The Aspen Buzz


The lush green hillsides and vibrant flowers are due to the many rainy afternoon. Remember to get your outdoor activities completed by early afternoon!

MARKET REPORT: From seminar Thursday, July 16th. Andrew Ernemann presented the residential stats, Lex Tarumianz spoke of the commercial aspect; and Dave Perry, VP of the Aspen Ski Company talked of their latest on mountain upgrades.

RESIDENTIAL: The Aspen market is very “uneven” meaning that the most expensive sales are found on Red Mountain, the Aspen core, and the West End. These prices often exceed $2,000 per square foot. Other neighborhoods and blocks sell for about half that per square foot. We have shifted from a “value driven market to an emotionally driven market”, based on psychological comfort and “enjoyment of time spent at one’s own residence, whether it’s a few weeks a year or on a more permanent basis.” This causes prices to rise. Year to Date Aspen is up 18% in # of sales and also volume vs. 2014. There are now about 200 – 250 pieces of real estate for sale in the Aspen market vs. 550 in 2014! Average price per square foot – Aspen core: $2,168. Average price near Smuggler Mtn – $964 per square foot. A developer just purchased a small condo in the Brand Building at $3,000 per square foot to remodel and put back on the market. Properties are selling at an average of 93.2% of list. Inventory absorption by neighborhood: Aspen Core – 2 months; East Aspen – 7 months; West End – 12 months; West Aspen – 33 months; Starwood and McLain Flats – 81 months.


  • OVER $2,000 per square foot – 12 year to date vs. all of 2014 – 16 total.
  • OVER $10,000,000 – 11 year to date vs. all of 2014 – 17 total.

SNOWMASS VILLAGE: The Pines sells for average of $1,380 per square foot and Horse Ranch sells for average of $716 per square foot.

COMMERCIAL: In 2012 City Council reduced the height from 38 feet to 28 feet which basically took out the top floor penthouses. Rates of $200 NNN leasing rates are not uncommon. Several core buildings will most likely be remodeled or rebuilt including:

  • Crystal Palace
  • Kemo Sabe Building
  • Boogie’s
  • 410 E. Hyman – Hop’s Culture is the current tenant

HOSPITALITY WAVE: These lodges are approved for re-build:

  • Hotel Aspen and Molly Gibson – Main Street
  • Sky Hotel at base of Little Nell
  • Hotel Jerome addition
  • Aspen Club Fractional townhomes
  • Developers are working on area around Lift 1A


  • Aspen Highlands; Buttermilk; and Aspen Mountain scored at 99%, 97% and 96% in visitor pleasure, highest of all ski areas in the USA.
  • 89% said they are likely to return.
  • 25% of our visitors are from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany and the UK – highest foreign visitors for any ski area in the USA.
  • 18 – 35 year olds are coming to Aspen becuase of XGames, Terrain Parks and Half Pipes, etc. and just for the cool place to be.

LODGING: LOST 27% of our bed base while other ski towns have added. The request for lodge upgrades and new lodging here are to replace – are not added growth. I do not think the experts have taken into account the increase in private homes, condos and townhome rentals in addition to the lodge rooms.


  • Cloud Nine – upgraded and is now the #1 performing restaurant – no more table dancing, but you can dance on the chairs!
  • High Alpine Lift – new 6 minute ride!! Re-aligned to just east of the High Alpine restaurant!
  • Aspen Mountain – Skico is working with the Forest Service hopefully to get approvals to open 160 acres at Pandora.
  • Snowmass Mountain – 2016, addition of zip lines, challenge courses, sles on tracks thru trees!

AIR SERVICE: By 2018, new regional jets which are quieter and more fuel efficient have larger wingspans will be on the market. We may be “fighting” the airport to widen the runway and jetways. We will have non-stop flights again from Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Chicago, LA and San Francisco.

RESTAURANT NEWS: Rob Itner of Rustique is re-opening the Cooking School of Aspen where the Steak Pit was just below his restaurant. He will have chefs like John Besh of New Orleans, Marcus Samuelson and many more who will give classes for a week, then have a pop up restaurant in the evenings with them actually cooking!! Expect an opening about Christmas.

RENTALS: ALMOST 100% of our summer tenants have re-rented for summer 2016. We are now starting with the Christmas requests. Please let us know if you wish to rent your home or if you need a rental!!

Our summer is about half over and it is a busy one. People are raving about the Theatre in the Park lineup, JAS cafe, Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet and Music Festival! Do not miss any of these wonderful options!

SPECIAL LISTINGS: There are 2 coming up in the near West End:

  • One on Hallam Lake – a very special property with Lake views and access!
  • Another fabulous remodel close by.


Please call with any listing, sales, rental questions…even specific stats for one block or neighborhood!

My best regards,

Lorrie B. Winnerman