year.  It sounds like many luxury rental property owners will be pleased with their income at the end of the 2019 ski season.

Timber and Torch and a new Gondola:  Within two years, the new owners will have changed the base area more than the prior owner did in 10 years.  The tired and worn Bear River Grill has been transformed into a completely new dining experience.  In 2019, Steamboat will see its first new gondola in over 30 years!  While these two investments are small in relation to what we hear is coming to Steamboat, they represent more investment in a 24-month period than we’ve seen since I’ve been in town.  

Timber and Torch | Moving MountainsTimber and Torch new dining room

 New Real Estate:  As Steamboat takes the turn to a more complete experience both on and off the mountain, we are about to see a new phase of real estate development.  Here are some of the new properties coming soon:

RiverView Steamboat:  While the market worked through recovery, the owners of the largest parcel of land in downtown Steamboat spent two years designing an amazing planned unit development, with the goal of attracting hotel and residential developers.  This is arguably the best development opportunity in any mountain town.  As anyone familiar with Steamboat knows, our market could use a cool, trendy hotel option.  It’s exciting to report, there are some very successful brands looking to be a part of our community.  Watch for updates in the news over the next 12+ months.  

Riverview | Moving Mountains

Residences At RiverView:  Setting the standard in the RiverView neighborhood, the Residences at RiverView will be luxury duplex homes on the Yampa River in the heart of downtown.  These one-of-a-kind homes will offer walls of glass, 3 heated patios/decks and have the Yampa River in the backyard right in the middle of downtown Steamboat.  These 3,445 sqft / 4BR / 3.5 Baths / 2 Car Garage luxury homes sell for $2,995,000.  With limited to no larger luxury homes for rent downtown, the Residences at RiverView have strong rental income potential.   

Residences At RiverView | Moving Mountains

Luxury Ski In/Out Single Family Home:  3035 Temple Knoll is the first new residence built with direct access to the ski mountain.  A few steps from ski in/out, this mountain contemporary home offers 5BR, 5 bathrooms and 6,500 sqft of living space.  Designed to be a true ski home, walls of glass frame big views of the valley and mountain for the perfect après ski experience.  All seasons are fun from this location and the rental income should be big as there are very few new ski in/out homes.  $5,450,000

ski in ski out home | Moving Mountains

Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club:  Stepping away from the ski slopes, while staying close to the Steamboat experience is Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club.  Located on the closest ranch to the Ski Area boundary, this luxury home subdivision offers easy access to everything in town with the perfect complement of ranch living.  Two new homes being built are setting the standard for mountain contemporary design in the Yampa Valley. 

Moonlight Run – Just completed in January 2019, this 5BR / 5.5 Bathroom home offers 5,700 sqft of living space with views spanning from the Ski Area to the Flat Top mountains.  Large walls of glass bring the true alpine setting indoors as the comfortable gathering areas are ideal for entertaining.  $4,495,000

Sunset Retreat – Sunset Retreat takes contemporary design to the edge with curved rooflines framing large windows with big views of the valley floor below.   

 Steamboat Homes | Moving Mountains

Single Family Homes:  Single-family homes continue to be the primary driver of new construction.  Neighborhoods such as Barn Village and Wildhorse have seen significant activity with homes ranging from $1,000,000 to $2,500,000 and a flare towards the more contemporary design styles.  

While these homes are a great addition to our market, there has been a drought of higher density development, which looks to be changing.  Here are a few of the new projects in various stages of the development process:

Urban Street: Located on a vacant parcel of land near the ski area and adjacent to Casey’s Pond, this development will offer a mixture of townhomes and apartments all with a contemporary flair.  Designed by local architect, Vertical Arts, these homes will be the first mountain contemporary multifamily neighborhood.  

urban street | Moving Mountains

 Ski Time Square and Edgemont Property:  In the past two months, the bulk of vacant land around the ski area base has sold to two different investors.  The combination of a new ski area owner and new, well-capitalized landowners, we are optimistic the base area will see high-quality residential development in the next 5 to 10 years.  

edgemont | Moving Mountains

 In Conclusion:  While Steamboat’s recovery from the last down cycle was lackluster in the amount of new real estate created, a game-changing foundation was put in place, which will be the launching pad for our next 10 and 20 years.  The experience and major players in the community are all aligned for a great future.  Like it or not, we have made Steamboat an amazing place to live or vacation and it’s only getting better.

Chris Paoli

Colorado Group Realty / The Paoli Group




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