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Old 01-26-2014, 10:03 PM
4 posts, read 12,103 times
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My wife, young daughter and I are thinking of purchasing a second home out west. We live in Jupiter, fl which is an unpretentious laid back area of Palm Beach County. I am an avid fisherman and hunter and enjoy spending my free time outdoors… at least I did before I had my daughter! haha.

We have vacationed in Vail and Aspen both the winter and summer and enjoy visiting those resort towns but we never pictured ourselves becoming part of those communities. Vail just doesn't have that town feel, the mountain is over run with South Americans and not a fan of living right on the highway. Aspen is simply to flashy. I put up with enough of the Aspen types here in Palm Beach.

We enjoyed Crested Butte last winter and haven't ruled it out but there are still a lot of places we haven't yet visited and need some help making a short list of spots we should see before making a decision.

things that are important to us in no specific order:

1. Great skiing (allows snowboarding)
2. An authentic downtown and sense of community
3. Good restaurants
4. Good schools
5. Good fishing nearby

If anyone has any advice or has a second home out west I'd be interested to hear from you.

While we have only visited and skied in Colorado we are loving what we have read about Jackson, WY / Sun Valley, ID / Park City, UT / Telluride, CO.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:09 PM
Location: Cabin Creek
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well as for fly fishing you can get your cut slam Wyoming Cutt-Slam Fly Fishing all with in a 100 miles of Jackson Hole
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:56 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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I would do UT cuz it is SO EZ to get to (SWA under $100) and often great snow.

Consider Ogden / Logan side, rather than Park City.

Much MUCH less crowded, and cheaper too.
Powder Mountain - Ski Utah - Skiing & Snowboarding Vacations

UT makes it EZ to get to WY, ID, UT and CO for side trips and some excellent fishing.

Also Look to Big Sky MT or Eastern BC.

I would buy a place with multiple apartments / rentals. That way there will always be some people there, (and revenue to match & avail you a place for free). My neighbor has 6 homes in different ski regions and they all have a small apartment option for his family. They just go and live at the one with the best snow that yr. They can work via Internet and quick access to Airports. They have been gone for 3 yrs, so I just mow their yard and fields. We homeschooled so we could be gone for several months / yrs at a time. The kids were ski and snowboard instructors from age 14-18. When the kids got older, (13 - 15) they built their own homes patterned after Swiss Chalets we had lived in. (those paid WELL for their college).

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 01-26-2014 at 11:05 PM..
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:07 PM
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I'll preface my comments by mentioning that I'm a 30+ yr Vail SFH rental properties owner, and have been frequenting Aspen since the mid 1960's (I'm part of the "propeller set" that flies in there frequently ... you'll not see us because the FBO relegates our little single-engine gasoline burning aircraft to the far end of the ramp where the "jet set" doesn't have to see the local riff-raff while getting their due red carpet treatment and limo service right at the airstair of their plane).

I'll agree that if you see only the glitz and the flash of these places, then that's all you'll see and the other attributes you seek will remain hidden from you. There is, in fact, a sizable resident community in both locations, they both have top level skiing (although I prefer Vail to Ajax), and they both have year-round outdoor activities. You need a bit of local knowledge ... which a competent real estate agent can provide ... to locate the areas where the full-time residents live as opposed to the areas which cater to the tourists/infrequent owner visitors. And I'd observe that if all you saw of Vail was the strip adjacent to I-70 ... you didn't see much of Vail, nor Beaver Creek.

Unfortunately, you'll find the same situation presents in Jackson, WY. The affluent conspicuous consumption and glamour set that you seek to avoid has been long established here. So you're not going to find a difference between Aspen and Jackson ... particularly when it comes to your apparent sensitivity to folk from other parts of the world. If you're seeking an english only speaking top ski resort, you've got a impossible requirement in what amounts to one of the premier skiing regions of the world.

You didn't mention your price point, nor what you were seeking in a 2nd home ... SFH, Condo, Townhome, or ?

