Blog :: 2012

Stowe, Vermont for the Holidays

Enjoy the holidays in Sotwe, Vermont

 

The Holiday Seaon in Stowe, Vermont.

This is such a beautiful time of year in town, a rare opportunity to feel like you have stepped into a Currier and Ives postcard. From Main Street up the Mountain Road all the way to Stowe Mountain Resort businesses and homes are decked out for the season. The quaint village of  Stowe, Vermont is the perfect place to enjoy holiday shopping, dining or a weekend getaway. Stores are open special hours and offering holiday specials, the mountain is open for skiing and Santa arrives this weekend. The kickoff to all the festivities is this Friday with caroling and the annual Festival of Trees at the Helen Day Art Center. The Stowe Area website has a special calendar of events for the Holidays in Stowe.

Continued Improvements at Stowe Mountain Resort

Enjoying great skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe, Vermont

Over the last 8 years Stowe Mountain Resort has been implementing their half-billion dollar master plan (yes, that is billion with a "b") which includes the Stowe Mountain Lodge, Spruce Peak Base Camp and new lifts. What many don't realize is that just as key to the massive building and lift upgrades is the investment in infrastructure for the snowmaking system. Just this past summer almost $5M was invested in new snowmaking guns, pipe and snowmaking towers that will improve not only the skiing experience but are more energy and emission efficient.

Stowe opened this past Saturday for season pass holders! Earlier than usual with rave reviews from skiers and riders. The ability to open earlier with more terrian and quality man-made snow will help Stowe continue to set itself apart from the competition.

Money well spent.

For details on the new snowmaking upgrades:

http://www.stowe.com/ski-ride/conditions/offseason-snowmaking-investments/

 

Stick Season Dining Deals in Stowe, VT

 

Fall in Stowe, VT

Stick Season. Shoulder Season. Off Season. Call it what you like but Stowe, VT is entering that time of year between the hustle of summer and foliage visitors and the Holidays and ski season. It is actually a wonderful time of year here in town. There is a nip in the air and most mornings find a beautiful dusting of snow on the mountain and ski slopes. The hiking and biking trails are in perfect condition, chances are there will be some Indian Summer weather, hotels and inns are offering specials and there are amazing DINING SPECIALS. Just in time to store up extra calories for cold weather and skiing!

Next week is the much anticiapted 2nd Annual Stowe Restaurant Week 10/21 to 10/27. Stowe boasts dining experiances on par with most major cities. Reviewed and recognized in Gourmet, Bon Apitetit and Wine Spectator.

From October 21 through October 27, 2012, enjoy prix-fixe multi-course meals in Stowe for only $15, $25, or $35!  These special tasting menus will be offered in addition to regular ala carte menus at Stowe Restaurants all over town. For details and a complete list of participating restaurants check out the Stowe Area Association website 

Happy eating!

Detaching to Sell Your Home

There was a recent article in Realty Times regarding the need to detach yourself from your home prior to starting the selling process. Selling your home is a business transaction and probably for most people the largest financial transaction they will be involved in. Important tip: Emotionally detach! While it is difficult to step back and become completely objective about your home it is necessary. In order to stage, price, and negotiate offers on our home you must see your house as a product. You are selling a product!

Keys ways to step back and become objective:

  • Price your home based on the facts - not what you need to profit from the sale. Listen to your Realtor and price based on the comp sales. 
  • Give the buyers space. Don't be a "helicopter seller".
  • Consider all offers.
  • Emotionally detach. Don't take criticism personally.

Check out Realty Times for more tips for selling your home http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20120921_detachtosell.htm

The Coldwell Banker Promise

 

The Coldwell Banker Promise

Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate

At Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate Real Estate, we believe we have one of the most unique offerings in real estate. The combination of the international Coldwell Banker brand and our local Main Street, Stowe, VT presence, backed by experienced agents who have worked locally in real estate years creates positive outcomes for our customers and clients. Our Coldwell Banker affiliation; a national company focused on technology and innovation, a network of agents across the globe, backed by 106 years of experience in real estate that has helped fulfill the dream of homeownership for millions of people.

http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/the-coldwell-banker-brand-promise/

The video above is our way of trying to express what we can offer in 120 seconds or less. The line in this video that I hope stands out the most to you is how it ends: Only one brand can say all this.

See for yourself what Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate has to offer and to find an agent or dream about that new home visit us at stowevermontrealestate.com and coldwellbanker.com.

