Ski Magazine’s Resort & Real Estate Review

Ski Magazine Releases their Resort Guide
Summit County gets some good exposure, featured in several articles!

Every year Ski magazine rankes the top 50 resorts in North America.  This year, Breckenridge was ranked 9th, Keystone 16th, and Copper 19th.  Just down the road and included in the Colorado and Epic passes, Vail is ranked 2nd and Beavercreek is 6th.  Colorado contains 11 of the top 20 resorts!  It’s no wonder that Colorado is the top skiing destination in the country. 

Here is their article entitled Mountains of Real Estate (make sure you read the whole article to get the full picture!):


Reprinted from Ski Magazine – October, 2008
By Paul Tolme
“Is it time to buy that dream ski home? With the real estate market in the deep freeze, there are some deals, albeit few steals.  And the Russians are coming. “
“Though overall real estate prices are down deeply in many ski towns, the number of foreign buyers has increased sharply.  Aided by the weak dollar, foreign bargain-hunters are a new force in mountain real estate, especially at big-name resorts such as Breckenridge, Colo.”
Full Article:
Ken Libby, A realtor in Stowe, Vt., recalls the boom years early this decade, when home prices rose 25 percent annually and a house sold on the day it was listed.  “Everyone from Boston to Baltimore was buying property in Vermont,” he says.  “I’ve been in this business 30 years, and I’d never seen that before-and probably won’t again.” Then came the 2007 mortgage crisis.  Sales plummeted.
After years of rising prices, ski-town real estate has cooled.  Sales were down as much as 50 percent across all resort markets in the first half of 2008.  At the hottest destination resorts such as Aspen and Vail, Colo. and Park City, Utah, prices have held firm-and even increased slightly.  But deals can be found in smaller, second-tier resort towns.
“We’ve had a big slowdown,” says Michael Hughes, a realtor at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Resort, where properties were selling for 20 percent below asking price in early 2008. “It’s a great time to buy,” says Hughes, who sold a two-bedroom slopeside condo in 2008 for $200,000.  The same property would have fetched $250,000 a few years earlier.
Buyers who took on adjustable-rate mortgages at the height of the bubble are seeing their premiums jump, and many are selling their ski vacation homes.  Stricter lending policies, however, have created a scarcity of buyers, Hughes says, so properties are sitting.
A downturn was inevitable, says James Chung of Reach Advisors, a New York consulting firm that does real estate market research for the ski industry.  “The resort market could not be sustained,” he says. “People aren’t buying stupdily anymore.”
With the U.S. houseing market in turmoil, Jane and John Carey figured 2008 was the ideal time to buy their dream vacation home at Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Resort.  The Wilmington, Del., couple found a five-bedroom, multi-story condominium in Teton Village that was listed for $1.8 million, and negotiated the sellers down to $1.6 million.  Hardly a steal, but in a resort where the average single family home sold for nearly $2 million in early 2008, the Careys believe they got a better deal than they would have at the height of the real estate boom. “We’ll see in a year whether we jumped too soon,” says Jane, a college administrator who’s husband is a banker.
Prices have remained high in Park City, Breckenridge, Colo., the Lake Tahoe area and other premier western destinations because these communities are typically surrounded by federal holdings.  “There is only so much buildable land in the mountains,” says Park City realtor Dennis Hanlon.  “It’s simple supply and demand.”  The average sale price in Park City was well above $700,000 in early 2008, he says.
Another factor keeping prices stable in affluent ski communities is that many sellers have the financial assets to wait for the right offer and reject low-ball bids.  “You don’t see foreclosures here like you do in the primary-residence market becaues our buyers are not getting into creative financing,” says Lake Tahoe realtor Brett Williams of Agate Bay Realty.  “We don’t have panic sellers.” The median sale price in Tahoe is down 2 percent in 2008 to $831,455.
Prices have also been buoyed by an influx of foreign buyers who are taking advantage of the weak dollar to scoop up plum properties.  We get a new contact from out of the country every week,” says Libby, in Stowe.  He was in the proccess of selling two homes to British citizens, aided by the strength of the pound.  One of the British families was buying a 6,000-square-foot-home for $1.6 million.  The average sale price in Stowe, by contrast, was about $450,000 in early 2008-up slightly from a year earlier.
Likewise in Aspen: “We’re getting a lot of interest from Asians, Europeans, and Eastern Europeans,” says Sarah Woefle of Aspen’s Sotheby’s.  Not to mention Russian oligarchs.  Moscow real estate is now among the world’s priciest, making real estate elsewhere a relative bargain.  In the past year, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has purchased two Snowmass, Colo. homes for a combined $48 million.
Jason Long of the Long Group in Breckenridge says he’s never seen so many foreign buyers in Summit County.  “They’ve seen the prices run up in Aspen and Vail, and they’re looking for the next best locations to buy.”  The average sale price of a single-family home in Summit County was $838,000 in early 2008, an increase from $799,000 the year before.  Townhouses and condominiums were selling for about $450,000.
Another trend is the increase of cash sales to affluent buyers eager to avoid the hassle of obtaining a mortgage.  “That tells me people are uncertain about the stock market, and they are looking for a place to park their money,” says Jack Stout of Jackson Hole Properties.
While prices are holding at premier resorts, they’re softening in outlying communities such as Victor, Idaho, just over Teton Pass from Jackson.  Public relations consultant Chris Denny bought a 2,300-square-foot log home in Voctor for $390,000 in early 2008.  The home had been on the market for more than a year and had been listed at $450,000. “I got a great deal because it was builder-owned, and the guy had to sell,” Denny says.  “I had him in a headlock.”
The good news for buyers is that the days of 20 percent annual appreciation are over. “Sanity has returned,” Woefle says.  Even so, mountain homes are still beyond the reach of most, especially at elite locales.  In Aspen, the average single-family home sold for nearly $6 million in 2007.  “We’re talking about a fortunate demographic,” Chung says.
A veteran ski-town real estate analyst, Chung gets asked all the time where to purchase property.  “My advice is always the same: Buy where you will use it.”  People should stop thinking of ski homes as investments, he says.  “If you’re buying strictly to make money, resort proeprty is not the smartest thing to do.  But if you’re buying ski property because you plan to use it, than there is no better way to spend your money.”
[end of article]

