October 2009

Aspen Shine App Keeps IPhone Users up to Date on Aspen Happenings

Aspen Shine App Keeps IPhone Users up to Date on Aspen Happenings

Last night I received an invitation to get the new Aspen Shines application for my IPhone from a friend on Facebook.  I downloaded the app, and much to my surprise, it is very useful for locals and visitors alike. 

Features include daily events, lists and recommendations of local restaurants and hot spots, and up to date information on area weather and the airport schedule.

This is a must have for people who live in the area or who are planning a trip to Aspen.

To find the application, go to the App Store on your IPhone or computer and search "Aspen Shines," or simply click on this link: http://www.aspenshines.com/iphone.php and follow the instructions. 


Posted by rebecca on October 14, 2009 in

Big Money Returns to Aspen Real Estate

Big Money Returns to Aspen Real Estate

Since June 1, 2009, six Aspen and Snowmass properties have sold for more than $10 million each.  Leading the way was a $43 million single family residence on Willoughby Way that is the most expensive sale in the USA in 2009.  Joshua & Co. represented both the buy and seller in this transaction.

Other notable sales include an $18.5 million Snowmass Village estate in the Two Creeks neighborhood; a $15.6 million home east of downtown Aspen; two properties at the Maroon Creek Club, $13.25 million and $11.25 million; and a downtown Aspen condominium that sold for $12 million.

Currently, there are two properties under contract with asking prices more than $10 million each; one more than $15 million; and one more than $20 million.

Major sales like these represent a leading market indicator that many wealthy investors feel the Aspen real estate market has bottomed and now is the time to act. Other market indicators of a strengthening market is indicated by the increased number of showings, offers, properties under contract and closings. 

Since the market softened in fourth quarter 2008 and first quarter 2009, we have experienced a slow, steady improvement in the Aspen real estate market.  My prediction is that the market will continue to improve during fourth quarter 2009 and into 2010.

If you are interested in buying Aspen/Snowmass real estate but have been sitting on the sidelines hoping the prices will continue to slide, you might consider getting into the game.





Posted by gary on October 12, 2009 in

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - September 25 through October 5, 2009

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - September 25 through October 5, 2009

715 West Meadow, Aspen




1000 East Hopkins, Unit 5


Meadow Watch Townhomes, Unit B


Tipple Woods, Lot 1


Horse Ranch, Lot 23


Durant Condos, Unit 2, Building D


Littlle Jewel, Unit 1


Park Central West, Unit 7


Residences at the Little Nell, Unit F501


Ridge, Unit 20


Aspen Townhomes, Unit 9


Chateau Dumont, Unit 17


Posted by gary on October 12, 2009 in

Pitkin County Real Estate Transactions Decline 65% in August

Pitkin County Real Estate Transactions Decline 65% in August

Real Estate Sales in August 2009 in Pitkin County declined 65% from the same month last year.  August sales were close to $57 million compared to $160.5 million in the same month last year.  Sales were down 55% from July's total sales of $126.6 million.  July's total include a $43 million sale of a single family home on Willoughby Way in Aspen.  Joshua & Co. represented both sides of the transaction.


Posted by rebecca on October 08, 2009 in

Off Season Shuffle: Some Restaurants and Retails Stores Close Doors, While Others Open

Off Season Shuffle: Some Restaurants and Retails Stores Close Doors, While Others Open

Locals and visitors alike were shocked at the news that the popular eatery, D19 would be closing its doors at the end of the summer season.  However, an announcement was made this week that D19 will be reopening in the space formerly occupied by Mogador and most recently Dish on the Hyman Avenue mall.

Ruth Chris closed its doors last Saturday, joining recently closed Buenos Aires Fusion, Crystal Palace Grill, and Zele.  However, balancing out the restaurants that have recently closed is a new group of eateries joining the Aspen scene.  Most recently are Noodles by Kenichi, a noodle based restaurant on Cooper Street next to Boogies and La Palapa, an authentic Mexican Restaurant on Hunter, next to the Joshua & Co. home office.  Slated to open this season are Hunter Bar, a tapas restaurant below Kemo Sabe, the new Syzygy Restaurant and a more casual bar, Ute City, both between Elevation and Lulu Wilson on Hopkins, and high end restaurant Il Mulino in the Residences at Little Nell will also open before the winter season.  Kenichi is under extensive renovation and owners plan to reopen the restaurant in December.

