Work is progressing, but there is no move-in date in sight
By Cayla Vidmar
On June 17 the 44-unit Timbers Condominiums in Mt. Crested Butte experienced significant flooding for the third time since 2014. The flooding occured due to an issue with the fire suppression system, and forced all residents, including locals, short-term renters and members of the workforce out of the building for the foreseeable future.
The fire suppression system in this building has been the cause of all three major floods, the first of which condemned the former Marcellina Apartments in February 2014 after a subcontractor stepped on and broke a fire sprinkler line.
The second flood was caused by a sprinkler pipe freezing and breaking in January 2017, again causing significant damage.
Each event has been in the middle of tourist season, forcing local workers out of their homes and into the already overcrowded rental market. This most recent flooding event happened on the crest of the busiest season in Crested Butte, and residents are still not allowed into their homes.
Rob Harper, owner of Toad Property Management, which manages the building, has been hard at work dealing with drying out the building and organizing repair work so people can move back into their homes. “I’ve met with Carlos Velado with the town, and Rick Ems and Chris Davis with the Crested Butte Fire Protection District, and we’re trying to figure out how to get creative and get people back in there,” said Harper. “At this time, there’s nothing we can do. We don’t have the fire protection we need to get people in the building. We’re missing fire alarms, sprinkler systems and drywall, and until we can get those things, we can’t let people back in,” Harper concluded.
Harper stated they have a third-party engineer coming in to look at the “whole situation,” but did not explain specifically what would be involved. Mt. Crested Butte community development director Carlos Velado wrote via email that it is his understanding the third-party engineer is coming in to assess the fire suppression system. “I will be unable to allow occupancy of the building until the life safety systems are back in place,” Velado continued.
Unfortunately for all involved, answers on a move-in date are not forthcoming, and Harper is hesitant to make promises. “I appreciate everyone’s efforts and getting the building dried out is a huge step, but we have many more steps to take before we can let anyone back in the building,” said Harper. He continued, stating, “Everybody is working incredibly hard on this thing and the problems this has caused. It is not being taken lightly.”