A Complete Guide to Off-season in Aspen

Posted on October 15, 2018 by Katie Shapiro

Downtown Aspen on October 10, 2018 with a fresh dusting of snow. Photo by Craig Turpin/Rising Sun Photog

Glitter Gulch, Tony Town, Fat City, Canary City … ah, Aspen. The monikers for this rich-in-history former mining enclave are thanks to a glitz-and-glam reputation bolstered by billionaires on holiday, celebrities hiding out, luxury boutiques, fine dining, five-star resorts, a world-class arts scene and of course, jaw-dropping real estate. But it’s the full-timers—from hippies, ranchers and artists to families, farmers and athletes—who’ve given the ski town its true soul over the years and still help balance the high life with real life year-round.

As soon as the leaves stop falling in October, many businesses hang “Gone to the beach” signs on their doors signaling a bi-annual, well-deserved break before the lifts start spinning. The snow has already arrived, which means one thing: off-season has too.

While the scene is noticeably slower, if you’re thinking about purchasing a vacation property, scoping out a short-term rental or just booking a pre-holiday holiday, now is the perfect time to plan a visit to get a true sense of what life in this year-round, close-knit community is actually like.

Here’s a complete guide to living like a local:

 

 

EAT + DRINK

Heirloom eggplant with mushroom bolognese, chard and cauliflower at Element 47.  Photo by Jamie Fletcher

 

Heirloom eggplant with mushroom bolognese, chard and cauliflower at Element 47. Photo by Jamie Fletcher

It’s usually a guessing game when trying to find a place to eat and drink from now until the first week of December. But there are plenty of spots that stay open, many showing their appreciation for those who stick around town with deep discounts.*

Locals gather every morning for high-fives on the patio or catch up at the community table at Jour de Fête (710 E. Durant Ave., 970-925-5055, jourdefeteaspen.com), family owned and operated since 1988. Owner Olivier Mottier’s French roots shine through on the breakfast and lunch menus, but the chorizo burrito here is the go-to to-go.

Grab a signature Hillstone sandwich and a handcrafted cocktail at White House Tavern (302 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-925-1007, aspenwhitehouse.com), an always-bustling, cozy converted mining-era home that inspired its name.

Do the daily lunch special at Mezzaluna (mezzalunaaspen.com), where pastas and pizzas are $12 or the daily dinner special offering your pick of five $15 entrées or $8 appetizers with 25% off all bottles of wine. 

Meat & Cheese (319 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-710-7120, meatandcheeseaspen.com) always makes for a special meal of award-winning “world farmhouse” cuisine, creative craft cocktails and too-pretty-to-eat charcuterie boards. Plus, they give everyone 15% off for off-season in the restaurant and Farm Shop through November 20.  

Head just outside of town to Home Team BBQ (38750, CO-82, 970-236-2040, hometeambbq.com) for daily happy hour with a special menu from 4-6 p.m., “Friday Night Live” with Woody Creek Distillers drink specials and a rotating roster of local bands or Sunday brunch with NFL Sunday Ticket on the big screens. 

Campo de Fiori (205 S.Mill St., 970-920-7717, campodefiori.net) offers 25% off the entire bill every night of the week (excluding bar menu) where you can chat up the regulars and warm up with authentic Italian eats.

Everyone loves Rustique Bistro (216 S. Monarch, 970-920-2555, rustiquebistro.com) for its “Fried Chicken Thursdays” including three courses for $27 and its nightly prix fixe for two courses for $36. 

Duck into The Little Nell (675 E. Durant Ave., 970-920-4600, thelittlenell.com) for three courses for $47 in the luxury hotel’s signature restaurant Element 47through October 31.

*For the full list of who’s open and who’s closed, visit eataspen.com. And always ask your server to confirm special offers.

 

STAY

The Limelight Hotel in lit up on a winter night.  Photo by Jason Dewey

 

The Limelight Hotel is lit up on a winter night. Photo by Jason Dewey

Take advantage of lodging deals like the Limelight Hotel’s Colorado Locals Rate which offers a standard or deluxe room from $160 per night with proof of residency (355 S. Monarch St., 970-925-3025, limelighthotels.com). Find a five-star stay for less at its sister property, The Little Nell, for $245 per night for a standard room through November 22. Aspen Meadows Resort offers a Leaf Peepers Fall Foliage Package, valid through October 22 for 20 percent off lodging with breakfast for two daily and a Colorado Local’s Special for up to 40% off a regular room rate through December 20 (845 Meadows Rd. 970-925-4240, aspenmeadows.com).

