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Telluride Holiday Prelude

Mountain Village is being transformed once again into the North Pole for this year’s Holiday Prelude celebration. This year promises a whole day of holiday movies, train rides, Santa and his workshop, live reindeer, ice skating and children’s holiday surprises around every corner.

Throughout the weekend, children of all ages will delight in the decorations and lights galore as Santa’s elves send them up the Gondola to visit Santa’s Workshop at the Telluride Conference Center. Children can share their Christmas List with Santa, make holiday crafts with the elves, and enjoy Holiday Movies with free hot chocolate and popcorn. This year’s holiday films include “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Polar Express” and “Elf.” The parents’ lounge and cash bar will be available for parents who want to put their feet up. In addition, a curling demo will be held to demonstrate how the sport is played and help folks learn to curl.

Children and adults can expect many surprises on the Train Ride throughout the twinkling Mountain Village. This year the train will be making some very special stops through town to visit the live reindeer petting area and participating shops will be giving gifts and treats to all children.

On Saturday, the culmination of this year’s event will be a tree lighting ceremony with Santa and carolers in Heritage Plaza at 6 p.m. Following the lighting, head back to the ice skating rink because the Telluride Figure Skating Club will be presenting North Pole on Ice. After our local pros leave the ice, stick around for the “coolest” ice skating party ever — all set to your favorite tunes.

For those who need to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done, Mountain Village merchants are extending discounts and specials to customers. Shoppers will receive some of the best discounts of the year, along with raffles, giveaways, food and drink specials and more. And, in the true spirit of giving, Franz Klammer Lodge will host an Angel Baskets Charity Drive for donations and will be offering complimentary treats and beverages in their lodge.

Local, State and National Politics Affecting Telluride Real Estate

Affordable Housing Proposals see Mixed Results on Election Day.

Three issues specifically facing voters in Telluride on Election Day saw mixed results. The hotly debated proposals for a property tax increase for Affordable Housing seem to have passed by the narrowest of margins. Measure 2A, which levies a 2 mil increase on Telluride residential properties seems to have passed by about 32 votes. 2C, which requires voter approval to bond the money collected passed by a slightly larger margin. One affordable housing measure that did not pass was measure 2B, which proposed a sales tax increase and would have likely raised more money for affordable housing than the property tax measure.

The Telluride Association of REALTORS® will continue to monitor new developments in the affordable housing discussion and will always be an advocate for housing for all.

Property Tax Proposals Pass in Telluride, other Local Areas

In addition to the ballot questions regarding affordable housing, a number of different property tax proposals that raised money for specific needs/purposes all received approval from area voters.

Voters said yes to property tax hikes requested on this election’s ballots that will help support the fire, school and hospital districts. Each of those measures passed with convincing margins, ensuring that voter approved funding will be in place to compensate for funding shortfalls brought about by declining property tax revenues.

The Telluride Fire District won a 2 mil increase and a Gallagher Amendment adjustment that makes up for revenue gaps in lean tax years. The proposal won by a 70-30 margin.

The Telluride Hospital District won a similar increase and adjustment by a slightly larger margin. Officials say the revenue will assist with better emergency facilities and better overall service to the public. 

Finally, the Telluride School District won their question by a slightly smaller 64-36 margin. The $1.2 million in annual revenue the district will receive as a result of the approval of Ballot Issue 4A will be used for attracting and retaining high quality teachers, general operations, programming, and maintaining class sizes.

Business Improvement District Plan Fails for Third Time

The third time was definitely not a charm for supporters of the creation of a Downtown Improvement District. The third go round at this issue was defeated by a count of 64 supporting and 108 against.

The BID funding would have been spent on improvements within the district, including snow removal, more frequent trash pick-up, marketing, way-finding signage and other services.

Under the BID plan, downtown was split into two zones. Businesses on Yampa Street and Lincoln Avenue and the side streets between them were in the premium zone. If the BID funding were approved, these businesses would have paid a special frontage assessment of $10.29 per linear foot and a mill levy of 2.22 mills. Nonprofits in the areas of Lincoln and Yampa would only have paid the special assessment and could have applied to waive or reduce what they paid on the special assessment. Nonprofits on Oak Street would not have paid any additional taxes. All other businesses in the district would have been in the standard zone and would only have paid the 2.22 mill levy.

It is unclear what will happen moving forward.

