My friends usually ask me one of two questions, first…how’s the market in Stowe or, what’s new at “The Mountain”? I’m good with these questions because I’m in the Stowe real estate business and I spend a lot of time on the snow on at Stowe Mountain Resort in a recreational as well as professional capacity.
Stowe is a “resort market” and tied economically to Stowe Mountain Resort in many ways, including real estate values and property taxes. Vermont wide, Stowe’s property rate is in the lower half while property valuation is in the Top 3.
What is going on at Stowe Mountain Resort
The Spruce Peak area of the resort is in its next phase of a 15 year “Master Plan” development.
This latest phase includes removal of:
- The old Ski School and Adventure Center buildings at Spruce Peak
- The Alpine Slide
- The Alpine Double lift
- The Easy Street Double lift
The old structures will be replaced with:
- A new 108,000 Sq’ Spruce Peak Adventure Center and Stowe Mountain Club, housing the Ski and Snowboard School, children’s programs and (TBD) residential condos.
- A Village Common is planned which will convert to 80′ X 120′ skating rink in the winter months and a village green in the summer.
- The design includes underground parking for Stowe Mountain Club under the ice rink and Adventure Center.
- A new quad will replace the (2) old double lifts.
Construction started in May. The $58 million construction contract was awarded to South Burlington, VT based PC Construction. Target completion is winter 2015/2016.
The impact of SMR’s investment in new snow making technology was obvious to me at the start of the 13-14 season. The Resort opened on-schedule, 2 weekends before Thanksgiving. Truly multiple trails on the first day. Not the one white ribbon of death. The impact of the new snow making technology and the dramatically improved consistency of the man made snow surface made the preseason days truly enjoyable. I tend to start my daily workout at 8:00 on the Quad. On several occasions before the natural snow started to fall, I rode the lifts with season pass holders from Sugarbush who bought a day ticket at Stowe because of our superior man made conditions. This brings value to real estate in Stowe.
The last two years saw the installation of 615 new snow guns on Mansfield and Spruce at a cost of $8.1 million. During this Summer of 2014 an additional 150 new snow guns will be installed at a cost of more than $2 million.
Summer attractions will now be on the Mt Mansfield side of the resort.
Zip Tour: zip lines are cables suspended above inclines that allow harnessed riders to “fly” from one perch to another over the ground below. The Zip Line will take you from The Cliff House to Nose Dive – Nose Dive to Perry Merrill – Perry Merrill to Gondi base. Construction, at a cost of $2.5 million, started in June 2014 and opening is scheduled for Spring 2015
How this Stowe Mountain Resort development impacts Ski In / Ski Out real estate values in Stowe:
The new snow making improved preseason ski conditions resulting in a longer ski season, opening up more weekends for owner use or rental income.
The possibility of lift serviced Mountain Bike Trails and a developed trail network linking Stowe Mountain Resort to the Trapp Family Lodge Trail network and the Stowe Mountain Bike Club network would greatly improve the non-snow season desirability of property inside Stowe Mountain Resort.
Developed Mountain Biking infrastructure impacts where a growing segment of discretionary income is spent. The Ride In / Ride Out conveyance offered by property inside Stowe Mountain Resort like the Lodge Condos, The Mt Mansfield Townhouse Condos and the Inn at the Mountain condos opens the window of desirable owner days and rental days during the non-snow seasons from a handful to all.
On the mountain SMR is building (16) new condos. As a point of reference the SMR “Mountain Cabin” townhouse condos are selling on the secondary market for upward of $2.1 million.
The Mount Mansfield Townhouse condos have experienced more sales activity in the last quarter than in the last 11 years. The Stowe Mountain Lodge condos likewise have seen an upturn in sales activity. View properties up at the mountain.