Archive for November, 2011
As 2011 winds down and 2012’s New Year’s Resolutions are starting to take shape, consider making your New Year’s Resolution this year relocating to Aspen and Snowmass Village.
Here are the top ten reasons why living in Aspen/Snowmass Village will lead to a happier, healthier and more fully developed YOU!
#1.) Aspen has good, solid Old West history with a Cinderella twist.
Founded in 1879, and originally called Ute City, Aspen became, for a short while, the leading producer of Silver in the country. After mining was shut down and World War II drew to a close, the quiet town of Aspen drew socialites Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke. They transformed the former mining town into a central hub of intellectual, physical and artistic development of the entire person by founding the Aspen Institute, Aspen Ski Co and Aspen Music Festival and School.
#2) It’s breathtakingly beautiful!
From the Maroon Bells to the four peaks of Aspen and Snowmass Village to downtown Aspen and Snowmass Village, the panoramic vistas are unparalleled – anywhere.
#3) Every season is amazing.
Winter is a magical wonderland, with drifts of powdered snow, crystalline ice cycles hanging from the eaves and bright, crisp, winter sunshine peering out from a perfect, blue sky. Spring brings forth new life with a bold and inspiring vengeance. Sprigs of green, buds of purple and pink fight their way through the frosty ground to usher in the warmer days. Summer in Aspen and Snowmass Village borders on perfection. Never hot, perfectly temperate, with an invasion of green, accented with vibrant red, blue, purple and orange. Fall in the Rocky Mountains unveils the wonder of the forest. Aspens wrapped in gold, deep red and bright orange preface the cool tones of coming winter.
#4). Life here is simply…better
The adult diabetes rate in Pitkin County is 4.5%, compared to the 5.3% of the rest of the state of Colorado. The average commute to work in Aspen is less than 15 minutes, with almost a quarter of residents walking to work, and another sizeable chunk working from home. Education levels in Aspen are close to 45% of the population having their Bachelor’s degree, while 10% have earned their Master’s degree, and close to 5% have earned their Doctorate. While the rest of the state flounders with a 9.2% unemployment rate, Aspen’s unemployment is at a low 6.2%. (http://www.city-data.com/city/Aspen-Colorado.html)
#5.) The skiing in Snowmass Village and Aspen is out of this world!
SkiMagazine.com rated Snowmass Village #6 for best overall resort in the 2010/2011, while Aspen Mountain was ranked #7 and Aspen Highlands was ranked #10. Beyond magazine ratings, the skiing and snowboarding in Snowmass Village and Aspen is known throughout the world as a top of the line downhill experience.
#6.) Aspen and Snowmass Village are truly small towns.
Aspen’s most recent population count tops it out at 6,089 and Snowmass Village holds its own at 2,016 people. They are both towns in which neighbors know each other and reach out to one another in times of need. Virtually every activity or event has some aspect focused on meeting the interests of the children and families within the community.
#7). Aspen and Snowmass Village don’t feel like small towns.
Although less than 10,000 people call Aspen/Snowmass Village home, major designers, jewelers, and big name shop keepers also call Aspen/Snowmass Village home. These people have migrated to the beautiful mountain town to enjoy the lifestyle here, and they have brought along their remarkable trades, talents and fabulous products.
#8). Life here is FUN.
Winter, summer, spring and fall, something fun is always happening in Aspen and Snowmass Village. Whether it is the Food & Wine Festival or the X-Games, or the Aspen Film Fest, great minds, artists and performers flock to Aspen and Snowmass Village year round to share their knowledge, and broaden the horizons of those in Pitkin County.
#9). The Food
Celebrity chefs, chefs trained in far off culinary schools and those born and bred in Aspen and Snowmass Village have created a food culture on the same level as New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. From creative fusion, to classical dining to organic, farm fresh cooking – whatever you’re craving, they’re serving it up in Aspen and Snowmass Village.
#10). Residents of Aspen and Snowmass Village are living it up.
