Where there’s snow, there are skiers.
Snow enthusiasts of all kinds hit the trails of the more than 2,000 ski resorts around the world. Thirty-seven states in the U.S. have operating ski areas, according to the National Ski Areas Association. There’s even one in Alabama. And for lovers of the white stuff, there’s no such thing as off-season. Southern Hemisphere ski destinations in places like Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand have chair lifts operating June through September.
Some skiers go for steep hills and fast runs. Others look for mountains with acres of uncrowded trails. But all agree that as important as mountain conditions are to the ski experience so, too, is the mountain culture. The luxury ski resort camaraderie, the après ski vibe and the slope-side amenities are integral to an alpine community. Some mountains offer the services of ski sherpas to transport gear to the slopes where the equipment will be waiting, boots heated and skis sharpened. Other resorts feature fireside dinners in tricked-out yurts, accessible by snowcat-drawn sleighs. There’s a mountain for all comfort levels, ritzy, reserved or rustic.
For a sector of skiers, the transient resort-rental habit is a stepping stone to the more permanent and satisfying role of second-home owner. Many ski lovers are on the lookout for ski chalets to buy. Instead of renting a room, skiers own the lifestyle. No worrying about booked-up resorts during peak season, and there’s less packing and planning involved in every trip. It also gives vacationers the opportunity to fully customize the winter experience, whether it’s in a condominium, townhome or a luxury ski chalet.
For some, a ski property is a chance to create a private resort, wine cellars, in-home spas and recreation rooms included. These retreats are less homes-away-from-homes than micro country clubs designed for relaxing with friends and family after a day on the slopes.
A mountain community with easy access to an airport or within driving distance of a major city makes it an immediately attractive investment. A community with four-season amenities such as golfing or fishing is another plus. When researching potential luxury ski resorts, learn whether it does a good job of maintaining its facilities and reinvesting in its infrastructure and amenities. Does the resort manage a rental program, providing the option of a revenue stream when the home is not in use? The greatest value of owning a luxury ski home, say powder hounds, is the incentive to use it.
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from Sotheby's International Realty
Content Producer Iyna Bort Caruso