Whether or not their families own Summit County Colorado homes in Breckenridge, Silverthorne, or Keystone CO real estate, youngsters from near and far were able to attend a special session in April held at the Keystone Science School.

During the three-day weekend,youth from as close as Summit County real estate joined young people from as far away as Burma and the Democrat Republic of the Congo to study water science.  Several experts who are working to solve Colorado’s water challenges engaged the students in dynamic discussion.

According to the Summit Daily Newspaper (04/22/2012), the Keystone Science School’s H2O Outdoors program was organized by Matt Bond.  Bond purposefully gathered students from various backgrounds and professionals with connections to water usage.

“Through peer collaboration and debate, they create water management policy recommendations, closing the program with their findings during a ‘town hall’– formatted dialogue,” explains Janice Kurbjun in the Summit Daily News.

Students asked important questions during the study.  One interesting scenario involved two girls representing snow making.  They had never skied before.  Young people from refugee camps received water from a large tank, others took water from rivers.  Some lived in cities along the Front Range where water comes from the tap.  Enlightenment also sprang from the mixture of participants and their backgrounds.

Concerns about water are very real.  As the number of communities using Colorado River water increases, the quality of the water is diminishing.   Water supplies on the west side of the Continental Divide are divvied out, causing strain.  Attendees also discussed the cost of water, the quality of water, and the timing of water supplies.

The diversity of backgrounds created a broad based understanding of where water comes from and what needs to be done to make it safe to drink.The students explored several questions in depth.  To understand water usage, they studied the interests of American Whitewater, Trout Unlimited, Colorado Farm Bureau, a snow maker company, and other organizations.  Representatives on hand included Colorado River District, Aurora Water, Denver Water, Blue River Watershed Group, and the Summit County Commissioner.

Students learned about the opportunity at Keystone Science School from various sources.  For example, the African Community Center took advantage of scholarship funds offered by Denver Water, Aurora Water, and the Colorado River District.  Students became enthusiastic about traveling into the mountains and interacting with other students from around Colorado and the world.

For information about buying Colorado real estate in the scenic mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

Employees of the Town of Breckenridge Colorado have proven that it is possible to commute via bicycle from their Breckenridge homes.  Several years ago the Sustainable Breckenridge movement encouraged the Town employees to experiment with environmentally friendly commuting from homes in Breckenridge.

On another note for Breckenridge home buyers desiring to relocate to bicycle-friendly Summit County real estate, the average condominium sale price in Summit County, year to date in 2012, is approximately $313,000.  Compared to 2011, average sales prices are up a bit although fewer condos sold.  Inventory is also down.

And back to Green Commuting…some Town employees walked, others carpooled or rode public transportation.  According to the Summit Daily News (04/22/2012), one town planner decided to bicycle through Breckenridge real estate to the workplace.  He actually sold two vehicles and invested in a pedal-assisted electric bike, braving the elements year round.  Not only did he save money but he exercised more and claims it is easier to get around in town on a bike than in a car.  Messy slush season, however, may call for using public transportation or bringing extra clothes to work.

Fast forward to 2012 and Breckenridge is expanding its summer Green Commutes program.  The National Bike Challenge offered by the League of American Bicyclists adds an online platform to broaden the competitive impact on the broader community.Three quarters of the participants prefer bicycle transportation.  In addition to adequately transporting cyclists around Breckenridge, they can also ride on Summit County bicycle paths that connect our mountain towns and ski resorts.

Organizer and town planner Chris Kulik is encouraging participation by a broader range of cyclists.  If for no other reason, Green Commuters benefit from the healthier lifestyle.

The Town of Breckenridge suggests several other ways to join the Green revolution.  For Earth Day in April, Summit Daily News published these ideas:

  • Unplug unused appliances
  • Drive the speed limit and keep car maintained
  • Install low-flow faucets shower heads and toilets
  • Purchase energy saving appliances
  • Install compact florescent light bulbs
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning products
  • Cut down use of paper products and printing paper
  • Recycle, including electronic devices
  • Offset your carbon footprint – and that’s another topic

Come on up to see Summit County condominiums and homes for sale to fit your budget and dreams.  For information about buying real estate in our mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

Breckenridge homes for sale

Driving through Summit County real estate on Highway 9 requires a watchful eye.  Mountain wildlife is plentiful in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Highway 9 passes by Silverthorne CO homes, Frisco Colorado real estate, and south to homes in Breckenridge and Blue River, so we have lots of opportunities to spot families of deer and elk.  Too often,they scamper out in front of vehicles.

