“Never look down on someone unless you’re helping them up. “
When we were again allowed to show property in late June after being shut down since March 13th, we brokers “thought” it was possible to have a good 3rd quarter. What city dweller wouldn’t want to live here? Town was full, Covid-19 numbers were down and everyone was happy to be spending time in our great outdoors. None of us in the industry could imagine we would do more than three and a half times the dollar volume we did in the same time period in 2019.
There were 601 closed transactions in the third quarter of 2019 with a total dollar volume of $538,497,000. Our 2020 third quarter results were 994 closed transactions with a dollar volume of $1,878,874,405!!!! This is the largest dollar volume in the Roaring Fork Valley’s history with only one third more transactions which obviously speaks to sales in the higher price ranges. There were 21 properties that sold in 2019 over $10,000,000 but in 2020 there have been 72 sales of properties $10 million or more! (And we’re not done yet!)
Where is real estate in Aspen and our little Valley headed in the future? Lend me your crystal ball!
PS: Be sure to read the quarterly updates!
Chamber’s Debbie Braun Recognized by the State
Debbie Braun, president and CEO of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, received the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Colorado Tourism, the Aspen Daily News reported. Additionally, the ACRA team was given the Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative Award for achieving gold-level status from the International Mountain Bike Association for mountain bike routes throughout the valley.
The state tourism office cited her “swift and ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis” in contributing to the recognition, as well as ongoing procurement of marketing funding for Aspen, her 20-year career with ACRA and overseeing the chamber from a marketing organization to a management organization.
Mark Hunt Propose Multi-Use Center on Mill Street
Aspen developer Mark Hunt proposed to scrape and replace the city’s sole strip mall with a three-story, mixed-use structure consisting of free-market rental units and essential businesses, the Aspen Daily News reported.
Hunt and his team purchased 465 and 557 N. Mill St. Hunt — which is zoned service-commercial-industrial (SCI) for community-serving businesses — in 2018 for $15 million. Among the SCI tenants on the property are a laundromat, a second-hand sports store and a bike shop. The proposed redevelopment includes 63,220 square feet of residential area and 34,100 square feet of commercial space. Aspen City Council and Planning and Zoning members were lukewarm to the project, citing the need for rental housing but disappointed in sacrificing an essential retail center for it.
Evan Boenning Named Realtor of the Year
Longtime Aspenite Evan Boenning was named 2020 Colorado Association of Realtors’ Realtor of the Year, the Aspen Daily News reported. Boenning is a broker with Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty and he was recognized for his unwavering commitment to community and warm spirit toward everyone with whom he interacts.
Aspen Valley Hospital and Steadman Clinic Finalize Partnership
Aspen Valley Hospital and The Steadman Clinic announced their formal strategic partnership, to commence Dec. 1, the Aspen Daily News reported. Under the agreement, orthopedic operations will merge under the Steadman brand, replacing OrthoAspen. Both parties said advanced medical technology and procedures are one benefit of the merger.
Additionally, Aspen Valley Hospital will come into the fold of the Steadman Philippon Research Institute, which currently boasts two contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, has been awarded six grants from the National Institutes of Health and is underway on five clinical trials.
City Coffers Growing Thanks to Real Estate
The Wheeler Opera House and the city’s affordable housing program were the beneficiaries of one whopper of an August for residential sales in Aspen, the Aspen Times reported. Housing coffers grew by $2.5 million in August through the collection of real estate transfer taxes from property sales in Aspen. That was 297.8% more than the $639,178 in RETT collections in July 2019 and nearly three times the $657,900 budgeted by the city for August.
The Wheeler collected $1.3 million through the RETT in August, which was 278.1% greater than the $343,499 it made in August 2019. It also nearly tripled city projections, which forecast $334,300 for August.
131 Popcorn Lane, Aspen – $8,995,000
Imagine a kaleidoscope of mountain views from every window and not being able to see a single house. Located in the Morningstar neighborhood, this French Chateau is as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the outside. With Limestone and French Oak floors, stone walls and lots of attention to detail this elegant home was built for the attentive Buyer. Plenty of space for entertaining, inside and out. Stroll to the pond and enjoy the sound of the creek as it runs through the pristine forest of ancient trees, well-placed plantings and dry stack stone walls. Whimsical playhouse and bunk room fit perfectly in the setting. Nothing has been left out making this luxurious home ultra-livable, with Central Air and radiant heat that is run by geothermal wells. Kitchen has a La Cornue stove, 2 ASKO dishwashers, 36″ sub-zero refrigerator with extra drawers, 2 sinks, professional ice maker and plenty of room to move around. Master suite is on a floor of its own with Romeo and Juliet balcony, stone fireplace, and office. Aside from a media room, there is a family room with built-ins, breakfast bar with refrigerator drawers, and an adorable bunk room.
Watch the video tour.
Snowmass Tourism Preps for Winter
Snowmass Village is doing its best to prepare for winter guests while acknowledging that what the visitor numbers will look like is a great unknown, the Aspen Daily News reported. Some adaptations include restaurants being allowed to expand onto sidewalks with planters, plexiglass and electric heaters to keep visitors warm while dining outdoors. The town will provide blankets for diners and has been working with state liquor license authorities to allow for an increased footprint at dining establishments.
