Final 30 units at Trailhead Lodge in Steamboat Springs go under the gavel Dec. 15 |

Final 30 units at Trailhead Lodge in Steamboat Springs go under the gavel Dec. 15

The lobby of Trailhead Lodge has a reception desk and gathering area for guests. The remaining 30 unsold condominiums, most of them one- and two-bedrooms, go to auction for the second time Dec. 15.

— If the real estate event planned for the Sheraton Steamboat Resort on Dec. 15 were a Hollywood movie franchise, it might be called “Trailhead II: Return of the Auctioneer.”

For the second time in seven months, Salt Lake City-based SilverLeaf Financial has retained Kennedy Wilson to offer the 30 remaining unsold condominiums in Trailhead Lodge, connected to the Steamboat Ski Area base by its own people-mover gondola.

The original auction, held at a downtown Denver hotel, identified 24 winning bidders for Trailhead units with an aggregate value of $9.17 million. Records on file at Routt County reflect that during one week in early June, 14 sales of Trailhead condos closed with a combined value of $6.01 million.

Steamboat Realtor Cam Boyd, a co-owner of Prudential Steamboat Realty, said Friday that since April, 22 Trailhead units have been sold through the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service but not necessarily as a result of the auction process.

Boyd brought the buyer to a two-bedroom, 1,139-square-foot unit that sold for $418,950 on July 9. Presumably, the prices will be lower this time around.

The sales sheet published by Kennedy Wilson reflects that the minimum bid price, not necessarily the reserve price, has been lowered about 10 percent. For example, at the low end, bids for studio units will begin at $95,000 compared to $110.000 in advance of the first auction. The three-bedroom condos were gobbled up at the last auction, but a selection of furnished one-bedroom, two-bedroom and two-bedroom plus den condos remain.

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Boyd's spreadsheet shows that the large majority of the units that sold in the first auction sold on a per-square-foot basis in the mid $300,000 range, with a high of about $409,000 for a two-bedroom plus den and a low of $323,000 for a two-bedroom unit, once a 5 percent commission has been added in.

Sales of studio and one-bedroom units were scarce.

Rhett Winchell, president of KW Auction Group, said that during the initial auction, 40 percent of the bidders were online. And a substantial number of bidders traveled from Steamboat to Denver to be present. With the advent of ski season, he said the decision was made to hold the second auction for the property in Steamboat.

"With the first sale, we brought buyers and sellers together and generated what I would consider to be a market value. And we've had some sales since at prices similar to auction prices," Winchell said. "This is even a better opportunity for buyers because the market is getting better, rates are lower, and we're in ski season now, and there's more interest."

Steamboat Realtor Jon Wade, of Colorado Group Realty, has followed the project closely. He agreed with Winchell that the local market is improving and a number of units in competing projects like Trappeurs Crossing closer to the ski area have been absorbed since spring. Supply has been reduced, but it hasn't dried up, Wade said.

"We could see a better response than last time," Wade said. "But it doesn't mean they can go beyond what market will bear for this. There should be some interest, but the buyers get to reap any upside here."

SilverLeaf Financial acquired the six-story Trailhead Lodge building and the remaining 58 unsold condos through foreclosure proceedings last year. SilverLeaf purchased the outstanding debt of $57 million from Bank of America for the discounted price of $28 million.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

If you go

What: Auction of 30 unsold condominiums at Trailhead Lodge

When: 1 p.m. Dec. 15

Where: Sheraton Steamboat Resort, 2200 Village Inn Court

For more: Kennedy Wilson will host a free “How to Buy” seminar on-site and online at 1 p.m. Dec. 8. Sign up for the seminar here.