June 2011

Country Life Magazine From The UK

Country Life Magazine From The UK

Property in Aspen and Snowmass
HomePropertyProperty in Aspen and Snowmass
Aspen has cornered the limelight of the Rockies, but the $10-billion makeover of neighbouring Snowmass and lower entry points to properties promise a strong future for the resort, says Liz Rowlinson

Friday, 30 January 2009

Liz Rowlinson

It is the time of year when America’s high rollers converge on the glitzy ski town of Aspen in the Colorado Rockies. Cosseted within the private jets gliding into the town’s tiny airport will be a sprinkling of Europeans, but the bulk of designer-clad arrivals are from New York, Chicago, or California. They come for the unbeatable skiing, the avalanche of fine dining, and because when it comes to American resorts, it’s the place to be seen.

Encircled by tree-lined 14,000ft peaks for as far as the eye can see, the former silver-mining town has been popular for 60 years, and has gained a certain cultural cachet with its opera house and arts events. Its handsome Victorian red-brick buildings, which are built on a grid system, are now full of high-end boutiques, including Prada, Fendi and Ralph Lauren.

Skiers can choose between four world-class mountains: Aspen for people-watching,
Highlands for adrenaline junkies, Buttermilk for beginners and Snowmass for a bit of everything. Although some stay at the best hotels—the Little Nell, St Regis and Jerome—many Aspenites have bought a home in town. There’s even a popular saying: ‘Came for the skiing, stayed for the summer’ (after the spring thaw, there’s the renowned music festival, golf and riding).

Many of the town’s 44 billionaires choose to reside in ranching properties on the fringes of Aspen, beside A-list celebrity couples such as Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Last year, the average house sold for £4 million, but you will have to pay £15 million to be in the ‘Hollywood’ neighbourhood of Red Mountain.

However, it’s a very safe place to invest, according to Gary Feldman, a local agent affiliated to Christie’s (00 1 970 205 2222). ‘Prices have softened, but historically, they never slump,’ he reckons. ‘This is because supply has been strictly limited since 1974, and demand is still high. It’s the best time for buyers in Aspen in 10 years.

Watch out, Aspen: Snowmass property is booming, with buyers attracted by low  prices and new facilities Once a horse-ranching settlement, Snowmass now has 800,000 skiers a year and more runs than Aspen’s other three ski mountains combined. Its current $10 billion makeover will see the 1970s infrastructure of the base village given a facelift, plus new lifts, shops, restaurants, hotels and a vast children’s centre added. Permission has been granted for 600 ski-in, ski-out apartments, including a five-star condo resort run by the Kor Hotel Group.

Owners of 152 one- to four-bedroom apartments in the Viceroy— costing from £370,509—will have access to a concierge, a ski valet, four restaurants, a spa and a fitness centre. Each condo comes fully furnished, with high-spec oak and granite finishings. Knight Frank are also selling properties in The Little Nell Residences—which share the five-star branding of the eponymous hotel—from £2.08 million (020–7861 1737).

You can’t buy a one-bedroom apartment in Aspen for less than £700,000, so Snowmass acts as a lower entry point for those seeking access to all four mountains, and it will also ‘provide a familyoriented environment’, according to Scott Callihan, sales director of developer Related WestPac. However, according to Sotheby’s branch in Aspen, some Snowmass prices per square foot are now exceeding those of Aspen—at $23,000—and European buyers tend to spend more than £10 million on individual properties (00 1 970 925 1730).

Despite this, many welcome the fact that the Russians don’t regard Aspen as the next Courchevel, although Roman Abramovich has bought two homes in Snowmass.

Posted by gary on June 24, 2011 in

Snowmass Sale - June 22, 2011

Snowmass Sale - June 22, 2011

Capitol Peak, Unit 3126

Snowmass Village


Three bedrooms/two baths

$774 per square foot

Asking price $1,275,000

86% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on June 24, 2011 in

Joshua & Co. - Exclusive Aspen Affiliate of Luxury Portfolio International

Joshua & Co. - Exclusive Aspen Affiliate of Luxury Portfolio International

Luxury Portfolio International™ Debuts New Video Channel – Luxury Portfolio TV

CHICAGO(5/23/11) – Luxury Portfolio International™ recently announced the debut of their new video channel – Luxury Portfolio TV.  The branded platform, featured on the homepage of LuxuryPortfolio.com, features hundreds of property, company, and community videos and slideshows that have been produced by Luxury Portfolio and its members worldwide.  As a one-stop-shop for full-motion videos, slideshows and tours of thousands of high end properties, LPTV enables consumers to easily access this media and engage with brokers and their listings in a more meaningful and intimate way.  Luxury Portfolio partnered with WellcomeMat, a video publishing platform and real estate industry leader in the web/mobile video space, to create LPTV.


