When searching for your Crested Butte dream home, is close proximity to the ski slopes something that is at the top of your list? How important is finding a mountain home with ski-in/out access? While some buyers have this amenity as a required feature, others are willing to scratch it off the list. Either way, I hope you will not make the same mistake I did on our first family ski vacation in our new Crested Butte dream home. Perhaps if you have multiple children, purchasing a home near the base area is worth considering…
Check Skier Access
There is nothing quite like the luxury of saying, “I’m going to make two more runs, then I’ll see you back at the house” or “I have thirty more minutes on this conference call, I’ll meet you at the base area at 10:30 am.” Everyone has different skiing motivations, and a powder day can be a game-changer. Some skiers will want to get out early to try to be on the first chair; others will want to sleep in and then ask where all the groomed runs are. Either way, if you have a group, you will have different skiing abilities and motivations, as well as people on different schedules. “Ski-in/out” and “skier access” gives you and your guests flexibility. Buyer beware: you will want to triple check the skiing access to ensure that what you expect is reality. It may be a long walk uphill in ski boots and carrying skis. Some homes may offer the potential to ski back to the house at the end of the day, but it may be an expert run through the trees if the conditions are just right. Also, the closer the home or condo is to the slopes, the more expensive the real estate.
Not everyone wants their Crested Butte dream home to have ski-in/ski-out access. The majority of the homeowners do not have this convenience, so what do they do? There are many options; you should look into a locker or club membership at the base area where you can keep your skis and all your gear. This can be a great option for ease of skier access, and with shuttles and bus service, this may overcome most of the logistical challenges of getting you and your guests from your home to the chairlifts and back. If you have little ones, the following example may influence you to consider a condo or town-home or single family home near the base area.
A Personal Account
I have a personal story that illustrates the point above. We were new second homeowners. The day we arrived to our new mountain home for our family ski vacation, it was snowing! The next morning (our first morning) we were greeted with more than eighteen inches of fresh powder (typically six inches qualifies as a powder day). I was so excited. We had planned ahead and gotten the girls’ rental gear the day before. I thought that one of us should get out early to get on the first chair and to get first tracks in this powder, and that someone should be ME. I convinced my wife she could get our three young daughters (four to seven years old) plugged in to ski school, then meet up with me. Oh, was that a mistake!
First of all, getting youngsters’ ski stuff together and getting them dressed is not easy. There is always a missing glove, or sock, or pair of goggles (it’s always something). One of them is usually having a meltdown because her sister is wearing her sweater or she got sunscreen in her eye. Invariably, as soon as you get a kid’s three layers of clothes on and all zipped-up, they decide they have to go to the bathroom. Ski boots do not go on easily: “Point your toe. Push, okay… push… PUUUUSH!” “It hurts!” Tears… “Oh that’s not your boot, it’s your younger sister’s.” (Clearly mark all rental gear with the person’s name using wax pencil.) Three daughters equals six ski boots to put on. It’s a struggle to get kids dressed, then out the door, and in the car with all their ski stuff.
Finally in the car, buckled in, ski stuff in the back on the way to the base area. With two adults it’s easy to drop-off one adult with the kids close to the base area and ski-school check in. Divide and conquer: one adult takes the kids, the other parks the car and carries the ski stuff. With one adult, there is no drop off. Instead, you are forced to park far away and walk with the kids and their stuff. Walking with three young daughters in ski boots and carrying skis and poles can be quite a challenge. They struggle in the snow, slip on the ice, it is too far, they are tired, they are cold, they have to go pee pee, and they have to go right now! My wife would later tell me, “All the other husbands were helping with their kids.” Finally, inside the ski school area — it is mayhem, they are late, of course, there are kids everywhere, and since it is day one, they must get in the long line to get the kids checked in. There are forms to fill out, waivers to sign, at least one of the girls is scared, or does not want to be there at all and starts crying! My wife’s patience this day was pushed past the limit, compounded by the fact that she was solo, and I was not helping, but out enjoying the powder.
That was bad, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was that I had the girls’ six-day lift tickets in my pocket! So now there was a big problem, and the problem was me! We laugh about it now (I think we both laugh about it now), but it was a lesson learned. There are lots of moving parts to skiing: clothing, equipment, kids (or novice skiers), tickets, experience, etc. Once everyone gets to the point they are responsible for themselves and their own stuff, it is easier (but someone always forgets something). Learn from my mistake. You will have many opportunities for powder days; better to help your spouse, your kids, or your guests with their gear, and logistics to and from the slopes conveniently than to be the guy who bought the mountain house — but is in the dog house!
How can I help you? I have over 30 years of sales and marketing experience and am a top real estate agent in the mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado representing affluent clients who are buying and selling their home and ranch properties in the mountains. To see featured properties or search the MLS – visit chriskopf.com. How is the Crested Butte Real Estate Market doing? Click this link to see my monthly Crested Butte Real Estate Market Reports. I appreciate the opportunity to earn your business and be your Crested Butte Real Estate Agent when buying your Crested Butte dream home.
Chris Kopf, Coldwell Banker Bighorn Realty
Previews® Property Specialist