The Winter 2015 Mountain Edition of RESIDE® magazine has arrived! Read our featured article, Escaping to Work below.
From the pages of RESIDE® | Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World | Winter 2015 Mountain Edition
In bygone eras, secondary estates were built so the privileged could ride out harsh industrial winters in the comfort of balmy southern climates—think of the tycoons of Palm Beach, or the barons of Provence. Today’s business leaders may have the same instinct, but whereas the leisure classes of yore could retreat peacefully for months at a time, such extended departures no longer exist.
Working in the digital age means never being more than one or two bars of reception away from duty, even in the midst of escape. Simply unplugging is not an option. “We don’t have situations where people take even one or two weeks off and drop their business,” says Pat Donovan, Broker/Owner Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty in Whitefish, Montana. “They have to be able to work from their vacation home.”
Modern buyers are now as likely to head west as south, into the splendor of the Rocky Mountain region for scenery, tranquility and year-round entertainment. At the same time they need to stay connected, and homes and markets here must be designed to facilitate working remotely.
Luxury homes fitted with high speed internet, Wi-Fi and extended cellular and satellite service are mandatory, says Donna Clinton, Broker and COO of Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty. “Executives want to make sure they’re accessible wherever they are in the valley,” she says, “so that’s never an issue here.”
Some form of workspace carved out—a dedicated office or elaborate “central command”—is also standard. Andrew Ernemann, Broker Associate at Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, says these can include multiple oversized flat screens and state-of-the-art computer and telecom networks. “We see some pretty advanced set-ups here. You sometimes wonder if you’re in someone’s residence or in a high tech office somewhere.”
In Whitefish, Pat Donovan has noticed executives are more apt to invite clients to their mountain retreats than travel away. The family home therefore doubles as a business and entertainment venue, and social spaces and overnight accommodations are important. “Homes need to have four beds and four baths, but those guest bedrooms also have to function as separate master suites. They can’t just be kids bunk rooms.”
A final factor integrating work and leisure is transportation. With more major airlines servicing these mountain markets, getting in and out has never been easier. Another trend to watch is the development of fly-in communities like The Refuge at Alpine Air Ranch in Star Valley, south of Jackson Hole. Private hangers linked to the central runway are included with each lot, so owners can maneuver their aircraft straight into their own “garage” after landing. Connectivity doesn’t get more direct than this.
Article provided by Derek Duncan exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.