“Luxury Portfolio International™ is excited to offer consumers an accessible, user-friendly way to experience the story of a home through a more interactive and engaging experience then simply browsing photos,” said Stephanie Pfeffer, vice president of marketing for Luxury Portfolio. “Luxury Portfolio TV makes it easy to watch videos and learn about communities and areas where a buyer may be considering living. It takes you one step closer to actually being inside the home, from the comfort of your own home”.


“LPTV represents a bold move towards full-motion video by a leader in luxury real estate” notes Christian Sterner, Co-founder of WellcomeMat. “In an industry flush with commoditized information video is without a doubt the biggest opportunity in real estate and the best way to emotionally connect consumers with real estate professionals, brands and-most importantly-places to call home.


“According to Comscore, 170 million users engaged 5 billion times with online and mobile video in February of 2011. The opportunity is undeniable and with LPTV, Luxury Portfolio has put its agents, brokers and the homesellers they represent in a position to capitalize on video’s growth.”


To experience LPTV visit LuxuryPortfolio.com/video.

About Luxury Portfolio International™

Luxury Portfolio International™ (http://www.luxuryportfolio.com) is the luxury face of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (www.leadingre.com), the largest global network of premier locally branded companies dominated by many of the world's most powerful independent luxury brokerages. Launched in 2005, Luxury Portfolio International today attracts a global audience of visitors from over 200 countries/territories every month and annually markets over 25,000 luxury homes to over 1.2 million high-net-worth visitors.

Posted by gary on June 23, 2011 in

Aspen Sale June 21, 2011

Aspen Sale June 21, 2011

507 West Gillespie



Lot B, Beck Historic Subdivision

Asking price $1,573,000

80% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on June 23, 2011 in

Aspen Sale June 21, 2011

Aspen Sale June 21, 2011

Residences at the Little Nell

F-501   $1,800,000

F-502   $1,800,000

F-313   $1,300,000

F-309   $1,300,000

F-200   $1,300,000

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on June 22, 2011 in

Snowmass Sale - June 21, 2011

Snowmass Sale - June 21, 2011

166 Edgewood Lane

Snowmass Village


Four bedrooms/four baths

$1,067 per square foot

Asking price $2,800,000

89% of asking price


Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on June 22, 2011 in

Snowmass Sale - June 13, 2011

Snowmass Sale - June 13, 2011

Capitol Peak Lodge Unit 3402

110 Carriage Way, Snowmass Village


Three bedrooms/three baths

$775 per square foot

Asking price $1,650,000

70% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on June 20, 2011 in

Aspen Sale June 8, 2011

Aspen Sale June 8, 2011

River Park Unit 10

130 N Spring Street, Aspen


Five bedrooms/five baths

$1,207 per square foot

Asking price $7,850,000

83% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on June 20, 2011 in

Aspen Board of Realtors June, 2011 Observer

Aspen Board of Realtors June, 2011 Observer

Aspen Board of Realtors

ABOR Observer

JUNE 2011


A rundown of the government and business activity over the last month, with particular focus on issues and items that are important to the Real Estate community.



Aspen —

AACP set for adoption in July

The Aspen and Pitkin County Planning and Zoning commissions have scheduled final review hearings on the Aspen Area Community Plan for July 7, 12, 14 and 21.

City Council recently rejected a proposal from Aspen Chamber Resort Association to update the economic study that was used to help shape the policies in the plan, partly on the grounds that it would cause additional delays with a plan that has been in the works for more than two years.


The Chamber requested the update, and offered to cover half the costs, arguing that the plan relied too heavily on an economic study conducted during the heat of the real estate bubble in 2008 and before the recession. The AACP study examined the community’s economic drivers over a 50-year period, from 1958 through 2008.


Final adoption by the two P&Zs is expected on July 26, with a follow-up vote by Aspen City Council later in the summer. The county commissioners will not hold hearings or a vote on the final plan.

