With the beautiful weather, scenic views, adventure destinations and number of job opportunities, many people across the country choose Colorado as their permanent or seasonal home. The local economy depends on the many essential workers receiving low-to-medium wages to perform essential services in our ski towns, schools, universities, hospitals and government agencies. But with a high cost of living, local employers have found it difficult to recruit and retain a high-quality workforce.
The cost of living, specifically for housing, is an average of seven percent higher in Colorado than other U.S. locations. According to Colorado Public Radio, “rent prices have grown 13 percent in the last year in Denver, while home prices are up nearly 20 percent for the year, and it’s even worse in mountain counties.” With a significant problem state-wide, Saunders has partnered with our clients to provide solutions for local workforce housing — creating better communities one project at a time.
So far, Saunders has completed one workforce housing project, with two currently underway. As a local general contractor, Colorado is where our employees and their families live, work and play. We strive to invest in local communities and Build What Matters to ensure Colorado communities are attainable for all. By constructing over 500 units, we are helping alleviate the financial pressures for new and current residents, and create new opportunities for the local workforce.
Peak View Apartments
The Estes Valley experienced a lack of available housing and affordable options, resulting in a lack of essential workers in schools and local businesses. In 2021, Saunders Heath partnered with the Estes Park Housing Authority to complete the Peak View Apartments. This three-story, 26-unit housing development was developed to serve workforce individuals in the Estes Valley and requires at least one member of the household to be employed within the boundaries of Estes Park School District R-3.
Rendezvous Trails Apartments
Colorado State University (CSU) recently conducted an employee housing survey, showing that many of their employees can’t afford to live in the community where they work. In September 2022, Saunders Heath broke ground on a new workforce housing project, The Rendezvous Trails Apartments, in Fort Collins, Colo. Made possible by a partnership between CSU, Timberline Church and Tetrad Real Estate, this project is a seven-building, 180-unit housing complex offering one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments — 60 of which will be prioritized for CSU employees.
Winter Park Workforce Housing
The Winter Park Ski Resort employs over 500 people each ski season, many who travel from all over the world to spend the winter season working on the mountain. The resort currently offers limited housing for workers in town, but affordable options in the community haven’t been able to keep up with demand. In October 2022, Saunders completed foundations for the resort’s new 330-unit workforce housing complex. Eliminating the multi-bed, dorm-style living, this project will offer studio and one-bedroom apartments becoming the first workforce housing project in the area offering private accommodations for the resort’s year-round and seasonal employees.
Teena Bergstrand, Marketing and Communication Director