Mountain News: Real estate stabilizes, below 2001 prices 

JACKSON, Wyo. - Number-crunching economic analyst Jonathan Schechter finds that real estate prices in Jackson Hole have bottomed out at prices below those of 2001.

"... the crash has been so great that, corrected for information, it wiped out nine years' worth of gains in mean prices," he writes in the Jackson Hole News & Guide .

Studying numbers provided by ReMax, the realty firm, Schechter found that mean prices in Teton County, Wyo., have stabilized at 38 per cent below peak. West of the Teton Range, in Teton County, Idaho, prices are down 28 per cent from their peak.

Similar to the observations of real-estate agents in several resort valleys of the West, he finds that sales bottomed out late last year and since then have been slowly rebounding. But, at the current rates, it won't be until sometime in 2011 that sales volume attains the same level as in 2002.


Aspen business so-so

ASPEN, Colo. - Last year, ski season in Aspen ended economically in a thud. March seemed like April.

Although a resurgence predicted for late in the ski season this year failed to materialize, at least the downward spiral ended.

And there are expectations of improvements, reports the Aspen Times . The newspaper notes a survey by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. Of respondents, 45 per cent expected to improve this year, compared to 15 per cent at the same time last year.

William Small of Frias Commercial Real Estate concluded that the worst is behind Aspen in terms of both residential and commercial real estate. But Kurt Adam, president of Community Banks of Colorado, said he doesn't expect 2010 to be anything but flat.

Meanwhile, the Aspen Skiing Co. reports that it expected a flat winter this year, but results were actually a little bit better. David Perry, the company's senior vice president, described the results as a "slight improvement and stabilization."

"We're not celebrating by any stretch of the imagination," he told The Aspen Times.

Visits increased slightly, business in ski school was stronger and travelers' wallets altogether "have loosened up," he said.

He also said that the company's special marketing programs "appear to have paid off." Attendance at World Cup ski races was the best in years, and attendance at the Winter X Games set a record.


Grandma: keep your distance

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. - Millie Chang, 77 and a grandmother, has skied at Mammoth Mountain for the last seven years. In early March, she was struck by an out-of-control snowboarder who broke both her ankles.

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