Blog :: 2018

Welcome to Telluride Real Estate News. Here you will find relevant and timely real estate news including market highlights, tips and resources, issues affecting property values and Telluride's incredible alpine lifestyle. My objective is to give you the news you can use...today. Search by category or by keyword for the news you are looking for.  

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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:

New Telluride Mountain Bike Park Coming June 2019

Telluride Ski Resort has started construction of the new Telluride Bike Park with an anticipated opening in June 2019. The park has been designed by, and is being constructed in partnership with Gravity Logic, the Whistler, British Columbia-based industry leader in the design, development and construction of bike parks in North America.

Mountain biking has become a booming global trend. Not only will this park attract more visitors and provide more opportunities and activities for them, it will help stimulate the local economy. Upon its opening in June 2019, the Telluride Bike Park will encompass approximately 15 trails and 17 miles of terrain, designed to appeal to riders and resort guests of a wide variety of ages, skill and interests. The park will also provide lift- serviced access from Mountain Village on the Village Express chairlift (Lift 4).

The terrain will include new Freestyle trails (commonly known as “flow” trails), enhancements to the existing Technical trails (currently managed as the Mountain Village Bike Park), and existing Cross-Country trails within Telluride Ski Resort’s permit boundary (e.g. Prospect Trail, Prospect Loop, Village Trail, Basin Trail, etc.).

In addition, the park will offer lift service, pass sales, guides, clinics and camps from the Telluride Adventure Center in Mountain Village and pass sales location at Oak Street in Telluride.

Additional Facts & Information:

1) Anticipated opening on the 3rd Saturday in June with daily operation through Monday Labor Day.

Saturday, Sunday operations through the 2nd Sunday in October. Weather Permitting.

2) The XC trails will open at 6:30am daily, and all access will close 30 minutes before sunset. Before

10am and after 6pm, XC trails will be accessible via the Gondola at San Sophia Station and will not require an access pass.

The FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails in the Bike Park (including lift access via Village Express – Lift 4) will be open from 10am to 6pm, daily.

3) From 10am – 6pm Telluride Ski Resort will provide the following services across the trail network:

Bike Patrol & Emergency Response Services

Pass sales in Mountain Village and at Oak Street

Pass scanning at Village Express and gondola mid-station

Lessons, instructions, and guides

4) During operating hours from 10am to 6pm, lift access to the Mountain Bike Trail Network will require

an access pass.

Before 10am and after 6pm the FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails in the Bike Park are closed, but riders can access the XC trails for free.

TSG Employee Access:

Do TSG employees receive any new benefits to the Bike Park? Yes. During the Bike Park operating season active TSG employees will receive a complimentary Unlimited Mountain Bike Trail Season Pass with access to all XC, FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails, and Village Express (Lift 4).

Do TSG employee dependents receive any new benefits to the Bike Park? Yes. As Winter Season Pass-holders dependents of active TSG employees can receive an Unlimited Mountain Bike Trail Season Pass with access to all XC, FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails, and Village Express (Lift 4) by making a $25 NFF Donation. (* See the available “Season Pass Access Products” below.)

Do winter seasonal employees receive any new benefits to the Bike Park? Yes. As Winter Season Pass-holders winter seasonal employees and their dependents can receive an Unlimited Mountain Bike Trail Season Pass with access to all XC, FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails, and Village Express (Lift 4) by making a $25 NFF Donation. (* See the available “Season Pass Access Products” below.)

Single-Day Trail Access Pass:

1. Single-Day Mountain Bike Pass: single-day access to all XC, FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails, and

Village Express (Lift 4). $36/day, which includes a $1 donation to NFF.

Season Pass Access Products: *

1) TSG Winter Season Pass-holders: Unlimited Mountain Bike Trail Season Pass with access to all XC,

FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails, and Village Express (Lift 4). $25 NFF Donation.

2) Non-Winter Season Pass-holders: Unlimited Mountain Bike Trail Season Pass with access to all XC,

FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails, and Village Express (Lift 4). $199, which includes a $25 donation to the NFF.