It’s no secret. Aspen and Snowmass Village have nightlife like few other cities in the world. Belly Up Aspen has been known to host big names such as Snoop Dog and the b-52’s, among many others. Clubs, bars and breweries all over town keep things rocking all year long.
Click here to get started on fulfilling this year’s resolution and see homes, condos and properties in the Aspen/Snowmass Village area now, and be ahead of the game in 2012!
Aspen is known for its star sightings and celebrity residents. This kind of Hollywood star power does more than make exciting encounters on the ski slopes; it creates cultural and artistic opportunities for the population as a whole. One example of this can be seen in the Aspen Film Academy Screenings.
Beginning December 21st and continuing until January 1st, Aspen Film will continue an over twenty-year tradition by hosting its Academy Screenings. Begun in 1992 in an effort to allow members of the Academy the opportunity to view potential Oscar films while on holiday in Aspen, or other nearby Colorado resort towns. However, unlike many Academy Screenings throughout the country, the Film Fest allows the general public to join the Academy execs in viewing Oscar quality films, some of which never make it out of theatres in New York, and Hollywood.
This year the big films in contention for the Oscar title showing at the Film Festival Academy Screenings are ‘The Descendants,’ with Hollywood favorite George Clooney, ‘The War Horse,’ directed by Steven Spielberg, ‘The Artist,’ a French film, ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,’ with Tom Hanks in a post-911 film about loss, family and the power of words. ‘The Iron Lady,’ about Margret Thatcher, will show along with ‘Young Adult,’ with Charlize Theron, ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,’ based on a spy novel by John Le Carre, ‘My Week With Marilyn,’ about Marilyn Monroe and ‘Shame,’ a psycho-sexual thriller.
Other films of note, Ralph Fiennes’ film ‘Coriolanus,’ ‘Undefeated,’ about a losing football team and ‘Melancholia,’ along with a few others, will also show throughout the two weeks of the Aspen Film Academy Screenings.
‘Undefeated’ kicks the festival off on Thursday, December 22nd. There are no showings on Christmas Eve or Christmas. ‘My Week with Marilyn’ plays the day after Christmas. Screenings of all of the films throughout the two weeks will play at various times at the Harris Concert Hall. ‘The Descendants’ wraps the screenings up at an 8 p.m. showing on Sunday, January 1st. Times and tickets are available on the website. In case advance tickets sell out, a wait list will begin 30 minutes before the film.
According to the Aspen Film’s mission statement, the goal of the organization is to, “enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film.” In addition to the Academy Screenings, Aspen Film hosts the Aspen FilmFest, the Aspen ShortsFest, summer programs and other special events. Aspen Film is committed to exposing members of the community to fine art through film. Every year over 30,000 people take advantage of the Aspen Film programs and festivals, and over 100 Aspen Film guests visit the Aspen area to encourage education and appreciation of film, with over 90% of Aspen Film events being free of charge.
It’s more than just films and Academy nominations. See all the star power Aspen and Snowmass Village have to offer its residents, click here to see homes, condos and investment properties in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area.
One look at the runway on December 28th will show, without a doubt, that Dennis Basso is not simply a designer ~ he is an artist. Through his fantastic use of texture, subtle coloring and contrast, Dennis Basso creates fashion that is not only exotic and gorgeous, but also totally wearable and appropriate on and off the runway.
Dennis Basso’s work began humbly, by simply designing pelts and selling them from the trunk of his car. However, his work was so exceptional that by 2002 he had been inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America. He has subsequently become a well-known face at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Bryant Park, New York.
Beyond designing fashion at the highest level, Basso has also created a more affordable line of clothing as well, with the same level of quality and attention to detail for which he has become famous. Perhaps due to his humble beginnings, Basso is deeply committed to several philanthropic causes. To name just a few of his beneficiaries, the Children’s Hearing Institute, American Cancer Society, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Alzheimer’s Association, which named him Humanitarian man of the Year Award in 2005.
