Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Breckenridge rejects luxury-hotel deal at base of Peak 8

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Summit Daily Photo

Summit Daily Link

Breckenridge Town Council rejected a proposal Tuesday night that would have allowed developers to proceed with plans to build a branded, four-star luxury hotel at the base of Peak 8 at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Council's biggest issues with the proposal, framed in a possible development agreement with the town, hinged on an unprecedented ask to move $5.2 million worth of density off open-space land and onto the parcel at the base of Peak 8.
Council members had problems gauging how a project of such magnitude might exacerbate the town’s already strained infrastructure, including the effect the hotel’s employees and guests could have on traffic, parking and housing, all of which have been hammered by recent growth.
Another concern was the landowner, Vail Resorts.
The project was set for 1599 Ski Hill Road, also known as the Breckenridge Ski Resort Administration Building, on land currently owned by Vail Resorts, which also owns Breckenridge Ski Resort.
In the deal, Vail Resorts would have sold the parcel to the developers, but still managed the hotel through its subsidiary, RockResorts, once built.
Because Vail Resorts owns parking lots in town with unused density attached to them, Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula had asked the development team, a joint venture between Breckenridge Grand Vacations and the Miami-based firm Lionheart Capital, if Vail Resorts would agree to move density from its parking lots to the base of Peak 8 to make the deal work.
The additional density would be needed to accommodate 110,000 square feet of wholly owned condos. Without them, the project was not financially viable, developers have told council.
On Tuesday night, the developers informed council that Vail Resorts was not agreeable to shifting the necessary density. When the time came to make a motion so council could vote on the proposed development agreement, no one did.
Instead, the elected officials took turns explaining why they couldn't support the development agreement. Without a motion, the proposal failed.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Riding the bull: Summit County towns see record sales-tax revenue in 2017

