Blog :: 2021

Travel Guide: Telluride, Colorado

Ski season isn’t over yet—especially not at this unspoiled Colorado resort, now just a direct flight away from Boston.

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From day trips to weekend getaways, our biweekly Traveler newsletter shows you the best of New England and beyond.

 

In Telluride, the sky’s the limit when it comes to outdoor pursuits. / Photo via Amy Tice/Eyeem/Getty Images

Lots of places like to claim the title of “Colorado’s last great undiscovered ski town,” but few deserve it as much as Telluride, tucked into a box canyon that’s closer to the Utah border than to Denver. Small, remote, and uncrowded, the resort comprises a 19th-century gold-mining town and the newer Mountain Village, connected by a free, 13-minute gondola ride that’s an inextricable part of the whole experience—not to mention absurdly scenic.

When there’s snow on the ground, as there usually is until April, skiing in Telluride is only the tip of the iceberg. Ice-skating, snow-shoeing, fat-tire biking, and snowmobiling on the valley floor—a designated conservation area—are all worthy winter pursuits. Adrenaline junkies will want to try high-altitude heli-skiing with Telluride Helitrax or ice-climbing at Mystic Falls, while the less adventurous will be happy just marveling at Bridal Veil Falls, the highest free-falling cataract in Colorado. In warmer weather, there are endless opportunities for biking, hiking, and fishing, and whether you want to view wildflowers or wildlife, the Uncompahgre National Forest won’t disappoint.

Looking for some après fun? Immerse yourself in the culture, food, and old-school charm of downtown Telluride, a designated National Historic Landmark District since 1964. For such a small area (only eight blocks wide by 12 blocks long), it boasts a surprisingly diverse array of restaurants, from the New Sheridan Chop House, a fine-dining stalwart housed in a historic 1895 hotel, to the casual but superb Taco del Gnar and Brown Dog Pizza. Telluride is also beloved by culture vultures, with a bona fide Arts District boasting an impressive array of galleries and venues, not to mention live music. Later in the year, visitors and locals alike flock to the internationally renowned Telluride Film Festival. Held annually on Labor Day weekend, the Oscars bell­wether has earned glowing praise from the likes of Roger Ebert, the New York Times, and Salman Rushdie.

In short, Telluride’s a small town that punches way above its weight, without the posers, paparazzi, and poor air quality of other high-end Colorado resorts. There is, indeed, gold in them thar hills, and you’ll find it here.

Getting There

Situated in the secluded south-west corner of Colorado, Telluride is about as far as you can get from the choked I-70 corridor that services better-known ski resorts like Vail and Aspen. In fact, the town has no traffic lights, and the nearest stop sign is 45 miles away. It’s a six-hour drive from Denver, but thanks to JetBlue, Bostonians can now fly nonstop from Logan to Montrose, Colorado, on the airline’s weekly Saturday service. From Montrose, it’s like driving through a snow globe for an hour and a half to reach this still-pristine ski town.

Staying There

Part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, the five-star Madeline Hotel and Residences in Mountain Village just emerged from a thorough facelift, with luxuriously refurbished guest rooms; reinvented public spaces, including the Timber Room resto-bar; and new amenities, such as the Recovery Ski Lounge, created by Olympian (and Telluride native) Gus Kenworthy.

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Navigating a low inventory market

Staggeringly Low Housing Inventory Across Colorado

Market TrendsMarket Trends & StatisticsREALTOR NewsResidential HousingStats & TrendsUncategorized

Tom Brady has more than 2X as many Super Bowl rings as there are houses for sale in southeast Boulder County

ENGLEWOOD, CO – Feb. 10, 2021 – While early February spotlights Groundhog Day and the annual prediction of spring’s arrival, the Colorado housing market just keeps reliving its long-term storyline of low inventory and high demand with no predictable change in sight, according to the January 2021 housing data from the Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR).

With new, staggeringly low records for active single-family listings in the Denver metro area (1,994 properties) and statewide (5,241), maybe nowhere is it more evident than in southeast Boulder County where, following Sunday’s Super Bowl outcome, quarterback Tom Brady now has more than twice as many championship rings than there are homes for sale (3) in the city of Louisville, a community of a little more than 20,000 people, according to REALTOR® Kelly Moye. And the insatiable buyer demand through the winter months has continued the pricing uptick creating a relative feeding frenzy for each and every available property. “It appears that today’s quest to find the perfect home is remarkably similar to the quest to find toilet paper during the early days of the pandemic,” said Durango-area REALTOR® Jarrod Nixon.

Taking a quick home-buying tour around the state, the following chart highlights the median price of a single-family home in select Colorado counties at the end of January 2021 and ranked by the percentage increase in that price from a year prior.

Taking a look at some of the state’s local market conditions, Colorado Association of REALTORS® market trends spokespersons provided the following assessments:

AURORA

“303, -73.5%, $450,000 and 101.5%.  These are the numbers telling the story of Aurora’s single-family housing market for January. We have 303 available homes for sale with total listings down 73.5% from January 2020. Our median price of $450,000 is the result of homes selling on average for 101.5% of list price. 

“The townhome-condo market reflects much of the same with inventory down 63.5% over 2020 and the median price up 14.4% to $304,513. With interest rates extremely low and sellers fearful of a move due to COVID-19 or a number of other concerns, it is hard to tell when we will see the inventory numbers increase.

“For homebuyers, the beat goes on; be prepared to act quickly. Waiting to view a home and/or put an offer on that home may exclude you from that property. Homes are selling very quickly, and buyers need to plan to pay more than the list price. With many homes selling in excess of 100% of their list price, this is not a good time for a buyer to try and lowball on price. As we move into the higher demand time of year, we will be watching to see what direction pricing and inventory take,” said Aurora-area REALTOR® Sunny Banka.

BOULDER/BROOMFIELD
“Tom Brady has won more Superbowl Championships than there are houses for sale in Louisville, Colorado. Just outside of Boulder, the city of Louisville has exactly three houses for sale, two of which have offer deadlines which will likely mean they will sell by the time you’ve read this summary.

“Apparently, homeowners in Boulder County are loving where they live, or have chosen to remodel instead of moving, as our listings in this area are down 33%. Prices are up 10% and we have two weeks of inventory left. The dwindling inventory and high demand from buyers to move to this area has created nothing less than a ‘Hunger Games’ feel in the marketplace. Sellers are enjoying the higher prices and quicker sales but find themselves challenged with finding a replacement home. This situation has caused many to stay where they are, further exacerbating the problem.

“Broomfield County is sharing this experience with its Boulder neighbor, with listings down 25% and median home prices up a whopping 19% since this time last year. With only 10 days worth of inventory in this county, buyers scramble to buy houses, as well as attached townhomes and condos. We can look for some relief as the spring selling season approaches and hopefully, we have more listings hit the market. Buyers, sellers, and REALTORS® are becoming weary in what has been an unprecedented start to the year,” said Boulder/Broomfield-area REALTOR® Kelly Moye.

COLORADO SPRINGS/PIKES PEAK AREA 

“In January 2021, there were 460 active listings of Single-family/patio homes with 971 sales, compared to 4,326 active listings with 460 sales in January 2011. Also, from January 2011 to 2021, the average price rocketed 106% from $210,879 to $433,581, the median price soared 108% from $180,000 to $375,000, and the monthly sales volume exploded by 334% from $97,004,340 to $421,007,2004. So, it seems wise not to predict the future at this time.

“Last month, we recorded the highest level of monthly sales, monthly sales volumes, as well as record-high average and median sales prices compared to any January on record.The year-over-year single-family/patio home sales activity saw a 6% increase in monthly sales, over 22% increase in the months’ sales volume, a 16% increase in the average sale price, ascending to $433,581, and an over 11% increase in the median sale price rising to $375,000, with a shocking over 61% decline in the active listings.

“Last month, 76.6% of the single-family/patio homes sold were priced under $500,000, while 18.6% were between $500,000 and $800,000, and 4.7% over $800,000. Year-over-year, there was a 68% drop in the sale of single-family/patio homes priced under $300,000, primarily due to the inventory shortage, while we had a surprising 122% increases in homes priced between $400,000 and $600,000, and between $600,000 and $1 million, and an astounding over 133% increase in homes priced over $1 million.

