August 2009

Related Buys Back Properties at Foreclosure Auction

Related Buys Back Properties at Foreclosure Auction

Related Companies bought six properties for $.90 on the dollar at an auction at the courthouse steps once owned by the company and other investors.  The purchase solidified Related as the new sole owner of all six properties.  The properties include two lodges and the town's main commercial center.  The LLC partners interests were completely revoked by the sale.  Related WestPac, who had interest in the LLC's is now the sole owner of the properties.  The properties were used as collateral to get a loan of $112 million from Bank of America for the purchase of the properties.  Related took control of the deeds of trust in late June.

According to Related spokeswoman Joanna Rose, "Related continues to remain committed to the future of Snowmass."

Posted by rebecca on August 27, 2009 in
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Another One Bites the Dust

Another One Bites the Dust

Bulgari, a luxury jewelry store that occupied the space on the corner of Mill and Hopkins is the most recent Aspen business to close its doors.  As fall off-season nears, local commercial brokers are predicting more high-end businesses to close. 

Many landlords in Aspen are working with tenants to give them a temporary break on rent, but drastic rent cuts are unlikely.  Most deals require the stores to make up for the off-season cuts during their busy winter months. 

Posted by rebecca on August 27, 2009 in
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Droste Development Passed by Pitkin County

Droste Development Passed by Pitkin County

A years-long battle between Pitkin County and Bruce and Peter Droste has ended with the approval on nine homesites at the Brush Creek Ranch near Snowmass Village.  The highly visible ranch lies on more than 900 acres along Brush Creek Road, about a mile off of highway 82.  The approvals allow for each new home to be up to 10,000 square feet. 

In addition to the homesite approvals, the county commissioners gave the Drostes approval to build a new home on the site of the original Brush Creek Ranch, where there is currently an historic barn and a smaller house.  The construction of a new access road was also approved. 

Posted by rebecca on August 27, 2009 in
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Little Nell Bookstore Closing Doors on September 8th

Little Nell Bookstore Closing Doors on September 8th

A number of factors have contributed to the final decision of owner John S. Edwards to close the book shop he has owned in the Little Nell lobby since 1989, but the deciding factor was the announcement that the Little Nell will undergo another renovation starting mid September and will require it's lobby business owners to close for a period of time. 

Edwards ran his bookstore in less that 300 square feet, noting that ordering and inventory were tricky because there was no storage space for extra items, but over time he noticed that tourists were mainly looking for fiction, children's books and books about Aspen.  John Speers, general manager of the Little Nell noted that the store was a great amenity for hotel guests as it provided small personal items and video rental in addition to books.   

Posted by rebecca on August 26, 2009 in
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Viceroy to Add 200 Jobs to Snowmass Village

Viceroy to Add 200 Jobs to Snowmass Village
The Viceroy is slated to open for the 2009-2010 ski season.  They will be holding recruiting open houses for job seekers in order to fill over 200 job openings.  The company's pay scale will be like those of similar luxury hotels in the area.  The open houses will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays between August 25-September 10th. 
Posted by rebecca on August 21, 2009 in
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Aspen Bears - A Personal Encounter

Aspen Bears - A Personal Encounter

Lately, Aspen bears and people have been interacting more frequently as the bear population intensifies its foraging for food to help them survive the coming winter.  Ask any Aspenite and they will tell you about their favorite bear encounter.

My wife, Amy and I were renting a house on the golf course in Snowmass Village in 2004 while we were building our current home.  My oldest son was home from college asleep in his room upstairs.  Our puppy, Taxi was in her sleeping area across from our room on the ground floor.  Amy woke me about a noise in the kitchen.  I quickly explained that it must be my son getting a late night snack and went back to sleep.  Minutes later, another noise and this time, she insisted I investigate.

I opened our bedroom door and peered down the hall to the kitchen.  Even I heard some noises now.  A moment later, a tiny bear cub less poked his nose around the corner.  As cute as it was to see, where there is a bear cub, there is a momma bear nearby. 

I exited the back door with a phone in hand and walked to where I could see the kitchen.  There were two cubs and momma.  One cub was running back and forth on the counter while the other was opening cabinets and tossing the contents around.  Momma was sitting in the sink.

Bears with cubs can be unpredictable and dangerous.  I called the Snowmass Police.  Three officers showed up.  One was armed with a "bean-bag shotgun"; one had an assault weapon and the other had his sidearm.

They could see the bears in the kitchen and asked about other occupants in the house.  I quickly told them where everyone was sleeping and they proceeded to the front door to engage the bears.   One officer opened the door and yelled "out bears".  With that, each bear exited single file through the kitchen window that had been ripped from its hinges.  The bears ran around the house and up the nearest tree.  We watched them in the moonlight from our bedroom window.

Fortunately, most bear encounters in Aspen end peacefully.  The Department of Wildlife (DOW) has a policy concerning bear encounters.  An offending bear is caught, tagged with a collar and relocated in the back-country.  A second offense results in the death penalty.

Most locals, as well as law enforcement, are aware of this two-strike rule and try to end the human-bear encounters without alerting the DOW.  The bears are simply doing what bears do.

When visiting Aspen, please make sure you know about the bear population and how to keep them alive and away from humans.

Posted by gary on August 19, 2009 in
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New Food Store to Open at ABC This Fall

New Food Store to Open at ABC This Fall

A new grocery store is slated to open in November at the Airport Business Center (ABC).  The new store will be called Roxy's, according to owners, Roxanne and Mike Lawler, who also own similar stores in Telluride and Rangley.   The couple is currently in the process of extensively remodeling the former site of Alpine Mountain Market, across the street from the ABC gas station. 

The Lawler's plan to have an inventory of half organic foods and a meat/fish/deli counter.  They want it to be a "bread and butter" type store for locals and visitors with everything from the basic necessities to gourmet meal options.  Delivery will also be available. 

Posted by rebecca on August 19, 2009 in
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Number of Foreclosures Surge in Roaring Fork Valley

Number of Foreclosures Surge in Roaring Fork Valley

The number of filings for foreclosure is surging this year in the three Roaring Fork Valley counties, which include Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield counties.  Homeowners are struggling with mortgage payments and some developers are not able to meet creditors terms.  In Pitkin County foreclosure filings have surged, but at a slower pace than the other counties.  In Pitkin County alone, there are sixty foreclosures started so far in 2009, compared to thirty-five  in 2008, and fifteen in 2007.  State reports reveal that although there are a record number of filings in the Roaring Fork Valley counties, the overall number is still low based on the number of occupied homes when compared to the rest of the country.

 

Posted by rebecca on August 19, 2009 in
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Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - August 1 through August 11, 2009

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - August 1 through August 11, 2009

Owl Creek Townhome #101

$3,500,000

SOLD BY Gary Feldman, Joshua & Co.

 

Eastwood Lot 17

 $5,500,000

Residences at the Little Nell F407

$1,215,000 

Lot 13, Section 6, Township 9, Range 85

$2,046,000 

Residences at the Little Nell F300

$1,250,000

Meadowood Ranch C2

$1,600,000

Residences at the Little Nell F211

$1,100,000

Waterman Minor Lot A

$5,795,000

10 Maroon Drive

$2,700,000

Melton Ranch 1, Lot 27

$1,250,000

 

Posted by gary on August 17, 2009 in
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