Given developer presses to recoup planning fees

Claiming it was misled on multiple occasions,” the developer who proposed three single-family homes around the Given Institute property is asking Aspen City Council to return nearly $8,700 in planning fees.

SC Acquisitions withdrew its development application in February, after working for three months toward approval to preserve the now-demolished Given Institute and surround it with three speculative luxury homes.


“Based on very specific directions and input from Mayor Ireland and other city representatives, SC Acquisitions revised its application multiple times and accommodated every single one of the city’s requests, all at significant expense. These efforts turned out to be wasteful and futile,” says a letter from an attorney working for the firm.

The community development department is recommending that City Council deny the fee refund, saying it “objects to the notion that staff is responsible for the success of an application.”


Council OKs additional 2011 spending

Aspen City Council approved $2.47 million in spending requests from city departments above and beyond the 2011 budget passed last fall. The land-use and business related items included:

-                          $133,610 for the Building Department to fund a review of the Aspen Valley Hospital plans and cover legal defense of the former inspector of the Community Development Department.

-                          $82,500 for the approved proposals under the city's Mining for Ideas program, which gives money to fledgling enterprises and events that seek to bring more visitors to Aspen.

-                          $200,000 from the water utility fund to complete the Thomas Reservoir Spillway this year.


Bentley’s closing date set

Bentley’s at the Wheeler’s 27-year run ends June 7 when the bar and restaurant closes its doors for good. Owner Andrew Petrillo plans to close earlier than he originally thought, partly based on the city’s desire to begin renovation for the next proprietor as soon as possible.

The new “Wheeler Bar & Grill” will be a mid-priced bar and restaurant. It is expected to open by Dec. 15.


Aspen avoids council runoff elections

Voters in the city of Aspen backed the three candidates for City Council by wide enough margins to avoid a runoff election for the first time in recent memory.


Mayor Mick Ireland drew the support of 900 voters, while his opponents Ruth Kruger and Andrew Kole together garnered 875 votes. Kruger was favored by 725 voters and Kole by 150. Under Aspen’s Home Rule Charter, a mayoral candidate needs to win 50 percent plus one vote in order to win a multi-candidate race and avoid a runoff.


Steve Skadron drew more than 900 votes and Adam Frisch came in with more than 850, beating the 45 percent threshold needed to avoid runoffs in council races.


A public-private land swap on the ballot was approved by voters by an overwhelming margin, with 90 percent in favor.


Dozens of building permits set to expire

The city of Aspen is notifying contractors that all inactive building permits will expire on June 30. The Community Development Department granted extensions to 67 permits in 2009 and again in 2010 in deference to challenging economic times. More than 60 of those permits are still inactive.


City staffers reached a general agreement with representatives of the development community that June 30 is a realistic target to organize and initiate construction projects. If a project is unable to move forward, the permit will become void.


Pre-sales list gauging demand at Burlingame

Approximately five dozen people have so far added their names to a list reserving a unit in the final phases of the city’s Burlingame Ranch affordable housing project.

The list is being used to gauge demand for the planned 167-unit addition to the development.  A housing department spokesman said the department would like to see 100 to 150 names on the reservation list before the city pursues a bond election to pay for the additional units.

The housing department also is pursuing partnerships with large employers in the community to see if they would be willing to contribute funds to secure homes for their employees.



Pitkin County

Communities prep for flooding

Public works and safety authorities from Pitkin County, Aspen, Snowmass Village and Basalt are collaborating on a “mud and flood” team.

The mud and flood team monitors river levels daily, has trained swift-water rescuers and are working to communicate often and effectively with local residents.


The flood team already is providing sand and bags to residents in the most flood-prone areas. Bags and sand are available at the Old Town Park in and the Storey Property near the Basalt Store, and in Redstone.


Basalt Town Council separately authorized funds in advance for emergency flood control. Town manager Bill Kane plans to put heavy equipment on “stand-by” during projected peak runoffs so they are available to remove debris from around bridges.


Locals are encouraged to sign up for text message and e-mail emergency messaging on the county’s Pitkin Alert system at www.pitkinalert.org and to call the local flood hotline at 429-1800 for the latest information on runoff conditions.