 

SEE + DO

Lead With Love’s 3rd Annual Summit runs October 25-28, 2018. Photo by Alina Hokanson

Lead With Love’s 3rd Annual Summit runs October 25-28, 2018. Photo by Alina Hokanson

Droves of visitors go crazy to catch the fall colors, which peak in Aspen in late September and although the snow is already falling, there’s still a little bit of leaf peeping to be had. Car restrictions up to the Maroon Bells (fs.usda.gov) ended on October 8 and the road stays open through mid-November, so now, you can take a leisurely drive up to sightsee around one of the world’s most photographed mountains or to Ashcroft Ghost Town (aspenhistory.org)—both sure to be much more serene sans the crowds.

The Aspen Art Museum (637 E. Hyman Ave., 970-925-8050, aspenartmuseum.org) presents innovative exhibitions from the international contemporary art scene with admission free of charge thanks to its generous donor base. Its roof deck café is a favorite spot for coffee or lunch meetings, which also plays host to Movies at the Museum—an ongoing series of free film screenings.

Weather permitting, take a walking tour through the West End with the Aspen Historical Society (620 W. Bleecker, 970-925-3721, aspenhistory.org), which is focused on history, architecture and the little-known facts about the Victorian-era homes and the people who lived in them. By appointment only, you can also go for a guided tour of downtown Aspen in AHS’ new electric vehicle—complete with a visit to both the Wheeler/Stallard Museum and the Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum.

Listen to live music at the Belly Up Aspen (450 S. Galena St., 970-544-9800, bellyupaspen.com), which has local bands on the calendar with no cover mixed with headliners like Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket (October 30) and Michael Franti (November 11). 

The third annual Lead With Love, a four-day retreat (October 25-28, ileadwithlovesummit.org) at the Aspen Institute, offers yoga and meditation, spiritual psychology sessions, self-care services, leadership seminars and an eco-friendly marketplace.

Get your ski legs ready with yoga at Aspen Shakti (535 E. Hyman Ave., 970-925-1655, aspenshakti.com), a pilates session at O2 Aspen (408 S. Mill St., 970-925-4002, o2aspen.com), or spin class at CycleBar (110 S. Spring St., 970-710-7398, aspen.cyclebar.com). Rejuvenate at the St. Regis Aspen’s Remede Spa (315 E. Dean St., 970-920-3300, stregisaspen.com) where you can spend an entire day in between the grotto, hot tub, cold plunge pool, steam room, sauna and oxygen lounge. A Local Love special is valid for a 60-minute massage or facial for $150 through October 18

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Selling Sustainability

Posted on August 27, 2018 by Katie Shapiro

Photo Courtesy: Aspen Core

In a place tucked into one of the most majestic pockets of the world—surrounded by natural beauty, national forest land and protected open space—living green is the way of life. With renewable energy roots dating back to the 1980s when the city built the Maroon Creek and Ruedi hydroelectric plants, Aspen is undoubtedly a model citizen in how communities can reduce the carbon footprint of its residents. 

In 2015, Aspen reached a major milestone in achieving 100 percent renewable energy to power its electric utility—the third city in the nation to reach such a designation. While the City of Aspen’s Climate Action Office leads the charge, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) —an independent non-profit organization— has helped teach Roaring Fork Valley residents how to conserve energy in their own homes. In 2000, this became the first program of its kind in the world. 

Funded in part by the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP), CORE distributes funds in the form of rebates and grants and has awarded more than $8.2 million to the community for smart energy compliance. In 2011, CORE launched its official home energy assessment program to increase efficiency awareness and implementation even more. 

With Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty's prospective homebuyers weighing sustainability in their purchasing decisions now more than ever, we reached out to CORE’s Kate Henion, BPI (Building Performance Institute) building analyst and marketing manager for her advice. Here are Kate’s top tips to help clients going through the process of selling or buying a property in Pitkin County:

  1. A home energy assessment is the first step. The assessment looks at the whole picture of your home— heating systems, windows and insulation levels. It provides you with a comprehensive report outlining opportunities for energy improvements that are specific to your home. Plus, homeowners get free “quick fix” installations and combustion analysis testing.
  2. Once you get the report, give CORE a call to go over the top priorities for the home. CORE offers free energy advising and cash-back rebates and its knowledgeable Energy Advisors can connect you with local, qualified contractors and help you with utility rebates.
  3. Easy projects to knock-off first include air sealing & insulation. By air sealing and insulating your home correctly, you can establish a thermal boundary, heating and cooling only your desired living spaces.
      • Swapping out your incandescents for LEDs is another no-brainer, considering they use 75% less energy.  
      • Controls, like programmable thermostats, can save on your monthly utility bills. Smart thermostats provide you with those same savings, but with the added convenience of controlling your home by phone.

Since the program’s inception, CORE has performed 2,106 assessments and issued 1,380 rebates in the Roaring Fork Valley. Homeowners are eligible for up to $1,000 in rebates for energy efficiency upgrades, up to $5,250 for renewable energy, and larger properties are offered custom rebates. 

Thanks to Aspen’s forward-thinking approach to sustainability and the work being done by organizations like CORE, new-build homes are also incorporating environmentally-conscious design elements from the start. One standout example of just how green a residential project can get? “Game On,” the personal home of John Rowland and Sarah Broughton, principals of their eponymous, award-winning architecture and interior design firm Rowland + Broughton. 

Spanning 4,291 square feet on a small parcel in Aspen’s idyllic West End, the “modern interpretation of the historic homes from the turn-of-the-century that comprise much of the neighborhood” is LEED Gold Certified—the most widely used green building rating system and a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

It’s a rare residential designation, with commercial buildings more commonly applying for LEED Certified status, but one that the couple decided to take on themselves. 

Exterior TerraceLiving

Inside John Rowland and Sarah Broughton’s LEED certified dream home of their own in Aspen’s West End neighborhood. Courtesy: Rowland + Broughton

“We wanted to put our money where our mouths are with this particular project. Sustainability is in our firm’s DNA,” says Rowland.  

Siting the home strategically to avoid energy-draining appliances like an air conditioning system in favor of cross ventilation, he adds, “We went to great lengths on our insulation, so not only do we have a really tight envelope, but the house stays very cool all summer long.”

Also mindful of indoor air quality, Rowland explains that in selecting interior materials, “It means really understanding every little nuance that goes into the production and that no chemicals are ever used to avoid off-gas. Start by asking where the materials are coming from … are these supply companies green leaders in their own right? Do they practice sustainability in the harvesting of their raw materials?”

 

EntryLivingMasterHistoric Neighborhood

Inside John Rowland and Sarah Broughton’s LEED certified dream home of their own in Aspen’s West End neighborhood. Courtesy: Rowland + Broughton

Inventive elements like a gravel and sand bocce ball court in the backyard that doubles as a water filtration system for the home were matched with more traditional energy-saving tools like LED lighting and solar panels by Carbondale-based company, Sunsense.

Now, nearly three years after completing a dream home of their very own, Rowland is proud to report that, “We haven’t replaced a lightbulb since we moved in."

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Whether you’re a budding collector looking to add art to a new home, a realtor with staging needs or an experienced enthusiast shopping for a new piece, there is no better time to visit Aspen than late summer.

In recent years, Aspen has solidified its position on the international scene as one of the leading art destinations in the world. But its high-brow reputation has roots dating back to 1949, with the start of one of design’s great movements—the Bauhaus. 

Now, the Bauhaus movement is coming full circle thanks to longtime local Lissa Ballinger, curator for The Aspen Institute. In 2019, the world will collectively celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Bauhaus with a slew of special events to partake in locally.

Ahead of official festivities next year, the 1978 sculpture created by renowned Bauhaus architect and artist Herbert Bayer, was unveiled on Aspen Institute’s West End campus. Bayer hand-selected the Carrara marble from Central Italy for this seven-piece geometric sculpture that measures 32 x 8 x 8 feet. The sculpture was acquired from the Denver Art Museum in 2017, through the support of Melony and Adam Lewis, Aspen-based philanthropists and members of the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows.