“Buyers generally purchase properties offering competitive values, even in a vigorously robust real estate market. Unsurprisingly, even while the listings are at a shockingly low level, over 14% of the El Paso and Teller county active listings in the Pikes Peak MLS had price reductions. Undeniably, pathetically low inventory and affordability challenges due to ever-soaring prices continue to be the most challenging aspect of the Colorado Springs area housing market,” said Colorado Springs-area REALTOR® Jay Gupta.

COLORADO SPRINGS/PIKES PEAK AREA 

“The housing market sprinted to more new highs as we began 2021. The median sales price rocketed up 15.2% on single-family homes and the competition in the race between buyers is absolutely brutal. In order for a buyer to actually get a chance at winning a home they have to come in above full price, offer an appraisal gap in the double digits, and then hope that the other buyer isn’t playing with full cash. REALTORS® far and wide are writing 8-10 offers for their buyers only to have buyers give up and try to rent for another year. Anytime a buyer decides they want to put in an offer it’s like getting into the ring with Mike Tyson, you are going to get pummeled. 

“With over 2.7 million mortgages in forbearance and a moratorium placed on foreclosures, there seems to be little relief on the horizon. As we shed millions of jobs a month, the housing economy is once again shrugging it off. There is no good news in regard to the actual economy. The FED continues to offer trillions of dollars in relief while balancing inflation and economic fears. With so much printed money, far more than we have ever tried to print, there is no telling what the economy will do as we move forward. It seems the real balance now is trying to avoid inflation and manipulate interest rates.

“We are in a new era. These tactics have never been used by the FED like they are now and the more money that gets printed the higher the stock market and housing market goes. Are both in bubbles? I have no idea, but I can tell you that if inflation takes off and the only cure is higher interest rates to try to correct that, then we do have real problems. Like years past, we will have to deal with the market we are in today. So, if you are selling, it is going to be a great time to cash in on epic appreciation. If you are buying you are going to wish you were not. Let’s see how the year progresses and if we can get new jobless claims under control. If not, we will see that ripple through every part of the economy and housing will be the last to likely show it,” said Colorado Springs-area REALTOR® Patrick Muldoon.

CRESTED BUTTE/GUNNISON VALLEY

“The real estate numbers from all of the resort towns in Colorado tell a similar story – record sales, low inventory and increasing values. January 2021 did not provide any indication that there will be a dip or correction anytime soon.  January is typically the slowest month of the year for closings, but the number of sales this year was almost double the next highest January in the last 10 years and more than triple those in January 2020. Even more impressive, the dollar volume of sales was five times the volume we had in January 2020. This was partly due to the sheer number of sales, but there also were some substantial commercial and development opportunities that added to volume.

“While inventory is low, we continue to see properties come on the market as sellers realize now could be the perfect time to cash out and use the equity for another investment.  However, as in other areas, if you sell your property now, you may have trouble getting back into the market, so it is important to be clear on your next move. 

“Buyers in 2021 need to be prepared to move quickly and decisively. Those who are waiting for the next downturn could find themselves waiting a while as all indications point to continued growth and appreciation. 

“The Crested Butte and Gunnison area is unique among ski towns in that we have a lot of vacant land still available. Many buyers are choosing to build their dream home rather than try to find something existing that will work. The building process is not for everyone and there are also people building new homes for sale that will come on the market in the coming months. Planning to build is more involved than just buying a home or condo so make sure you have an expert to help you think through this process,” said Crested Butte-area REALTOR® Molly Eldridge.

DENVER COUNTY

“‘Desperate times call for desperate measures.’ It’s a saying we’re all familiar with and Denver’s real estate market has long-since crossed into the desperate. There is an impossibly low number of homes for sale and, in stark contrast, an almost limitless amount of competition for the few that do trickle in. This January, Denver saw 557 single-family homes enter the marketplace – a number not too far a deviation from previous years. What is strange however, is the fact that this 557 represents a 72.7% decrease in the supply – a direct metric of demand. Add to that only 213 homes available at any time vs. last January’s 709 and you’ve got a market that closely resembles a piranha exhibition at lunch,” said Denver-area REALTOR® Matthew Leprino.

DURANGO/LA PLATA COUNTY

“’Should I stay, or should I go?’ This is a question many property owners in La Plata County are asking themselves. Many residents, after spending the last year locked down in their homes, have realized that it is time to make a change, but where can they go?

“January’s housing stats were staggering: the number of single-family homes sold increased 40%, and the median sales price jumped 15% from the previous year. The pressing issue continues to be a lack of inventory. The number of single-family homes for sale plummeted 72% to just 108 for the entire county, which is down 80% from the same time last year. Durango’s in-town single-family listings number is just 20, with only three units under the $565,000 median price. 

“While single-family home sales have increased, townhome and condo sales are down almost 18% from the same period last year. Inventory is still a problem with townhomes and condos where La Plata County currently has less than a month’s worth of townhome/condo inventory (or a total of 11 units) available. Vacant land sales skyrocketed over the last year since many buyers were unable to find suitable homes. Many have decided to build, however, finding a builder that has availability is almost as difficult as finding an existing home to purchase.

“What does all this mean for the market in 2021? Sellers are going to be faced with the difficult possibility that if they list, they may not be able to find a replacement property. Buyers are going to need to be prepared to make split-second decisions when making offers. Multiple-offer situations are occurring daily, and buyers must be willing to participate if they want a chance at acquiring a property. Brokers are working hard to secure additional inventory, but it is a huge task to fill the current demand of potential buyers.

“It appears that today’s quest to find the perfect home is remarkably similar to the quest to find toilet paper during the early days of the pandemic. We are all hopeful that there will be a loosening of inventory this spring and summer with the seasonality the market usually experiences,” said Durango-area REALTOR® Jarrod Nixon.

ESTES PARK/LARIMER COUNTY

“It’s no surprise to see a drastically low Estes Park inventory compared to last year as new listings plummeted 47.6% for single-family homes. Townhouse/condo new listings are dangerously reduced as well, down 30.8% from this time last year. Closed sales remain even for townhouse/condos, but single-family homes closed were down 52.4% from January 2020. The overall inventory of homes for sale dropped 70.5% for single-family and an even steeper -76.5% for townhouse/condos. Average days-on-market for townhouse/condos reflects that strong demand for this property type. In January 2020, townhouse/condos were sitting about 124 days on the market, this year it’s down to just 40. We continue to see average sales price climb with single-family homes up 2.3% to $552,200. However, townhouse/condos had an even more impressive increase from an average sales price of $354,504 in January 2020 to $464,621 this year, a 31.1% increase.

“Overall, Larimer County inventory is low, right along with mortgage rates, and is creating quite the imbalance in our local market and pushing up prices. The inventory of single-family homes for sale dropped 64% from this time last year. Townhouse/condos also fell dramatically, -53.3% from January 2020. With so much uncertainty, tighter finances and simply enjoying what is currently in hand, staying put seems safe. On the other hand, the demand for a new home experience is being driven by improved workspace, more enjoyable outdoor areas, and capitalizing on the unbelievably low interest rates. Competing with multiple offers and offers presented over asking price is the norm and helped drive up the average price 9.3% from a year prior to $522,907. Townhouse/condos have increased to an average sales price of $378,798, a bump of 8.3% from a year ago. The time to act on a new listing is short as the average days on market tightens in response to the ever-shrinking inventory. Townhouse/condos are closing in about 93 days compared to 128 this time last year. Single-family homes have reduced their days on market 14.7% going from 75 days in January 2020 to just 64 this past month,” said Estes Park-area REALTOR® Abbey Pontius.

FORT COLLINS

“A Tale of Two Januarys. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. These words ring painfully true in today’s housing market. At the end of January 2020, Fort Collins had a whopping 419 single-family homes for sale in what was thought to be one of the tightest January inventories in recent memory. Interest rates had begun to fall and activity after the New Year was anticipated to be quite brisk. Multiple offers for the limited available properties drove prices higher and it looked to be the best of times for sellers and the worst of times for buyers.