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Summit Daily Photo

Summit Daily News Link

Like other Summit County towns, Breckenridge rode the bull through 2017 with more $550 million worth of taxable sales activity last year, an unprecedented amount that's led to a 3.36 percent increase in the town's estimated sales-tax revenue over 2016.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the nation saw its GDP increase by 2.3 percent percent last year, a far cry from the growth experienced across the four biggest towns in Summit County. Statewide annual statistics won't be released until May 4.
In Summit, however, the most recent financial reports cover all of 2017, and Breckenridge's shows that estimated net taxable sales finished ahead of 2016 by more than $18.1 million at $558 million.
Construction experienced the highest growth rate in Breckenridge at 9.22 percent over 2016, while restaurants and bars finished second at 7.65 percent. Weedtail, the town's creatively named marijuana sector, was third at 5.22 percent.
"2017 continued the trend since the end of the recession in 2010, where we've had strong revenue growth in terms of the taxes that were remitted to the town and sales activity," Breckenridge director of finance Brian Waldes said.
In fact, he thinks the only unremarkable thing about this upward trend is that, after seven years of continued economic expansion, it's been largely expected at this point.
December was relatively flat compared to December 2016, but Breckenridge still saw record revenues both in terms of overall sales activity and from its Real Estate Transfer Tax, which was up $950,000 over the prior year at $6.19 million.
"You know, like we always say, everything comes with challenges," Waldes said, explaining the hard part now is managing the additional people — which means building things like new parking garages — while maintaining the experience they've come to expect from Breckenridge.
"It's always something," he said. "It never stays the same."
Even though Silverthorne saw its lowest growth rate of the last five years at 4.3 percent over 2016, collections still increased to record levels last year, eclipsing 2016's total by $460,843 with $11.1 million in sales tax revenue.
The record-setting trend dates back to 2010, when the county was beginning to emerge from the recession, said Kathy Marshall, Silverthorne revenue administrator.
Leading the way for the town last year, the service industries (22.26 percent), lodging (18.81 percent), consumer retail (5.86 percent), building retail (3.69 percent), food and liquor (3.65 percent), and the outlets (0.99 percent) all saw increases.
Of the town's seven measured sectors, only auto didn't gain on 2016's totals.
The lodging sector's almost 19-percent jump could be a result of the Hampton Inn and Suites, which celebrated its grand opening in January 2016 and has been fully booked as of late, said Marshall.
At the same time, the building retail category had "been very robust" through much of last year, she added, attributing much of that to new housing developments at Angler Mountain and Summit Sky Ranch.
"That's leading to more customers for the service category," Marshall said of the town's fastest growing sector. "I've seen quite a bit of growth lately."
Frisco's restaurants, grocery stores and general retail outlets are the three most impactful sectors on the town's sales tax revenue with about $1.5 million to $2 million collected from each industry in 2017.
All three sectors grew in 2017, helping Frisco finish up 5.68 percent over 2016 with more than $9 million in total sales tax receipts last year.
Like other Summit County towns, this marks the seventh-consecutive year Frisco's economy has shown growth. For Frisco revenue specialist Chad Most, it's "a testament to the local business community."
"Yes, we are on one heck of a seven-year clip," he said, again crediting local businesses for creating that growth.
Individually, vacation rentals (29.98 percent), home improvement (17.48 percent), office (16.9 percent), clothing (11.99 percent), grocery (11.51 percent), marijuana (10.98 percent), furnishings (5.57 percent), utility (3.65 percent), general retail (2.25 percent), restaurants (2.24 percent) and liquor (1.61 percent) all posted year-to-date gains.
On the other side, arts and crafts (-18.18 percent), gifts (-5.49 percent), recreation (-1.93 percent), automotive (-2.60 percent), health and beauty (-1.09 percent) and hotels and inns (-1.09 percent) saw slight to mild declines.
Most said town officials realize "record-setting growth doesn't last forever" and are taking a more conservative approach to this year's projections, much like his peers are in Silverthorne and Breckenridge said they are.
Still, Most remains "bullish" on the short-term outlook, especially with recent rounds of snow boosting the first quarter of 2018.
After spending the first six months of 2017 lagging behind 2016 year-to-date totals, Dillon surpassed them in the second half of 2017, piled on through the remaining six months and finished up 6.63 percent at $6.39 million.
The total from 2017 was $397,000 above 2016, giving Dillon the single-highest rate of growth for any of Summit County's four largest towns last year.
The last time Dillon saw a drop in its sales tax revenue came in 2009.
Additionally, lodging in Dillon was up 9.71 percent compared to last year, an increase of $16,599 over 2016.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Olympics for Colorado - yes or no?