Aspen Institute President and CEO, Dan Porterfield, shared in a statement, “The Anaconda sculpture is a wonderful addition to the Aspen Meadows Campus for the enjoyment of the whole community and to share in celebrating Herbert Bayer’s legacy. We are thrilled to install this sculpture as we gear up for next year’s celebration of the 100th year anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus School.”

Prior to spearheading the Bauhaus centennial exhibition, Ballinger worked with private clients, local galleries and non-profit organizations through her company, Walnut5 Art Advisory. Ballinger started her company in 2010 and offers services ranging from collection management and preservation planning to curation and placement consulting.

Photos courtesy of Aspen Institute and Lissa Ballinger

Before her “An Introduction to Bauhaus” art talk on Wednesday, July 25 at the Wheeler Opera House, we caught up with Ballinger to get tips for collectors, her favorite spots for finding art and learn what sets Aspen’s art scene apart from anywhere else in the world.

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Real Estate: What first brought you to Aspen?

Lissa Ballinger: The reason that I came to Aspen [in 2002] is because there is literally no place on earth—that is also a mountain town—which has this range and quality of cultural opportunities. Period.

ASSIR: What sets Aspen art scene apart and how has it changed over the years?

LB: I wrote my thesis on the visual arts in Aspen [she obtained her Masters of Art Administration from Columbia University] and at that point, I was talking about this influx of second home owners and how that had changed the viability of it being a year-round community. But now, 15 years later, it’s so interesting for me to reflect about how much it has changed since then. Art is all over the Roaring Fork Valley, our artistic achievements are being recognized on a much higher level and we’re truly a cultural center destination.

ASSIR: Where are your local, go-to spots to shop for art?

LB: The recurring shows at the Red Brick Center for the Arts and the Aspen Chapel are stocked with work from local artists. Anderson Ranch’s “Lunchtime Auctionette” every Friday in the summer is the biggest gem! And I always find something at their Annual Community Picnic. Downtown, Maker + Place and the Skye Gallery are each owned by young women entrepreneurs and Aspen natives. And the level of art-making down valley is incredible! The ArtBase in Basalt has a fantastic rotating gallery of local artists. I also love The Launchpad and SAW [Studio for Arts + Works] in Carbondale.

ASSIR: And on the gallery side?

LB: Gallery Maximillian, Baldwin Gallery, Harvey/Meadows Gallery and Boesky West.

ASSIR: What trends have you observed in the past year? Do you think the societal shift in the preference of “shopping local” has affected the art world?

LB: I would love that to be an art trend, especially as prices continue to go haywire…the relationship between money and art fascinates me. While Aspen has a thriving scene, there just haven’t been many venues for local artists to showcase their work. I’ve seen that change recently, which is really exciting. Overall in contemporary art, there was this departure from photography for awhile—it can be ubiquitous and people seemed less interested, but it’s coming back around.

ASSIR: What’s your biggest piece of advice for new collectors?

LB: Entering the world of art collecting can be overwhelming, intimidating even. My first thing I tell new collectors is to do research and be curious. Find out what specifically you’re interested in to keep your search narrow. I also encourage people to study art movements, which can help influence decision-making. Unabashedly right now, it should be all about the Bauhaus! And for more serious collectors, art advisors can play a really important role in helping guide you to discovering your personal taste. If you’re just beginning to collect, there are so many unbelievable and affordable experiences here to discover art if you seek them out.

UPCOMING ASPEN ART HAPPENINGS

16th Annual Aspen Arts Festival
Saturday, July 21–Sunday, July 22
Rio Grande Park
Free, artfestival.com 

An Introduction to Bauhaus: Lissa Ballinger Art Talk
Wednesday, July 25, 5:30pm
Wheeler Opera House
Free, wheeleroperahouse.com 

ArtAspen
Friday, July 27–Sunday, July 29
Aspen Ice Garden
$25, art-aspen.com

Aspen Art Museum ArtCrush 2018
Wednesday, August 1–Friday, August 3
Venues vary
$1,875, aspenartmuseum.org

28th Annual Art Auction and Community Picnic
August 4, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center
$15, andersonranch.org

Aspen Chapel Gallery Artist Talk
Wednesday, August 15, 5:30 p.m.

