April 2009

Gray Line to Continue Service to Aspen from DIA

Gray Line to Continue Service to Aspen from DIA

Gray Line will continue shuttle service from Denver International Airport and Eagle County Airport to Aspen.   Officials from Aspen Skiing Co. said the Gray Line service will continue its summer daily schedule as planned as well  as the upcoming winter daily schedule for the 2009/2010 season. 

A one way trip from DIA to Aspen costs $100 with five daily departures times. 

The new service to Aspen improved the travel experiences of out-of-state guests, providing another option for them when the weather is too bad to fly. 

Posted by rebecca on April 14, 2009 in
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Ever Dreamed of Having an Entire Ski Hill for Your own Personal Use?

Ever Dreamed of Having an Entire Ski Hill for Your own Personal Use?

Yesterday, Aspen Elementary students, staff, and one lucky parent per student were invited to ski Aspen Mountain.  An anonymous donor purchased the day of skiing as a fundraiser for Aspen Valley Ski Club, and donated it to the elementary school for their exclusive use.

Aspen Mountain closed to the public for the season on Sunday, but the Aspen Ski Company traditionally donates the day after closing to AVSC as an auction item, which typically brings in close to 1/3 of the club's annual fundraising goal.  

Close to 500 students from kindergarten to fourth grade enjoyed the day of skiing and free lunch at the Sundeck. 

Posted by rebecca on April 14, 2009 in
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Half Pipe House Fetches $12 Million

Half Pipe House Fetches $12 Million

A home at the top of the Buttermilk superpipe sold for $12 million last Friday.  It's original list price was $26 million.  The 14,000 foot home sits on 8.6 acres.  It's only tenant is the Target Corp., which rented the house for its Winter X Games athletes and entourage who partied there in style. 

Unbeknownst to many X Gamers, Alpine Bank had begun foreclosure proceedings on the home on December 29, 2008 when a notice of election an demand threatened to auction it off on the courthouse steps this springs.   To avoid the cost of foreclosure, Alpine Bank filed a warranty deed in lieu of foreclosure on February 13th.

An undisclosed settlement was worked out between Buttermilk Landowner and Alpine Bank, that allowed the bank to take ownership of the house and try to sell it on the free market. 

Posted by rebecca on April 08, 2009 in
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Aspen's Real Estate Sales of the Week Ending March 23, 2009

Aspen's Real Estate Sales of the Week Ending March 23, 2009

$12,000,000 - 220 Buttermilk Lane, Aspen

7 Bedrooms, 8.5 Baths

13,544 Square Feet

Seller - Alpine Bank (Deed in lieu of foreclosure)

 

Little Nell Private Residence Club #F207

$1,300,000

 

Little Nell Private Residence Club #F403

$1,215,000

Posted by gary on April 08, 2009 in
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Due to Consecutive Spring Storms, Skico will Extend Season

Due to Consecutive Spring Storms, Skico will Extend Season

Ski season was scheduled to end April 12th this year, however with the recent snowfall, and more on the way, Aspen Ski Company has decided to extend the season.

Aspen Highlands was due to close this Sunday, however, they will now reopen April 19-19 and April 25-26. 

All Aspen/Snowmass season passes will remain valid during the extended days.  Day passes will be $39 per day and youth and seniors will pay $29, while children's tickets will be just $19. 

Posted by rebecca on April 03, 2009 in
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April Aspen Realtors Observer

April Aspen Realtors Observer

Development slowing to 2005 levels

ASPEN – Stephen Kanipe, the city’s top building official, told ABOR that he anticipating a slowdown in building activity in the first half of 2009 to levels not seen since 2005. For the first two months of this year, the city issued permits for an estimated $24 million in construction activity, down from $85 million for the first two months of 2008 and $35 million in the same period in 2007. The first three and a half weeks of March indicate the slowdown is continuing, with less than $6 million in total permitting.. As of March 24, permits for work valued at $29,676,000 have been issued. The building department’s estimate for 2009 is based on an analysis of the market that includes discussions with builders and developers If 2009 mirrors 2005, there will be roughly $180 million in activity. Layoffs in the community development department announced earlier this month are a result of a return to development activities more in line with the norm, Kanipe said. Activity is down in Pitkin County as well.  Just 14 land-use applications were filed the county in the first two months of 2009, compared to 28 by the end of February 2008 and 30 in 2007. The county issued 33 building permits by the end of February this year, compared with 53 in 2008 and 57 in 2007.

Aspen –

 

Appraisal: BMC West worth less than amount paid

A recent appraisal of the BMC West 4.74-acre property shows it’s worth $16.8 million – $1.45 million less than what the city paid in 2007. City officials have endured significant criticism from some who say that even the BMC West parcel is worth much less than the $18.25 million payment approved by the City Council. Aspen Business Center developer John McBride, for instance, has publicly questioned the appraisal’s methods and estimated the property at closer to $6.5 million. City officials counter that McBride’s claim sorely underestimates the property’s value. They also point out that the purchase opened an adjoining publicly-owned parcel that was previously inaccessible, adding more value to the purchase. The appraisal’s final estimate of reasonable market value for the lumberyard parcel near the Aspen Business Center was $16.8 million. The adjoining parcel was valued at $8.9 million. Both parcels are slated for development as affordable housing. 