Additionally, are you seeking an exclusive use property, concierge type services, private location (perhaps acreage?), full-time property management and rental income? Are you planning on using this property for more than 2-3 weeks per year, and if so, how much of the year might we expect to see your family at the resort area?

Crested Butte certainly presents a viable option for your list (although air service is via Gunnison, with limited commercial service but decent GA facility). Hasn't got the glitz of the top rated resorts, but has very good skiing, and access to outdoor recreation. You might also consider Steamboat Springs (with Routt Cty airstrip there) or Hayden just down the road with commercial service. Beaver Creek certainly would be a contender, too. Also, look at Breckenridge ....

Again, price point and intended use are primary considerations before anybody can pinpoint more closely what may fulfil your requirements ....

Last edited by sunsprit; 01-26-2014 at 11:23 PM..
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:15 PM
Location: Wyoming
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Jackson is probably what Aspen was 40 years ago. Most on this board don't recommend it due to the high real estate prices and the "Aspen types" you mention. I've never lived there, but it's a nice place to visit. My daughter did live there for a short while and liked it. It does get hit hard by tourists in the summer, but locals generally don't have much problem with them other than traffic-wise. IOW, there are plenty of mountains and streams to go around. Tourists concentrate on the west side of the valley and the Tetons, so locals enjoy the east side of the valley and the Gros Ventres. And 99.9% of the tourists don't get far into the Tetons either, so if you want to enjoy them, you'll find plenty of room to roam.

There are many great mountain towns in Wyoming that are more down-too-earth -- more "authentic" -- but Jackson is the only one with a great ski mountain, and I understand that's a high priority. I can't speak to the sense of community in Jackson, but everything else you're wanting is there. If I was younger (20s, 30s, 40s) and was still active in skiing and hiking, I'd probably prefer Jackson over anything else.

I haven't been to Telluride nor Sun Valley, but Jackson would beat Park City by a country mile. At least to me, Park City a ski resort. Period. Yes, I've been there in the summer too. It's still a ski resort.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:57 AM
Location: North Dakota
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Jackson is the only town I can think of that matches your criteria. If you have a few million lying around it might be a good fit.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:28 PM
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Thanks for all your feedback. It sounds like all the big ski resort mountains see a lot of international tourism during the peak season. Which doesn't terribly upset me but living in south florida its a little overwhelming at times. I live in a place where people vacation… and come to retire and die. I'm looking for a place where people go to live.

My wife and I are 30 yrs old and still enjoy a good time. Having a good restaurant or two in town and a fresh market for those nights we want to stay in and entertain is as important as the skiing. And the summers are just as important as the winters. I am looking to spend 2-3 months a year out west. Besides extended stays in the I'll use the house for long weekends when I have back to back weeks when I need to be on the west coast versus flying all the way back to Florida.

I've seen that the sweet spot for 4+ bedroom homes we are looking at are in the 4-5 mill range. We are not thinking of renting it out but would be looking for a management company to watch over things.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:37 PM
Location: Cabin Creek
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Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:06 PM
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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Telluride is in a geographically stunning location, a box canyon with Bridal Veil Falls at the top, but not a place I would recommend if you are looking for down to earth or authentic town feeling. It is very much an upscale vacation destination, it is very glitzy, popular with the Hollywood crowd and would probably strike you as a similar feel to Aspen. I would chose Crested Butte over Telluride hands down.

Sun Valley Idaho is gorgeous, the Sawtooth mountains are among the most beautiful I have seen and I was born and raised in Colorado. I have only been there in the summer (stayed on our way to raft the "river of no return", the Middle Fork of the Salmon) so I can't speak to the winter crowd but summer impression was more laid back than Telluride.

I have not yet been to Jackson Hole, I always assumed it would be along the same feel as an Aspen but in a more stunning setting, but then again it is in Wyoming so maybe it has been able to retain more of its western charm.

Last edited by StarrySkiesAbove; 01-28-2014 at 03:14 PM..
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:34 PM
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Red Lodge, MT?
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