Post Article on Trophy Homes at Ski Resorts
As the Rich Ride In, Many Are Priced Out of Homes on the Range
By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 13, 2006; Page A01
JACKSON, Wyo. -- In an era when the rich are the only income group getting richer, ever-larger waves of wealth are spilling in from the coasts and swamping the resort valleys of the Rocky Mountain West.
The rich are coming not just to ski, mountain-bike or build imposing second homes. They are coming to stay -- or, at the very least, secure permanent resident status for tax purposes. The moneyed invasion is driving population growth rates that are among the highest in the nation.
The tax advantages of WV are not the same as Wyoming, but the desire amongst "upper brackets" types and trustafarians to live in places like the CV and Snowshoe as a "lifestyle" choice resonates. My concern is that if skiing is basically an afterthought for these people, are skier services going to suffer in the long run?
Interesting article. Thanks for sharing. It's getting harder and harder to find that great undiscovered mtn town. That kind of crazy real estate market hit Aspen a decade or two ago forcing less fortunate locals and service workers to relocate down to Glenwood Springs or beyond. Nobody can afford to buy a house in Jackson anymore according to the article, but funny thing is that Jackson Hole still (maybe not for long) has the Hostel X at the base of the lifts offering some of the cheapest slopeside lodging for those so inclined in the big time American West, something like $60 a night/person.
I harbor vague ambitions of moving to a cool ski town in my retirement years, but I'm beginning to think that if I ever make that kind of leap it will probably just be to the suburbs of Denver, SLC or maybe Sacramento? Or maybe Davis, WV
Some of the suburbs north of SLC are still cheap by DC standards--Clinton or Ogden, just to name two. The skiing is unlimited and SLC has decent air links to many other places in the US. It's also not terribly far by car to Las Vegas. There's more to this area than Park City. As for me, I want to retire in Central America (because of the avian life) and migrate north (or south) for the snow and skiing.
One thing is clear: improvements in ski technology mean many people will be skiing well into their 80s. That's why senior citizen discounts are going the way of the dinosaurs.
By the time you retire & hopefully with Tory or MPC(or both) up & running, The Davis area will give you all the Mtn's you want!+ you can run down to the coast for a great fishing charter & beach trip...If your too old to hit the ocean,head to to the Golden Anchor & they will bring the sea to you! If you could care less about the salt air or the seafood...head to landlocked Snowbird or areas as such...Thats my opinion & I'm sticking with it.
By the time you retire & hopefully with Tory or MPC(or both) up & running, The Davis area will give you all the Mtn's you want!+
WOW that's funny. Thanks for the sustained laugh
love the optimism though
It's getting harder and harder to find that great undiscovered mtn town.
Yes and no. Like John said, there's plenty of affordable places in Utah. Heck, Kamas is 7 miles down from Park City and is not badly priced. I'll skip on a few other cheap spots I know about out west for fear of spoiling it.
I'll have the LAST laugh....you Muddah!!
Don't run into any RIP currents Swimmer...I want you around for that laugh!
There was an article in Ski (or Skiing or Powder) this year that talked about the Hostel X and how it was starting to get pushed out with all the development.
If you haven't been to Jackson Hole, you really missed a great old style mountain. I say missed because the Tram is coming down and the condos are going up. My favorite mountain may not be that by the time I get back.
Interesting, and somewhat depressing article. I have seen similar trends happening in my area and also around Charlottesville. They specifically mentioned retiring and near-retiring baby boomers fueling the trend. I wonder what will happen when the baby boomers pass on -- will there be a surplus of houses for the next generation that nobody can afford? Or maybe the real estate market will take a large downward adjustment after the baby boomers?
I don't find it depressing at all. There goes my equity, up like a rocket...
Couple of things: Baby boomers and Nuveau Rich (otherwise called Techno-Yuppies) are also having kids that, together with immigration, will make for a strong second-home market for decades to come. Take a look at Miami and see the zillion dollar condos owned by baby-boomers, Gold Coast thirty-somethings, and rich Latin Americans. Same in ski areas.
Snowshoe and Davis are far from having the attraction of Jackson Hole, but with road improvements (i.e. Route 55) will be closer to DC, Richmond and Charlotte. Quite attractive to families with incomes of over 200K (that in DC are the rule rather than the exception). The out-of-state homebuyers in Pocahontas, Hardy and Grant counties are not obscenely-rich millionaires but upper-middle class people with large pools of disposable incomes.
Personally I think that this new population will have a beneficial influence on the areas where they become new residents. Yes, they will also bring expensive real estate prices (Seen Snowshoe lately?) but they also bring demand for leisure and cultural activities and a philanthropic mindset - with pocketbooks to match - that may be of great benefit to the new host communities. As a homeowner at Snowshoe, I am aware that our host county, Pocohontas, is having a windfall from our taxes, all while not having to provide any services. In addition, the existing leisure activities and the ever-increasing cultural amenities at Snowshoe are enhancing the quality of life for the entire community.