Breckenridge Grand Vacations collaborates to build lease-based workforce housing
BRECKENRIDGE — Mike Dudick, a former member of the Breckenridge Town Council and owner of Breckenridge Grand Vacations — the largest year-round employer in town — saw the lack of workforce housing as a town issue and a personal business issue.
He wanted to hire employees from outside the county, such as recent graduates from the University of Denver Fritz-Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, but they didn’t have anywhere affordable to live.
When he went to Fatty’s Pizzeria and Sports Bar for lunch on a Monday in March and the restaurant was closed due to staffing issues, Dudick said he realized he needed to create his own workforce housing.
“That was my wake-up call,” Dudick said.
Contractor and owner of MK Development, Kenny Thaemert, approached Dudick at town council with a proposition to take a step toward solving the workforce housing issue. Thaemert suggested they work together to develop workforce housing, called Moose Landing, for Breckenridge Grand Vacations employees on a parcel of land he owned.
The next step was to get the town of Breckenridge on board with the project by allowing for water, density of development and permitting. The town also contributed additional land.
“The three legs of the stool are very important because this doesn’t happen without the town of Breckenridge having the foresight to contribute the land, development, etc.,” Dudick said.
While the Blue 52 housing project created several workforce homes for sale in Breckenridge, there aren’t as many workforce housing projects for rent aside from those built specifically for ski resort employees. Dudick wanted to create an entry point for his employees by allowing them to sign a standard one-year lease that is deed restricted or set at market rate.
“My profit in leasing this is having employees, not making money by renting condos,” Dudick said. “I like to be able to mitigate risk by controlling my own destiny from a business perspective.”
While the town is involved in this project, no tax money was used to build the housing, which features 16 two-bedroom units that are set at market rate and 16 one-bedroom units that are deed restricted. The apartments are built for Breckenridge Grand Vacations employees, but units left empty can be leased to other county employees. So far, 25 of the 32 units are spoken for.
Dudick said if Moose Landing is successful, and opportunity and need for more workforce continues, he will continue to work on the issue.
“If the three legs of the stool can continue to stay in place, then I’ll do more,” Dudick said about partnering with the developer and town.
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