Nordic Center Will Not Open this Winter
The Snowmass Cross Country Center will not reopen its doors this winter for Nordic ski rentals or lessons, the Aspen Times reported. The decision to close the center, which the Ute Mountaineer has operated out of the Snowmass Club’s golf pro shop in the Black Saddle Bar and Grille building for roughly 18 years, is a result of the Snowmass center’s continued struggle with staffing and low profitability, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
New Uses Considered for an Old Space
An underutilized piece of property in the midvalley owned by the U.S. Forest Service could get repurposed for housing, recreation and open space through the Flexible Partnership Act that’s part of the 2018 Farm Act, the Aspen Daily News reported. In September, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams, and elected and appointed officials from Basalt, Eagle and Pitkin counties walked the 72-acre site adjacent to Crown Mountain Park and discussed the future vision for the property. Public comment has been taken since June, and recommendations are forthcoming, according to both agencies.
Basalt Sales Tax Going Strong
Tax collections were up 11.6% from August 2019 according to the Basalt sales tax report for August, which details information from July, the Aspen Times reported. Leading the way were grocery stores, building materials sellers, general retail, sporting goods retail and, of course, retail liquor. In a change from earlier months during the pandemic, restaurants with bars registered a strong 13.6% increase for the month compared with last year. Restaurants without bars didn’t enjoy the same surge. Sales were down 10.3%, according to the sales tax report.
Multi-Sport Indoor Facility Opens
Tommy Cox and Amanda Trendell, both former Division I athletes from the East Coast who currently coach the Aspen High School boys and girls lacrosse teams, recently opened Elite Performance Academy, a year-round, indoor sports training facility located just off Highway 82 near Carbondale. With 5,000-square feet of turf, EPA caters primarily to lacrosse and soccer at the start, but with hopes of expanding to other sports in the future.
On top of the turf space, which is surrounded by safety netting, EPA has a full complement of equipment for weight training and cardio. They have everything a coach would need for practice, from balls to cones, can offer up nutrition advice for athletes and even have the ability to record practice sessions for technical analysis and to help students with recruiting videos. The space is available for rent, whether for private training sessions, group practices or independent leagues.
Bustang Considers Expanding to Telluride
The Colorado Department of Transportation is looking to expand its rural regional network, with the potential to add four new routes within the next year, with one of those being a proposed Grand Junction-to-Telluride route, the Aspen Daily News reported. Currently, the Bustang West Line runs weekdays between Denver and Grand Junction daily. Day-of tickets between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction are $15. The company is hosting a survey for user feedback to determine the next routes.
Redstone Castle Listed for $19.75 Million
The historic and recently restored Redstone Castle is being listed for sale at a price of $19.75 million, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. Known as the “Ruby of the Rockies,” the Redstone Castle is located about 15 miles outside of Carbondale and 48 miles from Aspen. The 153-acre property includes a carriage house, garages and horse arena, and early water rights and the right to build 20,000 square feet of additional cabins or cottages in private, wooded areas on the grounds.
Home Sales on the Rise
According to data from the Colorado Association of Realtors, single-family home sales in Garfield County were up 86% in July as compared to July 2019, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. The biggest increases in single-family home sales in July were in New Castle (up 128.6%) and Glenwood Springs (up 233%). Single-family home sales in every community from Battlement Mesa to Carbondale were up as well.
SkiCo Announces Pass Options
Aspen Skiing Co. announced its 2020-21 winter season pass options, with some blackout dates as part of a way to deal with distancing during Covid-19, the Aspen Daily News reported.
Pass options include the “Valley Weekday Pass,” which chamber members can purchase for $899 — $999 for nonchamber members — through Nov. 13, offering access to all four mountains Monday through Friday, with some blackout dates during holidays, Dec. 26 to Jan. 2, and Feb. 13 and 14. Subject to that same blackout range is the debuted “Valley 7-Pack,” which, as the name suggests, gives purchasers seven on-mountain days throughout the season, including weekend days. That option also is only available to locals and carries a $399 price tag through Nov. 13.
Locals who have bought one of the two exclusive pass options available to them will have the opportunity to purchase additional days at, minimally, a 50% discount from the lift ticket price. Premier pass holders continue to get unlimited access to all four mountains. The price increased $320 for chamber passholder, to $1,799.
Pitkin County Ranked 7th Healthiest the Country
U.S. News and World Report has placed Pitkin County high in the rankings for Healthiest Community in the country, the Aspen Daily News reported. In the third year of its study, performed by the University of Missouri Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems, Pitkin County was rated the seventh healthiest county overall in the country, and came in at No. 2 for the rural, high-performing category, just behind Routt County, which is home to Steamboat Springs. Colorado counties lead the list overall, filling out six of the top 10 spots.
BOCC Approves Affordable Housing for Aspen Firefighters
Pitkin County commissioners voted unanimously to support a resolution approving a permit for the Aspen Fire Protection District’s plans to build a 15-unit affordable housing development next to its North 40 substation, the Aspen Daily News reported. Many residents of the nearby North 40 neighborhood spoke against the proposal over the last year, primarily over issues related to height and density. But it was approved by a special permit granted by BOCC because it operates as its own governmental jurisdiction.
In addition to the 15 units, which will encompass 21,000 square feet, plans call for a 20,000-square-foot underground parking garage with a minimum of 30 spaces. In addition, the project will include a 500-square-foot multi-purpose building and 14 surface parking spaces for residents, which would be located on the street and within the development apron. The entire lot area on which the substation currently sits is 1.46 acres.
332 W Main Street 101A, Aspen — $2,800,000
This is an opportunity to own a commercial building, rather than owning just a space within—and this isn’t just any building. This is a landmark Victorian on Main Street with a West End address. Hailing from a different era, this grand dame exudes charm with high ceilings, oak floors, tall windows, gracious porch and all the trim work you’d expect in a building of this time period, while still being incredibly functional.
Used currently as a medical center, the property has the flexibility to suit almost any business with multiple rooms on each floor. Full height in basement means great storage. Triple Net lease in place until July 2024. Please do not disturb the tenant. This is a working business with customers.