The owners of the Colby School have put the property up for sale – after their development projects for the former school and prior to that, a bed and breakfast inn, were turned down the Summit County Council twice.
The owners of the Colby School, Hoffvest, LLC acquired the nearly six acre piece of property more than 6 years ago. A year later they applied for a 55 room hotel and small residential cabins with a 5,000 square foot restaurant. The application was scaled back and in 2017, the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission granted a permit for a 15-room hotel, restaurant, and yoga and fitness studios. The permit was appealed and later rescinded by the Summit County Council .
In 2020, the owners filed a second application for a bed and breakfast inn, which would allow for up to 8 rooms as long as an owner lived on site. That owner-occupied requirement stymied the project as the owners didn’t want to personally live there but wanted a caretaker on site. The application was again rejected by the county council who said that the application didn’t meet the county’s definition of owner-occupied.
The owners filed a lawsuit in Third District Court to overturn the council’s decision. Associate Broker and co-listing agent John Travis says they filed the lawsuit before their opportunity to do so expired. He didn’t know whether they plan to move forward with the legal action.
Realtor Daniel Ramos says Hoffvest is ready to move on to other investments.
Once the Colby School folded in 2008, the property sat vacant for six years before Hoffvest purchased it in 2014.
Travis says it’s a whole new ballgame today.
“We have a lot of interest actually,” Travis said. “I’m showing it twice on Thursday. In the last couple days, I’ve had five people call me interested. You know, all of those five frankly were boutique hotel people that were very interested in a boutique hotel, similar to what the current owners wanted to do originally – but I just have not encouraged that.”
The owners have it listed for $5.5 million. Ramos says they’ve decided to hold a call for offers on February 15th. A call for offer sets a date when all offers need to be put in and the owner can review all of them and choose the best one.
“And at that point the owners will evaluate the best potential use the buyer with the best potential use that is most likely to be approved by the county,” Ramos said. “And from there, the decision will be made.”
While the property has the potential to be a bed and breakfast as long as the owner lives on site, the agents say other uses include a single family estate, senior or assisted living, or a school, artist studio or other home-based business.