Aspen Chapel

Free, aspenchapel.org



Art and Walking Tour of the Aspen Institute hosted by Lissa Ballinger:

Herbert Bayer Mountains and Convolutions, 1944–1953

September 12, 11 a.m.

Meets at the Aspen Institute Resnick Gallery

Free, aspeninstitute.org



Lunchtime Auctionette
Every Friday through September 21, 11:45 a.m.

Anderson Ranch Arts Center 

$10, andersonranch.org

 

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WE-cycle Rides into Its Most Successful Season Yet

Posted on June 8, 2018 by Katie Shapiro

 

Aspen was the first-ever resort community in the country to adopt an official bike sharing system in 2013. Fast forward five years later and it’s hard to imagine Aspen and Basalt without WE-Cycle and its many docking stations around town.

And Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has been along for the ride since the very beginning, supporting WE-cycle as its first corporate sponsor in a partnership that’s now in its sixth season. This year marks another milestone for the non-profit organization: it’s the first bike sharing program in the world to be completely free for all users (for rides 30 minutes or less).

Made possible from a $145,000 grant from the City of Aspen, $45,000 each from Eagle County and the Town of Basalt along with robust sponsor support, WE-cycle ridership has already soared since it’s reopening on May 1— ridership is up 197 percent in Aspen and 44 percent in Basalt during the same time period last year according to director and founder, Mirte Mallory.

 

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has been the most tremendous supporter from the very beginning. As our earliest adopters and believers, joining us as a system-wide sponsor has been transformative for what we’ve been able to accomplish at WE-cycle,” says Mallory.

Inspired by the benefits she saw bike sharing create for cities like Paris and Amsterdam, the Aspen native wanted the same solution available in her hometown. “Although we are a small community, we still face a lot of big-city challenges — traffic, air quality and especially parking,” she says. “Our hope is to continue to build on the bike culture that had already existed here and have both locals and visitors use WE-cycle as a viable transportation option.”

She credits Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty co-owner Ernie Fyrwald’s similar vision from having experienced bike share programs in cities he had visited over the years as the impetus for such a successful relationship. “He truly values the importance of supporting bike vitality and what it can do for a community’s livability,” says Mallory.

What started as a 12-station system in Aspen has since grown to more than 40 stations stocked with 190 bikes to work in conjunction with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) bus system, plus the implementation of access in El Jebel, Willits and Basalt.

Under Fyrwald’s leadership, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has aligned with the program way beyond just putting branded panels on the back of WE-cycle’s bikes. For many brokers, using the system is essential in their daily commutes and also in showing clients prospective properties around Aspen and Basalt. 

"Doing most of my business in the downtown core and adjacent neighborhoods, WE-cycle has been a great way to get around. It's also a handy way to show clients a new neighborhood and how accessible it is,” says Lex Tarumianz.

Chris Klug, a passionate pedaler both on and off the clock, explains, “I have toured downtown and the West End together with my clients on WE-cycle bikes … they absolutely love it. Not only does it help reduce cars on our roads and lessens the impact on our spectacular natural alpine environment, but it’s also a far more efficient way to get around town during the busy summer months when you’re in a hurry. Overall, it just further sets our community apart and makes Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley such a special place.”

For Craig Ward, WE-cycle has been on his “must-support” list since the inception of the program. "I am thrilled that it is now publicly supported, so the bikes are free throughout the community!” he says.

Although she often tours clients around on WE-cycle bikes, supporting bike sharing for Tory Thomas isn’t just about “what it does for me and my business. What I love most about WE-cycle is what it does for our community and environment at large.”

If you haven’t already, sign-up for your free WE-cycle season pass and download the mobile app here: we-cycle.org.

Special thanks to Craig Turpin for photography of WE-cycle bike sharing in Aspen and Basalt, Colorado.

 

 

 

 

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Newly Renovated Aspen Hyman Mall Office

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Sara Kurz

The beautiful renovation of our Aspen Hyman Mall office is finally complete! The entire first floor was stripped to the studs, knocking down all of the nook-like offices with dark, heavy finishes. Now, the space is has an open floor plan that flows naturally from the entrance and lobby at the front, all the way to the new staff kitchen in the back.

Broker offices are now lined up against the outer walls of the space and separated by glass. A sleek new conference room with a luxurious marble table will feature touchscreen technology for virtual reality property tours of prospective homes. The new lobby also features touchscreen technology and a comfy couch for visitors.