AP Photo

Summit Daily Link

 It promised ample snow and sunny weather on a normally bare, rocky peak easily accessible by "super highway," thousands more hotel rooms than existed and a cross-country ski course that looked good on paper but would have cut through some people's backyards.
The airbrushed pitch worked, but after Denver won a bid to host the 1976 Winter Olympics, its plan unraveled amid questions about the environmental impact, ballooning costs and logistics of hosting such a big event in a quickly growing state.
Now, over four decades after Denver became the only city to withdraw as an Olympic host after winning a bid, it is exploring whether to try again after many cities have decided it's just not worth it.
The city is again growing, with low unemployment and a booming economy, and this time has a bigger airport, light rail, more hotels, seven professional sports teams and multiple stadiums. But the highway touted in '76 — Interstate 70, which connects Denver to the Rockies — has essentially remained the same. As the population of outdoor-loving Colorado has grown, the largely four-lane route is often gridlocked on weekends.
Meanwhile, the city also is trying to lure Amazon to open its second headquarters in the metro area, which already has many worried about growth, tax breaks and the rising cost of living.
The Olympic exploratory committee convened by Mayor Michael Hancock — which includes leaders of companies like Vail Resorts and Liberty Global, along with former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and ex-Denver Nugget Chauncey Billups — is mulling a privately funded games, estimated to cost $2 billion, without any mega projects. Organizers say the strategy could even leave the state with a surplus to fund I-70 improvements or other work.
Denver already faces stiff competition from Salt Lake City, which became the first U.S. city to announce its plans to bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics this month. Salt Lake said it could host without losing money thanks to existing venues and its expertise in putting on the 2002 Olympics. Reno, Nevada, is also considering a bid.
While some worry the Olympics will distract Denver from urgent problems like affordable housing and transportation, committee members stress that the games won't take money from those priorities and could potentially net $100 million to $200 million thanks to proceeds from ticket sales, sponsorships and merchandise.
The panel had been in a rush to decide in March whether to pursue the 2026 or 2030 games but is now focused on 2030. The U.S. Olympic Committee announced in Pyeongchang that it will not pursue a 2026 bid unless the International Olympic Committee decides to award bids for both years at once. Denver's group now plans to make a recommendation to the mayor and governor by late April or early May, although chairman Rob Cohen said the exploratory committee would readjust its timeline if a dual bid becomes a possibility.
The International Olympic Committee is encouraging fewer billion-dollar projects and more facilities already in place after the lavish 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The three venues that would need to be built for a Denver-based Olympics — for Nordic skiing, ski jumping, bobsledding, luge and skeleton — would be temporary structures, said Cohen, CEO of insurance and wealth management company IMA Financial Group. The events could be spread around the state or concentrated along the Front Range.
The exploratory committee has been criticized for its lack of grassroots representation for meeting behind closed doors, but it recently invited community activists to serve on advisory groups and held online meetings with the public.
Architect Michael Wenham pondered the prospect of a Denver Olympics recently while at a park near downtown, noting it could be interesting to come up with environmentally friendly ways to host the Olympics. But he reconsidered when he thought about I-70 traffic. He can't remember the last time he headed to the mountains to snowboard on a weekend because of its traffic jams.
"High-speed buses with their own lane. That is the only way they're going to be able to do it," Wenham said.
Cohen said buses would be one possibility for moving people to the mountains quickly during the Olympics, as would giving truckers incentives to bypass I-70. He said some of the surplus could be used to improve the interstate or on another project that would benefit the state long-term, and noted the federal government helped pay to fix highways for Salt Lake City's 2002 Games.
In the years since Denver said no thanks, more cities have become wary of pursuing the Olympics in the face of public opposition and financial concerns.
Innsbruck, Austria, which hosted the 1976 Games after Denver backed out, decided against pursuing a 2026 bid when its promise to organize low-cost and sustainable games failed to convince residents. Other cities that have considered but dropped Olympic aspirations in recent years include St. Moritz and Davos, Switzerland, Krakow, Poland and Oslo, Norway.
Former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm, whose political career took off after he helped fight the 1976 Olympics, is trying to keep an open mind about Denver's latest go-around. The committee studying the issue includes savvy people with a track record of successful economic development projects, he said.
But even if Denver could pull it off, he's not sure what's in it for the city.
Lamm thinks officials tend to get seduced by the Olympics' glamour when they could spend their attention on the mundane things that support the economy, such as finding money for education and roads. That takes more campaigning and alliance-making in Colorado because of its strict tax and spending limits, which require voters to approve any tax hikes.
"There's many opportunities to make this a better state, and I don't see how the Olympics fit into that," he said.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Summit County Open Space and Trails seeks community input on e-bikes for recpaths