State News: Colorado Legislature Turns More Blue, Most Statewide Ballot Issues Fail

Colorado Democrats had a huge night on Tuesday, gaining control of all houses of the Colorado General Assembly. Jarod Polis becomes Colorado’s Governor, Democrats held their majority in the House of Representatives, and were able to gain three seats in the Senate to gain a 19-16 advantage. For the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, there were many wins and losses across the state. Groups like CAR are always hoping for a split legislature, which makes it tougher for bad ideas to make it all the way through the legislature. However, CAR remains excited to greet and work with the many new members of the legislature and work with them to insure that housing issues remain high on their lists of priorities.

On the ballot measure side, Colorado voters rejected nearly every proposal put in front of them that included tax increases. Both transportation funding measures (Prop 109 and the CAR supported Prop 110) failed to gain approval by similar 40-60 margins of defeat.  Amendment 73 (Opposed by CAR) would have significantly raised taxes for education funding was defeated by a 55-45 margin. Proposition 112 was opposed by CAR and would have significantly increased restrictions on the oil and gas industry was also defeated by a 56-44 measure.

National News: The Election Shows Political Divide Still Strong Across the Country

As is the case in almost every mid-term election in the modern area, the party not in the White House experienced large gains across the country on Election Night. However, the party in the White House actually strengthened its majority in the Senate, a phenomenon that does not usually occur in the midterms.

The end result is that the Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives after 10 years of Republican control and the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate. While it’s easy to lament these results as a forbearance of gridlock for the next two years, it's important to remember that balance between the parties isn’t a bad thing. The founding fathers of this country sought balance in the structure of our government and gave us a system to fully debate and vet all ideas before they become law. It might feel like gridlock, but it is actually our country at work making sure bad ideas don’t get fast tracked into law.

Opportunity Zone Proposed Rules Released

On October 19, the Treasury Department released proposed rules for Qualified Opportunity Zones, a federal program created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017.  The program incentivizes investment and development in distressed communities, designated as “Qualified Opportunity Zones” (QOZs) through tax benefits for investors.  These benefits include deferral of federal capital gains tax on qualified capital gains reinvested into a QOZ (via an “Opportunity Fund”), and potential reduction in the tax ultimately paid on those gains (if held for five years they receive a step-up in basis of 10%; if held for seven, 15%).  In addition, gains accrued on investments while in an Opportunity Fund and invested into a QOZ may be exempted from federal capital gains tax, if the investments are from a proper deferral election (reinvested capital gains that the tax is deferred on) and held for at least ten years.

The proposed rules provide important clarifications for interested investors, including the type of gains  eligible for tax deferral (capital only), how investments into Opportunity Funds made of both capital gains proceeds and non-gains funds are treated, the overall timeline for the program, how to certify an Opportunity Fund and meet the “90% asset requirement” (that 90% of a fund’s assets be held in a QOZ), and how they will determine that an Opportunity Fund has “substantially improved” a QOZ business property.  Further proposed rules are expected on other aspects of the program, and the IRS will hold a hearing on the issue on January 10, 2019.

Source: Telluride Association of Realtors - Government Affairs

2018/2019 Telluride Ski Resort & Epic Season Passes Now Sale! Here's an Epic Cheat Sheet

  • Only Vail Resorts’ customers with the premium Epic PassEpic 4-Day and Epic 7-Day receive the Telluride benefit: up to 7 days of complimentary access in Telluride.
  • All discount or value Epic products exclude the access benefit in Telluride, including but not limited to the Epic Local Pass, Epic Australia Pass, Summit Value Pass, Tahoe Value Pass.
  • Full Epic Pass holders receive (7) days of ski access in Telluride. Days do not need to be used consecutively. No blackouts or restrictions.
  • Epic 7-Day Pass holders receive a total of (7) days of mountain access of which up to (7) days can be used in Telluride. Days do not need to be used consecutively. No blackouts. i.e. if the Pass holder uses 3 days in Vail, they have up to the remaining 4 days to use in Telluride
  • Epic 4-Day Pass holders receive a total of (4) days of mountain access of which up to (4) days can be used in Telluride. Days do not need to be used consecutively. No blackouts. i.e. if the Pass holder uses 3 days in Vail, they have the remaining 1 day to use in Telluride.
  • All Epic Pass holders with questions about the benefit in Telluride should be referred to Vail Resorts: (970) 754-0005. Hours of operation are 8 am - 6 pm MST daily.


For guests who are trying to do the math to find the most cost-effective options, here are links for Epic Pass, Telluride Season Pass and Lift Ticket Pricing:

Telluride Mountainfilm Festival

The Telluride Mountainfilm festival is back for it's 40th year. Hosted every Memorial Day weekend the festival represents the kick-off to the summer season for both locals and visitors alike. Mountainfilm's mission is to use the power of film documentaries and art to inspire people to create a better world. 