Lift One election a no-go

The Aspen City Council agreed in late March to keep the proposed Lift One master plan off the upcoming ballot. The developers, Roaring Fork Lodging Co. and Centurion Partners, asked that the master plan not be put to voters. The master plan has been controversial, in large part due to the fact that it calls for 300,000 square feet of new lodging in the quiet, dilapidated neighborhood beneath Lift 1A. Approval of the master plan would have linked the two projects together because it called for moving property lines and the right of way, and shared costs on a joint parking facility. Centurion Partners has a separate, pre-existing approval for 14 townhouses on its property with two years of vested rights. The approval remains valid for two years, even if voters approved a hotel on the site. Roaring Fork Lodging Co. found itself in a position where it would not be able to begin work on its side of the street until Centurion Partners decided whether to build a hotel or the townhomes. The master plan, hammered out by a 26-person committee of citizens at large, neighbors and landowners, is officially in limbo now, given that City Council voted 2-2 on a motion to approve it.  

Pitkin County –

 

County may tighten down on land use, TDRs

Pitkin County leaders are considering possible changes to the rules on the use Transferable Development Rights and growth management. The County Commissioners will consider several adjustments to the TDR program. TDRs are currently purchased by developers to increase the size of the homes beyond the county’s 5,750 square foot cap. One rule under consideration would impose an administrative fee every time a TDR is used in a development application. Another would require developers to purchase TDRs if they wanted to build above 3,500 square feet, well below the current 5,750 square foot rule.  Transit impact fee to be proposedPitkin County is considering adding a transit impact fee to its land use code as a way of spreading the cost of service to residents living in more remote areas of the county. Currently, the county exacts transit fees from some but not all developers,  depending on the size of the proposals and its direct impact on the RFTA system. RFTA executive director Dan Blankenship has said he doesn’t want the fee to put his agency in a position where it has to extend service every time a new house is built in the far reaches of the county. County officials are expected to raise the idea of the impact fee at the next Elected Officials Transportation Committee hearing on April 16. County officials said they want to see what other elected officials from Aspen and Snowmass Village think of the idea. 

Castle Creek homeowners prevail in court, again

Opponents of a pedestrian and bicycle path along Castle Creek prevailed in court for a second time with their argument that the County’s approval of a 3,000 foot stretch of trail is not valid because it did not follow the public hearing process outlined in the county code. A state court of appeals ruling said specifically that citizens are allowed to raise the issue and take the county to court. The county attorney’s office argues that private citizens aren’t allowed to act as code enforcement agents against the county. The county worried that if the decision stands, it will result neighbor-to-neighbor lawsuits that challenge the interpretation and enforcement of land use approvals and regulations. The ruling has been appealed to the State Supreme Court. 

Airport lands stimulus funds

The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport – Sardy Field – is slated to receive $4 million from the federal economic stimulus package. The funding will be used to upgrade the apron where private jets park. Airport director Jim Elwood said maintenance crews have had to do numerous patches in the parking area to stay in compliance with FAA standards. The work will begin after Labor Day weekend and finished by the start of the ski season. The airport will not have to be closed to get the work done.

Snowmass Village –

 

Work stops at Little Nell Residences

Base Village developer Related WestPac put a halt to construction on the luxury Little Nell Residences at Snowmass, citing a lack of financing. The building, scheduled to open in 2010 under the management of the Aspen Skiing Co., is about 15 percent done. The stoppage is the latest setback in what has proven to be six difficult months at Base Village. A quarter of Related WestPac’s staff was laid off last fall, and the company has delayed construction on three additional buildings. Work continues on the Viceroy Hotel at the bottom of Assay Hill and the transit/welcome center located below the Village Express chairlift and Elk Camp gondola. Base Village is approved for 600 condos and about 100,000 square feet of commercial space in total. Ninety-one condominiums and a dozen businesses are now open. 

Base Village adds vitality

Despite significant setbacks in the construction schedule, the 91 luxury condos that have been completed at Base Village have been popular, according to local property managers. Related WestPac’s property management division, Aspen Snowmass Hospitality and Village Property Management, reports strong rentals during special introductory rates offered at certain times throughout the ski season. Snowmass has been about half full in March, according to the most recent statistics released by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. February’s occupancy was 68 percent, January’s 65 percent. 

Statewide –

Carbon monoxide detectors now required

Gov. Bill Ritter signed a new law last month requiring carbon monoxide detectors on every floor all new homes in the state. Homes in Pitkin County now face stricter rules: They must have a carbon monoxide detector outside each bedroom. State and local governments strengthened regulations after a Denver family died from carbon monoxide poisoning during a Thanksgiving stay in an Aspen-area home. The residence did not have a carbon monoxide detector. Detectors are available by contacting your local fire protection district.   For more information on our Political Survival Fund (PSF), please contact Mark Ronay, AREC, 970.920.2006 or CAR at 800.944.6550.  
Posted by rebecca on April 03, 2009 in
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