Delays in clubhouse construction two years and counting |

Delays in clubhouse construction two years and counting

Jane Reuter

SUMMIT COUNTY – Two years after the Treehouse condominiums clubhouse burned down, the only signs of new life at the site are the weeds growing through cracks in the old concrete foundation.

While homeowners are frustrated by that, no one is more distressed than is architect Rob Davis, who’s been working with both an insurance company and the county planning department to get final approval on a new structure.

“I had personally told the (Treehouse homeowners) board my goal was to have the whole thing built by Sept. 1 (2002),” he said. “Then we hit another glitch. It hasn’t been any one thing. The saving grace is the foundation is intact. I’m hopeful we’ll get these couple of things ironed out and it will go full speed ahead.

“The thing I hear most from homeowners is it has a financial impact on their units if they don’t have that amenity. I feel badly for them.”

Davis still anticipates starting construction on the building this fall, and finishing it within nine months of groundbreaking.

Treehouse Condominiums, located along Wildernest Road, includes 264 units. In July 2000, Treehouse’s main clubhouse was destroyed in a blaze that firefighters blamed on a faulty sauna switch.

Last fall, the Lower Blue Planning Commission approved plans for a nearly 11,000-square-foot new clubhouse that will include laundry facilities, a swimming pool, three hot tubs, a sauna, recreation room, weight room, racquetball court, community room, kitchen, lounge and two-bedroom manager’s unit.

Construction of the new building now hinges on a seemingly small detail – approval of lighting plans. Once the planning department approves those, planner Kate Noonan said, it will sign off on a building permit.

Meanwhile, she, too, is fielding calls from concerned Treehouse homeowners. Patricia McNeelege is one of them. She owns a unit that she rents on a long-term basis, though she lives in a neighboring development.

“I live across the street, so I see that site every day,” she said. “I don’t think it conveys a very good message for the mountain. I also know there has been a lot of discontent with the short-term renters. It definitely hurts the revenue for a lot of people (who own) at Treehouse.”

The Treehouse complex has a smaller owners’ clubhouse, but McNeelege said it’s not large enough to accommodate owners and short-term renters.

“We opened it up for everybody shortly after the fire, but it was a maintenance nightmare,” she said, adding that they quickly returned the smaller clubhouse to an owners only restriction. “It’s a shame this has dragged on.”

Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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