This sold-out festival features extreme athletes and environmental activists as they climb, ski, trek and pursue amazing causes in the name of mountain culture. Mountainfilm features a large footprint of theaters and attractions in both Telluride and Mountain Village. 

My favorite way to Mountainfilm are the free outdoor movies in Town Park after dark under the stars surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks and majestic waterfalls. Telluride Mountainfilm is truly unique among the festivals in Telluride and often times is the locals' favorite. 

Please contact me for inside festival information. For more information Click Here

Photo Credit: Melissa Plantz

Telluride High School Ranked One of Colorado's Best by US News

The Telluride High School (THS) is ranked #9 out of 420 high schools in Colorado. The ranking is based on state-wide standardized test scores and college prep capability. THS has a total student enrollment of 244 students attending 9th through 12th grades. The teacher-student ratio is 13:1. Over 77% of students participate in Advance Placement courses which prepare students for college and are accepted as college credit by many leading institutions. 

Many of my real estate clients have the ability to work remotely and have relocated to Telluride because of the amazing quality of secondary education to offer their children. The environment is safe and supportive; it's cool to be smart at THS. 

Tax payers in the District approved a $25 Million dollar upgrade to the facility completed in 2016. Congratulations to the students, staff and educators on this distinguished award. 

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Telluride Ski Resort Announces Alliance with Vail Resorts to Participate in its Epic Pass Program

Consolidation and alliances are nothing new in the ski resort industry. In fact, I started my career in 1996 at Keystone Resort; the same year that Vail Resorts acquired Breckenridge and Keystone resorts in Colorado. That same year, Intrawest and American Skiing Company along with Vail Resorts took their companies public in order to raise acquisition capital.

What followed the consolidation phase of the 1990’s and on the heels of yield management strategies and database marketing tactics was a season pass pricing war. The resulting Buddy Pass season pass product sent the industry into a frenzy and was the true catalyst of the passes we see offered today.

All of this has been great for snow enthusiast by the way, albeit a bit confusing, with many options in play after the Buddy Pass including the Rocky Mountain Super Pass, The Mountain Collective, MAX Pass, Powder Alliance and the Epic Pass.

The biggest effects on the Season Pass options came as Vail Resorts has over the years purchased or partnered with 45 resorts worldwide and included all of them on their Epic Pass.

In 2017, the game changer was the Crown Family from Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners came together to acquire the remaining Intrawest Resorts and Mammoth Resort to form a new ski resort consolidation entity: Alterra Mountain Company.

In January of 2018, Alterra announced its 2018/2019 Ikon season pass which will include the 12 Altera owned resorts plus a handful of stout Independent Resorts such as Jackson Hole to make a 23-resort season pass offering, a new and worthy competitor to the Epic Pass.  

For the last two seasons Telluride Ski Resort has belonged to previous rival to the Epic Pass; the Mountain Collective – of which several currently included resorts have defected now to the Ikon Pass starting next season. The Collective currently offers 2 days of skiing at 16 of its collective all non-vail owned resorts.

With the new Ikon Pass, and the future of the strength of the Mountain Collective Pass uncertain, Telluride Ski Resort recently announced the exciting news to form a long-term alliance with Vail Resorts and join its Epic Pass program as a partner resort. After 2017/2018, Telluride Ski Resort will no longer participate in the Mountain Collective.

Telluride Ski Resort has made it very clear that it intends to continue to be independently and privately owned and operated. The Resort anticipates additional Epic Pass skier visits to Telluride to be about 10,000 visits next season and an annual economic impact to the Telluride destination of around $5,000,000.

The decision seems very beneficial and logical for Telluride as many of the current 750,000 Epic Pass holders live in areas such as Dallas, Chicago, Houston and New York which have direct flight access to the Montrose/Telluride airport.

With this significant Telluride momentum building announcement, we welcome all Epic Pass holders to experience the magic of Telluride next season. Look for more information on pricing and full details on Ski Resort season pass offerings in the months to come.