Basso is also deeply committed to funding and supporting the Fine Arts. This is evident in his annual fundraiser for the Aspen Art Museum, ‘Freestyle.’ Basso perceives his own designs as a contemporary art form. Therefore the combination of his fashion and the art of the AAM is a natural and harmonious union.
This annual après ski event features champagne, top-shelf liquor, caviar, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and a Dennis Basso runway show with his Fall 2011 collection. This year’s collection is a beautiful range of dresses, slacks, skirts, blouses and coats in various shades of taupe and gray, accented with elegant full furs and faux furs. His knit dress designs are beautiful both in construction and material. As
always, Dennis Basso will have the best runway models displaying his work for the Aspen Art Museum supporters. Socialites from around the county and the world, along with Hollywood faces and the run-of-the-mill Aspen and Snowmass Village residents, look forward to this exciting evening all year.
The red carpet rolls out at 4:30 p.m. at the St. Regis Hotel in Aspen. The event is expected to last until at least 7:30. Legendary Sotheby’s auctioneer Simon de Pury is to be the auctioneer at the event. Tickets to the event can be purchased on the Aspen Art Museum website, with a beginning price of $200. Donors can purchase an entire table or simply a seat or pair of seats at a table. There are underwriting opportunities as well, in which donors can contribute to the cost associated with food, drinks, security or even parking detail.
No holiday season is complete without a fashion show of Dennis Basso’s caliber. Wrap up 2011 at this fantastic event, and then take a look at homes, investment properties and condos in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area, where high fashion, fantastic art and fabulous homes are waiting for you around every corner.
As families in Pitkin County clear away the Thanksgiving Feast this week,
they will also put away the yellow, gold and orange colors of fall. Pumpkins,
scarecrows and decorative corn will be replaced with the festive green and red or
bright blue and silver of the upcoming Holiday Season. With this change of décor,
many homes have begun to plan for the annual addition of the Christmas tree.
In Pitkin County adding the Christmas tree is more than pulling a plastic tree
out of a box, or wandering around a paved lot trying to select a pre-cut tree. Here, in
Snowmass Village and Aspen, a fresh tree straight from the forest is as easy as 1,2,3.
The Aspen Times reported this week that permits from the White River National
Forest are available for those individuals for whom cutting the annual tree is as
essential to their holiday traditions as cookies for Santa. Permits this year are $10
and can be purchased at any White River National Forest office.
There is nothing like an afternoon out in the White River National Forest on a
pleasant winter’s day walking among the trees and finding, ‘the perfect tree.’ Pitkin
County is home to hundreds of species of coniferous trees, such as Blue Spruce,
Douglas fir, Two-Needle Pinyon and the Common Juniper. All of these trees make
beautiful trees with which to decorate the home. The Douglas Fir and the Colorado
Blue Spruce are ranked in the United States in the top ten of favorite Christmas trees
(About.com), making the forests surrounding Aspen and Snowmass Village a
Christmas tree heaven with the best of the best trees from which to select. The
Pinyon tree is a unique tree, with a distinctly Southwestern feel ~ perfect for
someone looking for a tree with a very local flair or someone with Southwestern
décor in their home.
Christmas tree hunters should check with the White River National Forest for
specifications on the species of trees they can select, as well as the designated areas
in which they can tree-hunt when they purchase their permits. The White River
National Forest is also offering free maps of tree cutting areas. The beauty of the forest combined with the crisp, fresh air and crunchy white snow underfoot heightens the anticipation for the Holidays. As much fun as the tree-hunt is, the very best part of a freshly cut, and local tree is the zesty, pine smell, which fills the home and enhances the Holiday Spirit in every nook and cranny. Sprigs or branches cut from fresh pine trees make beautiful wreaths when wrapped with ribbons and adorned with berries or bows. These wreaths look beautiful when hung on doors and in windows and make thoughtful, hand-made gifts.