#Summit County #Colorado
Summit Daily Photo

Summit Daily Link

Summit County Open Space and Trails is requesting public comment on whether to allow electric-assisted bicycles, or "e-bikes," on the recreation path network in Summit. An open house will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 28, for public comment on the issue. An online survey is also available until March 28.
E-bikes are bicycles that are equipped with an electric motor and battery that either assist with pedaling or automate riding up to a certain speed limit. Class 1 e-bikes offer varying degrees of pedal assistance, while Class 2 and Class 3 e-bikes automate riding up to 20 mph and 28 mph, respectively.
In August of last year, Colorado law changed to consider Class 1 and 2 bikes as non-motorized vehicles for the purposes of transportation while Class 3 e-bikes are considered motorized. The designation permits Class 1 and 2 e-bikes to ride wherever regular bicycles are allowed. However, the bill also allowed local governments to regulate e-bike usage as they saw fit. Summit County currently bans e-bikes on recreation paths and paved sidewalks, except for persons with disabilities who need motorized assistance.
Open Space and Trails resource specialist Michael Wurzel said that the department is open to all options, but needs public input to make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.
"We want to know what the public thinks. Options include keeping the ban in place, allow e-bikes only on certain parts of the network, restricting a certain class of e-bike or to allow them everywhere," Wurzel said.
Wurzel notes that e-bikes have an average speed only slightly higher than regular bicycles. Advantages to allowing e-bikes on the recpath include mobility assistance for the elderly and mobility-impaired, as well as for allowing transport on the recpath network for folks who do not have access to a car and need to run everyday errands.
"E-bikes make it easier to go up hills, and allow for more cargo carriage," Wurzel said.
However, Wurzel is also aware of opposition to e-bikes on recpaths, including safety concerns and crowding issues.
Recently, Vail adopted the state law for e-bikes into its own code, and e-bikes are now allowed on their recreation paths. However, County Commissioner Dan Gibbs believes it's important for Summit residents to have input on the county rules.
"We do not have any set position on e-bikes," Gibbs said. "It all depends on what the public wants and what works best for Summit."
Gibbs added that any new rules would be made in collaboration with town governments, as what may work for one part of the county or recpath network might not be appropriate for another.
"We'd love to see a system that isn't fractured, and provides a seamless experience across the county," he said.
Among the proponents for allowing e-bikes on the recpaths is Colin McDonald, manager of bike rental store Pioneer Sports in Frisco.
"I think it'd be great for business," McDonald said. "E-bikes offer a premium price point for rentals, and it offers a new way for people to get around here."
However, McDonald is not as sure about allowing e-bikes everywhere.
"I don't think they should be allowed on trails, but recpaths and paved areas definitely," he said.
The open house will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 5-7 p.m., at the Summit County Commons, 0037 Peak One Drive in Frisco. Attendees will be able to meet with Open Space officials, learn more about e-bikes and offer comment on restrictions. The online survey can be accessed at until March 28.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Summit County leaders skeptical of a Colorado Olympics, but see opportunity for fixing Interstate 70