During a public meeting on April 19, 2012, the Colorado Department of Transportation unveiled a design to improve the safety on Highway 9.  The story ran in the Summit Daily News (04/23/2012).  Beginning north of homes in Silverthorne area and spanning the borders of Grand and Summit counties, the preliminary plan adds wildlife crossings between mileposts 126 and 137.

Last year, the Blue Valley Ranch, owned by hedge-fund manager Paul T. Jones II of Connecticut, donated over $800,000 to solve the problem of wildlife causing accidents.  The Summit Daily article by Tonya Bina explains from 2007 to 2011,there have been 47 accidents involving wild animals on Highway 9 between Heeney Road and the Colorado River Bridge Crossing.

The most noticeable changes called for in the plan’s design are seven wildlife crossings: two overpasses and five underpasses.  The overpasses would be the first ones in the State of Colorado.Overpasses allow wildlife to travel on a landscaped crossing, bounded by camouflaged fencing.  A visual barrier would minimize the effect of traffic lights and sounds upon the wildlife.Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah use wildlife crossings.

In addition to wildlife crossings, other improvements include installing wildlife fencing along the right of ways and horizontal and vertical alignments that meet the design speed of 65 mph.  The roadway would be widened to include eight-foot shoulders, as much of the highway in Grand County lacks shoulder. Guardrails, signs, stripes, and vehicle recovery areas would be added to the roadway along with new drainage structures.

The funds from Blue Valley Ranch allowed the Colorado Department of Transportation to come up with a plan to improve the safety on Highway 9.  Often, when a community creates a plan then federal, state, and county monies become available to help fund the plan.The completed project will cost $35-$40 million to construct.

Come on up to see Summit County Colorado real estate for sale to fit your budget and dreams.  For information about buying real estate in our mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

Summit County Colorado and Breckenridge home buyers may be interested in new guidelines issued by the Internal Revenue Service for 1031 exchanges.  Summit County real estate in Breckenridge and Blue River, Keystone, Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne may qualify for a Section 1031 Exchange if specific ownership and use requirements are met.  Please refer to IRS Revenue Procedure 2008-16.

Essentially, personal use of a second home or vacation property in Summit County is limited during the 24-month period after a 1031 exchange.  Buyers interested in Breckenridge CO homes, Keystone ski condos, and properties in our beautiful mountain communities may glean more helpful information below.

Safe Harbor Requirements

  • A vacation property or second home must be rented for a minimum of 14 days of each 12 month of 24 months before the sale or after the purchase of the property.
  • The taxpayer may not personally use the property more than 14 days a year or 10 percent of the days that the property is actually rented – whichever is greater.  This restriction continues for 24 months before and after the 1031 exchange.

Personal Use Restrictions

  • Personal use is used by the taxpayer or co-owner or tenant-in-common interest.
  • Persons involved may not trade places.  Any individual who uses the property under an arrangement enabling the taxpayer to use another property is prohibited.
  • The taxpayer’s family use is also considered personal use unless a family member pays their mark at value rent and lives in the home as a primary residence.
  • If the taxpayer rents the property to anyone else for less than fair market value is considered personal use.

Maintenance Days

  • Time spent by the taxpayer in the home used to repair, upkeep, or oversee a contractor working on the property does not count as personal use.  Proof of the work must be submitted.

Certified exchange specialist and CPA Mary Lou Schwab at Bankers Escrow Corp. offered a summary published in the Summit Daily News (04/20/12).

Come on up to see Summit County Colorado homes and condos for sale, those appropriate for the 1031.  For information about buying real estate in our mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

Fortunately, Breckenridge Colorado home buyers today still have the opportunity to purchase homes in Breckenridge utilizing mortgages with extremely low interest rates.  Most buyers who are searching for homes in Summit County—from ski-in Breckenridge and Keystone real estate to properties in Dillon, Silverthorne, and Frisco—could save several hundred thousand dollars over the life of the real estate loan by locking into a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

An inexperienced home buyer may shop for the lowest Breckenridge home prices in a suitable property.  They actually need to know that total interest paid over the life of the mortgage is the most expensive part of the purchase.  Quite a lot of people pay cash for Breckenridge real estate.  Nonetheless, the majority of homes in Breckenridge are purchased using some type of mortgage.

Current Summit County property owners may also benefit likewise, especially anyone utilizing a mortgage that has at ARM.  With today’s lower interest rates, a borrower using a mortgage product within an ARM is paying maybe 3 or 4 percent at these very low interest rates.  Many anticipate or even dread the day when the ARM comes due, dramatically kicking up the interest rate.  Even if the ARM mortgage product is fairly new, a borrower can be caught off guard when the national interest rates begin to mount once again.