Find your own home, residence or condo tucked in amid the Christmas trees
of White River National Forest this year. To see these beautiful properties in the
Snowmass Village and Aspen area click here! www.GregRulon.com
It is a commonly known in the North Pole that Santa and his reindeer have a special place in their hearts for Aspen and Snowmass Village. It might be because of the beautiful snow, the high mountains, or the magic that wraps itself around the quaint towns nestled in the heart of Winter Wonderland. Whatever the reason, the calendar in Aspen and Snowmass Village during the month of December is chock full of Santa sightings – particularly during Aspen’s Holiday Celebration, The Twelve Days of Aspen.
As Santa and his reindeer take up residence in Aspen, first at the Limelight Lodge on the 21st and then at the Jerome Hotel on the 23rd, he will make sure that the children of Aspen have ample opportunity to sit with him and chat about their Christmas Wish List. He will even open up his reindeer’s stables to the children at Wagner Park Clock Tower while he’s in town. Although Santa likes his sleigh best, he does love a ride on a real fire truck. Because he is such a special Aspen visitor, the firemen will give him a tour of town on their fire truck on December 22nd.
After Santa’s ride, while he naps or takes a break to fatten up with cookies, the magic of the Holidays will carry on all around town. Beginning on December 20th the Silver Circle Ice Rink will kick off the fun with free ice skating and delicious chili specials. The rest of the week leading up to Christmas will be packed with Teddy Bear story times, holiday ornament making and cookies, cocoa and S’mores. Theatre Aspen will also be showing its ‘Annie’ performance on both December 20th, 21st. and 23rd.
While the children of Aspen will be busy preparing for their role of the most well prepared for Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve, the big kids in town will get their own time with Santa and his elves after dark. The Twelve Days of Aspen Drink Specials will circle town like the spirits from Christmases Past, Present and Future, beginning at CP Burger and cycling through Finbarr’s, Su Casa, J Bar, The Red Onion, and Cantina to name just a few. Meanwhile, Belly Up Aspen will be hosting Rufus Wainwright, The Flaming Lips and G. Love and Special Sauce. The Wheeler Opera House will have a few guests of its own, including Crystal Palace Revue and the Aspen Laff Fest 2011.
For those seeking a less wild and more traditional approach to the Holidays, the Local Vocals Victorian Carolers will be at the Hotel Jerome on both the 23rd and 24th. A Winter Solstice walk will also be available on December 22nd, hosted by Aspen Sojourner, in which residents can celebrate this shortest of nights and the natural wonder of the earth’s annual cycle.
Of course after Santa packs up his bags and heads home, everyone will want some time on the slopes. At the end of a long day recovering from Christmas and preparing for New Year’s on the slopes, some Après Ski time in and around Aspen is essential. The Après Ski scene in Aspen is always hopping; The Twelve Days of Aspen are no exception. Along with great drink specials on New Year’s Eve, Aspen Mountain will light up with seemingly magical fireworks reflected off the snow and shining up into the heavens, to close out one year and bring in a new one!
Aspen is a special place to live all year around, but the Twelve Days of Aspen remind residents exactly how special it is. Follow Santa’s lead and make Aspen or Snowmass Village your home-away-from-home or even your permanent address. Click here to see remarkable homes, condos and residences in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area this Holiday Season!
It is the traditional holiday performance, and yet when performed by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, everything you thought you knew about The Nutcracker melts away.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has over twenty years experience as a nationally recognized dance company. Their work ranges from modern ballet to traditional all the way to Folklorico. This incredible range of performance allows choreographers and dancers alike the liberty to bring a new interpretation to traditional pieces such as The Nutcracker, while retaining the timeless storyline.
This year’s performance will feature vibrant costumes and incredible sets, along with a cast of 60 dancers, actors and circus artists. The combined effort of the dancers, costumers, producers and directors will bring to life Clara, her father, The Nutcracker, soldiers – all the way down to the tiny mice and the Rat King in a moving and unforgettable performance.