Summit Daily Photo

Summit Daily Link

Just a few hours after the U.S. women's hockey gold medal win kept many local Olympic fans up past midnight, more than 20 Summit County community leaders and stakeholders brushed the sleep out of their eyes to convene at the Frisco Senior Center.
They were there thanks to an invitation from the Denver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Exploratory Committee. The event in Frisco was one of five "mountain community meetings" the exploratory committee hosted this week with the purpose of garnering local leaders' thoughts on whether or not they think it's wise for the state to officially submit a bid for a future Winter Olympic Games — perhaps as soon as 2026, more likely in 2030, or, possibly, at a later date.
"If (Denver) Mayor (Michael) Hancock heard from his direct constituents," said exploratory committee member Reeves Brown, who hosted the discussion, "that they are all excited about this in Denver, and the report back from the five mountain communities was: 'Get out of here, we don't want it here,' I'd be really surprised if Mayor Hancock said, 'Ah, let's do it (anyway).'"
Brown hosted the discussion in Frisco a day after similar talks in Breckenridge and Winter Park. The Vail Valley and Clear Creek Corridor were the two other "mountain communities" where the same discussion was held.
Thursday's discussion in Frisco included a who's who of Summit County's community leaders, ranging from those specializing in conservation, to those in the public safety world, to some housing, tourism and realty officials.
The vast majority of individuals raised their hands to indicate they left with a more positive perception of a hypothetical Colorado Games than when they entered, but by the time the two-hour session concluded major questions regarding transportation, housing and financing remained.
"The challenges are people," said Jason Smith, the president of the Summit Association of Realtors. "Moving them. Housing them. We think it would take federal funding on the transportation side, but we think the real challenge is, we believe it would have to be profitable."
The two-hour session began with Brown talking through a half-hour visual presentation before he asked the local stakeholders if they had any questions.
The primary question consisted of how a Colorado Games would be financed, considering the exploratory committee's current idea centers around splitting Olympic events between the Denver metropolitan area, Summit County and the Vail Valley.
Brown was adamant that the Denver Exploratory Committee is interested in a financing model that would incorporate substantial private investment, though he didn't have an answer for the local leaders about a more specific dollar amount that would come from the private sector.
"I think the committee needs an answer to that question: Who's paying?" one of the local leaders in attendance said. "I mean, that seems like a fundamental question. If it's the residents of Denver I can't imagine that being a very well-received answer."
"There are some pretty stellar financial minds on the committee," Reeves added later. "The opinion from them is: 'This can't happen without a tax increase, which would take a vote of the people,' and I think (the Denver mayor) is going to be nervous about that."
The other primary topic that came up during the discussion was that of whether the state's investment in the Olympics could be used as a medium through which to finance long-sought improvements to the I-70 corridor.
"This could be the catalyst that the entire state can rally around and decide that, 'We've got a deadline,'" Smith said. "'Now we've got to get this done.'"
At the meeting, it was brought up whether or not the state could construct a third lane on I-70 from Denver all the way to the Vail Valley in time for the games. The idea was that locals and travelers alike would benefit from the new lane, which is an idea partially inspired by the third lane to Interstate 80 installed between Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, for the 2002 Games.
"We thought about the fact that Summit County is hosting events of this scale, the Vail Valley is hosting events of this scale," said county manager Scott Vargo. "If the events are spread out among Denver and Summit County and the Vail Valley, we don't see the impact on Summit County being anywhere near as significant as it would be if everything was clustered into one specific area. So we see that as a benefit.
"We (also) thought about accelerated I-70, Highway 9 transportation improvements," the county manager continued. "Rather than this idea of a dedicated third lane that is going to go to Denver and Vail, there are projects that are on the books that are in the design process right now that are adding lanes in strategic places along I-70. And we think that funding — it's unlikely that we are going to get the tens of billions of dollars that would be necessary to do a third lane from Denver to Vail. But we could get funding, whether it's through the (International Olympic Committee) or through the federal government, to be able to get those smaller-scale projects completed, which really do impact the overall feel of transportation and congestion."
Amy Kemp of Mountain Top Media, who is also on the exploratory committee's public relations committee, piggybacked on Vargo's point by bringing up the reality that there is an anti-growth sentiment for many in the county.
"And that's a huge hurdle," Kemp said. "Will this give us the opportunity for strategic growth? I think when people hear this they think of, 'More people, more growth.'"
The other primary concern the community leaders discussed as having the potential to also be an opportunity to leave a legacy was that of housing. John Munson, the director of sales and marketing for Copper Mountain Resort, said, if done right, the Olympics could help provide more of a long-term solution.
"We have food and beverage outlets that we can't even open because we don't have staffing," Munson said. "Everybody knows the pain points. But if this brought us that, that would be huge."
Moving forward, Brown said the exploratory committee's timeline is, in a word, tight. It consists of wrapping up community input and providing it for the Denver mayor by March 2. Then by April 1, he said the exploratory committee would likely turn over any final information for the mayor to make his decision. Then in September or October, the United States Olympic Committee is scheduled to decide if it wants to pick a U.S. city to bid.
"I'm hearing more positive (feedback) than I anticipated, and positive in general," Brown said at the Frisco meeting. "And highlighting very specific challenges we have to address. That said, particularly in the (Denver) metro area, while we are not hearing as much negativity, where there is more negativity, it is more vocal. There is more energy."
Brown also encouraged anyone to attend, online, the exploratory committee's second of two webinars, scheduled for today at 9 a.m. You can register for the webinar via this link:
Also, the committee encouraged anyone to partake in the committee's general feedback survey, which can be accessed at:

Friday, February 23, 2018

Alterra reveals cost of new Ikon Pass, which includes unlimited access to Copper Mountain

