Possibilities come into view as work continues at 609 Yampa Street building

The wet weather on Friday June 24, 2022 forces crews inside the building at 609 Yampa St. in Steamboat Springs. It has been home to The Boathouse Pub, Sake2U and 609 Yampa. The building sold to Western Centers in 2019, and is in the process of being renovated into an events space.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Located on the banks of the Yampa River, the building at 609 Yampa St. offers views of the river, Howelsen Hill and Mount Werner, so when Western Centers purchased the property, possibility was all Corey Wagner could see.

Wagner, executive vice president of Western Centers, said that after experiencing an increased demand for event space the past few years at the Snow Bowl Steamboat, the decision was made to create an events space at 609 Yampa. Western Centers, a real estate investment company based in Aurora, owns both properties.

“With how much the Snow Bowl is utilized for events, it’s something where we just felt that there was a good need for,” Wagner said. “Especially a place that’s on the river.”

Western Centers purchased the property in 2019 for $2.1 million with plans to renovate and reopen the space. Those plans were put on hold in March of 2020 with the rise of COVID-19, and the uncertainty that followed.

After the delay, work on the building began early this spring, and Wagner is hoping the new concept, which will be called “The Boathouse,” will be completed by late August or September.

Once finished, the first floor of the building will be opened up, offering 1,500-square feet of indoor space, not including a covered patio that adds another 500 square feet. Glass doors have been added that lead to open space alongside both Butcherknife Creek and the Yampa River.

The hopes are to provide a space for events such as weddings, corporate presentations, parties or fundraisers.

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Wagner said the first door space has been opened up and will allow event planners to set up for community events like fundraisers, company parties and more. It would also host weddings, family gatherings, reunions, fundraisers and other group events.

“The first floor will continue to remain an open space,” Wagner said. “A kind of a community space with the intent of being able to host events — fundraisers, private events and company get-togethers for the holidays, or dinner, or whatever it may be. The intent of the first floor is that it’s an event space.”

He said the second floor will become a two-bedroom, two-bath residential unit and the third floor will remain a one-bedroom, one-bath residential until. Both of those units will have their own entrances using an outside staircase.

The concept, Wagner said, would allow a couple to rent the entire facility to host their wedding or rehearsal dinner. They could attend the event in the downstairs space and then escape to the residential units upstairs.

“The intent is that these units would be available and would be an amenity to the first floor,” Wagner said. “They could utilize the entire property. The intent would also be that if we aren’t having weddings or events, or there’s a group that just wants the first-floor space, then we would still have the second and third floor space for nightly rental.”

The building had a kitchen on the second floor, but Wagner said that was removed to make room for the new residential unit. He said those leasing the space will now have to use outside caterers and vendors to provide food and beverages for events.

The building was home to The Boathouse Pub, Sake2U and 609 Yampa. The new name, The Boathouse, it is tip of the hat to the downtown pub that was in the building before closing in March 2014.

Business partners Kier and Eric Delaney and Drew Brilakis struck a deal with the former owner of the pub, Howard Ulep, in 2014 to purchase the building. The partners moved their sushi restaurant, Saketumi, into the space. That restaurant later became Sake2U and then transitioned to 609 Yampa before closing in November 2019 after the building was purchased by Western Centers.

“Ultimately, when it’s done, it’s going to really show what we’ve done there,” Wagner said. “I mean you can tell from looking at the building now — although there’s a lot of scaffolding up — is there’s a lot more windows, and there’s more light coming through. … Previously it didn’t accentuate the views that you have up towards the mountain or out towards the creek and the river and we’ve definitely changed that.”

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