Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park sells for $2.6 million
Steamboat Springs — Tom Ross
PILOT & TODAY STAFF
Five months after it was listed for sale for $3.2 million, the Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park on Steamboat Springs’ far west side has sold to a Carbondale couple for $2.6 million.
Cheri Chartier, a representative of buyers Tom and Karen Hill, said their intent is to continue operating Sleepy Bear as a mobile home park.
The 6.6-acre, 54-lot park is immediately west of Ski Town Campground and directly across from what would have been the primary entrance to the Steamboat 700 development had Steamboat voters not rejected it in March 2010.
Chartier was walking the Sleepy Bear neighborhood Wednesday morning and posting letters to residents from the new owners.
“We intend to operate the park in the same manner that you are accustomed” to, the letter read. “In that regard, we have no intention of developing Sleepy Bear.”
That was welcome news to nine-year Sleepy Bear resident Crystal Lawson.
“The previous owners (Martin and Alison Dennis) have tried really hard to find buyers who will keep it as a mobile home park and not sell to a developer who is just going to kick us all out or level the whole place,” Lawson said.
She said her neighbors include construction workers, people who are employed in sales and one who works in a bicycle shop.
Tom Hill is a lawyer in Carbondale, and listing Realtor Mark “Dutch” Elting, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, said the couple already owns two mobile home parks in Salida. Thomas Morgan of CCIM real estate in Salida represented the buyers in the purchase.
Chartier said on-site manager Mitch Rule would continue in that role, and the letter said there would be no change in rent amounts or due dates in the wake of the sale.
The mobile home lots have been rented on a month-to-month basis, according to the sales listing for the property. Dennis said monthly lot rental rates vary, but the average is $435.
Elting said the mobile home park drew a lot of attention from would-be buyers.
“I had two backup offers, and I’m still getting calls on it,” he said.
He said in February that he deliberately priced the Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park so that a cash buyer could achieve an attractive return on his or her money.
“You have to approach it from a cash-flow and capitalization basis,” Elting said. “Anybody with cash right now wants a good return on their money.”
The Dennises, who were the former longtime managers of Fish Creek Mobile Home Park, bought Sleepy Bear from Bob Enever in July 1996 for $980,000. Alison Dennis said in February that after 15 years of owning the park, she and her husband wanted to move on to another phase of their lives.
Chartier, who works as a paralegal for Tom Hill, said he and his wife are “great people” and expressed confidence that they would meet residents’ expectations.
Lawson, who lives in a home with flowers out front, said it’s just her size.
“I don’t want a giant home,” she said. “I just want a little house. I think we need smaller houses in Steamboat.”
— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com
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