Summit Daily Photo

Summit Daily Link

Steamboat Ski Area parent company Alterra revealed Thursday the price of the company's highly anticipated Ikon Pass will be $899. The pass is expected to go on sale Tuesday, March 6.
At that price, skiers will gain unlimited access to Steamboat Resort, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort and June Mountain in California; Stratton in Vermont; Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia; and Tremblant in Quebec and Blue Mountain in Ontario.
The pass will also offer seven days each at Deer Valley Resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Big Sky Resort, Killington Resort, Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Sugarbush Resort and a combined seven days that could be split between the four Aspen Snowmass resorts, AltaSnowbird in Utah, SkiBig3 in Canada and Sunday River, Sugarloaf and Loon Mountain in New England.
Discounted child passes — 12 and younger — will be offered for $199 with the purchase of an Ikon Pass through April 9.
A $599 version of the Ikon Base Pass will also be available, offering unlimited access to Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Eldora Mountain Resort, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (holiday restrictions), Big Bear Mountain Resort, June Mountain, Tremblant, Blue Mountain and Snowshoe Mountain.
That pass will also offer five days each at (with holiday restrictions) at Steamboat, Mammoth Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Big Sky Resort, Stratton, Killington Resort, Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Sugarbush Resort, and five days total between AspenSnowmass, AltaSnowbird, SkiBig3 and the New England mountains.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Summit’s most expensive house in January tops $3 million

#Summit County #Colorado
Eli Pace / |A luxury home at
53 Boulder Ridge Drive in Breckenridge is shown
here on Wednesday. The house sold last month
 for $3.17 million, making it Summit County’s
 most expensive real estate transaction in January.

Summit Daily Link

The New Year picked up where 2017 left off with historically low inventory continuing to drive up prices and push down the average time a home spends on the market in Summit County.
Offering his advice, Jeff Moore, vice president of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, said local sellers should refrain from "overshooting the market," even though it's a great time to sell a property.
At the same time, he hopes buyers aren't being scared away because Summit's real estate remains "a great investment."
"For whatever reason, the first quarter over the last three years has proven to be a very strong quarter for sure," Moore said of January's numbers, explaining that what's typically been the slowest time of the year for housing sales in Summit County has certainly picked up compared to previous years.
“Summit County is still an absolute value when it comes to mountain properties in resort markets. ... It’s a piece of paradise that everyone wants.”Jeff MooreVP of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate
According to the most recent figures provided by the company, the total volume of residential real estate transactions ($79 million), the number of land transactions (22), the average sale price ($750,772) and the average price per square foot ($449) all hit their highest levels for a January in Summit County since at least 2009.
Because the housing market fluctuates dramatically from one season to the next, especially in Colorado's High Country, it's best to look at the same months in different years to get keep tabs on what's happening locally.
Furthermore, the average number of days a home spent on the market was down 39 percent last month at 47 days, which is less than one-quarter what it was between 2011-2014, when the average home spent more than 200 days on the market.
"Of course, what drives the market is supply and demand," Moore said, echoing previous statements from other industry experts. "It's economics 101, and that's exactly what Summit is experiencing at this time."
With 23 years of experience selling real estate in Summit, Moore said the 313 residential properties and 162 vacant land properties currently up for sale put the inventory at a 10-year low.
Furthermore, he's seeing homes priced under $700,000 — whether they're single-family residences, townhomes or duplexes — come off the market quick.
"Buyers in the market place have less to select from, and you're seeing that bear out," he said, noting that the inventory for homes under $700,000 is "very, very low" at only 131 properties.
That can make finding the right house tough for a buyer, Moore cautioned. However, he thinks people looking to purchase should realize that owning a home in Summit County remains a strong investment, both financially and from a standpoint of personal enjoyment.
Also, baby boomers continue to play a major role in the real estate market here, Moore said. But he's also noticing the emergence of Generation X, as individuals age 37 to 49 are starting to buy up second homes with the intent that, perhaps down the road, they could become retirement properties.
"That's what's being born out of all that Denver growth," he said. "There's just remarkable wealth coming out of the Front Range, and these buyers are well-paid professionals who want to buy into the mountain communities."
According to LIV Sotheby's International Realty, another local real estate firm that's based in Breckenridge, they've analyzed a number of resort markets across multiple Western states — including Vail Valley, Breckenridge, Aspen, Telluride, Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs in Colorado, Park City, Utah, and resorts in California, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
All of those saw increases in the average price and average price per square foot of a home, according to LIV Sotheby's latest resort report.
The report explains it as "a clear indicator of consumers' continued desire for lifestyle-inspired home purchases and willingness to spend more for homes they truly desire."
Moore doesn't disagree, but he thinks Summit offers something most other resort locations don't.
"What's interesting to me is even through we're seeing these numbers, if you look across ski areas statewide, Summit County is still an absolute value when it comes to mountain properties in resort markets," he said. "It's a piece of paradise that everyone wants, and we're only an hour to two away from the boom on the Front Range."

