A mining town has transformed in the last decade through a combination of job growth, recreation investment, and remote work. Idaho Springs has a bustling main street, some of the best biking, hiking, and rafting in the state, and is only 30 minutes away from world-class skiing and downtown Denver.
The main street (called Miner Street) has been preserved in its classic mountain town architecture and has a growing scene of restaurants, breweries, and shops. Also located downtown on Miner Street is a modern recreation center and the Golddigger Football Field. Four Points Funding acquired and re-zoned the football field in 2022 for the development of 119 units of housing, a park and single commercial unit.
Although hospitality and recreation are ever growing economic drivers, mining is still prominent in the area and creates strong jobs. The largest molybdenum mine in North America and the main gravel pit servicing Denver are local employers. The Argo Mill, a gigantic former gold mine in town that is already an attraction to visitors, has fully funded a gondola that will ascend 1,300 feet into the mountains from downtown to access an amphitheater, trails and a restaurant.
While growth has been strong, the availability and accessibility to developable land is scarce, creating a high barrier to entry. After years of long work in rezoning and entitling the property, we are excited to be close to beginning construction.
Pictured: a rendering of the Argo Mill gondola development
The Golddigger Football Field in Idaho Springs is iconic for anyone familiar with the Interstate-70 corridor, which is frequented by people heading west from Denver into the mountains. Drivers going by see Golddigger laminated in large letters across the stands over the field thinking “now that’s a good name for a high school mascot.” With our development of housing, football games will continue at a separate nicer field the school built years ago.
The Golddigger mascot is rooted in the mining history of the town, which is very much still alive. The main difference is that the metal being mined is no longer gold, and is now molybdenum. Molybdenum is predominantly used to strengthen steel products that need to withstand high temperatures, such as aircraft parts, motors, military armor, and light bulb filaments. The Henderson Mine is operated by Freeport-McMoRan and is one of the main employers in Idaho Springs and adjacent Summit County.
Pictured: Golddigger Football Field
The strong workforce and lack of housing in Idaho Springs is what originally caught our attention. In addition to mining and main street, the county school district is located in town, with the largest brewing facility in the world (Molson Coors), the largest casino in Colorado (Black Hawk), and Loveland Ski Area down the road.
In addition to Loveland, the ski areas of Winter Park, Breckenridge, Copper, Arapahoe Basin and Keystone are within a 60 minute drive. Being west of Denver, it’s much easier to beat the traffic too. Clear Creek runs through Idaho Springs, which is a popular rafting and fishing river. Just below the town, the river creates Clear Creek Canyon, a popular rock climbing and biking destination.
Idaho Springs is the closest town to some of the most treasured mountain bike trails in the state at Floyd Hill, Maryland Mountain, and Centennial Cone. Idaho Springs is also at the base of Mount Evans and Mount Bierstadt, two of the most climbed 14ers (a mountain that rises over 14,000 feet).
When we decided to buy the GoldDigger Field from the school district, there was risk involved in zoning and entitlements. The zoning and entitlement process took over two years. However, we brought the development into Fund V at cost with no additional fees for the work already complete. The development is called the Fieldhouse Apartments to pay tribute to the former football stadium.
As of September 1, 2023 the project has raised 90% of the $15.8M in required equity and is broadly soliciting the construction loan communicating with several banks. We plan to break ground when the capital stack is complete. Importantly, we have completed the remainder of our site plan work with environmental agencies to ensure full compliance and protection for this project. We expect this to be a very strong project for our investors and the community.
Pictured: a rendering of the Fieldhouse Apartments
*This is not an offer to sell securities of any investment fund or a solicitation of offers to buy any such securities. Securities of each of our OZ Funds managed by Four Points Funding, LLC are offered to selected investors only by means of a complete offering memorandum and related subscription materials which contain significant additional information about the terms of an investment in the Fund. Four Points Funding does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.