In a collaboration of dancers and influences from both Aspen and Santa Fe, the ASFB splits its time between Aspen and Santa Fe, when not touring the country and the world. This year their Winter Season will feature The Nutcracker in Aspen and Santa Fe, as well as in Omaha, Nebraska. However, the Winter Season does not stop there, MOMIX – Botanica will round out its Winter season, debuting in Aspen in January, while a new ballet by choreographer Norbert De La Cruz III will take the stage in February. This year’s tour will include stops in Virginia, Florida, Utah and Missouri, where the ASFB will perform into late winter and early spring. The ASFB will end their winter tour with a performance in Chicago in the late spring with Jiri Klian’s Stamping Ground, in addition to other pieces.
Because the Aspen, Snowmass Village and Santa Fe communities love and generously support their local, but nationally acclaimed ballet, the ASFB is able to give back to their home towns by offering free ballet and Folklorico experiences to middle school and elementary school students within Pitkin County and Santa Fe. Firmly ensconced with the idea that the celebration of the arts, and particularly dance, inspires, “a new generation of creative thinkers and artists.” The ASFB uses its resources to create safe, healthy and affordable experiences for the children within their communities. True to their roots in the Southwest, the ASFB wants to encourage education and celebration of the rich culture of Mexican heritage in the Southwest.
While ASFB is an essential and critical aspect of Aspen and Snowmass Village and their respective communities, it is not uncommon for successful art endeavors or businesses to give back to the less fortunate in Pitkin County. Aspen and Snowmass Village pride themselves on the intimate relationships between all residents and their reciprocating willingness to pitch in to make the world and their community a better place.
Don’t miss your chance to see ASFB’s version of The Nutcracker on December 17th and 18th at the Aspen District Theatre with matinee and an evening performances. Tickets begin at $20 and go up to $74. Contact Aspen Show Tickets for more information.
You can see The Nutcracker almost anywhere during the Holiday season. However, no one brings the flair, refinement and sophistication found in the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Make the ASFB your Holiday tradition, and with it, make Aspen/Snowmass Village your home. Click here to see homes, condos and properties tucked away in a community that cherishes fine art, along with a deep sense of community.
It’s never quite what one would think when dealing with events in Aspen. Somehow, this town manages to give even the most straightforward fundraiser an unexpected twist. Summit for Life is no exception.
One might expect a fundraiser for the Chris Klug Foundation and organ donation to be a conventional 10K or marathon race held in the morning during the warmer months of the year. But no, The 6th Annual Summit for Life is scheduled for December 10th at 5p.m. for recreational participants and 6p.m. for competitive participants. Racers will choose their footwear and then head 2.5 miles up the mountain – in the dark, as fast as possible.
Up on top of Aspen Mountain an after-party awaits hikers, skiers, snowshoers and runners with a delicious dinner by The Little Nell, along with dessert, refreshments, live music, awards, a raffle and a very, very good time.
Only the pre-party could be more fun than the after-party. On December 9th Wine & Dine for Life will kick off the fun at The Sky Hotel. Pacifica, a renowned Aspen seafood restaurant, will host the dinner with seafood and wine pairings. This dinner will be a wonderful opportunity for friends, supporters, and participants to join Chris Klug for a formal dinner.
More fun will follow on Friday night at the Party for Life over at 39 Degrees Lounge with a DJ, dancing and drinks. Participants who raise more than $1,000 will be recognized by free entrance to the party and access to the VIP area.
For those who have too much fun Friday night, or who are less than excited about mountain climbing in the cold, dark, December night air, The Ride for Life might be the perfect way to support Chris Klug and his organ donation foundation. The Silver Queen Gondola will send supporters right up the mountain to cheer for those crazy enough to climb the mountain and then enjoy the after-party.
Supporters, who are quite literally ‘snowed in,’ can still participate! The Snowed in Donation is a great way to support the cause from afar, or from behind a snowdrift.
