Thanks to DCSki we had a great time at Snowshoe
April 12, 2006
Just wanted to say thanks for all the good advice i got here before planning my visit to Snowshoe a couple of weeks ago. Based in the UK so had never heard of the place before but really enjoyed it there. Quite a different experience to skiing the Alps but we had a great time.
For a report i submitted to another site visit:http://www.snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewt...sc&start=40
and make sure you are on page 2, you'll find it at the bottom.
and for some pics go to:http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/530
Most of the places we ski have much longer runs but the skiing at Snowshoe was very convenient. I'm more used to having a short drive/ short bus ride/ or long walk to the slopes so getting out of the front door straight onto the pistes was fantastic!
There was a nice variety of grade of runs but i would expect that the two blacks in the Western Territory would have been red or maybe even blue in France.
If any of you are heading over to ski in Europe i'll be happy to try and answer any questions you may have.....
I enjoyed reading your report -- I think you summarized it perfectly. While I prefer Vermont, I ski a lot at Snowshoe and really enjoy it. It can really be a fun place to ski.
I agree about the Western Territory trails -- the majority of the run down is "blue". Only the steep sections are really "black" -- one short steep section on Cupp which is not too bad, and a longer much steeper section on lower Shays. Lower Shays was probably closed when you visited, right? That is amongst the steepest sections of a trail on the East coast, and probably the top 1-2 steepest in the South.
RogerC, there was a photo in your gallery of a steeply rising single chair somewhere in Europe. Where?
If you ever end up back at Snowshoe you must eat at the Red Fox restaurant (it might have closed for the season just before you arrived!). It is a wonderful place to eat, great service, awesome menu, game meat, etc. Highly ranked.
Best restaurant at Snowshoe.
I enjoyed your report and pictures. I really enjoyed the pictures from somewhere in the Alps. Reminded me of Vail and Utah.
Re Red Fox. I own in the Summit and am there ever weekend. Got this from the locals and someone that worked in it: there is NO MORE Red Fox - ever. It's a combination of a divorce, and the really high cost of rent Intrawest wants for the space (+12% gross)- and - the building was condemned. The lodging part of the building was improved to meet fire code a few years back, but not the restaurant part. Now, rumors do fly that the guy may open a new restaurant in the new Soaring Eagle. Hey, I still have a worthless $100 gift certificate for the defunct Red Fox !!! Rumor also has it that Intrawest isn't keen on independent businesses in their development!
I own at wabasso and have heard this rumor for the past year, hope it is not true. Brian & Margaret Ball are owners, not sure about divorce status, etc., but Brian is definitely opening two new spots in the new village at soaring eagle (check press release on shoe site).
Nice report and very good photo's. Thanks.
When I ate there the last day open this season (about March 17) there was no indication that the restaurant was not going to reopen. They normally close the middle of March and reopen for summer weekend events.
It is true that a Snowshoe news release indicated that they were going to operate two restaurants in the new Soaring Eagle Lodge, one a very upscale restaurant (if current Red Fox does close this could be the replacement). But as I said when we were there in mid-March there was not the slightest hint of any permanent closing.
You didn't find any off piste for a reason...its too risky. This is the West Virginia Alps, not the French.....Them country boys out there would love to get a hold of you...."Deliverance"...say no more! Just Joking..Short runs but a good snowy scene at least. Glad you had a good one! Come on back when we get Mount porte Crayon Built....will be Much better.
Rumor also has it that Intrawest isn't keen on independent businesses in their development!
Not true Rich (at least according to everything I've read before). Intrawest does not technically own many of the businesses in it's villages. These are mostly privately owned and they stay away from other corporations typically (Never seen a McDonald's but there is Starbucks). Intrawest uses smaller businesses because they have more power and control and not as many legal battles.
Part of the model for Intrawest is the design and layout of the village. They have very intricate models based on traffic patterns, which businesses they want in certain places (bars right off the slopes, breakfast places near the condos, etc.). They have extensive studies of what works well side by side and gives the best compliments (grocery store, liquor store and pharmacy together).
But being a big corporation, they are very much the big fish in a pond of teeny fish. If you want to open a business in their village, you don't shop around for the sight you want, you must take what they give you. And, if your business doesn't fit any model they are currently looking for, you will not get a shot of opening.
Snowshoe is not a good example of this model as most things were in place already. Whistler, Tremblant, Mammoth and others fit this better. Intrawest takes lots of cues from Disney as far as setting up the villages.
Back to your regular post.
Oh and I forgot to mention, Intrawest takes an abnormaly amount of the profits from the small businesses. Kinda like Tony Soprano.
Now back to your regular post.
JimK the single chair was in a small resort in Northern Italy called Foppolo. It's about an hour's drive North of Bergamo which is in turn about an hour east of Milan. I skiied there for a weekend in January with a friend as i had some work to do in the area at the beginning of the following week.
Roger, can you post a direct link to that single chair photo? I think some folks would get a kick out of it and I couldn't find it again in your gallery. There are only one or two left in the US and they are considered a nostalgic novelty. It looked to be a fairly long and steep one.
It is my understanding the the new Soaring Eagle Lodge is not an Intrawest development.
First time I saw that photo I thought it was a multiple exposure image of a guy jumping down the mountain. Didn't even see the lift.
It's my understanding via a conversation with a waitress at the Foxfire is that the Foxfire and Red Fox are owned by the same people and not ran by Snowshoe but Cheat River Pizza, the Junction and another place are ran by Snowshoe.
The waitress continued in our conversation and said that there is a plan for a Sushi/Asian blend/fusion eatery planned for Soaring Eagle by the same folks that run Foxfire.
True. And, that Brian Ball purposely (pre-divorce) fiscally ran the Red Fox into the ground. You know how most restaurant business are: the employees show up for work as usual, but the doors are chained shut. I got it from an ex-employee it's permanently gone (and I'm still holding a $100 gift certificate my realtor gave me for spending about $100K more then I planned !!!). Think I can get that $100k rebate? LOL. Soaring Eagle isn't exactly an Intrawest development - it's a joint venture. Man, the way property values are skyrocketing at the 'Shoe...beats any stock on the market. My financial advisor convinced me to dump my stocks (can be volatile) and pay cash for my property there (pretty damn secure). And what's the down side = you just put it on the rental market and make money on top of appreciation? Haven't seen prices go DOWN there !!! Mine's gone up $40k since Dec. and conservatively another $100 by next season. My buds rent theirs for just 2(two) weeks a year to pay the years condo fee. ToTW (a bit too small for me, but a lot of owners have a 2nd investment place in there) is the sleeper investment of Snowshoe.
Soaring Eagle is not an Intrawest development- it is being developed by several lawyers in WV (Charleston). The deal w/ Intrawest is to let 'Playgrounds', their real estate sales division, to act as the exclusive broker on new sales.
Sawmill village (www.sawmillvillage.com), going in beside Soaring Eagle as the basin develops out from Widowmaker, is another private deal by James Hamm, developer of Logger's Run. Eight Rivers in the village will be an Intrawest development. There are also plans for a new 'Shavers Center' and another condo building going in beside Seneca to extend the village even further north, towards Cupp. (check the master plan on snowshoe site for aerial view).
Brian Ball owns the Red Fox, FoxFire and the two new stores going into the Soaring Eagle development. One will be a restaurant with an 'open kitchen' and the other will be a takeout with upscale prepared meals. I've got $300 in G.C.'s to Red Fox so I sure hope the rumors are not true, (this rumor is over a year old now).
TOW (i agree too small at less than 500sf) is still at a good price point for many, but all properties have rocketed up. Two years ago TOW was around 60K, now upper 90's. Loggers Run went from 490 to 650-700. Rich, the Summit was around 140K in '04, now around 180- the remodeling should help drive them higher, but I dont see 100K more in the next year happening. Summit does offer a lot of bang for the buck for 3Br's.
The best values on the mountain are just about any of the older properties. Look at the price/sq. footage. Some of the village properties are $400-500+/s.f- INSANE!!!! Plus, some older units actually have enough room to breath in compared to the pill boxes they have made in the village. Soaring Eagle was designed to be larger s.f. due to all of the complaints of lack of space of the village units.
No mentions of investments at Silver Creek...why? When I stayed there the condo I rented was for sale, 125G for a one bedroom condo with fire place.
Silver Creek isn't mentioned because it's so detached from the Village?
just didnt mention s'creek as well as many others. i have two friends with units there as second properties on the mountain for investments and they seem to be pleased with them. TOW also seems to be a place for people to buy second properties for some reason. to each their own, but personally, im not a 'big building' person, whether in the village or elsewhere.
as far as investments, it doesnt seem that property anywhere (beach, mountain, etc) is a good 'investment' anymore. in '03 i read an article that was about beach properties, but applies to anywhere. it had some real estage guru's saying that good cashflow on a property would be 10% (60K rental income on a 600K unit) of sales price. with prices going through the roof the past few years the cash flow on a percentage basis has not kept up, so a unit that did 10% and now does 5% is not a very good performer. this has resulted from the rental revenues not going up like the property prices.
in my limited experience of renting only one season at sshoe, i found that mgmt fees, etc. ate up about 40-45% of the gross. this was with an outside management co. that only charged 20%, while snowshoe's fees run 25-27% depending on what program you want. throw in cleaning, nuisance fees for linens, supplies, etc. and it adds up fast to a bad situation. the cleaning fee is from $80-100 a visit and such a joke, my three year old could do a better job.
