Mountain News: Real estate sales edge upward in Aspen 

ASPEN, Colo. - Real estate volume through June in Aspen and Pitkin County was 22 per cent ahead of last year, with June being particularly strong, reports the Aspen Times .

The greatest amount of activity was in properties ranging in value from $4 million to $8 million. One real estate broker associate, Tim Estin, reported he was "day to day hopeful." Between 60 and 70 per cent of annual sales occur between the Fourth of July and the end of September.

Unless conditions worsen, Aspen can expect to surpass $1 billion in sales, although this will lag far behind the benchmark years of 2006 and 2007, when roughly $2.6 billion was sold each year. "I am of the opinion we're never going to see 2007, at least not in my lifetime," said long-time agent Bob Starodoj, owner and chief executive of Mason Morse Real Estate. He sees future prices more in line with those of 2004 to 2006.

Meanwhile, hoteliers in Aspen have been expecting improved economic conditions this summer. Bill Tomcich, director of a reservation agency, expected lodges over the July 4 th weekend to surpass last year's figure of 84 per cent of capacity.

Part of the draw during late June was the annual Ideas Festival. The festival in years past had a regular string of front-page names passing through: the Clintons, John McCain, and many more. This year has been no exception. Tickets were $1,225 for students and $7,500 for regular patrons.

 

Slackline tops Vail Mountain

VAIL, Colo. - A complex of slacklines has replaced a volleyball court atop Vail Mountain. Slacklines are often used for training by skiers, snowboarders, cyclists, climbers and gymnasts.

The Vail Daily explains that participants balance on a two-inch-wide webbing. The park has 10 such webbings, running between 10 and 40 feet in length. The vendor said Aspen and Snowmass, both in Colorado, and the Pennsylvania's Whitetail Resort plan to follow suit.

 

CB to have own gay ski week

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. - Crested Butte next March will join a number of other ski resorts in winking at gay skiers.

Aspen, Whistler and Telluride for a number of years have hosted gay ski weeks. Last year Vail joined them. Crested Butte next March will debut the Matthew Shepard Foundation Memorial Gay Ski Week.

Organizers said they were drawn to Crested Butte because of its native funkiness. They particularly noticed the costumes and revelry during the Al Johnson Memorial Uphill/Downhill Race.

 

Summer economy looks good

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