Silverthorne gives hostel-style hotel, to be made out of 16 shipping containers, the thumbs up
May 29, 2018
Upon securing final site plan approval last week, the developers of a new $6.5 million boutique hotel with hostel-style accommodations aren't too far away from starting what could be one of the greenest demolitions to hit downtown Silverthorne.
Overall, the project has been described as, "a hostel lodging facility created to accommodate the modern traveler who prioritizes experience, adventure and new friendships."
It's been named "The Pad," and based on the newest renderings, which were produced by Smith Design Company and show the hotel project in new detail, people probably won't realize it's to be made out of 16 prefabricated shipping containers, along with the more conventional metal-frame construction.
The idea stems from the worldly travels of Lynne Parrish and Rob Baer, a young couple who in January 2017 bought just over two acres at 521 Center Circle with plans to build a boutique hotel with some hostel-style rooms along the Blue River in downtown Silverthorne.
"They took our ideas and really blew us away," Baer said of the architects' work, adding the newest designs, "really depict the true architectural nature of the building and how it's going to look on the site."
Blueprints call for a 35-foot, three-story hotel with of 36 rooms, a small restaurant, manager's apartment, lounges, event space, storage areas, a kitchen and bathrooms.
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To build it, the now-defunct Robinson Dairy building currently on the property will have to be razed. Originally constructed in 1982, the building was converted into a warehousing and distribution facility in 1986. Since then, the warehouse has been abandoned, fallen into disrepair and become somewhat of an eyesore in the downtown core.
If everything goes smoothly — and that's a big "if" in contractor-starved Summit County — the new hotel could open as early as late next summer, the couple said. However, "everyone promises opening dates," Parrish said, and while the couple hopes to be renting out beds for the 2019-20 ski season, they aren't quite ready to establish a firm timeline for an opening just yet.
Rather, they said, they're focused on what's being described as a carefully planned "deconstruction," in which the vast majority of the materials from the demolition of the old Robinson Dairy Building will find new life, instead of homes at the Summit County Landfill.
Recycling will be the most common use for the old building materials, Baer said, and anything that can be salvaged and reused — whether it's the concrete or the steel — will go into construction of the new hotel.
Other building materials, he continued, will be donated to nonprofits. Baer used to work for ReSource Central, a nonprofit in Boulder that takes donations of old building materials from demolitions and resells them, and he's looking forward to applying that knowledge here in Silverthorne.
"It's super exciting because I know it's really hard work to do it that way," said Jen Schenk, executive director of the High Country Conservation Center, the county's most active environmental group.
She wasn't familiar with the details of the hotel demo but knows first-hand that salvaging materials takes far more work and forethought than dropping them off at the dump.
"When someone takes the extra effort, it really means that they care about the environment, and they're doing it right," Schenk said. "I would love to see more people follow their lead."
Anything not suitable for recycling or nonprofit donation, according to Baer, will unfortunately have to go to the landfill, but the goal is to drive 80-90 percent of the materials, based on weight, away from the landfill.
In approving The Pad's final site plan last Wednesday, Silverthorne Town Council was also highly complimentary of the couple-turned-developers, but for a different reason.
When The Pad's initial site plan came up for preliminary approval, council supported the hotel project — identified as exactly the kind of business the town wants in its core — but not before tacking on over a dozen conditions the developers had to satisfy before securing council's OK on the final site plan.
Parrish and Baer, however, had crossed them all off and tied up the loose ends going into Wednesday's council hearing. In doing so, they easily got the final approval they were seeking, along with some earned respect.
"I want to thank you guys because I think you took a very good project, and with the changes you made, you've made it a great project," said Councilwoman JoAnne Nadalin, echoing the statements of other elected officials.