Stop by the new office today, or check out the 3D Matterport Tour below!

Special thanks to 
Sherlock Homes, Builder
Forum Phi, Designer 
AV Tech, Daryl Mackie
Furniture, Sandy’s Office Supply
Window signs, MicroPlastics, Inc.

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Snowmass Base Village Update - May 2018

Posted on May 15, 2018 by Sara Kurz

 

In January 2018, East West Partners Snowmass Base Village released fourteen whole ownership residences, with eleven residences at the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass and three luxury residences at Lumin. Since then, they have released eleven more whole ownership residences at One Snowmass West. Below is an update on the inventory for sale in all three buildings, as well as exclusive details for One Snowmass West.

SNOWMASS BASE VILLAGE INVENTORY

ONE SNOWMASS WEST

11 Units For Sale

One Snowmass West residences currently for sale include two 2-bedroom units, six 3-bedroom units, two 4-bedroom units and one 4-bedroom plus den penthouse.

One Snowmass West residences feature:

  • Spacious floor plans
  • Natural wood detailing throughout
  • Floor-to ceiling window walls to showcase sweeping up-mountain views and the plaza
  • Generous private balcony
  • Kitchens with contemporary European appliances from Gaggenau
  • Spa-like master bathroom
  • Rooftop terrace with infinity-edged spa and firepit
  • Smart home thermostat and lighting control

Amenities include:

  • Private ski storage locker rooms that connect directly to skiway
  • Concierge
  • Fitness center and yoga studio
  • Turnkey property management availability through Snowmass Mountain Lodging

Additionally, all One Snowmass West residences are pursuing a LEED Gold certification with a Healthy Living designation. Interior finish options include: mountain modern, alpine refined or contemporary rustic. Renderings of each option are shown below.

CLICK HERE to view the Brochure.

CLICK HERE to view the Floor Plans

CLICK HERE to view the Pricing Sheet

 

MOUNTAIN MODERN

 

ALPINE REFINED

 CONTEMPORARY RUSTIC

CONTACT one of our Sales Associates today for more information. 

 

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Categories: Developer Update

Colorado 2018 Top Workplaces Award

Posted on April 27, 2018 by Sara Kurz

 

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has been awarded a 2018 Top Workplaces honor by The Denver Post. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC (formerly WorkplaceDynamics), a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few. Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty ranked 31 on the list of mid-sized companies.

 “Top Workplaces is more than just recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover, and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.”

“We feel it is important that our staff and brokers are acknowledged for their contributions to Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty.  It is because of their professional commitment to excellence that our company continues to thrive,” says Gary Hughes, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty CEO/President. “This is our first time on Colorado Top Workplaces and we are proud to be the only real estate brokerage in the Roaring Fork Valley to make the list.”

“Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy,” Claffey said. “It’s an achievement organizations have worked for and a distinction that gives them a competitive advantage. It’s a big deal.”

For more information, visit: https://www.denverpost.com/2018/04/20/top-workplaces-2018-companies/

 

 

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The Psychology & Success Behind Staging

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Katie Shapiro

“Never judge a book by its cover” is an invaluable old adage— except when it comes to selling a property.

When a prospective buyer walks through the front door for a first showing, it’s an agent’s singular opportunity to make a meaningful first impression. Upon entry, a value perception is immediately formed and most importantly, the idea of whether or not the buyer can picture themselves actually living there.

That first showing has a lot of impact – once you scratch below the surface (number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, square footage, etc.), buyers subconsciously search for emotional appeal, seeking out a feel for the home. Buyers do this by gathering a large amount of superficial information in a short amount of time—known as a “thin slice” as coined by Malcom Gladwell in the book, Blink.

In addition to making the home feel comfortable to the buyer, staging can also provide aspirational cues, showing buyers what sort of lifestyle they could have in the home. In the Roaring Fork Valley, buyers very well choose to move here or purchase a home here, because of the kinds of lifestyle and outdoor activities that surround us. That is where the art of home staging comes in.

For longtime local and Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty broker Laurie Laing, “It is a game changer when done right.”

Last year, Laing took over an unsuccessful, stale listing in the Aspen Highlands area, customized an interior refresh and had new photography shot, which enabled her to sell the property within a couple of months for $5.3 million.