The Chris Klug Foundation, founded in 2003 by Chris Klug, professional snowboarder, liver transplant recipient and Olympic Medalist, has spent the last eight years promoting organ donation and the health, wellbeing and happiness of donor candidates, recipients and their families. The Chris Klug Foundation is dedicated to educating and promoting organ donation in a fun and uplifting manner.
The Summit for Life fits that bill! Not only is it extremely physically challenging, it is great fun from start to finish. Aspen, home to Chris Klug and his family, with its fun-loving, and extremely supportive community, is just the place to host such an unusual fundraiser.
Grab your snowshoes, and climb the mountain for the Chris Klug Foundation. After recovering from climbing Aspen Mountain, and from enjoying Aspen and its residents it all of their glory, take the afternoon to look at homes, condos and investment properties in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area.
Come home to a community that will go out in the middle of a December night to show support for one of its own! Come home to Aspen/Snowmass Village.
Snow is forecasted to fall on Aspen and Snowmass Village for five out of the next ten days, leading those at Aspen Skiing Company to push for an early opening on Snowmass Mountain. Rather than the original opening day of November 24th, Snowmass Mountain will open for the season on November 19th!
Great early snow and cold temperatures this year have created perfect skiing conditions on 160 acres of terrain. The Village Express and Big Burn lifts will be open, allowing skiers access to more than 3,200 vertical feet of skiing and 7 trails of terrain. According to www.AspenSnowmass.com, The Sky Cab Gondola, the Ski School Magic Carpet as well as trails, Sneaky’s Mick’s Gully, Max Park, Lunchline, Upper Scooper, Hals and Fanny Hill will all be open. If the weather continues to bring snow to the Rocky Mountains, more terrain will be added. Two terrain parks will open on the 19th as well.
While excitement is building in Snowmass to get the mountain ready, those in Snowmass Village are pushing to make sure that their businesses are ready to welcome skiers from around the world. Snowmass Village has seen a changing of the guard this year as a few restaurants closed their doors at the end of last year’s season. Garnish, Bucchi and The Sweet Life closed their Snowmass doors, leaving great spaces for new and innovative restaurants and shops. A great deal of interest has been shown in these spaces, according to the Aspen Business Journal. It will be exciting to see what the next phase of Snowmass Village brings to its residents and visitors.
While prospective restaurants negotiate their place in Snowmass, new blood has already arrived in town to fill any voids. Neilson’s Village Tavern opened its doors this past weekend. This new spot garnered a healthy crowd throughout the weekend. Local owner, Jason Neilson, has years of experience working in the Aspen and Snowmass Village food scene. He describes his restaurant’s fare as, “sticking to a pub menu, with a conscience.” Neilson’s plan is to do this by cooking with organic foods and maintaining a family oriented focus.
While some new restaurants are making a splash, old favorites such as Base Camp spent the last few weeks refreshing its winter menu and preparing for a new winter season.
Things are gearing up in Aspen as well. Aspen Mountain will open as planned on the 24th of November, while Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are not far behind with December 10th planned as opening day on those mountains. Aspen restaurants and businesses are working to put their best face forward when their big day arrives.
While the thermostat keeps dropping up in the Rocky Mountains, things are getting hotter by the minute! Swing on in and enjoy opening day of the new ski/snowboard season in Snowmass Village and Aspen. While you’re at it, take a peek at some home, residences and condos in the Pitkin County area.
The market shows signs of coming back! See the article below found in the Aspen Business Journal quoting me regarding the recent report from Land Title showing the real estate sales for September 2011 in Pitkin County.
ABJ Real Estate Report: Strongest September since 2008
November 3, 2011, 8:24 pm
By Madeleine Osberger
This home in Aspen’s West End sold for $9.6 million, highlighting the strongest September since 2008. More images
During September, a total of $137,723,013 in sales were recorded in Pitkin County, a 38 percent leap as compared to the same month in 2010. That’s the second strongest dollar month for the year, according to reports released by Land Title Guarantee Company. The total number of transactions, 86, also showed an increase of 38 percent over Sept. 2010.
