The potential sale of Steamboat is creating quite the stir as inventory remains low and construction costs continue to rise.
Intrawest, the company that also owns Winter Park, Tremblant, Stratton, Snowshoe and Blue Mountain ski areas is rumored to be exploring potential buyers for Steamboat. The Summit Daily News reported in January that Intrawest is in the initial stages of reaching out to potential buyers, including buyout firms. Intrawest purchased Steamboat in 2007 from the American Skiing Company for $265 million.
While a deal is far from certain, the possibility of a sale is enough to create a real stir in Steamboat’s real estate market. “Whenever the ski area sells, it creates a big time buzz in the market,” says Beth Postemski, the Porches’ exclusive broker. “You’re going to see a lot of people circling around in our market, waiting for news of a sale. Real estate sales should be fast and furious this summer.”
Postemski explains buyers typically come in and look at two different factors: operations of the ski resort and the resort’s real estate holdings. “Whoever buys the ski area will make a deal for that land and once someone puts a shovel in the ground, it’s going to drive prices up.” She explains the sale means a potential investment by the new owner in enhancing both real estate and ski area infrastructure, and that gets buyers excited, which drives prices up.
“People are getting excited as good sources are saying it’s going to sell,” she says. “The buzz is that it might get bought by either Vail Resorts or Aspen Skiing Company.” Either one would bring a lot of value to the table, and with enhanced operations starting this summer with the new alpine slide and miniature golf course, values are going to continue to rise.
Adding to the uptick in real estate values is the fact that inventory continues to be low while demand is high. On top of that, construction costs are also on the rise so the few existing homes that are available are going fast, especially in the luxury market. “All the brokers are saying ‘I have fires but I don’t have any inventory,’” Postemski says. “The luxury market is now tipping single family homes over into the $3 million range, so now all of a sudden paying $200,000 for six weeks for a fractional ownership at The Porches where we have very little inventory is starting to look pretty good.”