I got into the Summit in Dec. for $160k. Two went for $200k a couple of months ago. The only one on the market now is $216k. Hey, not a bad 4-month appreciation! Keep in mind the $1.5 million renovation that will be complete this Summer (all new siding/insulation, windows/doors, decks, walkways, etc, etc)...that's why I'd figure an easy $300k soon. Anyway ... a 3 brdrm/2 full bath w/ full size washer/dryer, dining room, deck, fireplace compared to some of the new efficiencies going for $600k+ !! It's a bargain and super investment, especially before reno completion. If you do rent - they currently go for $3,000/week. But I DON'T. I'm single and just got it for my personal use (I need my space). Besides, rentals are TRASHED and I want my nice china, plasma big screen, etc. LOL, just imagine renters using your plasma flat screen with a test pattern as a dart board! Trust me - a LOT WORSE has happened in rentals. I could relate renter stories, but you wouldn't believe me. Yes, if you turn it over to Snowshoe Rental, fees will eat you up...but a lot of folks consider it an investment for rental income and never even see the place. We're slowly working on turning The Summit into Owner/Occupied. I showed 2 new owners the before & after on a rental weekend in another unit and they were convinced!!! I suggested a DCski internal rental system for people we know (that won't trash the place). I'd be happy to rent out for 50% off if I knew it wouldn't be destroyed like the typical rentals.Through everyone else's experiences - I simply would not let the Public in mine!
The Summits have seen a bit of a run lately and there are one or two available around the 180-190k range. I do not see how these units will hit 300k in any short period even with the new renovations. The homeowner dues are outrageous at $500 a month.
Most investors / buyers do look at possible cash flows and if you do the numbers with the new HO dues, you will come up short on Summit.
Yes TOW's are small, but thier homeowner dues are $190. So the cash flow is still pretty good!
Silver Creeks have been selling like hot cakes (1 bedrooms) this year as well.
There is a natural rotation of buildings that are hot each year based on selling price. It seems to be a few buildings are on fire each year and then on to the next set.
Rimfire Jr. Studios are / have been seeing a run as well.
It is not ski in ski out, but have any of you looked at the bang for the buck in the Creekside units - they are really nice and most people are unaware of these units.
You're not the "Davis" in 104D are you??? 101D sold 2 months ago for $200K. The only thing I see on the MLS (#06-258) is now $215,900 (C-2nd flr). Last Fall I saw one for $185k totally original, smelled like mothballs. You can't go by the Realtor sites (like Keith) as mine was on there For Sale about 2 months AFTER I closed! If I could buy for $180k I jump on it and sell it in 6 months after reno's are done. The condo fee was $300, but yes they added $200/mth to cover the $1.5 million reno. The Rimfire's are TINY. Those "Jr. Studios" are glorified hotel rooms (Murphy bed, "mini" kitchen in the room) and are listed MLS at $129K...cheap enough if you don't have claustrophobia! ReMax/Old Spruce fees are about 20% +$50 turnover, so that's still $2350/wk Summit income (less you manage it yourself for no fee). If we had a DCski rental clearing house, I'd be happy with half that just to not open the door to broken glass and half the stuff stolen.. We should really plan for some DCski Open Houses next season.
I stayed in a Summit 3BDR unit one year with a group from my office, and it was a great condo. Awesome views out the back. About the only thing I did not like was the hike to and from the slopes in ski boots. Lots of stairs! But that was not a huge deal.
Please be realistic in your statements..."600K+ for an efficiency"????? Also you mentioned in an earlier thread that Soaring Eagle is 600K+.
There are 2BR Allegheny Springs on the market starting at 440K. The 600's can get you a 4/5BR at Logger's Run or a 3BR w/ den at Camp 4. Some of the 3BR's in Seneca are in the 700's. You can even have a nice fat single family house on Westridge for 600. Soaring Eagle units will range from the 200's-600's.
Creekside started out at 280 in 04, now at 330K+. Nice units but a dog location...they advertise as walking distance to S'creek slopes..but thats a pretty good hike in snowboard boots, not to mention ski boots. You are pretty much hostage to the Snowshoe bus at that location... and we all know what a nightmare that can be.