New businesses are in negotiations to lease the Zele space and the former Red Onion restaurant space, but their identity is confidential until the lease is fully executed. 

Posted by rebecca on October 07, 2009 in

Aspen Board of Realtors October 2009 Observer

Aspen Board of Realtors October 2009 Observer

Council not Ready to OK Wheeler Expansion

Aspen City Council will not grant conceptual approval of the Wheeler Opera House's proposed expansion until they see a pro forma and a long-term operations budget for the expanded facility.

The proposal includes a new sub-grade theater, expanded lobbies on the second and third floor, a community meeting room, new offices for Wheeler staff and an affordable housing unit.

It has been reduced in size from four to three stories as a result of objections raised at the planning & zoning historic preservation commissions.

Aspen Art Museum Still Searching for New Locale

The Aspen Art Museum, which reportedly had its best summer ever, is still looking for a new home. 

Museum executive director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson said they have met with various property owners in an effort to find a spot for a new museum.  The current 7,000 square -foot facility on the publicly-owned Galena Plaza east of the Pitkin County Library.

Lodge at Aspen Mountain Developers File for Bankruptcy

Aspen Land Fun II, the development group that wants to build a hotel at the base of Aspen Mountain, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.

John Sarpa, a principal with the group, said the bankruptcy was a strategic move to retain control of the property and its future.  The filing came after Alpine Bank advised that it had entered into an agreement to sell its loan on the project to a third party who planned to build townhomes approved for the site several years ago.

Aspen Land Fund II will continue to work with a citizen task force on plans for a 160,000 sf hotel it wants to build in the large empty lots on the west side of Aspen Street beneath Lift 1A.

Hotel Jerome Facing Foreclosure

Foreclosure proceedings were opened against the owners of the Hotel Jerome in late September.

County records indicate LCP-Elysian Aspen Owner LLC has an unpaid balance of $36,292,781 to newly formed Jerome Property LLC, which holds the deed of trust on the property.

Jerome Properties LLC was formed on August 25th and six days later bought the deed of trust from Aurora Bank, an affiliate of Lehman Brothers Holding, Inc.

Elysian Worldwide LLC and Lodging Capital Partners, LLC, both of Chicago, purchased the 113,282 Square-foot hotel in 2007 for $52.2 million from Oklahoma Publishing, which paid $33.7 million for the property in June 2005.

City to Implement New Environmental Regulations

New development in the city of Aspen will be required to meet new standards that minimize environmental impact, beginning on January 1, 2010. 

The standards focus on energy consumption, stormwater runoff and air pollution.  The new guidelines will set minimum standards, and then provide suggestions for ways a development can exceed those standards. 

 Viceroy Buyers Want Out

Seven buyers at the Snowmass Viceroy have filed a lawsuit to back out of their purchase contracts and get their earnest money back.

The buyers claim the right to back out of their contracts because developer Related Westpac did not file the proper documents regarding the layout of the condominium hotel with authorities.

The seven buyers paid $1.16 million in earnest money for contracts signed between December 2007-March 2008.

Snowmass Approves Chapel

The Snowmass Village Town Council approved a new Snowmass Chapel and Community Center.

The new building will be nearly 30,000 square feet, triple the size of what's there now, with a height of nearly 60 feet at its tallest point and a 70 foot steeple.

Exchange Fuels Approval of McClain Flats Subdivision

Construction of a three-home compound on the site of the historic, 148-acre Stein Ranch on McClain Flats Road has received the nod from Pitkin County last month.

In exchange, property owner Bob Hurst agreed to transfer title to approximately 13 acres to the county, allowing the extension of Sunnyside Trail and the reopening of a rock climbing area known as Gold Butte, and an ice climbing area called Sewer Falls.  Both climbing areas have been closed since the mid-1980s.

Hurst, a vice chairman at Goldman Sachs, must also restore 17 acres of degraded sagebrush and place more than 57 acres or his property under a conservation easement.

The three newly approved homes will be limited to 5,750 square feet above ground, and an additional 3,000 feet below ground with the purchase of transferable development rights.  The property already includes a home of more than 12,000 square feet.  Vested rights on the approval run to October 2020.

Local Air Services Looks Strong for the Winter

United Airlines has added two additional flights to its schedule this winter; a third daily non-stop to Chicago and a fifth weekly flight to San Francisco.

