In case there was any question of Vail losing its luxury status, think again. While offices of all varieties are closing throughout the world, as remote working continues indefinitely during the COVID-19 pandemic, Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties (CBMP) has just opened a brand new brick and mortar space in Vail, which happens to be one of only 14 worldwide boasting the Global Luxury designation.
“When you ask anyone in the world to name a ski area in the United States, Vail and Aspen are always the first two to come up,” says Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties President Julia Rea. “While we focus on the luxury second home resort market throughout the brand, the luxury aspect and price point in Vail are like nowhere else.”
The real estate industry in Colorado has fared better than most throughout the pandemic, especially in Vail, which over the last few months, has become a choice destination for a second or even primary home among many people with the sudden freedom to work remotely.
“Anybody who has the means and can live in the mountains instead of Denver, Houston, Boston, Dallas, is choosing to do it now,” says Dennis Saffell, owner of Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties, which also has offices in Frisco, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Winter Park, Taos and Angel Fire, NM. “There have been millions of mid management and upper management people in cities all over the country who have just been told they could work from home. It’s driving sales like crazy. Even homes that were historically slow to move in the $3 to $3.5 million range have been flying off of the shelf.”
That range isn’t even at the top of the spectrum for Vail, which in the last few months saw on-mountain sales of two properties priced at $26 and $27 million. In order to qualify as a Global Luxury office, joining the ranks of locations like Tuscany, Barcelona, Paris and Beverly Hills, Vail’s CBMP team had to show an average per property sale price of $1.5 million.
“We’ve had some high-end sales this summer,” said Vail CBMP Managing Broker Kathy Cole, who has been selling real estate in the valley for 38 years. “I’ve personally had some multi-million properties on the market for days, mere days. They’ve been on and then woosh! Gone at very close to full price. We’ve had an awful lot of people upsizing, people wanting to find a place out of the city or people worried about stock market volatility and going for real estate instead. I had several people call me when the Coronavirus hit, expecting the real estate market to crash. I was not fearful, but I don’t think many of us thought we’d be as strong as we are now.”
The new Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties office, located next to Ace Hardware in West Vail, is a 4,000-square-foot space designed as a lifestyle-centric shared workplace. It features a shuffleboard, beer tap and wine dispenser, full kitchen and a conference table that transforms into a pool table. Once pandemic restrictions have lifted, the office will open its conference/training room to local businesses and nonprofits as a meeting space free of charge, featuring an interactive SMART Board display.
The office opened for business this October, but due to Covid-19, is tentatively planning its official grand opening for summer 2021. In the meantime, the small, well-established local group is hoping to grow its team.
“As a successful group of brokers, we are thrilled about the opportunity to open a bricks and mortar office space as our new corporate headquarters,” Cole says. “With top-of-the-line technology, conference, training and education areas, all of our brokers can meet clients and be able to stop and work here when they want to. It’s ideal for brokers to work from home and use the space as needed. And we’re only one of 14 global luxury offices in the world. It’s a pretty big deal.”