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Grand misses agreement deadline

Improvements to Mount Werner Circle are in question

Christine Metz

— The City Council has decided Grand Summit Property Resorts is in default of a development agreement.

In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the council said one of Steamboat’s largest hotels was in default of its contribution agreement to share the cost of improvements to Mount Werner Circle.

After representatives from the Grand said their estimated $600,000 share was too high, the city, the Grand and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. came to an agreement that reduced the Grand’s total to $300,000. But the Grand said it needed the approval of lenders and in-house council before that agreement could be signed.

The Grand passed its deadline to sign the agreement this week.

Representing the hotel, attorney Bob Weiss said the lenders and in-house council had approved the agreement, but the Grand was waiting for the finalization of a refinancing plan for the hotel. Weiss said the Grand does not want to tell the city it is willing to do the improvements until the money is in place.

“The money has to come from refinancing the hotel and that just hasn’t closed,” Weiss said.

Weiss said the refinancing deal should close within the next few weeks. But the council was not willing to wait until the refinancing was finished.

“I still recommend declaring a default and that GSRP can (change) that by coming in with signed documents,” City Manager Paul Hughes said.

Council President Kathy Connell said she was not willing to take the risk after the Grand failed to agree to the city’s initial development agreement. Under the initial agreement proposed earlier this summer, road improvements were planned from the parking garage adjacent to the Gondola Transit Center to the service entrance at Burgess Creek Road.

At that time, the plan was to narrow the road to two main lanes and to put turning lanes in from the current four-lane road. It also wanted to add walkways across the street from the Grand and to install pedestrian crossways.

Earlier this summer, the city awarded the bid to Connell Resources with a $740,742 price tag. The city was expecting to pay $121,867. But under the new and unsigned contribution agreement, the Grand pays $241,000 to improvements to Mount Werner Circle and $59,000 to remodeling the Gondola Transit Center. The city is required to pay $127,000 for the Mount Werner Circle improvements.

To cut back on costs, the city is looking only at new sidewalks taking pedestrians into Ski Time Square. There will be no sidewalks bordering Mount Werner Circle across the street from the Grand or landscaping on the medians in between lanes.

Because the city was unsure of what traffic changes had to be made when the Grand was approved five years ago, the Grand did not have to set aside any funds to guarantee completion of the traffic improvements like it did for water and sewer projects.


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