“Fast forward 12 months. Interest rates are lower and buyer demand is higher and there were only 171 properties for sale. The worst of times for buyers, indeed, facing a 59% drop in availability. Nearly any property under $600,000 has multiple offers on it. Buyers are likely writing half a dozen offers (or more) before finally getting their offer accepted by a seller. This effort takes a huge emotional toll on these folks looking for a house they can call home. Yet, buyers that can waive appraisal contingencies and make offers of mostly or all-cash are winning many of these contests.  

“Even the once cream-of-the-crop buyers with 20% down payment, solid credit scores, and no contingency to sell their primary residence are losing out to those with extra cash to throw at these scant few listings. Even with the limited inventory, sales are up across most price points:  $400-$500k – up 78%; $500-$700k – up 50% year over year. Sellers are winning – but only if they already have somewhere else to move – otherwise, they find themselves competing for the limited resale homes or opting for new construction homes being sold far faster than builders can build them.

“Supply and demand are sharply out of balance and we can expect prices to continue to rise throughout the first half of the year (median price in Fort Collins remains above $460,000 and there’s less than 30 days of inventory available). Beyond July, potential bumps-up in interest rates may occur as more people are vaccinated and the economy slowly opens up. This could slow things down a bit as buyers will lose some of the edge off of their buying power and sellers will have to adjust to less frenzied buyer demand. It will once again be the best of times but hopefully not the worst of times,” said Fort Collins-area REALTOR® Chris Hardy.

FREMONT AND CUSTER COUNTIES

“Southern Colorado, specifically Fremont and Custer counties may be a little less bleak than other areas of the state. Our Custer County mountain areas of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff have a total of 55 listings in inventory. New listings are down more than 11% over January 2020 and sales are keeping an even pace with the new listings and a median sales price of $365,000. 

“Looking to Fremont County, our river valley areas of Canon City, Florence and Penrose have a total of 112 listings in inventory. Here, new listings are up 5.1% over January of 2020, but new sales are also up 9.3%. With a median sale price of $290,000, we’re giving buyers affordable housing with high-speed internet where they can phone it in most days of the week and travel occasionally to beat the lack of inventory conundrum of the big cities. It is a different world and COVID has taught us new ways to be productive. Rural areas are appealing to more and more people; it’s a social distancing of sorts,” said Fremont and Custer County-area REALTOR® David Madone.

GOLDEN/ARVADA – JEFFERSON COUNTY

“It’s Groundhog Day in Jefferson County where the housing market conditions just keep repeating our low inventory high demand scenario. With new listings for single-family homes down 10.5% we have an inventory record low of 199 active homes in January 2021, a decrease of 70% from this time last year and pushing the median sales price to $550,000.

“For condo/townhomes it is again, a repeat story. Inventory is down 68% and days on market comes in at a shrinking 22. The median sales price ticked up to $300,000 with only 67 active January listings. With low interest rates and a continued influx of out-of-state buyers, we look for more Groundhog days and months ahead in 2021,” said Golden/Jefferson County-area REALTOR® Barb Ecker.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS/GARFIELD COUNTY

“’How’s the market?’ Depends who’s asking. For sellers, they rejoice in hearing statistics that include new single-family listings down 34% over last January and days on market falling 55% to a whopping 39 days. Sold listings were up 46% while pending sales rose 41%. Garfield County had a total of 99 active single-family homes in January, a 60% drop from January 2020 that brought our inventory down 66% to a new low of 1.2 months. 

“The townhome/condo sector experienced a staggering 46% decline in new listings with sold listings up 25% and pending sales up 12%. There was an 8% decrease in the average sale price in this sector yet inventory remains incredibly low, just 1.7 months supply and only 46 active listings in all of Garfield County.

“In a market hurting for new inventory, we have a different conversation with our buyers, – a much harder one. As our buyers scramble to get their foot (or offer) in the door we are seeing not only the standard multiple offers and escalation clauses, but buyers taking it a step further and deleting inspection resolution deadlines, as well as other deadlines or contingencies they can to make their offer the most appealing.

“The law of supply and demand, coupled with high cost of new construction are creating the perfect storm in Garfield County, with no end in sight,” said Glenwood Springs-area REALTOR® Erin Bassett.

GRAND JUNCTION/MESA COUNTY

“Mesa County real estate continues to be a challenge with low interest rates spurring buyer interest and activity only to struggle to find something they qualify for. At end of January, there were just 337 active listings of single- family and townhouse/condos, which is down 53.5% from the same time last year, and down 90 units since December 2020. Demand continues to push prices higher as the median price rose 11.5% year over year to $295,350, up $5,000 since December 2020. The average price rose 16.4% from January 2020 to $341,093, up $16,000 since December.

“There were just 269 new listings in January as pendings rose 14.9% and solds dipped 3.5% compared to last January. With just a one-month supply available, 2021 looks like it might be a challenging year. The tightness in inventory is also affecting the rental market, as if potential buyers can’t buy, then they are renting, and that is pushing vacancy rates down, and rental rates up,” said Grand Junction-area REALTOR® Ann Hayes.

PUEBLO

“We’ve started out the year just okay as the lack of inventory remains the biggest issue. Active listings fell 60.3% from January 2020 to 156 as the months supply of homes hit 0.6. New listings were down 11.6% to 245 from January 2020 as pending sales rose nearly 11% and solds fell 7.7% compared to January 2020. Our median sales price rose nearly 30% year over year to $258,000 and we continue to have multiple offers for buyers to contend with. Bottom line, it’s still a great time to be a seller, not so great for buyers. Our new home sales remain very strong and builders simply can’t build fast enough for the demand,” said Pueblo-area REALTOR® David Anderson.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS/ROUTT COUNTY

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Once Upon a Time in the West, before COVID-19, the Routt County real estate market was almost a balanced market with 6.7 months’ supply – a pretty equal playing field for both buyers and sellers. The tide has changed with only 1.4 months supply and I think to myself- what would Clint Eastwood say?

“What a difference a year makes. As we rang in 2021, low interest rates, ‘the good,’ continue to be a driving force in real estate. Low inventory, ‘the bad,’ remains a problem and although new listings were up in single-family (26 vs. 13), multi-family listings were less (35 vs. 37) than a year before. Active listings were at 48 for single-family and 48 for multi-family, down 74.2% and 69.8%, respectively from December 2019. This creates for buyers ‘the ugly,’ multiple-offer situations. But as they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and this multiple-offer situation is a beautiful thing to sellers.

“In this market, there are two kinds of buyers; those that have cash and those that finance. The buyers that have a ‘fistful of dollars’ make up 50% of our transactions. Our buyers are 50% local; the other 50% is comprised of 25% from the front range and the balance from out-of-state. January realized 24 single-family sales with a median sales price of $850,000 (four sales above $1.95M) and 36 multi-family sales with a median sales price of $620,000 and average sales price of $721,983.

“We can expect to see more inventory come on the spring market. Sellers who short-term rent their condo typically wait until after the ski season to list their property when the rental season is quieter. Buyers hope that buyer’s agents will make their day and a good broker will instruct their clients that if you want to play the game, you’d better know the rules. A buyer may feel like they are in the line of fire, but a good buyer always knows their limitations,” said Steamboat Springs-area REALTOR® Marci Valicenti.

SUMMIT, PARK AND LAKE COUNTY

“While we continue to wade through the health crash that has impacted our economy, there are many sectors that are struggling to survive but real estate is not one of them. There are a total of 124 listings in all of Summit County ranging in price from $266,250 for a Keystone studio and topping out at almost $19 million for a Breckenridge home. Dillon has 8 listings, Frisco just 2. The other side of this story is the number of pending listings – an awesome 471 listings on the way to closing. January 2021 had 42% fewer active listings from the prior January however, the number of sold listings was up 27%. This shows that buyers are still wanting more and are willing to pay on average $1.5 million for a single-family home and $672,000 for a multifamily property. The ski resorts are busy on the weekends. Tourists, second homeowners, and other visitors are recreating in the county and many recognize the joy they can have by living and working either full or part time in the mountains. Many locals are staying put in their homes as the local percentage of sales has dropped to about 21%, front range buyers make up 47% and out of state buyers 32%,” said Summit-area REALTOR® Dana Cottrell.