135: Total real estate sales
136: Total real estate sales (2017)
$79.9: Total value of sales
$86 million: Total value of sales (2017)
$3.17: Most expensive sale
$4.06 million: Most expensive sale (2017)
18: Sales at or above $1 million
25: Sales at or above $1 million
January’s Top 5 Real Estate Sales
1. $3.17 million — Breckenridge, Lot 5, Boulder Ridge at 53 Boulder Ridge Drive (single-family home)
2. $2.5 million — Keystone, Lot 3, North Fork Subdivision at 483 Montezuma Road (single-family home)
3. $2.3 million — Breckenridge, Lot A, Dianne’s House Subdivision at 309 S. French St. (single-family home)
4. $2.29 million — Breckenridge, Lot 1, Fuller Place Subdivision at 97 Marys Ridge Lane (single-family home)
5. $2.2 million — Breckenridge, Lot 135, Highland at Breckenridge at 14 Fletcher Court (single-family home)
Source: Summit County Assessor’s Office

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hundreds of musicians seek to become the next National Repertory Orchestra fellows

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Courtesy the NRO

Summit Daily Link

More than six months from the start of the National Repertory Orchestra's 2018 season, roughly 1,000 ambitious musicians around the country are vying for 88 coveted spots on the roster of fellows.
With the application process underway, the behind-the-scenes action at the prestigious 58-year-old organization is ramping up. In fact, the work toward each year's 8-week summer concert schedule never really stops at any point throughout the year.
"Everyone assumes there's a lot of down time after August, but there really is no down time in our season," says National Repertory Orchestra Chief Executive Officer David DePeters. "We do everything we can to anticipate all the things we want to be doing in June and July. We can't be reactionary — there's too much going on."
Too much is right, but the staff at the National Repertory Orchestra has their meticulous system mastered — they even have a chance to enjoy office "meetings" out on the slopes every now and then. However, now it's time to carefully select the lucky 88 fellows of the 2018 season.
Countless musicians at symphonies and orchestras around the United States are alumni of the National Repertory Orchestra. Its distinguished reputation in the music world makes it inevitable that up and coming musicians aspire and compete to become the organization's annual fellows.
"One of the reasons it's so competitive is because it's such an intensive program," DePeters says. "They're performing 18 to 21 concerts in 8 weeks, which is more than many professional organizations. When the fellows leave here, they feel like they're ready to get a job — and they do, very quickly."
DePeters played as a percussionist with both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic and says many of those musicians — who are considered among the best in the world — went through the National Repertory Orchestra's program.
The National Repertory Orchestra's fame for its notable alumni is well known across colleges, universities and conservatories around the country.
"This is the place you come when you're ready to take that next step to becoming a professional orchestral musician," says National Repertory Orchestra Chief Operating Officer Cecile Forsberg.
The auditions
The orchestra opens auditions to musicians ages 18 to 29 with the requirement that each applicant has completed at least one year of college, university or conservatory by the start of the season. For the 2018 season, in-person auditions are being held around the country in more than 20 cities between now and February, Forsberg says, adding that recorded audition tapes are also being accepted.
All live auditions are also recorded with audio and video so Music Director Carl Topilow can review them again, if needed. Topilow has the ultimate say in choosing every musician, DePeters says.
Topilow is a rare breed in the competitive orchestral music industry in that he'll provide any applicant with specific feedback and constructive criticism if they ask for it, both Forsberg and DePeters say.
"We are an educational organization, from the beginning to the end," DePeters says. "Even if the musicians don't get in, it doesn't mean we aren't here to educate them."
The results
The 2018 season begins June 9 and finishes July 27. The orchestra staff are currently recruiting guest conductors and artists in residence to bolster and enhance the program, Forsberg says.
"We're also working on all of our community partnerships to make our season successful," she says.
From educational programs in local schools to a winter series featuring visiting musicians for two concerts in February and March, the National Repertory Orchestra is engaging the youth and adults of Summit County in many ways. The fellows learn how to play for their audience, tailor their repertory to that audience and also how to talk to them.
"Everything we do in Summit County is meaningful — not just for the fellows, but for the county," DePeters says.
A concert last season in response to the wildfire in Breckenridge raised funds for first responders and DePeters says the orchestra will be repeating that effort next season. The staff is also working to finalize plans on a couple of other benefit concerts, he says.
All of this planning and organization ultimately comes down to an 8-week experience that musicians and community members never forget. The musicians' palpable eagerness to learn and succeed translates to a concert series that has proved, time and time again, why it's so renowned.
"You can just see how passionate and excited the musicians are about being here," Forsberg says.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

