Kindred Resort in Keystone, Colorado Promises Superior Lift Access and Accommodations
February 5, 2024 – Summit County, Colo. – During the height of the winter ski and snowboard season and during the lowest of low temperatures and extreme snowfall, Encore Electric crews are building one of Keystone Resort’s newest hot spots, Kindred Resort. This new three-building, five-story residential and hotel facility is rising out of the ground steps from the River Run Gondola. When complete, the facility will include significant amenities for guests, including restaurants, an owner’s club and bar, ski school, spa, and salon.
“It is great to see another large-scale lodging project under construction in Keystone,” said John Clouse, Encore Electric preconstruction manager. “I personally worked on the neighboring Buffalo/Dakota Lodge fifteen years ago, and I feel honored to be a part of this project that will provide more access for Keystone visitors, enabling them to relax and enjoy Keystone Resort’s many trails.”
Superintendent Mike Mattie, a member of the Encore Electric team for 15 years, is no stranger to building resorts at high altitudes and weather extremes that typically accompany building in the mountains, but every project is unique. Kindred Resort has some distinctive characteristics, using Cold Formed Steel Framing (CFS), a hybrid steel structure that poses challenges for electricians.
“The framing is all structural, so the walls, the lower floors, hold up the decks and walls on all the upper floors,” said Mattie. “It is structural, and we cannot modify the structural framing by drilling holes for our wire. This project uses much more Romex, we also work with dropped ceilings, and we need to pull much more wire to get from one device to another.”
Walls are trucked in, and then dropped in place like a big erector set, and then concrete floors poured on top. This type of structure allows each level to utilize the floor space more efficiently because the vertical structural steel or concrete columns take up valuable tenant space.
“Because they’re prefabbed and structural and not easily changed, it’s been a challenge for our crew to lay out and route our scope of work, said General Foreman Dallas Seabourn. “Fortunately, we have an awesome Encore Electric crew here that’s able to think on their feet, roll with the punches, and come up with solutions as they go.”
For quality and accuracy, roughly 12,000 total station points were shot with about 2,000 left to shoot on the east tower decks. Without VDC and total station, everything would have been laid out with a tape measure, with a high likelihood of conflicts with other trades.
The planning and logistics have been particularly challenging. Kindred Resort is positioned in a very tight space between two waterways and adjacent to a high pedestrian and foot traffic area. In addition, it is surrounded by other occupied residences along with the Keystone River Run Gondola area. All of those challenges are then topped off with extreme temperatures and weather. Every aspect of the project is ever changing, and the more variables you can remove from the equation, the better it is for the project team.
“It took over a year to get the lighting approved for release, but we finally got it,” said Josh Carlson project engineer. “This is one of those projects that you take a picture of, put it in a frame in our front lobby, and say, ‘I built that!’ It’s a great project that can show our technical expertise and quality of work.”
Although each of the three buildings at Kindred Resort is different, within the structures there is significant opportunity for prefabrication, especially in the 107 rooms within the hotel building. In the condo buildings, every one of the 95 condo units has its own electrical panel. The Kindred team works hard to incorporate prefabrication wherever possible, especially within poured concrete and between floors or underground conduits. Prefabrication saves time on site, but also allows components to be built in controlled environments.
“The project has had some weather and design delays, so a solid preplan along with maximizing our use for prefab has been crucial and has been very helpful from a logistics standpoint as well,” said Seabourn. “With delays, it’s allowed us to pull other parts of our work ahead that we wouldn’t have necessarily been able to do.”
Crews work four 10-hour days per week. We caught up with the team on a cold but sunny Friday in December. The team that day was Journeyman Lerodrick (Lee) Redmond, third-year Apprentice Damian Amaro, as well as first-year Apprentice Jake Engelland. When asked about working for Encore Electric on this project, the team had immediate commentary.
“I am so glad to be working here,” said Journeyman Lee (Lerodrick) Redmond. “I want to retire from this company someday. I think of the quote, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’”
“As a first year apprentice, I found instant gratification working here,” said Engelland. “I like problem-solving, figuring something out and getting a solution, and I get to learn something new every day. So, it’s pretty cool.”
“I like the way we get treated, the way we stay busy, and how we have work,” said Amaro.
None of the team members that day had any complaints about the low temperatures. In fact, they said didn’t mind it at all; however, mud and rain in the spring are tough.
Kindred broke ground in November 2023 and topping out is expected in March 2024. With three buildings all connected by underground parking, the project is massive at 320,000-square-feet. At the project’s peak there will be around 20 Encore Electric electricians on the job.