When Mike Ferrel visited Aspen four years ago, looking for just the right place to buy a vacation property, he checked out all the luxury offerings in the ski-centric town. Ferrel finally settled on Dancing Bear Aspen (www.dancingbearaspen.com), a boutique private residence club in the historic heart of Aspen and within easy striking distance of its renowned slopes.
With just nine residences, available in one-eighth fractions starting at $625,000, Dancing Bear Aspen is part of the Timbers Collection, which offers reciprocal privileges at its portfolio of 12 properties around the world.
"I’m right at the base of Aspen Mountain, near the gondola," says Ferrel. With his primary home in New York City, Ferrel also owns vacation homes in Florida and Nantucket, and visits Aspen year-round to take full advantage of its exceptional hiking and mountain biking opportunities. "Dancing Bear has everything I need—storage lockers for my skis and bikes, a wine storage facility, a fine gym, and an excellent restaurant. And the rooftop has three Jacuzzis, a perfect place for hanging out and taking it all in."
Active outdoor enthusiasts, especially those with families, are also turning their eyes toward a pair of new ski-resort communities at Northstar California Resort near Lake Tahoe. Mountainside Residence Northstar’s (www.northstarresidences.com) initial offering is called Home Run, a collection 16 ski-in/ski-out homes perched between two ski runs. They connect by roads, ski runs, and walking trails to The Village at Northstar and to The Ritz-Carlton/Lake Tahoe. Prices range from $1.7 million to $2.3 million.
"In keeping with the traditions of the Lake Tahoe region, yet understanding the needs for the modern ski family, we’ve developed a mountain-contemporary style," says Jim Telling, partner at East West Properties, the community’s developer. "This includes homes with large windows to convey sweeping views and bring our home owners closer to nature. We’ve used traditional, local materials of the Sierras, including heavy timbers and rustic stone. And in using all local materials, we are designing our residences in an environmentally-conscious way that will achieve a LEED Silver certification."
The next offering from Mountainside Residences will be Martis25, a collection of ski-in/ski-out homesites overlooking Martis Valley. It will feature specially designed skiways, bridges, and tunnels for direct access to the slopes from each homesite.
At Constellation Residences at Northstar (www.constellationatnorthstar.com) the 17 elegantly furnished homes offer on-mountain, ski-in/ski-out access to the more than 3,100 acres of skiing at the resort. Priced from $925,000 to $2.3 million, the two-, three-, and four-bedroom residences range from 1,454 square feet to 2,416 square feet. With ownership comes access to The Ritz-Carlton/Lake Tahoe amenities including the spa, fitness center, kids club, mountainside heated swimming pool and hot tubs, along with access to the Village at Northstar via gondola.
"Not only are the homes located mid-mountain, a first for Tahoe, which provides both spectacular views and mountain access, they are also completely turn-key. From exquisite furniture to 5-star amenities, Constellation Residences at Northstar were developed to deliver a completely effortless way of living in Tahoe—we coined it, ‘schlep-free living,’" says Todd Chapman, president ad CEO of JMA Ventures, the developer of Constellation Residences at Northstar. "By the way, the stars are brilliant up here, hence our name."