Sale of Hudson dealership paves way for new Silverthorne development
About Park Lofts
Resort Concepts of Edwards is in the early stages of master planning a comprehensive and inclusive residential “loft style” neighborhood at the Hudson Auto site on the Blue River Parkway in Silverthorne. This new neighborhood plan — referred to as Park Lofts — will include a centrally located park and open space surrounded by 152 residential units and neighborhood scale amenities and retail. It is anticipated that Park Lofts will include a fitness facility, property management and rental offices, transportation hub and a diverse mix of residential unit types.
Source: Resort Concepts
Summit County’s longest running car dealership, Hudson Auto Source, will close shop at the end of the week as a developer chases plans to turn the downtown property into a new “loft-style” neighborhood for Silverthorne.
According to a Wednesday news release, Resort Concepts is in the early stages of planning a 152-unit residential neighborhood called “Park Lofts” at the Hudson site, 441 Blue River Parkway. Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.
The dealership rests on a highly desirable, important piece of land in the heart of town, surrounded by other high-dollar projects, such as the Fourth Street Crossing, tied to the town’s efforts to dramatically remake the area and give Silverthorne a “Main Street” feel.
The dealership, which has been winding down its inventory, was recently put under contract by the Colorado investment group managed by Steve McKeever, who lives in Edwards. Lynne McMahon, owner of the Hudson dealership, confirmed Friday will be her dealership’s last day.
“The Hudson dealership has been an important part of the Silverthorne community for decades, and I’ve spoken with Lynne to offer the town’s thanks for the role that she and her family have played in helping Silverthorne to fund our services over the years,” said Ryan Hyland, Silverthorne’s town manager. “It’s always hard to see a long-standing business close, but with change comes new opportunity, and we certainly look forward to working with any new owners regarding future development plans.”
The Hudson dealership has existed in Colorado’s High Country, selling Chevrolets, for over 44 years.
In 1974, its namesake, James R. Hudson, better known locally as Jim, bought a car lot in Lake County with his wife Lorraine. In 1979, they moved the operation to Summit County, giving the county its first car dealership and becoming one of the first major businesses in Silverthorne, which had been founded only a dozen years prior.
In many ways, the Hudson dealership arrived at an opportune time, when there wasn’t much else here and before the construction of Interstate 70 and completion of its Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel changed everything. Throughout the decades, the Hudsons and his dealership played important roles in Silverthorne and the larger Summit County community. As a result, Jim, who died March 24, 2017, shortly after his 92nd birthday, has been credited for helping grow the town into what it’s become today.
McMahon, Jim’s daughter, took over management of the dealership in 2005, the same year Hudson Auto Source added Buick, GMC and Cadillac to its lineup. Assuming control of the dealership, McMahon became the youngest woman in Colorado to head a General Motors dealership.
For McMahon, selling the business her parents started and later passed down to her was a hard decision, and she fought back tears as she talked about it Wednesday after news of the sale broke.
Perhaps it wasn’t all that hard of a decision given the circumstances she faced.
McMahon’s husband, Tim, is a captain with the Arvada Fire Protection District, and with young children, the couple felt like the dealership was a major barrier to them spending time together as a family. Given the long commutes, demands of running a dealership and her husband’s responsibilities as a high-ranking firefighter, something had to give, McMahon said, and she didn’t want it to be her family.
“Although it saddens us to close the doors on the buildings that provided so much, it will now provide us time, something we haven’t had much of in the past,” she said. “For that, we will be eternally grateful. Given Dad’s passing last year, we are only reminded how little time we all have and how we want to spend that time together, especially with our little ones at home. They grow too fast.”
It was an unfortunate but necessary step to close the longtime dealership before closing on the sale, McMahon said, because Resort Concepts is expected to start discussing the Park Lofts project in front of Silverthorne Community Development and town council as early as next month.
“It would be impossible to run a business while your land is being discussed in public meetings as being redeveloped in the near future,” she explained. “This would have caused more stress in the long run for both employees and consumers not knowing what the future of the business would be.”
As for the employees, McMahon said the dealership has 28 of them, and she doesn’t think they will have problems finding work in Summit County’s tight labor market. “Luckily, there are several positions available at the other dealerships, auto collision centers and service facilities,” she said, adding that the crew at Hudson has become highly desirable and there’s already been attempts to hire her staff out from under her.
McMahon also takes comfort knowing that, before her father’s death, the family had already started discussions about the future of the dealership, knowing that it would continue without a Hudson at the helm.
McMahon said the family, including her mother, hoped to keep the business going as a dealership, just under a new owner, but after meeting with several dealers across the state, they were unable to find anyone interested in taking over the business. Summit County’s limited workforce, the high cost of housing and other considerations just made it too much of a burden for an established dealer to buy the dealership, she explained.
But that doesn’t mean she won’t miss it dearly.
“The dealership has been a huge part of our foundation,” she said, adding that through the business, she and her family have been blessed with the ability to serve the community, both financially and with their time, while making many great friendships.
“It was the core of our thrill helping the next customer find their dream vehicle, helping them restore their vehicle to a much newer look, as well as providing mechanical service to ensure their safety and give them the ability to add one more mile to the odometer,” she said.
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