Residents of Ski Time Square Condos without parking after the structure closed

A fence and sign inform residents that the parking structure long used by residents of Ski Time Square Condominiums has been closed.
John F. Russell / Steamboat Pilot and Today

For nearly a month, longtime Ski Time Square Condominiums resident Cathy Vanderwork realized how her life was about to change after the parking structure she relied on was deemed too unsafe and shut down by local authorities.

“Thirty days, we got 30 days,” said Vanderwork, who plans to pay up to $500 a month to store his SUV in land off Elk River Road. “I’m not supposed to stay on my legs for long periods of time.

“I’m going to have to take a shuttle to my car, go get groceries, then try to find some sort of parking here – maybe I could access the disabled space. Then I will have to ride my groceries to my unit. I will have to get back down to my car and take my car to the warehouse, then drive the mile to get to the shuttle, then stay in a shuttle for as long as it takes me to get home.

The truth is that she is still scrambling to come up with a plan for how she will deal with activities of daily living after the parking lot she depends on was fenced off and then closed on October 10. Signs were posted by the Routt County Building Department, which actually represents the town because the property is inside Steamboat Springs.

“The building department had to publish this structure as unsafe on October 10, 2022 and issue a Notice of Violation based on documentation provided to us by the owner,” said Todd Carr, building official. “The documentation we received was a copy of an email provided by the HOA (Ski Time Square) from the engineering they hired to assess the condition of the building. The report said the building should be evacuated immediately based on their structural observations.

Carr said the building department followed up with an on-site inspection on Oct. 12, when officials observed temporary shoring jacks installed along the south and north exterior walls used to potentially support the load-bearing ends of the parking structure.

“Since temporary shoring is not an accepted permanent method of supporting the loads on the building, we maintain that our unsafe construction advisory was legitimate,” Carr said. “In our notice of violation, we requested that the building remain vacant until the owner engages a structural engineering company to properly assess the building and provide us with a full report for review upon completion of the assessment. “

Carr said the code-compliant process and notice of violation provided to the landlord allows the building to be repaired or deconstructed, and the landlord is responsible for that decision.

Residents of the Ski Time Square condominium found themselves after building department officials flagged the structure as unsafe in early October.
John F. Russell / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Residents like Cheri Arnold, who bought her unit in 2012 hoping to live there full-time when she retires, hope to work with developer DBT, which owns the property, to find a compromise. Currently, the Ski Time Square HOA has a 98-year lease on the parking structure.

“It’s just been such a new thing that I don’t know,” Arnold said. “We just hope there’s some kind of compromise, that something happens where at least, maybe temporarily, we can solidify it for the season and sort things out with DBT where we can actually make good decisions and Advance.”

Arnold and his daughter have lived in Steamboat for the past two years. Her daughter worked full-time at the front desk and she also had a seasonal job at the Sheraton. However, Arnold said his unit will be empty this year and his plans to have family for the winter will not come to fruition.

“We were going to stay, but once we heard about it, we said no,” Arnold said. “We wanted our daughter to be able to come see us for Thanksgiving and have our other daughter in California as well, but they won’t have anywhere to park.”

The Ski Time Square Condominiums building has a long history, according to HOA resident and board member Marcus Fresques, who provided a four-page summary of the building, along with a copy of the rental agreement that includes parking. for condos.

The parking lot behind the old Tug Boat building at Ski Time Square has been leased by the HOA to Ski Time Square Condominiums since the early 1970s was closed on October 10, 2022 after the building’s safety was questioned by the building officials.
John F. Russell / Steamboat Pilot and Today

According to Fresco documents, the five-story, 80-unit building at the base of the Steamboat Resort was built by Sunray Land Corporation in the early 1970s as part of the more than four-acre development called Ski Time Square Plaza.

Originally there was a small above ground parking lot – less than 20 parking spaces – and open parking structures located behind the condominium building with access from Burgess Creek Road. At this time, residents entered the condominiums on the third floor at the rear of the building. The parking structures collapsed sometime after the condominiums were completed in 1972.