3) XC Trail Season Pass: unlimited access to XC trails, NO Bike Park, FREESTYLE or TECHNICAL trail, or

Village Express (Lift 4) access. $25 NFF Donation.

About the National Forest Foundation:

As the nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) works with the agency and thousands of Americans each year to promote the health and public enjoyment of our 193-million-acre National Forest System. The NFF believes that communities should play a leading role in determining the future of our National Forests and Grasslands. Consequently, they focus their efforts on connecting these communities, and the people who comprise them, to the tools, knowledge, and funding necessary to becoming active and devoted stewards of this incredible public estate.

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) Matching Awards Program (MAP) provides funding for results-oriented on- the-ground projects that enhance forest health and outdoor experiences on National Forests and Grasslands.

 

Town of Telluride Commercial Real Estate Market Report

Information Provided By Rocky Mountain Real Estate Brokers

Whole Building Sales:

  • The Strong House, 283 South Fir, sold for $2,600 MLS #33887
  • The Belmont Building, 124 East Colorado, sold for $2,200,000 MLS #32628
  • The Yarn Store, 320 W. Colorado, Sold for $1,400,000 MLS# 33705 Commercial Condominium sales:
  • Art House Corner of Fir and Pacific, sold for $835,000 MLS #33923
  • Eye care store, 395 East Colorado, sold for $550,000 MLS #34373
  • Pack it Ship it, Old Watch Space 125 West Pacific, sold for $479,000 MLS #32379
  • There Restaurant space, 627 West Pacific, sold for $570,000 MLS #34610
  • 110 South Pine, Sold for $550,000 MLS #35490

The following office spaces sold:

  • John Steel’s office, 126 West Colorado Ave, sold for $425,000 MLS #34855
  • New San Juan Office suites 211 & 212, 220 East Colorado Ave. sold for $265,000 MLS #34260 Vacant Land
  • 219 West Pacific, sold for $880,000 MLS #35504

Availability in the commercial sector is very slim and limited. Current whole structure commercial properties listed include:

  • Old Bank Building 109 West Colorado, latest asking $2,790,000 MLS #35785
  • 115 West Colorado, Asking price $4,400,000 MLS #35263
  • 121 North Pine Storage/Residential, Asking price $3,000,000 MLS #34234
  • 398 W Colorado, Pederson Building, Asking price $7,000,000 MLS# 35732 Commercial Spaces listed:
  • Fir House Commercial 2, Asking price $1,425,000 MLS #33928
  • Fir House Commercial 1, Asking price $1,010,000 MLS #33926
  • 547 ½ West Pacific, Vet Clinic, Asking price $939,000 MLS#35586
  • 124 East Pacific, Old Security Title, Asking price $350,000 MLS#35759 TREB Bulletin Under contract
  • Bell Building, 217 West Colorado, Asking price $3,250,000 MLS #32563 Recently Expired/Withdrawn properties:
  • 215 East Colorado, Hell Bent Leather, Asking price $995,000 MLS #34908 Business Opportunity
  • Baked in Telluride, Asking price $695,000 MLS # 35948

A few notable changes in business moves and startups:

  • The Last Dollar Saloon is undergoing a major renovation to be opened soon, there will be a roof top bar expected to open in August. The National Restaurant behind the Last Dollar is planned to open for the Winter Season. 
  • Taco Del Gnar opened up at 123 South Oak
  • SMART transit service is moving into the commercial space in the Spruce Street House on the corner of Spruce and Pacific.
  • The Town of Telluride is moving forward with the construction of the building on south Fir and Pacific on what is locally known as the S.M.P.A. lot. This building will contain underground parking, The Ah- Haa School for the Arts and Affordable Housing.
  • The Merriweather four corners project is moving along, one building on the corner of Fir and Pacific is complete. The Transfer warehouse received a facelift and has been conveyed to Telluride Arts, and the main building to the south of the Transfer warehouse is framed and being finished.
  • Of the two buildings south of the Library on Pine, one of these buildings is finished and the other is nearly complete. I am not aware of who will occupy the commercial spaces in these buildings.
  • The Pederson building on Colorado Ave. on the corner of south Aspen is undergoing an extensive remodel and expansion.
  • Down to Earth was sold to Lauren Reed and the business was moved to South Oak underneath the Visitors center.
  • The old Belmont Building is now occupied by Crossbow Leather shop.
  • The Senate Building on South Spruce has been completed.
  • The old Wagner Gallery on 120 North Fir is totally being remodeled into residential units.
  • The Wizard moved to the Old Yarn store at 320 West Colorado.
  • No news regarding the state of the Hotel Ajax.

