2016 top ski town investment

by | Mar 7, 2016 | Colorado Hard Money, Colorado Living, Colorado Private Lending

wolf creek private lending

Best Colorado Ski town real estate investment in 2016

At the dawn of 2016 it is time to send out my annual best ski town investment in Colorado (if you missed last year you can see it here and also get an update on how the market did in 15). I spend so much time in the mountains and ski areas that I keep snow tires on year round (don’t worry it is legal in CO).

Having visited and made residential and commercial hard money/private money loans in every major (and most of the minor ones) ski area there is one area that stands out in terms of value and potential appreciation going into 2016. It also gets the most snow of any ski area in Colorado. My top pick for 16 is ….


Although a bit off the beaten path, Pagosa Springs is this year’s winner. Pagosa is just outside of Wolf Creek ski area. Wolf Creek traditionally gets the most snow of any resort (it averages over 465 inches a year) in North America.  It is a smaller resort but has some of the best skiing in North America without the crowds (or drama) of the larger resorts.

Here is an excerpt on the resort: Wolf Creek Ski Area is known for its deep-powder skiing, friendly atmosphere, delicious homemade food and affordable pricing. Located in Southwest Colorado in the San Juan Mountains Wolf Creek has always been known for its uniqueness in the ski industry since its opening in 1939. Many families and powderhounds are drawn to Wolf Creek’s mountain style.

Along with the skiing, I chose Pagosa for its real estate value. You can get into a house or condo easily under 300k. The market is starting to appreciate  as investment continues in the downtown core and buyers are priced out of many other markets. I think there is allot of upside in the market as long as you stay in the lower price points. The downtown is anchored by a new hot springs hotel and convention center and Leed certified “eco lux” hotel which is helping fuel part of the growth in the area. Less than an hour from Pagosa Springs, is Durango which was also named a top ski town investment by National Geographic.

The winner last year was Crested Butte

Since I wrote the article (I don’t think it was just because of my article J) the market has been on a tear with double digit gains and days on the market declining substantially.

Here is a market update:

In 2015, the real estate markets in Crested Butte and Gunnison grew more than was predicted. The Crested Butte area market grew by a strong 9% compared to 2014 while the Gunnison area market grew by a staggering 93% compared to 2014. Not only was sales volume up in both markets but also average price and the number of properties sold increased as well.  The market segments that did exceptionally well in sales volume increases were Single Family Homes in Mt. Crested Butte (47%), Single Family Homes in Rural Crested Butte (65%), Single Family Homes in Almont and Rural Gunnison (65%) and Single Family Homes in Gunnison (172%). Also all land markets did well with sales volume increasing in all segments. CB South grew by an astonishing 183%.

As we enter into 2016 we expect to continue to see healthy growth in our real estate markets in our area. Growth in tourism throughout both the winter and summer months and more people telecommuting, will in turn create more of a demand for properties in our area. So far we are off to a strong start in 2016 with currently over $40 million in properties under contract as of January 7th. Source: Sotheby’s in Crested Butte

Written by Glen Weinberg, COO/ VP Fairview Commercial Lending. Glen has been published as an expert in hard money lending, real estate valuation, financing, and various other real estate topics in the Colorado Real Estate Journal, the CO Biz Magazine, The Denver Post, The Scotsman mortgage broker guide, Mortgage Professional America and various other national publications.


Fairview is a hard money lender specializing in private money loans / non-bank real estate loans in Georgia, Colorado, Illinois, and Florida. They are recognized in the industry as the leader in hard money lending with no upfront fees or any other games. Learn more about Hard Money Lending through our free Hard Money Guide.  To get started on a loan all they need is their simple one page application (no upfront fees or other games).

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