The property was previously a rental, “So when I took it over and walked through it for the first time, it really felt like a rental. There was no personality, no charm. It just didn’t pop,” she explains.

 

Photos courtesy of Laurie Laing.

 

With a goal to “appeal to the widest range of people possible” Laing worked with the seller to determine a staging budget, which varies from listing to listing and typically lands anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000. Her staging style is subtle, focusing on main pieces that anchor a room. Working with local design resources like Cathers Home in Basalt, she curates furniture and accessories “to bring out the great qualities of a home that have always been there, but make them shine.”

Laing believes that at least 25% of the homes in the Roaring Fork Valley market need staging. “There is always something to enhance and improve with any property, which is how to gain a competitive advantage to set your home apart from the rest.”

The main challenge can be the expense. Many sellers may be reluctant to agree to the additional investment and it also requires a further detachment from any emotional connection to their home.

In such a competitive market, staging is also an essential tool for selling spec and rebuilt homes. Garrett Reuss, who specializes in new construction projects, thinks about the end result from the beginning. For a recent full-scale renovation of 955 Fox Run Drive in Snowmass Village (under contract), Reuss enlisted locally-based interior designer Barbara Goldman to collaborate on creating a complete lifestyle within the home.

 

Photos courtesy of Mike Lyons Photography and Mountain Home Photo.

Principal of her eponymous firm, which offers upscale residential design in New England, Florida and Colorado, Goldman says, “ In staging, you want to appeal to the masses, rather than just one particular style. Leaving the palette clean enough is essential so that the future owner can have the flexibility to further customize things to their specific taste.”

Goldman, who relocated permanently from Boston to Snowmass Village in 2016 after living here part-time over the years, calls out the area as a completely unique, concentrated market.

“The spec house business in Boston is nowhere near the level it is here. Sellers just aren’t willing to put in the kind of money for updates that we see done here in order to sell a property. Here, it’s all about selling an idea of what life can be like in the mountains.”

Mountain-town-specific design elements like a perfectly positioned hot tub, extra garage space for gear, a mudroom with boot-heater capabilities and fireplaces in multiple rooms matched with using a neutral color scheme and incorporating views of the outdoors as much as possible are Goldman’s secrets to staging success, to which she says “can quickly flip a switch in a buyer’s mind.”

But her biggest piece of advice? “Don’t be so attached to your past and don’t ever take suggested aesthetic changes personally. You’ve already moved on by deciding to sell.”

Learn more about Laurie, Garrett and Barbara here:

laurielaing.com

garrettreuss.com

barbaragoldmandesign.com 

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Categories: Seller Series

Our Buyer Demographics - Spring 2018

Posted on April 3, 2018 by Sara Kurz

We are proud to present exclusive data on the buyers we represent - what their primary use of the property will be and what state they come from. See below to read more.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The data shown here is derived from the Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty Post-Closing Survey, an optional survey our brokers have been filling out upon closing since December 2016. The data shown here does not represent all closings in the MLS, only those within Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty and furthermore, not all closings within our company. The information provided by the brokers does not disclose any personal information about our clients; just the demographics the broker may be aware of.

 

 

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Categories: Market Report

Our New Exclusive Video: LIVE Ski

Posted on March 20, 2018 by Sara Kurz

INTRODUCING THE TOP PLACES TO LIVE & SKI IN THE US

 

Every aspect of your home should be a reflection of who you are, where you’ve been, and the life you aspire to live. Your best life begins with a home that inspires you.

SEARCH SKI PROPERTIES ON SIR.COM

 

YEAR-END 2017 RESORT REPORT

Our Exclusive Market Comparison

We are proud to release our annual Resort Report comparing real estate market in Aspen to other mountain resorts in the US. Resorts included in this report include:

Colorado: Vail Valley, Breckinridge, Aspen, Telluride,  Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs. 

Other States: Lake Tahoe, NV & CA, Park City, Big Sky, MT, Jackson Hole, WY, Sante Fe, NM and Sun Valley, ID.

VIEW REPORT

 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO

To All of the Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates Who Contributed to the LIVE Ski Video:

 

And Aspen 82 for Producing & Editing the Video

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Categories: Market Report | Video
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