Remember that interest rates were in the high teens during the 1980s, although 8 or 9 percent can also be uncomfortable.

Now is the time to refinance and lock into a fixed-rate product at approximately 4 percent for 30-year loan.  Here is an example of the savings on a smaller loan amount as outlined by Bob Keebler in the Summit Daily Newspaper on April 20, 2012.  The example is based on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.  Rates are about four percent right now.

A $300,000 mortgage for an owner occupied- or second-home with an APR of 4.028 percent locked into 360 monthly consecutive principal and interest payments of $1432.35 for a buyer with a credit score over 700 with an owner occupied or second home.  The finance charge is $2025.50 and the debt-to-income ratio can be up to 45 percent.

Come on up to see Summit County Colorado real estate for sale to fit your budget and dreams.  For information about buying real estate in our mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

Full-time and seasonal residents of Rocky Mountain Colorado real estate in Summit County’s and towns and resorts soon discover the smorgasbord of top-notch shows by the Lake Dillon Theatre and Backstage Theatre in Breckenridge.  These two theaters boast a fantastic reputation for bringing out-of-towners to their productions.  Guest patrons mingle with residents of Keystone and Breckenridge CO homes and condominiums long with Silverthorne, Dillon and Frisco Colorado real estate.

So, the search is on for a new Summit County home for the troupe.  Executive Director Josh Blanchard told the Summit Daily News (04/21/2012), “The last five years, the Lake Dillon Theatre has seen some explosive growth.  We are at three-quarters of a million-dollar operation in that tiny little building.”

Recently, the Dillon Venue set out to expand because the buzz is bigger than its 51- to 70-seat Lake Dillon Theatre on Lake Dillon Drive.  Estimated lost revenue is $40,000-$50,000 annually from insufficient space.  In 2010, more than 1,000 theatergoers were turned away from the production of the musical “Hair.”

Over the past five years contributions and income to the theatre have increased substantially.  In 2007, they totaled $677,299.  The projected 2012 figures total $1,199,446.

The Denver Post Newspaper awarded Lake Dillon Theatre the “Best Season by a Colorado Theatre Company” in 2010.  The free advertising inspired residents of the Front Range cities to drive up to Summit County; they bought 19 percent of last year’s tickets.  Another 6 percent came from around the state of Colorado and 29 percent were from out of state.  Amazingly, 65 percent of these visitors came specifically to attend performances at Lake Dillon Theatre.

Dillon Town Council met with Josh Blanchard about a week and a half ago.  A partnership with the town could assist the growing theater to collect more revenue and higher additional staff.  The organization needs a development professional to help manage growth.  Possibilities for larger space include La Riva Mall and all proposals will be discussed at the Council’s meeting on Tuesday, May 1.

Many accolades from the Denver Post over the years have also gone to Breckenridge Theatre’s Backstage Theatre.  The nonprofit won three 2012 Marlowe awards.  Colorado Theatre Guild awarded Backstage as a 2010 Outstanding Regional Theater.

For information about buying real estate in the scenic mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

The new and improved 2012 Mountain Dew Tour could bring record numbers of competitors and guests to Breckenridge condominiums and homes and other Summit County real estate.  The Town of Breckenridge agreed to pay almost $100,000 for lodging expenses–mostly to book condominiums in Breckenridge – for Dew Tour staff and competitors.

Avid sportsman and competitors who are considering purchasing Breckenridge Colorado real estate for this and other events and leisure activities yet have time to take advantage of low interest rates and a healthy selection of available properties in Summit County.

The Dew Tour stops in Breckenridge December 13-16, 2012.  The five-day event showcases the competitors on international broadcasts even as it shows off the variable terrain, back bowls, and terrain parks at the top-notch Colorado ski resort.

This is the fifth consecutive year that Breckenridge Ski Resort won a bid for the tour.  It is watched from living rooms and on iPhones around the world.  An article in the Summit Daily News (04/16/2012) by Catherine Corazzelli explains a press release from Alli Sports of the NBC Sports Group.  As the action-sports community evolves and athletes continue to desire more challenges, the demanding platform calls for “fewer, bigger, better events.”

Over the last six months, advocates of the Dew Tour gathered input from the athletes to drive and shape future events.  Organizers held panels with athletes, agents, and industry veterans to determine the best way to progress the various sports and how to elevate the sports’ competitions.

A new model developed.  “Action sports in three large-scale, premium and grand-slam style events” will be on the program this year.  Each of three stops includes expanded and new sports and disciplines.  In addition, there will be enhanced on-site experiences including more live music.

Offering athletes and spectators a full summer/winter schedule, the 2012 schedule includes three five-day festivals at beach, city and mountain venues. The events draw on the individual identities of the host cities for unique outcomes.Besides Breckenridge, competitions will be held in Ocean City, Maryland the week of August 16-19 and in San Francisco, California October 18-21.

According to the press release, the three premium events will also benefit from expanded television programming and digital strategy across several networks in addition to hyper-local promotional and programming opportunities through NBC Sports groups owned stations and regional sports networks. The coverage will include “behind-the-scenes exclusive content across multiple platforms.”

Breckenridge struck a win-win proposal as it landed the Dew Tour to invigorate the ski season the weekend before the December school holidays.  Several stakeholders collaborated for the winning bid including the Breckenridge Town Council, lodging properties, other town organizations, and Breckenridge Ski Resort.  The press release announced a four-year renewed partnership between Mountain Dew and Alli Sports.

Come on out to see what Summit County Colorado real estate for sale fits your budget and dream.  For information about buying real estate in the scenic mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

Breckenridge condos for sale

As builders continued to add new Breckenridge Colorado homes and condominiums and other Summit County real estate during the decade of the 1990s, the new grassroots, international snowboarding craze caught on and stuck. Breckenridge real estate grew into beautiful collections of mountain homes in subdivisions such as the Highlands at the Breckenridge Golf Course and Blue River homes south of town.

Yet the snowboarders were perfectly happy holing up by the half-dozen in small condos.  The urban grunge apparel worn by city skaters contrasted with the bright-colored ski bunny outfits gliding down the Ten Mile Range.  More and more skiers switched to snowboards and riding

By the latter half of the decade, snowboarding was in its creative heyday.  Snowboarders used shovels to build themselves natural jibs and jumps.  The Summit Daily News (12/11/2011) got the story from pro snowboarder Todd Richards.  Snowboarders showed up “without a dime” to grind rails, ollie’ down stairs, and apply all the skating skills in their repertoire.Summit Daily News (12/11/2011).

Richards reminisced to the Daily staff, ‘We had to work for our jumps.  We would ride around on the Hill with shovels…. We would make do with what we had.’  By mid-season, the resort would open a half pipe.

In 2012, Breckenridge Ski Resort has established a reputation as one of the top places in the world for freestyle skiing and snowboarding.  The dry cold snow in the resort makes good hard pack that is ideal for park riding.  The resort hosts the Breckenridge leg of the Dew Tour in mid-December.

Ranked #2 in North America, Breckenridge features five terrain parks and two half pipes.  The 5 parks have depth and amplitude.  The Freeway Super Park on Peak 9 is home to an awesome 22-foot superpipe.  The facility is training ground for many pro riders and champions.  Novice riders gravitate to the unintimidating rollers and boxes at Trygves where they can catch their first airs off mini rollers.

The idea of snowboarding morphed from a combination of sledding, skating, skateboarding, skiing, gymnastics, and surfing.  In 1929 Jack Burchett tied his feet with close line and horse reins to a piece of plywood.  In 1963 the 8thgrader Tom Sims built a “ski board” for a school project.  In 1965 Sherman Poppen bolted two skis together and held competitions with his toy, The Snurfer.

Then in 1970 East Coast surfer Dimitrije Milovich slid around on cafeteria trays.  Afterwards, he invented a snowboard called the Winterstick that gained attention through a story in Newsweek Magazine.  The story inspired Jake Burton to build snowboards with steam-bent wood and fiberglass.  Thus began the first real technology for snowboards introduced by Burton and Winterstick in 1980.The first international snowboard race convened in 1982.

For information about buying real estate in the scenic mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

Homes at the Highlands of Breckenridge for sale

By opening ski lifts to new terrain while builders constructed new Breckenridge Colorado homes, Breckenridge Ski Resort transformed itself during the 1980s.  Almost 20 years old, the Breckenridge Ski Area and its new Summit County real estate developments started gaining national and international attention.  [Note: This story follows our previous blog post, “Now Comes Breckenridge Real Estate in the 1970s.”]

The expansion and refinements to the Breckenridge Ski Area encouraged increasing numbers of skiers to buy homes in Breckenridge for full-time living and vacation homes.Investors stepped up to the plate.  Builders and developers obliged with new exclusive condominium buildings including Sundowner, Pine Ridge Condominiums, Park Place Condos, Liftside Condos, Village at Breckenridge, and many more.  The elite ski real estate offered buyers fabulous views and proximity to national forests and Main Street eateries and shops alike.