Information provided by Rocky Mountain Commercial Brokers

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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To Build or Not to Build? A Telluride Real Estate Market Construction Update

Many of my clients have inquired with me recently about the options of purchasing an existing home or buying a lot and building a home to their specification. It’s a very interesting question in today’s Telluride real estate market. Please allow me to be clear that I’m talking about residential construction here, not commercial or condominium development. It also needs to be understood that I am talking in generalities and that each project will have unique factors and costs unique to its own.

The equation to understand construction cost is land + hard costs + soft costs = project total cost

The important factors to understand when evaluating new home construction in the Telluride market:

Availability of Labor, Services and Materials:

There are incredible home builders in the Telluride market. However, basic supply and demand is dictating an increase in construction costs due to the supply of qualified contractors. Workers are being drawn to Denver and other areas of the Western Slope where conditions and pay may be favorable. There is also a shortage of young people entering the trades.

Almost all the materials used for building homes in Telluride are now imported; lumber and steel from Canada are an example where proposed tariffs may increase the costs further.

Hard Costs

Hard Costs are the actual construction costs and can vary dramatically upon the size of the home and what quality of finishes, lighting and appliances are desired by the owner. These costs also depend on which municipality you choose to build in. In the Town of Telluride there may be workforce mitigation fees and historical preservation impacts. The Town of Mountain Village has very specific architectural guidelines such as a 35% stone requirement which ultimately preserves the overall consistency and property values of the community.

A general range of hard costs is between $450 to $600 sq/ft

If you are looking to build a mountain modern, contemporary home, Mountain Village, or Aldasoro Ranch may be the best options as their design guidelines are now more geared to this style of home.  

Soft Costs

Soft costs are fees for architectural design, engineering, and municipal development fees such as building permits, construction mitigation, water and sewer tap fees.

One important tip is to identify your builder early in the process and connect them with your architect to avoid over-designing outside your budget. Some builders and architects already have a great track record and comfort with each other to achieve this.

A general range of softs costs is 10% of the project total for architecture and engineering and 15% to 20% of the project cost for development fees.

Purchasing a Lot

There are currently 86 lots for sale in Mountain Village at an average size of .67 acres at an average price of $1 Million. One item to note is that I have seen recent engineering and architectural designs that work well with steep lots that can provide excellent land value and amazing views.

In the Town of Telluride, there are only 17 lots available for sale at an average size of .84 acres and an average price of $1.6 Million. Price is at a premium as the Town of Telluride is rapidly approaching build out.

Other options for vacant land two surrounding sub-divisions that provide amazing access, privacy and value. In Aldasoro Ranch, there are 16 lots available for sale at an average size of 3.3 acres and average price of $787K.

The Ski Ranches there are 6 lots for sale at an average size of 1.7 acres and an average price of $488K

New Construction vs Purchasing an Existing Home – The Bottom Line

A general range for total new construction costs are $700 to $850 sq/ft plus the cost of the land. In today’s market the cost of new construction may be similar to the cost of purchasing an existing home.

The question to ask is if the owner is willing to invest time in the process and then be OK with an up to 18-month construction timeline once municipal approvals are granted. The benefits of new construction are to design and enjoy a home of your dreams and there may greater appreciation potential for newer homes.

Please contact me for more information on vacant land and home construction.