Many other buildings were constructed as part of the Ski Time Square Plaza development, including retail spaces, restaurants, and other condominiums. The parking lot above the garage was used by other Sunray tenants and guests from surrounding buildings. Once the Ski Time Square condominiums were developed, the condos separated from the rest of the development. The remaining area has had a small succession of owners.

The documents also indicate that the Ski Time Square Condominiums HOA currently has a 98-year lease on the underground parking structure, ending in October 2072. The agreement for the lease was entered into on October 29, 1974, between developer Sunray and the HOA, and it also discusses easements, as well as covenants of protection for a grassy quadrangle directly in front of condominiums bordered by Burgess Creek.

Over the years, the property and the parking structure have been sold several times. Sunray sold the Ski Time Square land and buildings to Ski Time Square Enterprises in the 1970s. Then in April 2007, STSE sold the Ski Time Square estate to Cafritz Interests LLC.

Cafritz intended to develop Ski Time Square, which included demolishing the parking structure, and working with the HOA on a new parking arrangement. However, Cafritz was caught up in the 2008 financial recession, and ultimately in 2010 had to return the land to Fortress instead of repaying the loan Cafritz took out to purchase the property. The property was later purchased from Fortress by DBT Development Group in September 2019.

The parking deck above the garage was rented by Fortress and DBT in the winter to Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. In June 2021, DBT stopped allowing any parking on the upper deck.

In 2021, DBT received the green light from the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission for a mixed-use development project on Ski Time Square Drive – The Thunderhead Station. At the time, the project was planned at 1950 Ski Time Square Drive and included four residential units and two commercial units in a new five-story building. The project was expected to be completed by 2023.

Recently, owners of Ski Time Square Condominiums began contacting the HOA and its board members with concerns about the shape of the garage.

“It looked like it was falling apart and it was just in bad shape,” Fresques said. “That’s why we got our first engineering report in 2020 from Steamboat Engineering and Design, and they said it wasn’t solid.”

Fresques said these reports were forwarded to DBT in hopes that the company would address some of the concerns. These owners forwarded the reports to the building department, which resulted in the closure in October.

The HOA filed a legal complaint against DBT Thunderhead LLC in the District Court. Frescos said the hearing was a last resort for the association and would not take place until April 2023. He said the HOA would prefer to sit outside the courtroom.

“I think every time you go to court, which is kind of ours, that’s the last thing we wanted to do as HOAs, because you never really know how a judge is going to rule, one, so there is uncertainty there. Secondly it’s also a very long process so basically as a board we wanted to work with DBT as they’ve owned the property since 2019. We had to take legal action due their inability to work with us, whatever that may be.

Efforts by Steamboat Pilot & Today to reach DBT and owner David Tolson for comment on Tuesday afternoon, November 1, were unsuccessful.

Frescoes said owners of Ski Time Square Condominiums are also facing many other changes since the parking structure was closed. He said residents cannot sell or rent their units without clarifying the parking situation to real estate agents and guests. It also has an indirect impact on property management companies, limiting business parking at Ski Time Square.

“Units are not leasable or salable during this time without parking,” Fresques said. “I had a real estate agent contact me about a potential sale, and he wanted clarification on the parking lot. This is a community-wide mess. This is the result of the Ski Time community Square trying to do the right thing for its residents DBT’s inaction and failure to work with the community is the driving force behind these hardships for everyone directly or indirectly affected.

As of November 1, residents of Ski Time Square Condominiums can no longer park overnight on Ski Time Square Drive. Instead, they were given temporary access to the upper level of the Steamboat Grand parking structure, but that will end Nov. 22, the day before the Steamboat Resort opens.

Frescoes is currently researching parking options for residents, including locations like Strings Music Pavilion and Haymaker Golf Course, and is offering shuttle service from these locations.

“We need temporary parking and then we can continue from there,” Fresques said. “But the ultimate goal is to have permanent parking for the Ski Time Square condominiums, and I think in the best-case scenario, each owner would have the option of owning their own parking space. We fully understand that any developer owner of this land will want to develop the land at some point, and we just need to make sure that we are not left out of this process.


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