ASPEN, Colo. - Already, Aspen has a distinctly grayish tint to its population. In future years, as baby boomers begin to retire, 88 per cent of locals want to stay in Aspen. That works out to a potential market for 1,200 people for retirement housing.
"They don't want to move downvalley, or to Arizona, or Timbuktu," said Iris Marsh, executive director of the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation. "Some of these people have been here 30, 40 years or more and this is their home. They have invested in the community, contributed to the community. Their friends and family are here."
With that in mind, the foundation has assembled conceptual plans for a continuing-care retirement community. Included would be 60 independent-living apartments, 40 assisted-living apartments, and 20 skilled nursing rooms, as well as communal facilities such as a dining hall.
The Aspen Times reports that the foundation hopes for 10 to 20 acres of land as close to Aspen as possible for the retirement community. There is already a substantial waiting list for rooms at an existing assisted-living facility in Aspen.
Short sales helping
KETCHUM, Idaho - Here and there comes evidence that the real estate market has been recovering. In the Wood River Valley, homes have been selling at double the rate of last year, and prices in those transactions have also increased. Total sales volume for the year was reported to be $72 million, compared to $47 million for the first four months of last year. Foreclosures have also been up, but just a little. The biggest story, real estate agents say, has been in so-called short sales, when the mortgage holder agrees to take less money than what was owed on the property.
Sign of economic change
CANMORE, Alberta - Home-building has begun again in Canmore, at the entrance to Banff National Park. The Rocky Mountain Outlook tells of a 52-unit housing project called Versant, which is the first in western Canada to seek LEED certification in the multi-family category.
Mayor Ron Casey, who was on hand to snip the ribbon, said the project represents good news after the economic market plummet. "We needed a change in the economy and confidence rebuilt, and we are starting to see that." He said he was optimistic that the construction would resume, if not necessarily to the levels of 2006-2007.
Not exactly a resort town
REVELSTOKE, B.C. - A few years ago, it looked like Revelstoke might be the next big thing in the resort world. Revelstoke Mountain Resort did open, with the promise of having the most descent of any ski area in North America. Real estate product began going up at the base.