TELLURIDE

“Ho hum – another record month in Telluride with 64 sales totaling $81.94 million in January representing a 49% increase in number of sales and a 69% increase in total dollars over January 2020. Most noticeable was the drop in sales in the Town of Telluride due to a severe drop in inventory. We just listed a 2BR/2B condominium on Feb. 6 at $1.2 million. It is the only 2BR/2B condominium for sale in the Town of Telluride below $1,499,000. 

“For the first time in years, January sales volume was carried first by the Mountain Village, and then by sales out of both town primary on the surrounding mesas and subdivisions. Ironically, January was down from the last six months of 2019 monthly sales averages. Lack of inventory will continue to be the major story for the remainder of 2021 sales volumes,” said Telluride-area REALTOR® George Harvey.

VAIL

“January 2021 sales have started off as a mixed overall market with single-family/duplex units a negative 28.2% and townhome/condo units positive 97.1%. This type of variance can be caused by one key factor, inventory. The chart below demonstrates the significance of the situation. The new listing stats have single-family/duplex negative 11.5% and townhome/condo units up 36.5% versus 2020. Pending contracts remain strong at +45% and +21.6%, respectively. Days on market was negative 21% for single-family/duplex properties and negative 33.6% for townhome/condos which shows the strength of buyer activity in the market. However, the months of supply of inventory for single-family/duplex is 2.2 and 2.7 months for townhome/condo which is problematic. The market continues to be strong and basic economics cause the supply and demand curve to drive pricing upwards,” said Vail-area REALTOR® Mike Budd.

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CAR/SHOWING TIME RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Monthly Market Statistical Reports are prepared by Showing Time, a Minneapolis-based real estate technology company, and are based on data provided by Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in Colorado. These reports represent all MLS-listed residential real estate transactions in the state.  The metrics do not include “For Sale by Owner” transactions or all new construction. Showing Time uses its extensive resources and experience to scrub and validate the data before producing these reports.

The benefits of using MLS data (rather than Assessor Data or other sources) are:

  • Accuracy and Timeliness – MLS data are managed and monitored carefully.
  • Richness – MLS data can be segmented
  • Comprehensiveness – No sampling is involved; all transactions are included.
  • Oversight and Governance – MLS providers are accountable for the integrity of their systems.           
  • Trends and changes are reliable due to the large number of records used in each report.  
  • Late entries and status changes are accounted for as the historic record is updated each quarter. 

Telluride Elk aware

Elk aware

New citizen science project monitors local herd behavior

  • Special Thanks Bria Light, Telluride Daily Planet Staff Reporter

Elk program

Mason Osgood of Sheep Mountain Alliance and Dr. Garrett Smith of the Telluride Institute installed wildlife cameras across the Valley Floor last week as part of a new citizen science project. (Courtesy photo)

 

The sight of a herd of elk clustering photogenically against the lush backdrop of the Valley Floor, a passel of telephoto lens-wielding tourists in tow, paints a certain kind of picture. The elk, looking rather aloof, seem unhindered by the presence of the humans that surround the vicinity on all sides. The herd, at certain times of year dotted with adorably lanky legged little ones, seems to indicate a prosperous population, and the protected nature of the three-mile stretch of Valley Floor shines as a triumph of conservation over the unbridled proliferation of multi-million dollar vacation condos.

Yet the buck doesn’t stop there. The more complex reality is that the elk population has been declining in southwest Colorado for several years, as measured by the calf-to-cow ratio. While Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been investigating the phenomenon, scientists have yet to collect sufficient data to understand why.

Understanding more about the presence and behavior of this iconic species on Telluride’s Valley Floor is the focus of a new collaboration between Sheep Mountain Alliance, the Mountain Studies Institute and the Telluride Institute’s Watershed Education Program, and it’s open to the public to participate. The project aims to engage interested community members and local school kids, along with area scientists, to monitor and record wildlife, especially elk, and to collect and share that data for use in decision making by public agencies. To that end, 10 wildlife cameras, disguised by camouflage coloring and mounted on trees at about three feet high, were placed at strategic locations around the Valley Floor last week, kicking off the data collection phase of the project.

“We hope to capture data on their whole lifestyle — eating, sleeping, how many months they are spending in the Valley Floor, where they are coming from and leaving from, and how they utilize the Valley Floor,” said Mason Osgood, community outreach coordinator for Sheep Mountain Alliance, noting that much of what is known about elk and wildlife on the Valley Floor is anecdotal, while project offers a scientific approach conducive to data collection.

Students at the Telluride Intermediate School and Mountain School will “adopt” four of the project’s six wildlife cameras, heading into the field periodically to retrieve the SD cards, download the images and report their findings. The project is hoping to bring on additional volunteers from the community to “adopt” the remaining cameras for the rest of 2021, who will receive training and a way to participate in a scientific process that may help safeguard the future of the valley’s charismatic megafauna.

Despite appearances, elk are sensitive to human presence and prefer to be left alone. Yet the migratory nature of the species means that they can’t simply retreat to more remote areas — they need corridors like the Valley Floor to travel between lower elevations in the winter and higher elevations in the summer.

“The Valley Floor acts as a transition zone for the elk,” explained project manager Dr. Garrett Smith, director of science and research at the Telluride Institute. “It’s a landscape that they utilize when they migrate from the West End up into the high basins for calving.”

The nature of expanding human presence and increased interest in outdoor recreation, he said, has led to “fragmented landscapes” often subject to developmental pressures, and the health of a species like elk should not be taken for granted, especially given the declining numbers.

“This project allows the community to take ownership in the issues and the landscape, to understand how to do things and why,” Smith said. “And to help decide, based on the data, the future of it.”

Those interested in participating, he noted, can reach out to any of the collaborating organizations, with both financial and volunteer contributions to the project welcome.

“The Valley Floor in Telluride was protected by a community effort, and having the community participate in the science now is a good follow-up to that process of preserving it,” he said.

Forward together

 

  • By Michael Martelon, Telluride Tourism Board

Together.

Seems simple enough. Clearly, it’s a better way to approach most anything. Together, for instance, we as a community continue to navigate this global pandemic. 

With the arrival of vaccines in San Miguel County, we are methodically continuing a slow march toward what we all hope is an eventual return to a new normalcy. 

(An aside: In my opinion, the orderly professionalism of the countywide vaccine program to date has been entirely reflective of the orderly professionalism shown throughout the Covid-19 pandemic by our local public health officials and medical professionals.)

To be sure, our march has obstacles and making it through this winter still hangs entirely on one hook: complying with the Five Commitments together. 

In other words, together, we need to accept being apart from each other a little longer.

As the pandemic has progressed, another challenge has emerged as economists sound the alarm on a K-shaped economic recovery that is only serving to accelerate inequality.

That K-shaped recovery — where the fortunes of some are skyrocketing while those of others stagnate or dip, forming a “K” on an economist’s graph — is happening locally too.

It’s a sign that we as a community need to understand and work to manage our recovery together.

In our little hamlet, for instance, liquor, cannabis, grocery, real estate and those connected to real estate transactions are all gratefully surprised I’m sure as they ride out, reasonably well, these strange times. 

Meanwhile, wedding planners, events, bars, theaters, music venues and festivals are struggling, as are restaurants, retailers, lodgers and the professional services and nonprofit communities. 

In 2020, the total sales tax collected by the Town of Telluride and the Town of Mountain Village shows only a single-digit decrease from 2019. We know, we know, we talk about sales tax a lot. Sales tax, though, is an important metric, one we monitor closely to better understand how our local economy and community are faring. 

In this case, that single-digit decrease is masking somewhat the reality that some sectors of our local economy are coping and others are not.

With this in mind and as we look forward to summer 2021, over the last several months we at the Telluride Tourism Board have utilized both our expertise and our experiences as people who live and work here. We have examined the data and listened to community members to see what is working and what can be improved upon.

In particular, our aim is to work together with elected officials from both towns and the county on a process to get this summer “right”. It’s a process that will seek to address everything from the local experience to visitor flows (people as well as traffic) and more.

The TTB also continues to support the work, under the county’s oversight, of the Economic Recovery Committee in addressing the concerns and issues facing local small business owners, especially against that backdrop of an uneven recovery.

