Seven weeks ago while visiting Denver, we decided on making a quick road trip to Aspen for a night. As always, I was awestruck by the beauty of the Colorado roadways — rugged rocks, lush green forests, blue skies, scenic vistas, not a speck of litter in sight during several hours of driving. Heading over a pass near the end of our journey to Aspen, lacey white particles began falling from the sky, denser and denser as we climbed, accumulating on the ground around us. Snow! In August! In this hemisphere!
The moment brought to mind: it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming ski season— what better place to start is there than Aspen, a preeminent location in the Rockies and one of the most popular destinations for Texans seeking a top-tier mountain homes? Much has been made of the ups-and-downs of ski area housing prices during the 2008-2010 recession, and a slowdown again this year as turbulence in financial markets, depressed oil prices, and uncertainties related to the upcoming presidential election have slowed sales in many areas. But, if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that the rare properties at the top will always find buyers. “Aspen will always be Aspen, and people will always want to come here,” said Shannon Sweeney, owner of Sweeney Real Estate and Development in Aspen Peak Magazine (July 2016).
The town itself is beautiful; thoughtfully planned, flush with upscale shops and restaurants,world-class galleries and cultural venues, lovely walkways and parks filled with affluent, casually dressed, healthy-looking people, and well-cared for dogs frolicking off the leash. In the heart of town, set against the base of Aspen Mountain, is the acclaimed Little Nell, a Forbes 5-star and AAA 5-Diamond hotel adjacent the Silver Queen Gondola, and the Residences at the Little Nell, a fractional ownership complex where the owners of 26- three and four-bedroom luxury residential units enjoy posh amenities and white glove services. Fractional shares here are termed “shared ownership interests.” Each is a 1/8th interest of 6 weeks per year, which guarantees two winter weeks, two summer weeks, and two additional.
Just outside the property is the launch station for Aspen Mountain’s gondola. Steps away is the restaurant and retail core of the town.
Here’s a lovely summer view from a Residence porch, but I am picturing myself here waving to my kids heading up the mountain in winter. Ski lockers will take the work out of lugging boots and equipment.
Among the Residence amenities are two roof-top pools in a lovely water garden setting:
The Residences have a lounge space, a board room-like private meeting room, a business center, a playroom for kids, and private underground heated parking. Within easy walking distance are numerous restaurants, but there’s also a fine dining restaurant and dining terrace in the building. Nice to know.
There are 19 three-bedroom (with an average of 2,800 square feet), and seven four-bedroom (with an average of 3,800 square feet) units. Floor plans vary. Below is a representative layout of a 3-bedroom:
And, a 4 bedroom, which in this particular illustration has 2 master suites and 2 levels:
Units are outfitted with fine furnishings, limestone and hand-hewn wood floors and fireplaces:
Open floor plans feature kitchens with granite and marble countertops:
Here is a representative master bedroom:
Master bath: And guest bedroom:
Porches and balconies allow for outdoor living space to enjoy the spectacular weather:
There’s also a private fitness center:
On-site luxury services provided by hotel staff make for easy living here: 24-hour concierge service, 24-hour room service and housekeeping, pre-arrival grocery shopping, and on-demand airport transportation.
Both three-bedroom and four-bedroom 1/8th (6 weeks per year) resale shared ownership interests are now available, the three-bedroom (approximately 2,800 square feet) at $1.1 million, the four-bedroom (approximately 3,800 square feet) at $1.65 million. Pricey, certainly, but the top of the market always will be. Location, location, location makes this property, well, priceless! For more information, contact Erin McGuire, managing broker/partner of Forte International, the Residences at the Little Nell’s director of marketing.
Roughly 38 percent of the Residence’s owners hold multiple shares, choosing to spend double or more time in Aspen than a single share, six-week use, as opposed to an average of 5 -7 percent average for the industry, per R. J. Gallagher, partner at Forte International. Aspen’s appeal is year-round, and especially to Texans seeking second homes — people from Dallas and Houston, rank third in second home ownership here, following only New York and Los Angeles. One could make a game out of walking the parking garages and counting Texas plates, especially in summer. Maybe yours should be there?
We’ll leave you with views from the Residences at the Little Nell’s rooftop pool in both warm and cold seasons: