I often get asked what can we expect for the real estate market in Crested Butte. Our market is different than a typical real estate market and I came across this great article specifically on Colorado ski towns and Crested Butte! It was written by Colorado Hard Money, a lender. If your interested in reading more click here for the entire article.
Major Ski Industry Changes
To refresh on what is happening in the industry. If you missed the news, there have been several purchases/mergers involving many Colorado ski resorts. Below, I’ve highlighted the big four in Colorado. Each of these will have a substantial impact on real estate in their respective markets. If the purchase of Eldora by Powdr corporation is indicative of the future, look for KSI (Aspen group, Alterra) to put substantial money into Winterpark and Steamboat over the next several years.
- Vail Resorts buys Crested Butte, this purchase closed late 2018
- Aspen buys WinterPark and Steamboat (and some other resorts like Mammoth)
- Copper (Powdr corp) buys Eldora
- Purgatory is sold to James Coleman (local Durango resident)
In Colorado and throughout the country, the big are getting bigger and many of the smaller players will no longer be able to survive. A good example is Granby Ranch which is now on the market (See Denver Post article) with no major viable buyers. It would be ill advised to buy in a market like Granby ranch with the uncertainty of whether it will continue as a going concern. Due to its size and location it doesn’t fit any need for the major resort operators.
What are the top 3 Colorado ski town investments for 2019?
- Steamboat Springs: Steamboat was on my list last year and will continue into 2019. Since the announcement last year that Aspen/KSI was buying Steamboat, the market has been on fire. There is no inventory under 1m and supply is severely constrained. Steamboat is a unique market that is growing exponentially in the summer time as well. It is substantially undervalued compared to places like Vail and therefore much more attractive to many buyers. The market should continue to appreciate nicely as supply is nonexistent and demand continues to increase. The announcement of the purchase of the resort should spur continued investment in the base area as well.
- Crested Butte: With their recent purchase by Vail resorts there is continued upside in Crested Butte. Crested Butte is landlocked surrounded by National Forests and therefore supply will remain tight in this market. Many of the properties near the base area are very dated and therefore have upside as Vail invests money to upgrade the base area. Crested Butte is still considered “undiscovered” and will quickly get “discovered” with its addition on the Epic pass.
- Telluride: Telluride is an anomaly and not owned by the major two resort companies (Vail and Alterra) but is still an excellent investment. Telluride, like many resorts, is landlocked and therefore supply is nonexistent. Telluride is also unique with its National and international draw. People are attracted to Telluride since it is not Aspen or Vail and a bit lower key than the other Colorado top tier resort markets. Telluride will continue to hold its value even during another recession due to lack of supply and international demand.
Location is Key:
Even though, I listed my top three mountain pics above, location within the mountain towns is key. In any mountain town/ski town location is key to success in real estate. For example, in Crested Butte there are 4 unique markets (the mountain, town, Skyland and CB South). Values and appreciation rates are different in each of these markets. When you are looking at real estate in any of the mountain towns make sure you understand fully the submarkets that are driving values since not all areas are equal. For example, in the town of Crested Butte, values are between $1M – $5M, in CB South it’s rare to find a property over $1M. This is quite the range in prices for areas only a few miles apart.