Year to date, dollars for Pitkin County total $977,073,114, which reflects an 18.8 percent increase over the same time period last year. Aspen was responsible for 34 transactions, or $88.7 million in sales, including a $9.6 million single family residence within the city limits. In Snowmass Village, there were eight transactions totaling $16 million.
“We’re seeing some sales but it’s certainly not booming,” said Greg Rulon, a broker with Joshua & Co. in Snowmass Village, who noted that the road to recovery is taking place, albeit slowly. “The long-term trends are good, that bodes well. I think we’re going to ease out of this thing but it’s not going to happen overnight.”
Rulon said savvy buyers in this market are seeking the best value for the money and are discerning in their investments. “It’s the best priced properties, imagine that! We’re dealing with very sophisticated buyers that are looking for value,” he said.
If there are 10 units available in a particular complex, “The best value is going to sell first. Even the high end is more focused on that these days,” Rulon added.
Sellers in this market need to be patient as many properties are taking longer to move than before. A review of five properties – priced from $700,000 to $7 million- that sold in September showed time on the market ranging from 134 days to 1,042 days, or nearly three years.
All five had seen significant price reductions prior to sale, with an $8.8 million home a seeming bargain given its $14.9 million original list price.
In Garfield County, “transaction strength continued” from the prior month, while dollar volume decreased, according to Land Title. All told in Sept. 2010, there were 83 transactions for the month, which reflects a 50 percent increase over Sept. 2010. Total dollar amounts were $18,404,300, which is below August’s whopping $35.7 million in sales. But keep in mind that August 2011 was the second best single month in more than two-and-a-half years for Garfield County.
Bank sales continue to be strong in this market, with a total of 29 recorded in the county accounting for $3.8 million. According to Land Title, these accounted for 35 percent of the transactions and 21 percent of the dollars for the month. That’s on track with how bank sales are looking for the year, as well.
Phil Weir, a broker with Mason Morse in Glenwood Springs, also believes that right pricing is key as buyers are benefitting from the downward pressures placed upon properties by short sales and other factors.
“Prices are being established in certain areas where things will sell,” he said. “If bottom is where people buy property, we’re there.”
Weir, who has worked in this valley for 34 years and was also a broker while living in Roatan, Honduras, noted an increase in activity in both Lakota Canyon Ranch and Castle Valley.
“I was very surprised in that when I pulled up the statistics, there were 19 homes under contract, (and) 40 homes have sold since the first of the year. That’s amazing,” Weir said.
As is true in Aspen/Snowmass, many of those homes are being sold at enviable prices (at least from the buyers’ perspective) and have undergone several price reductions. That shift, coupled with loan programs ranging from FHA to rural development loans, have allowed certain buyers the opportunity to enter the current market.
Weir said that this year he’s “sold five houses to teachers,” and also noted that the real estate recovery depends on jobs. Plus, there’s a growth in businesses – from Valley View Hospital’s new cancer center to the implementation of a four-year degree from Colorado Mountain College – which are being taken as positives for Garfield County.
“We’ve weaned downvalley a little bit off upvalley,” he said, a reference to the decreased importance of Aspen/Snowmass as a job hub.
Back up in Snowmass Village, Greg Rulon is staying positive after two strong months of Pitkin County real estate sales. While we remain miles away from the sales of six years ago, where in September 2005 there were 188 transactions and an astonishing $313,880,500 in sales, the proverbial light is shining at the end of the tunnel.
“Activity begets activity. It’s contagious,” Rulon said. Yet in a nod to the longer process now surrounding a transaction, he said “every sale has a story.”