January was slow, but as the mountains fill with snow, ski town hotels fill with visitors

Denver Post Photo

Denver Post Link

Colorado’s lodging revenue mirrored the bleak snowpack in the high country in January, according to a report by Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association. It just makes sense — when snow is slow to fill the ski slopes, fewer people occupy the hotel rooms.
In resort towns statewide, about 63.6 percent of hotel rooms were booked in January, compared with 68.2 percent last January. Breckenridge stayed even, with about 77 percent occupancy this year and last, as did Steamboat Springs, where about 69 percent of rooms were booked. Aspen did the best, with 78.6 percent occupancy, compared to 81.3 percent last year.
The resort towns that took the biggest hits in January were Vail and Winter Park.
In Vail, only about 63 percent of hotel rooms were occupied in January, when not all the lifts and terrain at Vail and Beaver Creek were open. Snow conditions were better last January, and 78 percent of rooms were filled.
Things are looking up in Eagle County, though, with 4 to 8 inches forecast by Tuesday morning and a base packed at about 45 inches. About 121 inches has fallen so far this season, 11 inches of that in the past seven days.
The occupancy rate in Winter Park was 48 percent in January, down from 57 percent in January 2017.
But, there’s been snow to ski in Winter Park — the resort reports 57 to 62 inches at the ski area base, according to Lisa Kriederman, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder.
And February continues to bring the powder — 43 inches of snow this month alone, Winter Park spokesman Steve Hurlbert said.
“There’s this sort of doom and gloom sentiment particularly as it relates to snow, that’s not been the case,” he said.
The snowpack is at about 96 percent of the 30-year average, he said. Since the snow started before Christmas, about 175 inches has fallen at Winter Park, the average year-to-date for mid February is 204 inches.
And word is starting to get out. Hurlbert said there’s been a spike in last-minute bookings. “February is looking strong and March is looking strong.”
The snow has come just in time for spring break, which typically draws Texans and Midwesterners to the Centennial state.
“Spring break is a huge time for us,” he said. “People kind of waited to make sure the snow had come and now that the snow has come they’re ready to pull the trigger.”
By the time the storm that started Monday winds down, 6 to 8 inches of snow is expected to have fallen in Grand County, Kriederman said.
It’s been an uphill battle for us, but now that snow is starting to come were kind of starting to see the tide turn,” Hurlbert said. “A couple of snowy weeks at the end of February and we should be right back on par with average.”
Multiple hotels in Winter Park reported an increase in reservations this week.
“Every time it snows there’s more people coming up here,” Joe Ligas, front desk clerk at Valley Hi Motel in Winter Park, said Monday. “Usually when there is snow, the following day a lot of Denver people take a day off and they come up for ‘powder day.’ Today we’ve kept busy.”