Friday, October 29, 2010

Mountain Town News


Vail now has product, but will it have buyers?

VAIL, Colo. -- Several hundred high-end housing projects in Vail will soon enter the market.

One of the projects, called Solaris, was getting $3,000 per square foot in pre-construction sales before the real estate bubble started hissing air. Another, called the Ritz-Carlton Residences, wants $2.2 million to $9.1 million each for its spacious, base-area units.

Touring these projects recently, the Vail Daily found much to impress. One real estate salesman said it was a matter of upgrading the real estate to match the on-mountain experience.

But informed speculation in Vail has it that this flood of inventory will take several years to sell and may need new configurations.

Bones of mammoth found at Snowmass

SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. -- A bulldozer operator scraping out a reservoir near Snowmass Village had been instructed to stop immediately if he came across anything unusual.

He did as he was told. The bones first looked to be those of a cow.

"But then we found a jawbone that was enormous, to say the least," said Kent Olson, the construction superintendent. "It was something we had never seen before. That's when the excitement began."

Scientists confirmed the bones were that of a woolly mammoth, estimated to be 10,000 years old. Mammoth bones have been rare but scattered, though few have been found so high: 8,000 feet.

Developer accused of plotting murder

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. -- A real estate developer in Steamboat Springs, Brooks Kellogg, was arrested at Denver International Airport last week after giving $2,000 to an undercover FBI agent posing as a hit man.

The Steamboat Pilot reports that Kellogg, 73, a managing member of Chadwick Real Estate Group in Steamboat and owner of a business building in Steamboat, said the intended victim was a Floridian who had recently settled for $2.5 million in a lawsuit against businesses owned by Kellogg and a partner.

Kellogg is a member of the local Rotary Club and owns "office buildings and shopping centers in Chicago and Steamboat Springs," according to the company's website.

Citing court documents and the FBI, The Pilot tells a seamy story: A woman received $13,000 in wire transfers from Kellogg beginning in July. But unbeknownst to him, the FBI was listening in on one of their phone calls.

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Despite exceptional fall, ski season here

ASPEN, Colo. -- It didn't necessarily break records every single day, but taken as a whole, autumn this year was extraordinarily warm. In Aspen, September was the second warmest in the past 19 years, city officials say.

Just the same, ski season seems to be getting underway not much more than a week later than usual. Loveland Ski Area opened its mile-long ribbon for business Sunday, and Arapahoe Basin expected to open Monday. This was mostly because of natural snow, because there hadn't been all that much good snowmaking weather before then.

Foreclosure begins on two Telluride hotels

MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, Colo. -- Foreclosure proceedings have begun against the developer of Telluride's new five-star hotels.

The hotels, which are actually in the slope-side town of Mountain Village, are the Capella Telluride and the Inn at Lost Creek.

The hotels will continue operation this winter, and officials tell The Watch that reservations point to a strong season. But the developer, Robert Levine, of RAL Mountain Village Lodging, says that condominium sales have been insufficient to cover the construction debt.

Bells and whistles, but not many new ski lifts

PARK CITY, Utah -- Ski areas this year don't have many new lifts or terrain to talk about.

An exception is in Utah, where the Park City resort now called Canyons has a new lift, a new reservoir under construction that will allow snowmaking to be doubled, and finally 300 new acres.

That increment allows Canyons to brag that it's the third biggest ski area in the United States, as measured by terrain, behind only Colorado's Vail Mountain and, on the California-Nevada border, Heavenly.

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