Construction activity picks up for the first time in three summers

For the last two years, the recession has put a severe damper on construction activity in the upper valley, but a mix of public and private projects promises to make the summer of 2011 buzz with activity. They include:

-                          St. Regis: The hotel closed April 4 to launch a $30 million renovation of  179 rooms and suites. The plan is to complete 90 rooms by June 14, in time for the Food & Wine Classic. The restaurant, lounge and retail area will be open this summer as well.

-                          625 E. Main Street: Aspen City Council approved a plan that includes three stories instead of four, larger setbacks from neighboring properties, reduced mass, scale and density. The building will also include three commercial spaces and one office space.

-                          Aspen Valley Hospital: The two year project will add medical facilities, office space, parking and housing at its Castle Creek campus. Traffic delays along Castle Creek Road should be expected this summer.

-                          Aspen-Pitkin County Airport: United Express will cease service on Sept. 13-15 and again Oct. 4-6, when the runway is shortened briefly as part of the work plan. Otherwise, work to add 1,000 feet to the south end of the runway will cause few if any transportation head aches, even to airline travelers.

-                          Iselin Field: Iselin Field across from Aspen High School will be its usual hub of activity in the coming months, even as crews tear out grass and replace it with artificial turf.

-                          City Market: The extensive remodeling is expected to be wrapped up by mid June, with wider aisles, a full-service bakery/delicatessen and an expanded meat and seafood section.

-                          Aspen Music School: There are still some permit applications pending and approvals to be received from the city of Aspen and from Pitkin County, but the Music Festival and School has dusted off its four-year-old master plan for its Castle Creek campus and is ready to embark on a project that will result in six major new buildings, and 19 new buildings in total. It will cost in the mid-$50 million range, and will take three to four years to complete.


Plans changing for Buttermilk redevelopment

The Aspen Skiing Co.’s plans for extensive redevelopment of the Buttermilk base area are off the table for the foreseeable future. The company told the county that its priority is to improve the children’s center at the base and on-mountain upgrades. Tiehack is due for new lifts this summer.


Meanwhile, the homeowners association at the Inn at Aspen has been collecting signatures for an annexation application into the city of Aspen. Owners of the condominium hotel plan eventually to submit a redevelopment application.

County embarks on hydro electric study

Pitkin County agreed to spend $50,000 on a report outlining ways to run a hydro electric plant while protecting the environmental health of Castle and Maroon creeks.

The federal small-project license the city is now pursuing for the plant requires an extensive federal environmental review, but the focus of the federally-mandated studies are not expected to focus on the same issues as the county study.


The mediator of a March 22 meeting of various parties connected to the proposed Castle Creek hydroelectric project will discuss a report on the outcomes on June 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Paepcke Auditorium. Citizens will have an opportunity to ask questions and express views on the project and its potential impacts.

Congressman meets with Thompson Divide

Congressman Scott Tipton and representatives of the Thompson Divide Coalition, a local advocacy group aiming to eliminate gas drilling leases in order to conserve land and water resources on public lands northwest of Carbondale, agreed to keep talking about potential legislative solutions.


The Thompson Divide area includes more than 220,000 acres of public land between Carbondale and McClure Pass. There are upwards of 70 idle gas drilling leases there, including land bordering ranches in Pitkin County near Carbondale.

The coalition includes community leaders, conservationists and cattlemen from the area.


Ashcroft proposal raises planning needs

A proposal to build short-term rental cabins near Ashcroft is raising red flags with the Pitkin County Commissioners, who are concerned they lack the necessary planning tools for the remote Castle Creek Valley area.

Ashcroft Ski Touring owner John Wilcox is proposing to build seven small, environmentally-friendly cabins on Montezuma Hill near the Pine Creek Cookhouse.  The Ashcroft area is not been overseen by a citizen caucus, leaving the commissioners and county planners without the system they rely on elsewhere for significant neighborhood developments.

Commissioner George Newman suggested the county put together a master plan for Ashcroft, although the commissioners will have to consider Wilcox’s proposal without one.


Pitkin County extends building permits, again

The county commissioners are poised to extend county building permits by 30 days, through the end of August, in order to accommodate home builders whose approved projects have not broken ground due to the economic downturn.

Commissioner George Newman said the county needs to eventually stop accommodating builders and pushing the expiration date further out. “At some point we’re starting to be taken advantage of,” he said.