On the key question of how festivals will fare this summer, we recently heard from Planet Bluegrass’s Craig Ferguson. Craig is very wrapped up in proposing, for local approval, creative ideas for music to grace our canyon safely this summer.

Elsewhere in the arts community, we are excited to see what Kate Jones, Judy Kohin, Ronnie Palamar, Colin and Sasha Sullivan and others do to build on last summer’s creative offerings with more of their trademark innovative thinking. The festivals and arts sectors know they have our support and available resources as needed.

Reflective of a pivot, begun pre-pandemic, from an entity that markets the destination to one that contemplates and supports management of the destination, my colleagues and I also remain involved in a number of initiatives and collaborations — with the Telluride Mountain Club, the dining and retail communities, the Telluride Ecology Commission and Mountain Village Green Team, among others — and still others yet to come.

Navigating the pandemic has taken the efforts of the entire community working together. Navigating a potential emergence from the Covid crisis and economic recovery will take the efforts of us all, once again working together.

Farm fare for all in Telluride

Food program open to qualifying residents

Special Thanks Bria Light, Telluride Daily Planet Staff ReporterMV CSA

Last year, the Mountain Village Farm to Community program served 85 families weekly; this year it aims to serve 80. (Courtesy photo)

 

We’re all familiar with the little produce stickers proclaiming that bundle of cilantro from Mexico, or that underripe-looking tomato from California. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and for the fourth year in a row, qualifying Mountain Village families and residents will have the opportunity to receive a free weekly box of fresh food grown and produced on Colorado farms just down the road. The program, called Farm to Community, will provide a community supported agriculture (CSA) box of fresh veggies and other products like eggs and bread for 14 weeks this summer, beginning June 16.

To qualify, applicants must live in deed-restricted housing in Mountain Village and either meet certain income requirements or be a household of at least one adult and one dependent.

“The whole purpose of this program has been to do three things,” explained Zoe Dohnal, business development and sustainability director for the town of Mountain Village. “We want to help our residents that may not have the resources for a CSA, we want to support local farmers in providing local produce, and we want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This program does all three of those things.”

Applications for the program are now open on the Town of Mountain Village website, and for a one-time $35 application fee, 80 qualifying households will receive a weekly box of farm produce and goods from mid-June through September. Applications and assistance are available in both English and Spanish. The boxes must be picked up between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Market on the Plaza, Mountain Village’s weekly summer farmer’s market in Heritage Plaza.

“We’ve gotten so much great feedback,” Dohnal said of the program. “I’ve have parents tell me, ‘My kids have never eaten so many veggies.’”

Each box comes with recipes tucked in among the veggies with ideas from the farmers, so that items like rutabaga, parsnips or bok choy make their way into tasty new dishes instead of languishing in the refrigerator, the wilting victims of culinary uncertainty. Beyond the health and flavor advantages of the nutrient-dense local produce, the benefits of weekly farm boxes extend beyond the food itself, encouraging shoppers to make healthier choices at the grocery store and try new things.

“It is actually harvested and in your kitchen within a day or two so you get the peak of nutrition and flavor,” said Sam Andrews of Norwood’s Birdhouse Farm, who helps coordinate getting the farms’ goods into the hands of participants, along with Norwood’s Fresh Food Hub and other farmers. “It also benefits the farmers as more money goes directly to the farmer rather than to the middlemen and distributors.”

Since many Mountain Village residents make regular trips to Montrose for grocery shopping, the weekly food box also helps cut down on environmentally harmful emissions, not only by reducing trips to surrounding cities but by drastically slashing transportation distances to get the veggies from the soil to the salad. Supporting local farmers also cultivates a long-term view of healthy, connected communities.

“A farmer is here for the long haul, often thinking of their kids and grandkids in farm decisions,” observed Andrews. “They are helpful, knowledgeable and family oriented, they make great neighbors. They rush to the aid of a neighbor, to help pull you out of the ditch or put out a fire. They are by their very nature very caring people.”

The Farm to Community program is funded by the Town of Mountain Village, which allocates $60,000 annually to support the program. It’s a team effort, relying on a dedicated corps of town officials, volunteers, farmers and participants to succeed. Last year, due to the unprecedented hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the town expanded the program to provide the CSA boxes for an extended period of time, serving over 18,000 pounds of food to 85 families.

When residents come to the Market on the Plaza to pick up their box, they can talk directly with a farmer, gaining a direct connection to the food they eat, where it comes from and how to cook it. For busy working parents or residents working multiple jobs to make ends meet, the program offers a vibrant, tangible way to support a thriving, healthy local community.

“We really want this to be as inclusive a program as possible,” said Dohnal. “We want to include everyone who is qualified.”

Making CSA shares accessible to more members of a community is the gift that keeps on giving, according to Andrews. Consumers benefit, farmers benefit, the land, animals and environment benefits, and communities benefit.

“By supporting local farmers, whether it’s a cattle ranch or veggies or fruit orchards, we are preserving a heritage of sustainable agriculture while also ensuring our good health with good food, hopefully for generations to come,” she said.

Super Bowl LV: 10 unique facts about the game being played during a pandemic

 

This year's Super Bowl is historic in several ways.

How Tampa's one-of-a-kind Super Bowl will try to avoid being a 'superspreader' event

TAMPA, Fla — When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs take the field on Feb. 7, it will truly be a Super Bowl unlike any other. It will be the first to be played amid a global pandemic, marking the end of a full NFL season played in spite of the COVID-19 threat. With that in mind, we've narrowed down the top ten unique facts and firsts you'll see in Super Bowl LV.

Could Super Bowl LV End Up Being Biggest Game in Patrick Mahomes' Career?

Cashless Concessions

The stadium concession stands will be cash-free for the first time in the Super Bowl's 55-year history. This follows a trend we've seen in other sporting venues, including Tropicana Field and Amalie Arena. Cards and mobile payments will be accepted inside Raymond James Stadium.

Partial Capacity

This Super Bowl will be the first not to be played in a full stadium since the inaugural AFL-NFL Championship Game in 1967, which failed to sell out. Because of COVID-19, the NFL restricted the seating capacity at Raymond James Stadium to 22,000. That number includes 7,500 very special guests.

Health Care Workers Invited

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell extended the largest invite ever to a single group of people for a Super Bowl. More than 7,000 vaccinated health care workers from around the country will attend Super Bowl LV as a way to give thanks for their hard work during the pandemic. Many will come from Bay Area hospitals, although all 32 NFL teams are able to extend their own invitations.

Star-Spangled Duet

Country star Eric Church and R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan will perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a duet prior to kickoff. This will be just the second duet for the national anthem at a Super Bowl. Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville teamed up to sing at Super Bowl XL in 2006.

A Woman on the Field

Who run the world? Girls! Down judge Sarah Thomas will become the first female game official in a Super Bowl. The mom of two has been an NFL official since 2015.

Women on the Sideline

Thomas is not the only woman making Super Bowl history. The Bucs will have two female coaches on their sideline -- assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar. Head coach Bruce Arians hired Locust and Javadifar when he took over the team in 2019.

Dueling Quarterbacks

This Super Bowl will be the first to match up the two previous winning quarterbacks. The Bucs' Tom Brady won Super Bowl LIII with the New England Patriots, while the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes led his team to victory in Super Bowl LIV last year.

Oldest Starting QB

When Tom Brady takes the field to lead the Bucs offense, he'll break his own record as the oldest Super Bowl starting quarterback. He'll be 43 years, 188 days old. Brady is already the fifth-oldest QB to play in any NFL game.

Arians' Age Milestone

Bruce Arians is also proving you're never too old. The 68-year-old leader of the Bucs will be the oldest coach to make his Super Bowl debut. It's an incredible feat for a man who didn't get his first NFL head coaching job until he was 60.

First Team to Play a Super Bowl at Home

Last, but never least, the Bucs are the first team to make it to a Super Bowl on their own home field. They'll enjoy many of the comforts of home, with one notable exception: the iconic pirate ship behind the north end zone has been removed, just as it was the first two times Raymond James Stadium hosted a Super Bowl. But despite the Bucs' home-field advantage, the Chiefs are going in as a slight favorite.

