1003 Boreas Pass Rd - Exterior

1003 Boreas Pass Road Breckenridge, Colorado is currently listed for $2,300,000. Photo Courtesy – LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect vacation home in the mountains, Breckenridge, Colo., has a newly constructed modern masterpiece just minutes from a Free Ride Transit System that will take you directly to the slopes.

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Golden Peak Penthouse Vail Colorado

458 Vail Valley Road R2, Vail, Colo. — Photos: Courtesy LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

Nestled on the majestic slopes of Vail Mountain in the coveted Golden Peak building, lies one of the few ski-in/ski-out penthouses in Vail, boasting unrivaled Gore Range views, and privileged membership to the Gold Peak Passport Club, offering exclusive perks like mountainside parking, ski valet, and impressive après ski opportunities.

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Steamboat Springs Hot Springs

Photo courtesy of the Colorado Tourism Office

Every ski town seems to have its own appeal. It’s easy to get to, or it’s isolated and exclusive.  It’s snowboarder heaven, or it’s snowboard-free. It a great place for beginners, or  it’s dominated by advanced-level runs and black diamond-lovers don’t have to navigate around skiers like me.

Steamboat Springs in northwestern Colorado is known as an exceptionally family-friendly town. It’s known for lots of programs for children, kids-only lifts, and play areas and parks designed with juveniles in mind.  But,  the area has a unique natural feature with special appeal for adults: mystical natural hot springs where skiers, snowboarders, and hikers can relax and soak away tired muscles and aches and pains.  Click here for a look at these therapeutic wonders and a gorgeous new vacation home listing in Steamboat Springs:

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Photo courtesy of Telluride Tourism Board

Photo: courtesy of Telluride Tourism Board

As Candy Evans reported last week,  the consensus of vacation housing  experts speaking at the NAREE (National Association of Real Estate Editors) Conference which took place in New Orleans in June is clear — these days vacation housing is all about the family.

Children are accompanying parents on vacations and second home buyers are looking for properties that are comfortable for all ages. Among the most family-friendly mountain destinations in the U.S. is the southwestern Colorado city of Telluride, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its free public gondola system this year.  

What’s the big deal about this unique coach in the sky?

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72 White Pine Canyon Road | Park City, UT | Luxury Real Estate

72 White Pine Canyon Road | Park City, UT | Luxury Real Estate

It’s ski season!

You know about the real estate auction business, yes? I have tried to educate my readers (and myself) about this growing and phenomenally great way to pick up extreme real estate for a great price. I am told that Dallas pipeline magnate Kelcy Warren LOVES to buy real estate through auctions and in fact, the mega rich do constantly comb auction sites for deals in land, homes, yachts, planes and cars.

72 White Pine Canyon Road | Park City, UT | Luxury Real Estate

Well, tomorrow — yes, tomorrow! — you can bid on the home where the stars love to ski in Utah: 72 White Pine Canyon Road, a stunning 17,000 square foot plus mega ski house built in 2001, designed by one of Park City, Utah’s most famous architects, Jack Thomas, now the Mayor of Park City. Thomas has built some of the most iconic Park City homes, and is best known for creating Main Street’s “Egyptian Theatre”.

72 white pine 2

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Gus Cortina

I know it’s 72 degrees in Dallas, but the ski season is in full swing just a few hundred miles north of us.  And we are quite in love with the town of Telluride, Colorado. We would prefer a little ski in/ski out place at the Villas at Cortina over a box of chocolates. Or flowers. That’s a place where we could escape in winter OR summer, bring the kids and grand-kids, and make it a family fun time. When your children grow up and work, their time becomes incredibly precious and cannot be parsed out enough.

Cortina Villas

A care-free second home at the Villas of Cortina in Telluride provides the perfect family getaway with the cleanest, most wholesome family sport of all times: skiing. That photo is of 2014 Olympic silver medalist in Slopestyle skiing, hometown Telluride boy, Gus Kenworthy, in the Villa’s ski tunnel.

First of all, it’s easy to get to Telluride from Dallas. Dallas snow seekers are taking advantage of increased service to Telluride (MTJ) this winter on American Airlines. Telluride has announced a 20% overall increase in flights to the destination for the 2014-2015 winter season, and the Dallas flight leads the way with a 51% growth in seats. (more…)

Vail Resorts has planned more than $50 million in upgrades to the recently purchased Park City Mountain Resort.

Vail Resorts has planned more than $50 million in upgrades to the recently purchased Park City Mountain Resort.

I know we’re all dreaming of the slopes and yummy apres ski cocktails, and if you don’t already have your winter getaway planned, well, we have some fodder for your ski vacation dreams! News just broke that Vail Resorts, which purchased Park City Mountain Resort for $182 million back in September, is planning more than $50 million in upgrades to this mountain destination.

It’s all part of Vail Resorts’ ambitious capital plan to transform the guest experience at Park City, connecting the resort to the Canyons, and thereby creating more than 7,300 skiable acres. Infrastructure upgrades will be tremendous, and the impact will be felt throughout the valley. Vail Resorts is known for great skiing, and we can’t wait to see what they do!

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Breck Cannabis AP

The line at Breckenridge Cannabis Club goes out the door as vacationers and residents alike take advantage of Colorado’s new recreational marijuana laws. (Kathryn Olson/AP)

We’ve seen photos and stories from Colorado ski towns such as Aspen and Breckenridge showing vacationers filing lines out the door at marijuana shops, so of course, we had to wonder what kind of impact legal pot could have on Colorado real estate. Are more buyers putting it in their pipes and smoking it?

Turns out the Colorado Association of Realtors was wondering the exact same thing.  After all, with 136 pot retailers in the state as of Dec. 2013, buyers were throwing green after green, eventually causing a state-wide shortage of smokables. But is recreational marijuana a boon for Colorado real estate, or a burden?

“Some people don’t want to come [to Colorado] with their families,” says Joyce Burford, executive director of Colorado Association of Ski Towns. “Because they have this image that all these pot smokers will be everywhere.” That’s not happening, she says, and “I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Analysis from the Colorado Association of Realtors shows that while state law no longer forbids recreational pot sales and retailers, local governments hold the keys to the lease.

The majority of counties in Colorado have either already passed bans on recreational marijuana retailers or have delayed making a decision and placed a moratorium on pot business; closely monitoring how enactment is working in other parts of the state.

It looks as though recreational marijuana businesses will be absent from large portions of the state for the foreseeable future. According to the Denver Post, of the ten largest cities in Colorado (by population), only Denver is expected to accept license applications for recreational marijuana stores this year.

It’s also important to note that in counties and cities that have decided to allow recreational sales, grow operations will only be in areas zoned industrial.

Right now, Denver and Denver County are the only areas where you can still apply for a marijuana sales license. So vacation property owners don’t really have to worry about an influx of new ganja businesses. And in Vail, there’s a complete moratorium on recreational marijuana sales. Still, folks in Aspen are buying pot, but at least one Realtor doesn’t think it will do much for real estate sales, if anything at all.

“I don’t think [legal marijuana] is making that much difference,” Joshua Landis, a real-estate agent in Aspen, said in this piece in The Daily Beast.

“People have always been able to access marijuana in Aspen. Nobody is out smoking marijuana on the corner” just because it’s suddenly legal to possess and use it in private (it’s still illegal to use publicly). In addition, he says, “I don’t think it has any effect” on property values. “No one who can afford to buy property in Aspen is going to make their decision based on marijuana policy.”

If the lines snaking outside of the Breckenridge Cannabis Club are any indication, pot tourism might make Colorado the new Amsterdam. And heck, it might be a draw so much in that it awakens latent demand for buyers who want to move to a 4:20-friendly state, but perhaps in more affordable areas such as Denver and its surrounding suburbs.

Others, like Lubbock’s Colt and Amanda Smith, are among those planning to move to the state to ride the new economy. The couple founded the Lubbock chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).

They had talked about retiring in Colorado but decided to act early once the new law took effect.

“We have our house on the market right now,” Colt Smith said. “It makes sense to find exile in a place that has more reasonable laws than to sit around and wait for Texas to get there.”

The Smiths hope to launch a marijuana edibles business once they establish residency.

“We feel like Colorado is just beautiful and has beautiful laws,” Smith said. “When people tell me they’re going there to ski now, they use air quotes.”

“Skiing,” indeed.