Epic Pass Benefits in Telluride:

  • Up to 7 Free Days in Telluride – No Blackouts
  • 50% off Additional Days in Telluride

Telluride Season Pass Holder Benefits:

  • 50% off Lift Tickets at Any of the 45 Vail Owned Ski Resorts – No Blackouts

For Epic Pass Information:

  • https://www.epicpass.com/

For Telluride Ski Resort Season Pass Information:

  • http://www.tellurideskiresort.com/pricing-products/season-passes/

 

Telluride Golf Club's Amazing New Practice Facility

The Telluride Golf Club is known as the “most beautiful place you will ever tee”. Sitting at 9,500 feet above sea level, the course is surrounded by 13,000 and 14,000-foot peaks and winds through aspen and pine forests with majestic views of Mt. Wilson and the San Sophia Mountain Range. While playing golf in Telluride you will also see some of the most desirable Mountain Village homes and home sites in the Telluride area. Golf Course properties remain one of the best values in today’s real estate market.

And now, the addition of a world-class golf practice facility has rounded out this incredible summer outdoor experience. Telluride Ski & Golf Resort has invested over a million dollars in a new practice facility which will allow for destination golf lesson camps, equipment demo days, tournament staging and golf instruction on all aspects of the game. In fact, Telluride Director of Golf and Instruction Dale Abraham (PGA) is one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers in America!

Renowned golf course architect Ken Kavanaugh was brought in to design and oversee the construction of the new facility which began in the Spring of 2016. The members and guests of Telluride Golf Club are raving about the quality of the project which officially opened on August 5, 2017.

Here are some highlights of the new practice facility:

  • Almost 50,000 square feet of tee space on the driving range on 3 levels
  • A 420-yard-long driving range
  • A 5,000-square foot practice putting green
  • A 2,500-squre foot short game practice green with a chipping/pitching area and practice bunker
  • 6 driving range target greens
  • Parking for up to 50 golf carts

The new facility required over 25,000 cubic yards of earth to be moved and is complete with drainage and irrigation. The grasses were topped off with seed, sod and hydro mulch.

Telluride Golf Club is a can’t miss Telluride experience and is perfect for groups, wedding parties, buddie’s trips and ladies golf.

The new golf course practice facility is an exciting addition and the Resort has much more planned in its’ five-year Resort Master Plan which is now in the final approval process with the US Forest Service. Look for more exciting updates to come on lift upgrades, summer activities and more in the near future.

For more information on the Telluride Golf Club and for Club membership information and opportunities please visit tellurideskiandgolfclub.com and we look forward to seeing you on the course! 

The Telluride School District and High School

I get to ski in school?” was the first question my daughter asked me when we were talking about living in Telluride, Colorado. Since 2013, I have had two children currently enrolled in Telluride High School and our experience has been excellent. I have since began to understand just what an incredible asset the Telluride school district is to our community. It encompasses early childhood education through 12th grade and teaches worldly values and life skills to create responsible and productive adults.

I know of many families that are attracted to the Telluride lifestyle and because they can work remotely they have chosen to move to Telluride to take advantage of the Telluride school system. From my own personal experience, I can tell you that the school and Telluride in general is an incredible place to raise a family; it’s safe, the facilities are excellent, the administrative staff is skilled and personal, and the amazing talent of the teachers make life-long positive impacts on Telluride Students.

The relative geographic remoteness of Telluride is countered by a very strong international exchange program with both in-bound and out-bound students taking advantage of exchange programs offered through Rotary Youth Exchange.

One of the unique components of education is Ski PE. That’s right the students get physical education credit for skiing. For 6 weeks starting in early January, students break up into small groups once a week and are paired with a professional instructor from Telluride Ski Resort to learn about skier safety, the mountain and technique.  

Speaking of athletics, the High School is Colorado division 2A school and features a new sand-based turf athletic field, two gyms and fitness equipment to accommodate our student athletes. Varsity sports offered for boys include golf, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, cross country and track and field. Girls can play soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, competitive cheer, cross country and track and field. Club teams include ski and hockey for both boys and girls.

Other than sports, students can participate in a variety of extra-curricular cultural and art based activities including music, theatre, dance and activities and mentorship programs like television and radio production.  

Telluride High School Facts:

  • Telluride High School = 268 Students
  • Telluride High School = 26 Teachers (Student Teacher Ratio = 10:1)
  • 2017 Graduating class = 68 students, including 5 exchange students – 90% going to college
  • Gold Medal Academic School, ranked 9th in Colorado by US News & World Report
  • Accredited with distinction by Colorado Department of Education
  • Focus on college prep, personal development and creative expression
  • School opened in 1995, sits on 11 acres
  • $25Million dollar High School/Middle School improvement completed in 2016

Please contact me for additional information and discussion on Telluride schools. To stay informed, sign up on my website at www.telluriderealestates.com and Like my Facebook page at Telluride Real Estate News. Congratulations graduates!  

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