 

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    The 15 Most Charming Small Towns in Colorado We Might Just Move to

    TRAVEL

    Special Thanks to purewow.com By Dan Koday 

    Clean, crisp air, sparkling river canyons and snow-dusted Rocky Mountain vistas are just a few of the things that make Colorado truly unique and a favorite destination amongst domestic and international travelers. Without reservation, you should focus a trip around all this intense, jaw-dropping nature and corresponding outdoor activities, but you’re also likely to make your way into town at some point, and when you do, you’ll want to carve out some serious time. The many adorable, small towns in this state cropped up thanks to their mining past, and today possess a decidedly Western charm with plenty of outdoor spirit. Here are some of the most charming towns The Centennial State has to offer:

    COVID-19 Update: Whether you’re dipping your toe back into local travel, or just starting to plan your next vacation, these 15 small towns in Colorado should be high on your list. But if you do visit right now, remember to stay smart, mask up, keep your distance and adhere to all CDC and local guidelines.

    RELATED: BRECKENRIDGE: THE BEST SPRING SKI TOWN

    small towns in colorado Vail

    ADVENTURE_PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

    1. VAIL, COLORADO

    In addition to being a skier’s dream, the Vail Valley looks like an actual snow globe come to life. Nestled at the foot of sweeping mountains, Vail Village is steeped in European Alpine charms and is home to amazing bars, restaurants and shopping. For boots with the fur, our favorite fuzzy place in town to lay down some serious cash is Gorsuch, a ski meets fashion and home wonderland.

    Airbnbs to book:
    A-Frame Cabin: 4 guests
    Mountain View Condo: 6 guests
    Ski In/Sky Out Chalet: 6 guests

    small towns in colorado Telluride

    HAWAIIBLUE/GETTY IMAGES

    2. TELLURIDE, COLORADO

    Yes, there’s quite a popular Kia SUV named after this town, and for good reason. For one, Telluride is renowned for its world-class ski slopes, hiking and golf courses. Once you're done with aforementioned physical activities, you won’t be let down by the Victorian-era mining village though, which is bustling with shops and popular places to pick up a slice and chill out with a beer, like Brown Dog Pizza and High Pie Pizzeria & Tap Room.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Bright and Cozy Boutique Apartment: 3 guests
    Ski and Soak Alpine Escape: 6 guests
    Mountainside Log Cabin: 8 guests

    small towns in colorado Aspen

    AIRBNB

    3. ASPEN, COLORADO

    Already a world-renowned destination that’s favored by the jetsetter crowd, you too can enjoy the best views of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado from the comfort of your soon-to-be favorite town. Aspen is jam-packed with delicious restaurants, bars, nightlife, museums and high-end shopping, not to mention four distinct and wonderful ski areas—Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Snowmass, and family friendly Buttermilk.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Riverfront Downton Condo: 2 guests
    Luxury Condo on Main St.: 4 guests
    Chateau Eau Claire: 6 guests

    small towns in colorado Grand Lake

    WALLY GOBETZ/FLICKR

    4. GRAND LAKE, COLORADO

    This resort town packed with cabins and summer homes surrounds the largest natural lake in Colorado and nestled against Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park. It’s the perfect town for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter, and hiking or camping in the summer. An Insta-worthy lakefront setting and historic boardwalk boasting art galleries, shops and restaurants make it a gem for any Colorado-bound visitor.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Cozy Little Guest House: 2 guests
    Cabin with Hot Tub: 3 guests
    The Ranch: 6 guests

    small towns in colorado Ouray

    COURTESY OF VISIT OURAY

    5. OURAY, COLORADO

    Ouray is nicknamed the Switzerland of America, and with sweeping, panoramic views of the San Juan Mountains, we can attest that it’s as close as you’ll get to that high mountain Alps feel without boarding a jumbo jet. Situated in a stunning river valley and sitting at nearly 8,000-feet in elevation, amongst its many handsome brick-faced buildings, there’s a local brewerywaterfall parkice park, and popular mine tour nearby to keep you busy.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Downton Townhouse: 2 guests
    Rustic Riverfront (Pet-Friendly) Cabin: 4 guests
    Mountain Rustic Chalet: 4 guests

    small towns in colorado Steamboat Springs

    SHAWN OCONNOR/GETTY IMAGES

    6. STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO

    Located in the Yampa Valley of northern Colorado, travelers can visit the Howelsen Hill and Steamboat ski resorts. Steamboat offers six peaks, including the iconic Mount Werner. Another amazing aspect of this town is that it’s home to a geothermal hot spring that offers swimming, soaking pools and even water slides. Go’head, unleash your inner child and get involved.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Modern Ski Condo: 2 guests
    Modern Mountainside Chalet4 guests
    Entire Cozy House: 6 guests

    small towns in colorado Durango

    JOHN ELK III/GETTY IMAGES

    7. DURANGO, COLORADO

    This town that roughly 18,000 people call home is located in southwest Colorado and is surrounded by some of the state’s most dramatic and diverse landscapes. It offers the sandstone bluffs of the Animas River Valley, as well as the jagged, dramatic peaks of the San Juan Mountains. But maybe most notable are Durango’s unique shops—where you’ll find everything from cowboy boots to antler chandeliers to luxe beauty products and fine home furnishings. There’s a divine restaurant scene and a standout local art scene here, too. Another major draw: The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad—which in wintertime looks straight out of a scene of The Polar Express.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Lake View Apartment (with Hot Tub): 3 guests
    Entire Downtown House: 5 guests
    Dreamy Valley House: 10 guests

    small towns in colorado Paonia

    LARRY LAMSA/FLICKR

    8. PAONIA, COLORADO

    Paonia is named after the vast array of peonies that are grown in the area. The area features a lush landscape that produces fruits, vegetables and flowers, as well as an abundance of outdoor activities. Refinery is a popular store for what they describe as “upscale resale clothing for women and men” as well as gifts and other handmade items. There’s also an adorable wine-meets-art gallery in town that boasts incredible views and a more incredible Riesling.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Off-the-Grid School Bus Tiny House: 2 guests
    Mountain View Apartment on a Working Farm: 2 guests
    Stone Cottage Vineyard and Wine Getaway: 4 guests

    small towns in colorado Pagosa Springs

    CAMPPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

    9. PAGOSA SPRINGS, COLORADO

    Pagosa Springs is also home to beautiful hot springs where you’re just as likely to find true relaxation as you are entertainment. With a small-town feel, this southwestern Colorado town will dazzle you with shopping and dining options in and around town. These include the Alley House Grill (serving American fare), Thai Pagosa, The Lost Cajun, and an experience you cannot miss, Sage Mobile Eatery—where comfort foods are served out of a trailer and you can socially distance at the outdoor picnic tables.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Historic Downtown Guest House: 3 guests
    Chic Condo with Views: 4 guests
    The Ridge Entire Modern Cabin: 5 guests

    small towns in colorado Glenwood Springs

    GLENWOOD HOT SPRINGS

    10. GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLORADO

    Glenwood Springs is known as Colorado’s land of water and sits between the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers. If bubbling hot water is your thing, you’ll want to check out the area’s few different hot springs, but you could also get involved in snow sports or Gold Medal fishing, and an array of other outdoor activities. The downtown has outdoor dining areas, key in these times, plus independently owned bookstores, boutiques, and thrift shops, but most importantly, the town website lists that there are several shops for those with a sweet tooth.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Roaring River Fork Getaway: 2 guests
    Quaint Downtown Guest House: 3 guests
    Casa Del Sol Entire Guest House: 4 guests

    small towns in colorado loveland

    RONDA KIMBROW PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES

    11. LOVELAND, COLORADO

    If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, Loveland, which is near Fort Collins, is known as the Sweetheart City. It’s become famous for its love stamp program, which re-stamps and sends out envelopes from around the world from the city of Loveland. The town’s proximity to Denver makes it an obvious stop for those traveling through, and when they do, they’ll find primo public art and sculptures at Chapungu Park that will make them glad they did.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Cozy Downton Cottage: 2 guests
    Charming Studio: 2 guests
    Entire Loveland House: 8 guests