I completely remodeled my place last season and have zero plans to rent. I have seen and heard many of the rental horrors on the mountain. I personally never had any major problems. Like you, our 'investment' is our personal enjoyment we get out of the place.
Jr Studios were going for $100k last year and are going for almost $130k now. That is good appreciation. I agree they are small, but are running in price.
Again, Summit has and is enjoying a good run. Especially when you look at how far they are from the slopes uphill.
No I am not the guy from 104D. I did own a Summit, but sold it right before all the reno started. The reno will likely go over budget and time. I also hear that the quality of the reno leaves something to be desired. Not a summit hater, just do not think they will run to the 300k that I have seen preached here.
The units I would like to see, but never come on the market are Wabasso units.
Always looking for a good buy!
I can anticipate million-dollar Village Snowshoe lodging in a very short time. After seeing Stratton, where a two-bedroom Founders Lodge apartment goes for 925K, I can see Seneca or Allegheny Springs on the same route. Actually, the number of over-million West Ridge homes is astonishing now. Doesn't seem like these prices now. Project five years into the future and it is a likely occurence.
Also about the renovations at Summit: The first part, the free-standing decks with the hardy-plank siding on the westward walls, was completed not too far behind schedule and, considering the serious damage encountered on virtually all the units (the result of old insulation, old building techniques and the inclement weather on that side of the condos), the price was within the ballpark. As far as the quality, all of the homeowners got a sour-grapes memo from a handful of owners who would not have liked it even if we inlaid diamonds and rubies on the doors. Their "study" pointed out a few flaws, yes, but once these were corrected the rest of the project for '05 was indeed of good quality. The new decks, for example, are superbly built on huge concrete pylons with 6x6 columns.
One thing about the rentals. As little as I rent my condo, I have to say that I have never had anyone trash it nor have I had any damage to the unit. The key is in NOT using the Snowshoe rental system. My rental agent does a very good job of screening out College kids and yes, church groups.
i own at wabasso and with only 24 units there are rarely any on the market. strongly desired properties like wabasso, powder monkey, and stemwinder often never hit the mls b/c the realtors have 'wait lists' from clients and they often get the call to buy before things oficially hit the market.
we love wabasso for the open layout from kitchen to living room for entertaining friends, which gives an appearance of a larger room (unlike treetop where the two rooms are separate and feel smaller). the vaulted ceiling makes the room feel even larger.
another consideration for us was the ability to expand our unit as we desired. we have dug out the basement and put in a steel door for tons of storage. i just moved my hot water heater down there when the old one in the BR closet failed. a neighbor has had to replace their BR carpet twice from leaking water heaters. This got the unit out of the house and freed up more closet space.
Another neighbor has made his basement into a complete standalone room (tv, fridge, heat, carpeting and beds along with a tool bench for board/ski repairs) with everything but plumbing (which could be done)- a great drinking hangout for the guys and is used for overflow sleepers. another neighbor has used the upstairs owners closet for a small BR and added a sink.
the ultimate is unit 18/19. the guy just sold it but had two units and cut out double recessed doors inside the wall and turned it into a 4BR/4BA, doubled the deck and has a hottub, it listed last summer for $545K.
another option is to add a 3rd BR - next time up look at #8- you can see it from the road and it has different windows than others. we also have the option of expanding the deck and adding a private hottub on it if desired. bottom line is tons of potential that just isnt possible with most other units on the mountain. another bonus is the carport to help minimize snow on the vehicle and direct access for loading/unloading- i cringe at the idea of trying to find and use one of the 'hotel type' carts that are used at the big buildings. 5 mins. to the village but a world away from it with tons of privacy. the only negative for us is not a true ski in/out but its only 2 mins. to the slope.
Wabasso is one of the gems at Snowshoe. With their carports, expansion potential and location, they seldom go for under 300, if there are any. I went to see one when I was purchasing my Summit unit but I needed a 3-bedroom and (at that time) it was Summit, Whistlepunk or Shamrock. Rimhouse and the Village came a year later. I guess I'm dating myself...
Isn't there a trail from Wabasso to the uper flume?
yes, theres a trail that goes from upper flume to wabasso, about a 2 minute walk, but i still dont consider that to be a 'true' ski in/out. the trial has been a nightmare the past two years since loggers run went in- the hot tubs are drained onto the trail and freezes into massive thick ice slicks, creating zero traction.
you must have bought in '98, im pretty sure rimfire went up in '99.
actually, no wabasso has pushed 300K but i think the next one on the market will be around that ballpark. the last one was listed at 240K last year.