September transactions at a glance
Dollar volume: $137,723,013
Number of transactions: 86
Increase over September 2010 (dollar volume): 38%
Increase over September 2010 (transaction volume) 38.7%
Year-to-date dollar volume: $977,073,114 (18.8% increase)
Year-to-date transactions: 584 (16.8% increase)
Bank sales: Three sales, $1.74 million (3.5% of sales, 1.3% of dollar volume)
Year-to-date bank sales: 45, $30.3 million (8% of sales, 3% of dollar volume)
Average single-family home price through Sept.: $4.1 million (down 5% from full year 2010)
Median single-family home price through Sept.: $3.5 million (up 11% from full year 2010)
Fractional sales: 24 (26% increase over Sept. 2010)
Fractional dollar volume: $8.7 million (7 percent increase over Sept. 2010)
Year-to-date fractional sales: 175 (31% increase over 2010)
Fractional dollar volume: $75.8 million (5% increase over 2010)
Dollar volume: $18,404,300
Number of transactions: 83
Increase over September 2010 (dollar volume): 3.5%
Increase over September 2010 (transaction volume) 50.91%
Year-to-date dollar volume: $208,106,900 (21% increase)
Year-to-date transactions: 664 (32.8% increase)
Bank sales: 29 sales, $3.8 million (35% of sales and 21% of dollar volume)
Year-to-date bank sales: 237, $42.7 million (36% of transactions, 21% of dollar volume)
Average single-family home price: $329,063 (down 15% from 2010)
Median single-family home price: $238,900 (down 20% from 2010)
Through September, 82 percent of the single family sales were $400,000 or less
Aspen and Snowmass Village draw adventuresome folk. Some come for extreme skiing, some for snowboarding, others come for the mountain biking, hiking and climbing. Still others come to Aspen and Snowmass Village for an often-overlooked extreme sport – dog sledding.
Dog sledding has been used for over a thousand years for hunting and transportation in the far north of the earth and more recently in snowy, mountainous places. Today most people see dog sledding as less of a mode of survival and more of an extreme way to get out in the backcountry and experience a more rustic winter experience.
The truly wonderful and most powerful aspect of dog sledding is working with and observing the dogs. Generally Siberian husky or Alaskan malamutes, although there are several other breeds of dogs that have been used, these dogs are incredibly intelligent, strong and resilient creatures. Their differing roles within the team are interesting to watch. While the relationship between the dogs and their driver is bond rarely seen between animals and mankind and develops with hard work and dedication on the part of the trainer and the dog.
Snowmass Village is proud to have been home to its own dog sledding experience for the last 36 years. Krabloonik, an extreme dining and outdoor adventure combined in one fantastic location, offers residents of Snowmass village and visitors alike, a winter experience unlike any other. At Krabloonik adventuresome souls can take a morning, afternoon or evening ride through the wilderness, pulled by 10 gorgeous Alaskan dogs.
Riders, ages 3 and up, are accompanied by the driver and guide through a series of trails which allow views and wildlife encounters not possible on car, foot or by snowmobile. A stop halfway through the ride allows riders to walk around, appreciate the winter weather and enjoy a hot drink. The dogs take a well earned, and much enjoyed break before heading back to headquarters.
Included in the experience is a three-course lunch or four-course dinner featuring local game and fish after the two-hour long excursion. Krabloonik is famous for its baked Brie with poached pears, almonds and Lingonberry jelly. Those with an adventurous pallet will enjoy such entrees as buffalo and wild boar, among many other tantalizing selections. Desserts such as Swedish Cream and Cheesecake Brulee round out the dinner menu making the dining experience as much as a treat as the sled rides.
Krabloonik is home to many dogs and many puppies. Visitors are invited to submit names for the newest puppies, allowing visitors an enduring connection with the dogs. Upon retirement Krabloonik also offers adoption of its senior dogs to approved families.
Very few places in the world offer the rustic experience of dog sledding within minutes of luxury hotels, fine dining and world renowned shopping, allowing those wanting a taste of the rustic life a small sample of this exhilarating lifestyle, with all the comfort of a resort experience.
After you’ve enjoyed your own rustic experience, click here to see homes, residences and condos in the Snowmass Village and Aspen where you and your newly adopted Krabloonik dog can settle down to both the finer things in life and the wilder things too.