    small towns in colorado palisades

    AIRBNB

    12. PALISADE, COLORADO

    What’s not to like about Palisade, the wine country of Colorado? Sitting in the heart of Grand Valley, the town of Palisade offers acres of vineyards, stunning lavender fields and breathtaking orchards. One place that sticks out in this fantasyland is Anita’s Pantry & Produce, a farm stand that sells one-of-a-kind jams, jellies, salsa, syrups, fruits and veggies and more. In this town of almost 3,000 citizens, you can also have a top tier meal at Pêche, enjoy one of the state’s top craft distilleries (Peach Street Distillers) or get involved with a wine flight at Colterris Winery.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Artsy Bungalow: 4 guests
    Hiking Cottage with Incredible Views: 4 guests
    Galloway Ranch Entire House: 4 guests

    small towns in colorado crested butte

    CODY WELLONS/FLICKR

    13. CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO

    Crested Butte is known as the wildflower capital of Colorado, and it draws just as many explorers in the summer for its mountain biking trails as it does in the winter for its sickening ski slopes. For breakfast, lunch, après ice cream—and some seriously out of this world, Cornish-style pasties—look no further than the adorable Tin Cup Pasty Co & Double Top, which is set in an updated miner’s cabin.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Cozy Guest Cottage Studio: 2 guests
    Entire Townhouse: 2 guests
    Mountain Getaway Condo: 6 guests

    small towns in colorado crestone

    AIRBNB

    14. CRESTONE, COLORADO

    Crestone is perhaps one of the more unique, special towns you’ll ever visit (with some of the most equally unique spots to stay at). It’s tiny, but it attracts lots of artists, outdoor-lovers and even those seeking a religious experience in its secret town called Shangri-La. For an intro experience that’s more spiritual than religious, simply climb to the top of Crestone Ziggurat. Or, get an otherworldly experience at the UFO Watchtower. It’s the kind of Americana kitsch you’ve been dreaming of.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Delightful Cozy Dome House: 2 guests
    Luxury Cabin with Breathtaking Views: 8 guests
    The Mothership Dome: 9 guests

    small towns in colorado leadville

    JAMES ST. JOHN/FLICKR

    15. LEADVILLE, COLORADO

    Leadville sits at 10,152-feet, which makes it the highest incorporated city in North America. It sits in between Mount Elbert and Mount Massive and offers an array of outdoor activities and scenic views. What can only be described as a lawless mining town turned tourism hot spot, one of Leadville’s most attractive reasons to visit is the Leadville Railroad, which offers scenic Rocky Mountain rides that let you bask open air both in sunlight and Colorado’s natural splendor. This year, the train will open up for Memorial Day weekend with limited capacity and social distancing enforced.

    Airbnbs to book:
    Smoky Mountain Suite with Hot Tub & Sauna: 2 guests
    Cozy Yurt Near Skiing & Hiking Trails: 4 guests
    Strawberry Fields Chalet: 6 guests

    Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Shares Update on 2021 Proceedings

     

    Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Shares Update on 2021 Proceedings

    Added officials from SBG Productions in a lengthy statement, “We are working closely with health officials, while monitoring the success of the vaccines and keeping an eye on the changing state of live events for this summer. When we have a clearer picture of what events will look like and receive a ‘green light’ from officials, we will provide additional updates.” Organizers of the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival have confirmed that the three-day celebration will take place at Colorado’s Telluride Town Park on Sept. 17-19, 2021, “but only if it is safe to do so.”

    In turn, tickets for the 2021 Telluride Blues & Brews will not go on sale until the event is definitely a-go.

    “For those who have rolled over your 2020 tickets we are grateful for your faith in our festival and no action is needed at this time – your tickets are in our system and will soon be re-issued with the 2021 dates,” officials added.

    Before the pandemic put the music industry on ice, the 2020 edition of Telluride Blues & Brews was set to feature Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Brittany Howard, Buddy Guy and more. Organizers hope to confirm a “similar lineup” for 2021.

    For more info click here.

    Read the full statement from Telluride Blues & Brews below:

    SBG Productions wishes you a happy, healthy and strong start to 2021 and hope this update finds you well. We want to start by thanking everyone for the overwhelming support through 2020. We would also like to thank all the partners, artists, and loyal fans who joined us on our YouTube and Facebook channels last September for the virtual festival fundraiser. Your generous donations helped support our non-profit partners Music Maker Relief Foundation and the Telluride Food Bank. If you haven’t already watched the virtual festival, each night’s stream is still available, click here to watch. Go check out the shows and consider buying some merchandise to support us.

    Like many of you, we are eager for the day when it is safe to return and gather for live music and events. We miss the hair-raising performances, beautiful summer days in the mountains, countless smiles and much more that words simply can’t describe.

    Currently, we are planning to celebrate the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Telluride Town Park on September 17-19, 2021, but only if it is safe to do so. We are working closely with health officials, while monitoring the success of the vaccines and keeping an eye on the changing state of live events for this summer. When we have a clearer picture of what events will look like and receive a “green light” from officials, we will provide additional updates.

    Tickets for the 2021 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival will not go on sale until we know it will be safe to host an event. Until that time, all other festival announcements will be paused. For those who have rolled over your 2020 tickets we are grateful for your faith in our festival and no action is needed at this time – your tickets are in our system and will soon be re-issued with the 2021 dates. Most of the artists scheduled to perform have expressed interest in this year’s dates, likely leaving a similar lineup in place for 2021.

    Thank you for your overwhelming support through this complicated time. We miss you and still believe our community and festival will return stronger than ever.

    Stay healthy, stay safe and we hope to see you soon.

    Special Thanks to SBG Productions

    Mayor's Minute - 2021: The Year Ahead

     

     

    Mayor's Minute

    2021: The Year Ahead

    Hello neighbors,

    We all know 2020 was the most challenging year in recent memory, but we should all be proud of how we met the challenge. As we begin a new year, I want to bring you up to date on a number of Town initiatives.

    Last month, Town Council approved the 2021 Town budget totaling $22.8 million, after pulling out pass-through items (i.e., gondola, tourism, and museum budgets). I would like to thank again the Budget Committee, led by Jack Gilbride and Pete Duprey, for working with the Town Manager and Finance Department to develop a budget that includes a number of large-scale investments in our infrastructure, specifically focused on responsible community development, while ending 2020 with healthy reserves of $22.3 million and simultaneously reducing debt.  

    This past April, Town Council drafted and began implementation of a COVID-19 Recession Policy that outlined certain revenue loss parameters that then triggered pre-identified spending reductions. As a result, Town Council deferred most 2020 capital infrastructure projects, placed all non-critical staff on a three-month leave of absence, reduced and/or temporarily halted all non-essential municipal services, implemented a hiring freeze, and initiated additional temporary budget reductions.  

    Given the unprecedented challenges that COVID presented in 2020, we are pleased to report unanticipated increases in sales tax throughout the second half of the year. However, we are still cautious in our financial planning given the economic uncertainty 2021 holds; therefore, we are forecasting relatively flat growth in our sales tax figures. Additionally, due to the uncertainty related to a recent Colorado ballot measure’s impact on property tax moving forward, we are also not forecasting any increase in property tax revenues.

    Remember that you can use our interactive online tool to view all town budget and financial data and in-depth financial reporting with two years of actuals, current, and proposed budgets that can also be viewed in interactive charts and graphs.  

    THE YEAR AHEAD 
     
    Comprehensive Plan Revision - $150,000 

    The Town of Mountain Village Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2011 and was written to be a 30-year roadmap envisioning the future use and needs of the community. Town Council's goal at the time was to encourage future development while controlling unbridled growth.

    However, in the intervening years, Town Council and the community have noted that the Comprehensive Plan is overly prescriptive and complicated in certain respects. The Comprehensive Plan does not reflect current economic realities (e.g., VRBO/AirBNB) that have transformed communities such as ours. As such, we need to amend the Comprehensive Plan to provide future town councils, property owners, and community members solid, yet flexible, guidance to inform and support the critical decisions they will face in years to come. 

    Through a public Request for Proposals process, the Town hired MIG, a national firm with extensive experience developing and updating comprehensive plans for communities like ours, to reassess portions of the Comprehensive Plan.

