Mountain News: Aspen doctor must sell ‘affordable’ house 

ASPEN, Colo. - An obstetrician and gynecologist who works part-time in Aspen has been ordered to sell his deed-restricted affordable housing because he hasn't spent enough time in Aspen.

Because the house was built through a city-subsidized program intended to provide housing for the local workforce, it must be occupied a minimum of 275 days a year. But the doctor, Kenton Bruice, also worked in Denver and failed to meet that threshold.

The Aspen Times reports that directors of the municipal agency that oversee the housing program said he must try to sell the house. However, it's possible that the doctor may come into compliance while the house is on the market by shifting his work commitments or by putting the house in the name of his wife, who does spend more time in Aspen.

The deed restriction caps the amount of appreciation, keeping it relatively affordable - if, as in this case, what is affordable to a doctor is very different from what might be affordable to a bookkeeper or chef. The cap in this case is $1.4 million. However, the doctor may not be able to sell it immediately. Demand for deed-restricted housing, like all real estate, remains soft.

The Times reports that the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority spends $145,000 annually investigating complaints that people have abused the system. Tom McCabe, the director, denies the perception that the program is "rife with abuse."

During the last three years, 88 allegations of infractions were filed, resulting in 25 owners of deed-restricted housing and 14 renters being ordered to sell or vacate.

 

Vail Resorts finishes strong

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - Vail Resorts, with four ski areas in Colorado and one in California, reports increased revenues during the ski season. Chief executive Rob Katz said the company saw lots of lucrative destination visitors, especially during spring break and at Easter.

As a result, lift ticket revenue increased 4.6 per cent, ski school revenues rose 8.3 per cent, and rental and retail revenue was 8.1 per cent greater. Overall, skier visits were up 2.3 per cent at the five resorts.

Because of the improvement in revenue, said Katz, the company has reinstated some of the wages and benefits that had been cut last year. Year-round employees got a 2 per cent wage increase plus partial reinstatement of 401(k) matches.

 

Park City's economy picks up

PARK CITY, Utah - Business picked up in Park City this winter, with city officials estimating gross receipts growing 5.8 per cent compared to the last ski season.

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