Silverthorne Days Inn could bring dozens of workforce housing units online by Aug. 1

The Days Inn in Silverthorne is pictured on July 4, 2022. The county received a conditional use permit to convert the hotel into affordable workforce housing.
Eliza Noe/Summit Daily News

By the end of the summer, the Days Inn in Silverthorne could house dozens of new workforce units under a new conditional-use permit given to the Summit County Combined Housing Authority. 

Located on Silverthorne Lane, the Days Inn has operated as a hotel since 1986, and the current ownership has managed the location since 2009. Rent for units would be between $850 to $2,000 per month. In total, there are 75 rooms, and 30 of them are equipped with kitchens. Jason Dietz, Summit County’s housing director, said the department is hoping that units could be online as soon as Aug. 1. 

“There’s opportunities for studios, like just basic hotel rooms, up to four-bedroom type units,” Dietz said. “That’s how we came up with the configuration. It could be flexible depending on demand, but based on our experience with other projects and the Days Inn, it’s really nice to have a wide configuration of price points and room types for the local workforce. I feel it’s going to be in strong demand.” 

Planning manager Lina Lesmes said that 15-minute parking currently on the property will need to be removed in order to provide the minimum parking needed for the units, and the town will not allow overnight camping or storage of RVs, boats, trailers and other similar recreational equipment. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a recommendation for the hotel conversion. 

Last year, the county housing authority flipped the Alpine Inn in Frisco for a similar conversion. This created another over 30 more spaces for workers in Summit County. Dietz said in the first week of the rooms being available, over 200 people reached out, and more have reached out a year later. He said people on that waitlist could be moved over to the Days Inn relatively quickly. The county will hire a third-party property manager, and appliances in the units will also be upgraded.

Dietz said the original plan was for the county to purchase the building, but a deal could not be made. The conditional permit allows for use up to four years. At the end of that four years, the housing authority can apply for another conditional use permit. While the owners of the property could theoretically decide that they no longer want to provide the units as workforce housing, Dietz said the immediate need for workforce units outweighs that risk. 

“That is a risk, and a risk that we’re willing to take,” Dietz said. “It’s going to be a fairly large subsidy that the county is putting into this property to provide workforce housing, but the need right now is so great. Within those two to four years, there’ll be multiple other projects that are coming online.” 

Silverthorne Town Council member Amy Manka said that though she sees the need for immediate housing, converted hotel rooms may not be a long-term solution.

“I understand the need and the necessity for this, and I really appreciate how quickly these can come online. I do see such a huge need for the workforce, but it’s also not lost on me that we’re putting our workforce and our locals in hotels while we’re putting our visitors in our neighborhoods,” she said. “With Silverthorne being local-first, visitors-welcome, it seems like this is backwards to me. So that really bothers me, but again, I do see the need and the necessity and the urgency of it to go on now.”

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