Vail Resorts makes high tech upgrade to ski passes

Starting this year, all Vail Resorts passes will have a new radio frequency technology that allows skiers to scan without getting their passes out of their pockets.

Ski Resorts Ramp up for Winter

Skiers and snowboarders will be greeted this year with new terrain, new lifts and new amenities at local resorts.  Breckenridge will open the Peak 7 base area at the Crystal Peak Lodge.  This is the first new base area since 1971.  This will include new snowmaking capability that will ensure Peak 7 will have good skiing by Christmas.  Keystone is replacing the River Run gondola which will double it’s capacity.  A-Basin is adding 300 more parking spaces and added a deck at the Black Mountain Lodge.  Finally, Copper plans to complete the extreme sports training facility, Camp Woodward.

Commercial and Residential Space to Grow near Frisco’s Main St.

Water Tower Place will offer 42 residential units and 14,000 square feet of commercial space near Frisco’s Main Street when it is completed.  It will be green certified and act as an extension of Main St.  Two buildings will be entirely residential.  The units facing Granite Street will have commercial space.  The residential units will range from $600,000 – $900,000 with luxury townhomes topping $1,000,000.  There wll also be 8 affordable housing units available.

Highest Real Estate Sale ever in Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge to delay Peak 6 expansion

Due to some concern from members of the public over Peak 6 expansion at the Breckenridge ski area the US Forest Service will delay a draft environmental study by 6 months, until early winter of 2008-2009.

Great Summer Music in Breckenridge, Colorado




The Breckenridge Music Festival is thrilled to announce it’s Blue River Series at the Riverwalk Center for the 2008 Season! The Blue River Series is the BMF’s non-classical concert series and the presenting sponsor of the 2008 BRS is Millennium Bank. This summer will offer something for everyone, from country and Celtic to American folk and rock.


The Blue River Series will kick off on Friday, June 27 with Richie Havens.  Richie Havens has one of the most recognizable voices in popular music which has inspired and electrified audiences from Woodstock, to the Clinton Presidential InaugurationTickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show; performance begins at 7:30pm.


On Thursday July 10, Cowboy Junkies with special guest Monahans will be performing at the Riverwalk Center.  Cowboy Junkies formed in Toronto in 1985 and few bands have lasted nearly as long with their original line-up intact, and fewer still have created as consistently satisfying a body of work.  Joining Cowboy Junkies will be Monahans who are able to remind us that qualitative adjectives like ‘ambient’ and ‘tranquil’ are not antithetical to rock & roll.  Tickets are $34 in advance and $39 day of show; performance begins at 7:30pm.  Sponsored by ResortQuest Breckenridge.  


On Sunday July 20, the BRS is excited to present An Evening with Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.  MacMaster’s enthusiastic charm and extraordinary skill has landed her star billing on the international folk circuit and multiple Grammy nominations.  MacMaster continues to stun crowds around the globe with her feverish fiddling and mesmerizing step dancing.  Donnell Leahy, fiddle player from “Leahy” the Canadian Celtic powerhouse, joins Natalie for this evening of Celtic revelry.  Tickets are $28 in advance and $34 day of show; performance begins at 7:30pm.   


The Blue River Series will welcome BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet on Tuesday, July 29Since forming in 1975, Grammy winners BeauSoleil have claimed their undisputed role as the most esteemed Cajun group in music today.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show; performance begins at 7:30pm.

Sunday, August 3 Robert Earl Keen will perform at the Riverwalk Center as a part of the BRS.  Among the large contingent of talented songwriters who emerged in Texas in the 1980s and 1990s, Robert Earl Keen struck an unusual balance between sensitive story-portraits (“Corpus Christi Bay”) and raucous barroom fun (“That Buckin’ Song”). Keen is popular with traditional country music fans, folk music fans, the college radio crowd and alt-country fans.  Tickets are $24 in advance and $29 day of show; performance beings at 7:30pm. .

Emerson Drive comes to shake things up at the Riverwalk Center Sunday August 10.  Following the smash success of their 2006 Countrified album, Emerson Drive is an Academy of Country Music 2008 award nominee for Top Vocal Group and Song Of The Year.  Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 day of show; performance begins at 7:30pm. Sponsored by Millennium Bank.

On Sunday August 17, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage will wrap up the 2008 Blue River Series at the Riverwalk Center.  The hardest working woman in bluegrass music is on the road in support of her new album Good Thing Going which has topped Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums Chart, Bluegrass Unlimited’s Top 15 Bluegrass Albums Chart and Bluegrass Music Profile’s Top 10 Bluegrass CDs Chart.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show; performance will begin at 7:30pm. Sponsored by Gordon, Hughes & Banks, LLP.


To purchase tickets to any of the Blue River Series concerts call the Riverwalk Center Box Office at 970. 547.3100 or visit and click ‘BUY TICKETS ONLINE NOW!” to purchase tickets via the internet.