The airline says it will continue flying 11 flights daily between Aspen and Denver, and three to and from Los Angeles.

Delta will fly once daily between Aspen and Atlanta, and eight times a week to Salt Lake City down from 13 flights last year.

Frontier Airlines will provide the same level of service as last year, with four daily flights between Aspen and Denver.

Three Local Neighborhoods Among America's Priciest

A median home price just under $3 million makes Old Snowmass - the 81654 zip code - the 13th most expensive area to buy a home in the country, according to a survey by Forbes Magazine.

Aspen is the 20th most expensive with a median price of $2.74 million.  Snowmass Village is 82nd, at a price of $1.76 million.  Vail holds 87th position with a median price of $1.72 million.

The country's most expensive zip code is 07620, in Alpine, N.J., with a median home price of $4.14 million. 

Median home prices in the survey are based on listings rather than sales.

Posted by rebecca on October 06, 2009 in

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - September 15 through September 24, 2009

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - September 15 through September 24, 2009

Aspen Highlands Village, Lot 7, Block G


Section 23, Township 9, Range 87


Ridgerun II, Lot 6


Park Place, Unit 202


Park Place, Unit 201


Melton Ranch III, Lot 15


Fasching Haus, Unit 6


Park Place, Unit 101


Posted by gary on October 05, 2009 in

LuxuryRealEstate.com Holds Event in Vail, Colorado, Honors Thomas B. Anderson and Other Luxury Real Estate Leaders

LuxuryRealEstate.com Holds Event in Vail, Colorado, Honors Thomas B. Anderson and Other Luxury Real Estate Leaders
The 14th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference was recently held Sunday, September 13th to Wednesday, September 16th, at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.  Keynote Speakers were Matt Smith, Actor and Trainer, and Dan McCarthy, CEO of Network Communications, Inc. and blogger of Viralhousingfix.com.

The Conference was hosted by John Brian Losh, Chairman and CEO of Luxury Real Estate, (LuxuryRealEstate.com and Who’s Who of Luxury Real Estate), a membership-driven luxury brokerage assemblage based in Seattle, Washington. The network includes the most prominent global luxury brokers and meets three times each year, nationally and internationally, to discuss current real estate trends. The recent conference in Vail (Bachelor Gulch) covered multiple topics of great interest to those who serve the high net-worth demographic. An ongoing theme, covered at each of the conferences, is the state of the luxury market around the world. In addition, discussions focused on the mechanics of creative listening, media fragmentation, what it takes to create a virtual office, the changing REALTOR roles and five practices of exemplary leadership.

The highlight of the event was a Black Tie Dinner and Awards Presentation, honoring the career of Thomas B. Anderson with the Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious award is given twice annually to the Luxury Real Estate member who has set an example for the real estate industry and displayed excellence throughout their career.

“Tom Anderson is a true leader is the industry” states John Brian Losh. “There is a reason every company he has been with is successful.”  

Other award winners include: Best Brand Integration - Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, Best Overall Marketing Package – Cora Bett Thomas Realty & Associates, Most Innovative Marketing Technique - Drum Realty, Best Website Design - Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, Best Website Innovation – Rimontgo, Best Print Marketing – Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate, Best Industry Networking - Jim Walberg - Caribbean Islands Realty, Billionaires Club - Barry DeNicola - Barry DeNicola Realty, Kathy Iverson - Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate, Betsy Q. Terry - Ewing & Clark, Inc., Susan Breitenbach - Corcoran Group, Outstanding Rookie - Matthew Breitenbach - Corcoran Group, Extraordinary Philanthropist - Diane Turton - Diane Turton Realtors, Best New Community - Palazzo Tornabuoni - Florence, Italy, Most Impressive Listing - Joshua & Company, Best Listing Presentation - Harry Norman, Realtors, Phoenix Award - Saunders & Associates, Most Valued Partner - duPont Registry About LuxuryRealEstate.com, a 2009 Webby Award Honoree, is the most-viewed luxury real estate website in the world.

The Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network includes 1500 of the world’s finest real-estate companies with properties in more than 100 countries. Participation is strictly invitation-only by CEO/Publisher John Brian Losh. The Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network is governed by the Board of Regents.
Posted by rebecca on October 02, 2009 in