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For the week of February 26 - March 4, 2003


Elkhorn demolition starts after extensive delay

Treat Haus building razed on Friday

Express Staff Writer

The long-planned demolition of the Elkhorn Resort commenced in earnest on Friday, after negotiations over a performance bond delayed for two weeks the issuance of a city permit for the project.

Express photos by David N. Seelig
A backhoe operator for contractor Twin Falls Crane Service on Saturday begins to clear debris from the demolished Treat Haus building in Elkhorn Village.

A large backhoe equipped with a giant claw on Friday afternoon swiftly took down the building that once housed the Treat Haus snack shop and the Elkhorn Post Office, rendering the structure to a pile of debris in less than one hour.

Around the corner, workers for contractor Twin Falls Crane Service removed the roof of the former River Rock Steak House, preparing that building for demolition.

On Saturday, heavy machinery efficiently razed the neglected three-story conference structure between the restaurant and the Treat Haus.

While workers have been preparing the resort for demolition for several weeks, the main objective of the project—the razing of the Elkhorn Hotel and several adjacent buildings—was delayed because the city of Sun Valley had not yet issued an approved permit.

Sun Valley City Council members late Thursday issued conclusive approval of the terms of the demolition project, finally opening the door for CG-Elkhorn contractors to start the razing operation.

Council members Thursday approved two separate "project security" agreements between the city and CG-Elkhorn, both of which offer cash placed into an account in lieu of a bond.

An agreement related to the demolition and reclamation project required CG-Elkhorn to post security of $267,430 to the city. The amount was calculated by figuring 110 percent of the sum of the costs of the demolition contract ($181,140) and the landscape project ($61,979).

An agreement designed to cover the costs of any damage to city streets and infrastructure required the developer to post security of an additional $100,000.

City Attorney Rand Peebles noted Thursday that the demolition security agreement also places a "consensual lien" against the resort property to ensure all of the proposed work is properly completed. "Theoretically, the money they’ve posted isn’t enough to finish the job," he said.

Demolition of the hotel was originally scheduled to last from Feb. 6 through March 5. The Treat Haus and River Rock Steak House buildings were originally scheduled to be demolished and removed before Feb. 19.

However, the delay in starting the projects seemingly will not jeopardize CG-Elkhorn’s ability to complete the work. Sun Valley Community Development Director Jack Cloud said contractors will not be required to complete the work by a definite deadline date, but will be encouraged to complete the demolition work before the spring thaw to keep road damage—and subsequent payments to the city—to a minimum.

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.