Mountain News: Revelstoke urged to stand its ground 

REVELSTOKE, B.C. – The dialogue continues to sharpen in Revelstoke as housing prices rapidly increase. The problem of rapid change is such that one letter-writer, Cornelius Suchy, proposes a go-slow approach to authorizing new development, such as at the new Revelstoke Mountain Resort, until existing problems have been addressed.

The community is not getting what it needs from the developer of the new ski resort, he says. “The simple formula is: no affordable housing, no development permit — a practice common in most resort communities,” he contends. He says that the affordable housing requirement for the new resort was scrapped, “letting the developers off the hook.”

He also takes issue with the conversion of existing house stock into vacation homes for “Albertans, New York millionaires, and European wannabe eco-tourists.” He argues for confining recreational housing to specifically zoned resort areas, plus heavier taxes on non-resident property ownership.

In scouting out its future, he says, the Revelstoke municipal council studied other resort communities, who warned that affordable housing would be the city’s single-greatest challenge. “Why Council decided to disregard these and other warnings and push ahead with the maximum size resort development remains a mystery.”


Personal concierges at Arabelle

VAIL, Colo. – The Vail Resorts got a free advertisement on the front page of the Denver Post business section on Monday. The story was about Arabelle, the new boutique hotel in Vail that is being completed. It has 36 hotel rooms and 67 condominiums.

Arabelle oozes with the ornate architecture described as Old World, the theme currently sweeping the resorts. Some $250 million of real estate altogether, it’s modeled upon buildings in Prague, Innsbruck, and Munich.

Vail is thick with five-star lodging properties, but Vail Resorts claims a distinction at Arabelle. Rooms during mid-winter will cost $1,300 to $1,400 per night, and in summer $450 to $500. And for this, guests will get butlers or, to be more precise, personal concierges.

But where will these butlers come from? As required by Vail town authorities, the company is responsible for providing 144 beds of employee housing, notes the Vail Daily. The company has offered to buy one existing employee housing complex or, if that fails, to pay an in-lieu fee of $17 million.


Affordable housing not for rent

ASPEN, Colo. – Christmas is just around the corner, at least for those in ski towns hoping to rent their homes during the lucrative holiday week.

In Aspen, that included a resident of one deed-restricted affordable housing condominium, who was discovered offering the unit for $5,000 per week in a website posting. Such short-term rentals are prohibited.

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