Keystone Resort to add 100 temporary beds to Tenderfoot employee housing
The additional beds will be for Vail Resorts and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area employees
In the midst of the county’s affordable housing shortage, Keystone Resort is taking a step to make more beds available for the local workforce.
During a Summit Board of County Commissioners regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 9, the company was approved to add 100 temporary beds to its three Tenderfoot employee housing buildings. Starting this season, four additional beds will be added to Tenderfoot’s Building 1, 48 beds will be added to Building 2 and 48 beds to Building 3. The beds will be added to two- and three-bedroom units in the form of bunk beds, which will make for a total of four residents per unit.
About 10% of the additional beds will be offered to other businesses, including Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. The rest of the beds will be available to employees from Keystone Resort, Breckenridge Ski Resort and Epic Mountain Express. All of the temporary beds are available for three seasons until the end of the 2023-24 winter, according to the staff report for the request.
The last time Keystone Resort asked for and was granted temporary beds in its Tenderfoot employee housing property was in 2016. From 2016 to 2018, the company added 102 additional beds to its Tenderfoot property as it waited for the Wintergreen development to be completed. It asked for an extension in 2018, which was denied in part because the measure was supposed to be temporary and in part due to parking and traffic management concerns that could result in health, safety and welfare problems such as those related to emergency response.
Another concern raised is the amount of space for each resident. According to the staff report, the additional beds will create less than 200 square feet of living area per occupant, which violates the planned unit development code. Even still, county staff members said they were supportive of approving the temporary measure because of the county’s critical housing need.
To mitigate parking concerns, the company drafted a proposed plan that includes:
- Having a fee for parking permits
- Parking permits that are valid only for certain lots
- Enforcement of parking rules and restrictions in Tenderfoot’s employee housing and tenderfoot day skier lots
- Implementing employee shuttles to and from Breckenridge as well as the Nordic center parking lot
- The promotion of bus routes
- Increased information at hiring and arrival regarding limitations on bringing a vehicle and parking options
With all of this in place, Chris Sorensen, vice president and general manager of Keystone Resort, said the company is in a unique position to help with the county’s housing issue.
“There are very few people who can stand here and say they have a solution to provide 100 beds tomorrow — immediately — and I’m proud that we’re able to do that here today,” Sorensen said at the meeting.
Those who do not wish to have the additional beds in their units can contact Keystone Resort’s housing department and put in a request.
Sara Lococo, spokesperson for Vail Resorts, declined to say how rent will be impacted with the change, how the company will decide which of their employees will get first priority or what the process is like for a resident who wants to opt out of getting one of the additional beds in their unit. Lococo also declined to speak on the matter of residents having less than 200 square feet of living area.
“At the end of the day, this is a huge win for our employees, the local workforce and our community, and this allows us to take action and make a positive impact on workforce housing right now,” Lococo wrote in an email.
Alan Henceroth, chief operating officer of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, agreed that this was a step in the right direction for the community and especially for the ski area as it tries to staff up ahead of the holidays.
“We think this proposal is a great help for us,” Henceroth said during the meeting. “We think we need more beds. We’re constantly challenged with finding employees, but they can’t find a place to live.”
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