A good start for business center

Early signs indicate the new Valley View Business Park on Hayden's east side someday will fulfill the goals of the town government -- bringing more businesses to Hayden.

Annette Hall of Prudential Steamboat Realty said she's poised to close the sale of a few lots in the new subdivision. There are buyers from Craig and Steamboat Springs, and the prospective tenants include two construction businesses. The Coca-Cola distribution warehouse in Craig also is poised to move its 17 employees to a new facility in Valley View.

"It's what our comprehensive plan is all about," Town Manager Russ Martin said. "We're really focused on what it is going to take to broaden our base of businesses."

Valley View is located at the southwest corner of Routt County Road 37 and Crandall Avenue, south of U.S. Highway 40 and the Hayden Cemetery. It includes 52 lots, which should be ready for construction this summer. The developers are Jon Peddie and Paul Franklin of Steamboat Springs.

Some of the buyers in Valley View say the relative affordability of the lots closed the deal.

"I'll say I purchased my lot for half the price of what I would have paid in Steamboat," said Brad Hoefer of All Terrain Crane.

The price of lots in Valley View ranges from $69,000 to $104,000, and most are priced between $80,000 and $90,000.

Martin said the town's hope is that Valley View will become a place where the relatively low price of entry into the subdivision will attract new start-ups.

"People are looking for starter homes in Hayden," Martin said. "It can be the same with a new business" that faces unknown cash flow in the beginning.

Hoefer owns a well-established excavating business in Steamboat, and it's not relocating. But Hoefer's new portable crane business is booming, and he needed a place to store his equipment.

"I thought I would keep two cranes busy, and now I have six," he said.

The cranes are in high demand at construction sites in Routt County. They are particularly efficient at placing heavy roof timbers on luxury mountain homes, for example.

What Hoefer needed to accommodate the growth of his business was an economically priced yard where he could break down his cranes, store and maintain them. That site was difficult to find in Steamboat.

"I don't need to go there every day, so the 20 miles isn't a big issue," Hoefer said. "And it's kind of a banana belt there (in Hayden)." The milder weather makes it easier to work on the equipment.

Martin said the benefits of the location of new businesses in Hayden could be realized gradually during time. Inevitably, they'll increase the trade at other local businesses, such as restaurants, gas stations and banks.

Pat Anderson and her husband, Steve, plan to move their concrete contracting business, Sunshine Builders, to Valley View. Pat Anderson said they rent the lot where Steve stores supplies for his business. They don't like the lack of security afforded by leasing in Steamboat.

"We've been debating what we're going to be doing," Anderson said. "There's not an economical solution in Steamboat."

The Andersons aren't concerned about their industrial lot being down valley from their home in Steamboat -- during the height of the construction season, they store supplies in gooseneck trailers at job sites. They plan to restock the trailers from their site in Valley View.

Sunshine Builders specializes in foundations for single-family homes. It isn't lost on the Andersons that two new residential subdivisions going through the planning process in Hayden would create 300 new residential lots. The Lake Village and Dry Creek village subdivisions are close to Valley View Business Park.

Also tentatively planning to move to Valley View is the Coca-Cola distributorship in Craig. Owner Trevor Messinger said the company wanted to be more centrally located in the Yampa Valley.

-- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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