    We do not anticipate major changes to the Comprehensive Plan with this amendment process, instead, we expect to: 

    • Simplify and modernize the Comprehensive Plan to serve as a guiding document versus a regulatory document, which is more in line with traditional community comprehensive plans
    • Align the Comprehensive Plan with the town’s Community Development Code,
    • Reexamine Mountain Village’s economic model
    • Review our contemplated growth model 
    • Remove overly prescriptive tables, formulas, and measures that have been a barrier to future land use

    Over the next six months, MIG, along with Town staff, will be gathering input from the community, businesses, key stakeholders, the Design Review Board, and Town Council via virtual public forums, interviews, and public meetings. All public meetings during this process will be held virtually via Zoom web conferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be noticed through a dedicated Comprehensive Plan newsletter (sign up for that list below) and posted on our event calendar. 

    In concert with this larger Comprehensive Plan effort, we also look forward to reengaging with our partners at TMVOA and TSG to move forward with the planning and implementation of the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Plans. 

    You may learn more about the process on our and sign up for dedicated Comprehensive Plan newsletters on our website

    Sidewalk, trails, and bike lane improvements within Mountain Village - $1.4 million 

    Last year the town began the engineering phase of sidewalk and bike lane additions being created to enhance the safety and walkability of our community. With substantial funding from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Town Council approved the funding and creation of a number of sidewalks and bike lanes, to help make biking and walking along Lower San Joaquin Road, Mountain Village Boulevard, and other key corridors safer and easier. These roads were selected based on public feedback, traffic conditions, and Town Council’s concerns about bikes and pedestrians along these roads. As part of maintaining and improving our quality of life, we will continue to invest in keeping our plazas and streets useable and safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike. 

    Broadband system fiber capacity upgrades (1G Project) - $ 2.2 million 

    In 2019, the Town of Mountain Village announced the official launch of our Fiber-to-the-Home project, which set out to deliver ultra-high-speed 1-gigabit internet to the exterior of each property in Mountain Village by the end of 2020.

    The pandemic delayed the construction and installation. However, operations have recently resumed, and the project is slated to be complete by September 2021. 

    These fiber upgrades are a critical investment in meeting our personal and business needs for improved connectivity. To learn more about the fiber project and to sign up for updates on the fiber construction project, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/fiber. 

    Affordable Housing

    Recent events have made affordable housing in our region even more of an urgent priority, one we share with the Town of Telluride, San Miguel County, and TSG. To this end we have continued to consider expanding the Village Court Apartments, an investigation we were forced to put on hold with the pandemic concerns. In 2021, we will move this task forward, considering all possibilities of Town funding, public/private partnerships, and review of management options. In addition, we are identifying land available for building under various scenarios, and if development partners demonstrate the ability and commitment to build affordable housing, the Town will make every effort to reduce or eliminate hurdles. More on this as our options unfold.

    Lastly, through the support of the Mountain Village community, our restaurants and retailers have been able to keep their doors open and kept many of our neighbors employed throughout this challenging year. Small choices matter - please continue shopping and eating local whenever possible. Thank you for volunteering and working together to keep Mountain Village safe, healthy, and open for our full and part-time residents, businesses, and guests.  

    As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of your other Council members with any questions or concerns you may have.  

    Warm regards,

    Laila Benitez
    Mountain Village Mayor

    Telluride, CO Mayor strikes positive tone in State of Town address

    Facemask ordinance extended

    Special Thanks Suzanne Cheavens, Associate EditorTown council

    Telluride Town Council passed a resolution Tuesday that puts new centerlane parking measures on the books. (Planet file photo)

    Twice a year, Telluride’s mayor delivers a State of the Town address that is a reflection on events, accomplishments and sometimes, disappointments. Various mayors have offered anything from dry punch lists of achievements, to ebullient assessments of another six months of life in Telluride. Mayor DeLanie Young, who with members of Telluride Town Council, was tasked with leading town government through the economic and social challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, struck a series of positive notes in her January State of the Town address, delivered at Tuesday’s regular council meeting.

    “There is much for which to be grateful,” Young said. “Many in our community have received vital assistance this year. Planning and building more employee housing, rent relief, and food boxes contributed to our basic human needs. Grants to businesses and investments in outdoor infrastructure kept people employed and our economy on track. We can always do more. We can always do better.”

    Young also highlighted positives such as increased civic involvement in government proceedings, sales tax collections that matched those of 2019, record Real Estate Transfer Tax collections, the forward movement of the Sunnyside affordable housing development, rent relief, and strengthened collaboration between local governments.

    “We must remember to watch closely and listen closely, because there are people who still need our help,” Young concluded. “There are some who have struggled and received little to no support. The real beauty of our community is incomplete without the total sum of its parts. We must work together to preserve what we all love — our beautiful home: Telluride.” 

    (For the full text of the State of the Town address, please see Page 3 in this edition of the Planet.)

    Following the abrupt halt to a council call-up of a Historic and Architectural Review Commission decision that denied the demolition of two historic, though altered, structures on a West San Juan Avenue lot slated for possible construction of a new hotel, (the applicants withdrew the request to demolish the house and shed), council tackled the rest of its agenda.

    With no discernible end to the pandemic in sight, council, faced with its emergency ordinance concerning facemask set to expire Jan. 26, voted unanimously to extend the legislation. The latest extension will expire May 21.

    The extension, explained town attorney Kevin Geiger, contains provisions similar to the state’s executive order and is little changed from previous iterations of the ordinance. Key differences in Telluride’s ordinance in contrast to the state’s order, are the requirement that children ages 2 and older also don facemasks in indoor businesses open to the public, and on public transit (along with adults), and that wearing a face covering is required if lingering longer than 5 minutes outdoors with those outside of one’s household pod. Geiger reminded council of the motivation behind the emergency ordinance, which is, “concern for the public health, safety and welfare” of residents and visitors.

    Young added that the American Pediatrics Association’s recommendation that younger people also wear masks, gave weight to Telluride’s ordinance.

    The May 21 expiration date coincides with the expiration of the resolution in place that allows public, open consumption of alcoholic beverages, giving council an opportunity to reassess each piece of legislation concurrently, based on the newest information surrounding the pandemic.

    “We’ll start looking where we might go for the summer,” Geiger said.

    Council also passed on second reading a resolution that aims to relieve the centerlane of its increased use in the commercial core so that delivery trucks can gain improved access. In council’s memo, the purpose of the resolution is to restore the loading zone to its primary and intended purpose — commercial delivery for businesses lacking alley access.

    “With the dramatic increase in vehicular traffic this summer, keeping the Center Lane Commercial Loading Zone clear and open for delivery trucks has become increasingly challenging,” the memo from the Telluride Marshal’s Department reads. “A review of the procedure on the issuance of center lane and service permits showed that there are currently 357 center lane permits issued and 220 service permits issued. Although stricter enforcement is one component of this, clearer guidelines on the use and issuance of permits needs to be addressed.” 

    Telluride Chief Marshal Josh Comte explained the resolution places a cap of three centerlane permits per business and that the New Sheridan Hotel has been accommodated with spaces in front of the courthouse for guest check-in, loading and unloading. Those spaces will also be utilized as drop-offs and pickups for taxi and shuttle services. Other requirements in the resolution include a 30-minute time limit for active loading or unloading, a fee and fine schedule, and other measures.

    The resolution was passed unanimously.

    Council was also unanimous in giving Jonathan Greenspan another term on the Ecology Commission, on which he has served since November 2014.

    “He’s taken an active role in ecological discussions across the region for many years,” said Mayor Pro Tem, Todd Brown before making the motion to approve Greenspan’s re-appointment.

    Greenspan will serve for another two years.

    The town has entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Town of Mountain Village, which will provide grooming for the sledding area on Firecracker Hill in Telluride Town Park. Mountain Village owns snowcat equipment designed for the job and will bill the town  $90 per hour for the service. The goal, according to the IGA is to “provide a quality sledding experience for citizens and visitors.”

    “We’re preparing it in anticipation of more snow,” said Town Manager Ross Herzog.

    The sledding hill will remain closed until that time.