Sardy Field redevelopment plans would double size of terminal

Airport officials released nine conceptual designs for an overhauled county airport that all call for building an 80,000-square-foot terminal, a multi-level underground parking garage and bus hubs in various configurations.

The plans would all nearly double the size of the current airport terminal. Five of the proposals would result in a brand new terminal, while the other four remodel and expand on the current structure.

None of the plans call for grand architecture or anything that would call attention to the facility. Airport Director Jim Elwood said one of the most prevalent desires of expressed in the public outreach process was that the, in airport master plan meetings, was that it works well but not be an ostentatious travel center.

Planners will be studying environmental impacts and financial feasibility in the coming months. The cost of any new work on the airport is to be paid for through federal and local enterprise funds, which come from airport user fees.


Nobody happy in disputed approval

The Pitkin County commissioners denied an appeal from a Maroon Creek Valley landowner hoping to build a 15,000-square-foot home on a landslide-prone hillside.

David Boehm, through Celestial Land Co., appealed a ruling by hearing officer Jim True that limits his ability to build beyond what’s already allowed on the 35-acre rural site near the T Lazy 7 ranch.  The county previously approved at 8,250 square feet, which is a right the owners still hold.


Five neighboring homeowners also appealed True’s findings, contesting that the smaller, previously approved home is appropriate. They claim the approved site is hazardously situated in an active alluvial fan where mountain debris is apt to slide, and development, no matter the size, would make catastrophic landslides more likely to head toward their homes.

The commissioners remanded the neighbors’ appeal back to True, in the hopes of finding a less hazardous site on the lot, and upheld his denial of the 15,000-square-foot home.



Snowmass —

Silvertree under contract

Snowmass Village’s Silvertree Hotel, the town’s conference center and the Wildwood Lodge are under contract to a developer who plans on leasing the Silvertree to a major international hotelier.

If the deal goes through, it will end the 26-year ownership of the hotel by the Burwell family. And it would set the Silvertree on a path toward possibly becoming a Hyatt, Marriot or Starwood Hotels & Resorts operation.


Crowns, Skico donate to Snowmastadon fund

The Crown family, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co., along with its Family Fund at Aspen Community Foundation, contributed $100,000 to the Snowmastodon Fund. The fund, established by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the town of Snowmass Village, and the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District, covers the immediate cost of activities related to the fossil excavation at the Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village.

Skico to investing in three mountains

The Aspen Skiing Co. is investing more than $27 million into its mountains this summer on a variety of projects that include new restaurants, a ski lift and mountain biking trails on Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands.

The new Elk Camp restaurant is a two-year, $13 million project that is expected to be ready for the 2012-13 ski season. It will replace Cafe Suzanne. It will be located at the top of the Elk Camp gondola. It’s designed to function as both a 250-seat restaurant and a special event hall for private groups, as the Sundeck does at the top of Aspen Mountain.


Buttermilk’s Tiehack area with a new high-speed quad detachable chairlift. The $7 million lift, will replace both the Upper Tiehack and Eagle Hill — aka lower Tiehack — chairs, and cut ride time from18 to seven minutes. Homeowners in the Maroon Creek subdivision, will pay a portion of the maintenance and operation for the new lift over then next 10 years.

The Merry-Go-Round restaurant on Aspen Highlands is being remodeled. The interior remodel is dubbed “duct tape chic,” meaning it will be functional and comfortable — not too sleek or snobby. The remodel will use the existing footprint and the building will look the same from the outside. With the interior reconfiguration, there is a seating loss of 25.


Udall bill would loosen summer rules at ski areas

A bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall to change federal law restricting summer activity on national forest land leased by ski area operators is working its way through the Congressional hearing process.

Udall has pitched the measure as a boost to the summer tourism industry in ski towns like Aspen, Vail, Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs. It would officially give the Forest Service the option to allow a wide variety of activities, including mountain biking and on mountain concerts.

Aspen Skiing Co. officials support the measure, but say it won’t affect what they do on their mountains after the snow melts. Instead, it will codify what is already occurring here and at other resorts.

Posted by gary on June 06, 2011 in

Aspen Sale June 2, 2011

Aspen Sale June 2, 2011

413 West Smuggler



Four bedrooms/four baths

$1,120 per square foot

Asking price $5,495,000

91% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on June 06, 2011 in