Steamboat Springs hotel owner raises concerns about new hotel’s potential to increase flood risk |

Steamboat Springs hotel owner raises concerns about new hotel’s potential to increase flood risk

Scott Franz
A photo shows the site of a proposed Homewood Suites hotel covered in June by heavy runoff from Walton Creek.

— A Steamboat Springs hotel owner is reaching out to city officials to make sure a new hotel being planned upstream from his property doesn’t literally sink his business.

Holiday Inn owner Scott Marr last week wrote a letter to city planners expressing some concern about how the construction of an 84-room Homewood Suites on wetlands near his property might send more runoff water from Walton Creek down to his existing hotel.

A city official and the developers of the new hotel told Steamboat Today on Tuesday that drainage and hydrology studies for the new development show it will have a “negligible impact” on the existing runoff and drainage situations in the area.

Applicant Larry Owens said the site is designed to send all of the runoff eastward, away from a channel that leads to other downstream properties including the Holiday Inn.

Reached Tuesday, Marr reacted favorably to that news about the studies and said he has a meeting scheduled with a city official Wednesday to discuss the situation.

Marr was specifically concerned about the potential for new development to divert more water into a “maxed-out” culvert along U.S. Highway 40, causing it to back up and flood other properties that are in the floodplain near it.

He has had issues previously with flooding on his property and parking lot during heavy spring runoff, and he said he spent $100,000 to make improvements to prevent future floods.

He’s calling on the city to ensure the new development nearby is planned in such a way that it won’t contribute to any more flooding.

“I have absolutely no problem with (Bob Amin) doing that development as long as it doesn’t impact the runoff situation downstream from where it’s at,” Marr said Tuesday morning. “I want to be convinced” it won’t be an issue.

City engineer Ben Beall said Tuesday the developers of the new Homewood Suites studied the drainage situation on the property and how the development might affect hydrology in the area.

Beall said the study indicated drainage impacts from the new hotel were found to be negligible.

“The applicant went to great lengths to direct drainage back toward Walton Creek,” Beall said.

Beall said the city had Marr’s interests and the interests of the public in mind when staff reviewed the hotel proposal.

He also praised Marr for raising the issue so the city could ensure it was reviewed.

City planners are recommending approval of the new Homewood Suites, a Hilton-themed hotel that will cater to visitors looking for extended stays.

The city’s planning commission will weigh in on the development Thursday evening.

The letter from Marr was the only written public comment the commission received ahead of the meeting.

The project could gain final approval from Steamboat Springs City Council as early as May 2.

Owens, of Gray Stone LLC, said the developers plan to break ground on the hotel immediately following approval from the city.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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