In the Summit Daily Newspaper (12/4/2011), Geoff Mintz describes the 1980s as “the age of the neon one-piece, rear-entry boots and 200-centimeter GS skis.”  The ski equipment sounds obsolete now but then it created quite a buzz.  Mintz spoke with veteran skier Rick Ascher of Pup’s Glide Shop.

“There was a good sense of community back then.  People were skiing all the time.  You’d know everybody up there.  It was kind of the end of the era when things became more corporate.  Things really started to change, and there were more and more newcomers, as (Breck) became more on the map.”

Record numbers of skiers (725,000) visited during the 1979-1980 season after Breckenridge opened Lift 6 on Peak 8.  It provided direct access to the Back Bowls.  The 1980-81 season experienced an extreme snow drought and had to close for over half of the season.  Ski resorts depend on snowfall to be in business.  So Breckenridge had $2.5 million worth of snow making equipment on Peak 9 for the next year.  In addition, the world’s first high-speed detachable quad chairlift was installed on Peak 9.  For the 1982-83 season, a lift was added to connect Peak 9 with Peak 8.

By the 83-84 season Breckenridge was ready to host the Michelin World Freestyle Invitational and the Hawaiian Tropic Celebrity Pro Am.  The next year a T-bar lift was added to the top of Horseshoe Bowl to access the North Bowl area.Before the middle of the decade, Breckenridge had more than 150 ski instructors on board.  All the while prices for lift tickets went up about a dollar a year.  Prices for ski lessons also increased substantially.

Then Peak 10 opened in 1985, offering access via the F Lift to intermediate and expert terrain.  Breckenridge hosted the Swatch Freestyle World Cup during the Ullr Fest in January; it’s now an annual circuit.  At the end of the decade, the Imperial Bowl opened.

Perhaps the most astounding change as a group of “rabble-rousers” creatively built up mounds of snow to practice tricks on one ski.  Snowboarding debuted in the resort and Breckenridge never looked back.

For information about buying real estate in the scenic mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

Breckenridge Condos for sale

Peak 9 opened at Breckenridge Ski Resort in 1971. Breckenridge Colorado real estate at the bottom of the mountain surged in popularity overnight.  Tremendously diverse, the features of Peak 9 make the mountain fun for all skill levels:  steep terrain, speed trails, tree skiing, massive moguls, beginner trails, and moving carpets.

The culture of Peak 9 Breckenridge CO real estate morphed to serve increasing numbers of visitors.  Luxury ski homes and condominiums filled in the forested foothills at the bottom of Peak 9.  Today buyers can find historic Breckenridge homes, ski-in chalets, condominiums, and townhomes at Breckenridge Peak 9.

Picking up where we left off in a previous posting, “Breckenridge Ski Resort and Real Estate in the 1960s,” we echo information by Janice Kurbjun posted in the Summit Daily News (11/27/11).”When Peak 9 opened in 1971, lift operators loaded the A lift with Coors kegs to do the final load test.  That is just an example of what makes Breckenridge what it is – a laid-back resort intertwined with personalities of all types.”

Aspen Ski Corporation purchased Breckenridge Ski Corporation at the beginning of 1970 and dedicated millions of dollars to future trails and chairlifts.For the 1971-72 ski season when Peak 9 first opened, Breckenridge added two new chairlifts and 200 acres of new trails.  The resort had only a handful of trails in the southern portion of the Ten Mile Range.  Back then, Peak 9 was called Royal Tiger Mountain and Peak 8 was known as Breckenridge Mountain.  The Inferno trail was added before the 1975-76 ski season.

Everything had grown since the opening of the ski area in 1961.  The number of skiers increased from 17,000 to 271,213 by the year 1972.  Prices rose from $4 to $6.50.  There were already 58 ski instructors to fill the demand. Art Bowles, a snowcat operator employed since 1961, became the general manager in 1976.

As the decade rolled on, skier visits multiplied.  The 1975-76 season experienced 500,000 visits.  By the 1979-80 season, there were 750,000 visitors.  Prices increased regularly.

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation purchased Breckenridge Ski Corporation in 1978.  The buyer invested the huge profits from the tremendously successful movie “Star Wars” into building Colorado’s first alpine slide and first summer tourist attraction.

The Summit Daily article tells how Kevin Ahern, the Breckenridge Ski Patrol director, grew up in the community at the time Breckenridge was transitioning between its beginnings as a mining community to a recreation and ski area.  The changes made by the Aspen Skiing Corporation transformed the town into a “full-blown ski resort,” he fondly recalls.  Large numbers of investors actually helped turn the ski area into a world-class adventure.

Ahern described Breckenridge as the best thing in the world for himself and his siblings.

For information about buying real estate in the scenic mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

Breckenridge townhomes for sale

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