By Clare Ogilvie
More than $60 million worth of ski-in ski-out condos sold out in three hours this week.
Expecting to see a Whistler brand on the sale? Well look again — the flash flood of buyers was in Revelstoke, where resort development has barely started.
“We expected a strong showing from registration but it was a little surprising,” said Don Simpson, the developer of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort from his base in Denver, Colorado.
Simpson is partnered with Toronto developers Hunter Milborne and Robert Powadiuk to create Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR).
In fact developers had only planned to pre-sell units in the first building, Nelsen Lodge, but the demand was so great they ended up offering units in the second building for sale too, though they weren’t supposed to go on offer until this fall.
The units, priced from $310,000 to $2 million were the first to be sold in a $1 billion, 15 year plan to turn Mount MacKenzie into a four-season resort. That plan includes a call for up to 16,000 bed units, guest service facilities, an 18-hole golf course, a multi-use trail system, 25 lifts and 100 ski and snowboard trails.
At buildout it will be about one third the size of Whistler and comparable to Big White and Sun Peaks.
More than 4,000 registrants flooded the Sotheby’s International Realty, Canada sales team over the past two months in anticipation of the condo pre construction sales release.
"We anticipated the response to the first real estate offering would be large, but the demand has exceeded even our highest expectations," commented Ross McCredie, President and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, which handled the sale of the units.
"Clearly, these buyers understand the future value of this resort, and its place among the most unique mountain playgrounds in the world."
Surprisingly, 56 per cent of the buyers were from the U.S.
“That was what was surprising to me,” said McCredie.
“A lot of the American buyers pick up a paper every day and see how bad the market is, but I think a lot of people are very bullish on Canada and in particular Western Canada. And when… I was promoting this in the U.K. they thought the price was the deposit.”
Europeans have been traveling to the Revelstoke area for years to take advantage of the many heli-ski operations there and with non-stop flights from Europe to Kelowna on the horizon it is likely the destination will become even more popular.