Cafritz Interests

Two Steamboat properties sold

Washington, D.C.-based Cafritz Interests buys Thunderhead Lodge and Ski Time Square and says it will raze them in favor of redevelopment.

by Julie Dunn, Denver Post - April 27, 2007 – Washington, D.C.-based Cafritz Interests said Thursday it has purchased two major properties at the base of Steamboat Ski Resort.

Cafritz, which bought the Thunderhead Lodge and the Ski Time Square retail space for an undisclosed price, said it will raze the buildings to make way for a major redevelopment.

Preliminary plans for the nearly 7 acres of prime ski-in, ski-out real estate call for a hotel, wholly owned and fractional condominiums and retail space.

“We see an opportunity for this area to become a very nice base village,” said Cafritz president Steve Peer.

Steamboat is in the midst of several significant changes.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Intrawest Holdings purchased the ski area from financially troubled American Skiing Corp. for $239.1 million last month. The city of Steamboat Springs has started on $20 million worth of public improvements at the base area funded through an urban-renewal authority.

Several major new residential projects are also underway, including Wildhorse Meadows, One Steamboat Place and the Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club.

“This is another huge deal for Steamboat,” said Prudential Steamboat Realty's Pam Vanatta. “The Thunderhead Lodge building is the best location around, but it is in dire need of redevelopment, as is all of Ski Time Square.”

Cafritz purchased the properties from Ski Time Square Enterprises. The group, which consists of several private investors as well as Starwood Hotels, put the real estate, along with the Sheraton Steamboat Resort & Conference Center and the Sheraton Golf Course, up for sale last September.

Denver-based HVS Capital Corp., which handled the Cafritz sale, said it expects a deal on the Sheraton properties in the next few weeks.

Cafritz has selected the Atira Group of Colorado as the local developer for the project.