Come Tour Europe this Fall in Stowe, Vermont

 

Come Tour Europe this Fall in Stowe, Vermont

 

Come Enjoy Fall in Stowe, Vermont

  •  The British Invasion 2012, September 14-16

 A 3 Day Celebration and salutation to the Great British Motorcar and all manner of other things British. North America's largest British Classic Sports Car and Motorcycle Event!

According to legend, the British Invasion began in 1990 "over a pint of ale" in Stowe, Vermont. It's a British and American tradition that's lasted over 20 years! The primary focus of the British Invasion is classic British Motorcars. Every third weekend of September hundreds of British Motorcars descend on the beautiful mountain town of Stowe, Vermont to celebrate all things British! Enjoy British food, shops, and unique British gifts commemorating this highly anticipated event!

 For all the details visit the official website: www.BritishInvasion.com

 

  •  Oktoberfest 2012, September 28-30

Voted a "Top 10 Event in Vermont".  The Jackson Ice Arena will be transformed into a Bavarian village for this annual celebration of harvests and fall foliage. From oompah bands to authentic German foods to freshly brewed Vermont beers to pumpkin and face painting, Parade. -- there's something for young and old.

 For more info, visit the official Stowe Oktoberfest website:  stoweoktoberfest.com

Stowe, VT hosting the Celebrate Vermont Festival

Come celebrate Vermont during the Celebrate Vermont Festival August 23 - August 26, 2012 in Stowe, VT. A 4-day celebration of all that symbolizes Vermont's sense of community, values and culture - food, markets, farming, arts, crafts and creative economies. A town wide event with core activies and exhibits in the Festival Tent. Local and state businesses such as Cabot Cheese, Long Trail Brewing, Vermont Public Radio, Vermont Public Television are sponsors and are participating.

 

For more information and a detailed schedule of events:   http://celebratevermontfestival.com/

Enjoy the Harvest at Stowe's Farmers' Markets

Vermont is celebrating the 13th Annual National Farmers' Market week August 5-11th. The state is home to 70 Farmer's Markets including 20 that run year round and is considered a leader in the Locavore movement.

 "Farmers' markets reflect the best of Vermont -- hard-working people, a healthy lifestyle, and strong communities," said Gov. Shumlin. "Farmers' markets are a part of our lifestyle across the state, and this week is a great opportunity to honor the hard work of the market managers and producers."

"Farmers' markets build community, and support our farmers and our growing agricultural economy," according to Abbey Willard, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (VAAFM) local foods administrator.

Make a special effort this week to visit a local market and show your support.

Stowe boasts two markets: select Friday afternoons in Spruce Plaza (behind Stowe Mountain Lodge) and every Sunday 10:30-3 next to the Red Barn Shops on RT 108 (across from The Stoweflake Resort). Neighboring towns also host markets - check local papers or chamber websites for dates and times.

Local markets are ideal for more than just fresh local produce and meat; they are a great place to find local crafts, listen to music, enjoy lunch, visit with friends. Here in Stowe we are lucky to have 2 great markets to enjoy.

Cady Hill Forest History

Copy of the press release from The Stowe Land Trust detailing the history behind the successful effort to preserve Cady Hill Forest.

STOWE, Vt. - - "Someday, that entire hillside will be developed." It was August 2003, and as the freshly-minted executive director of Stowe Land Trust (SLT), I was getting a tour of the lands that were on the organizations 'high priority' list from Tom Jackman, Stowe's Town Planner. The ridgeline and hundreds of acres that would someday become Cady Hill Forest were owned by a developer whose plans included the construction of 94 housing units along the hillside extending south from the heart of Stowe Village.

It was about that time that the Stowe Mountain Bike Club, a scrappy group of skilled riders and hard-core trail enthusiasts, quietly began building sinewy single-track through the dense hemlock forests on Cady Hill. The Club had already received permission to develop and maintain trails on the adjacent Macutchan Forest, a 60-acre landlocked parcel owned by the Town. Over time, the Club expanded its network, building miles of single track on the adjacent Cady Hill Forest lands with tacit approval of the landowner. The result was what locals call the 'town loops' and evolved into a hidden gem of Stowe riding.

In the intervening years, plans for development moved slowly - tied up in permitting until the untimely death of the landowner in 2005. While the estate was settled, the housing bubble peaked, with values for the Cady Hill Forest land climbing as high as $5.2M before it burst in early 2007. Since then, the land languished on the market as values steadily fell.

Tourism Economy Stowe's tourism-based economy is driven largely by the beauty of the natural landscape and the recreational resources that are literally in everyone's backyard. By 2010, the Stowe Mountain Bike Club had evolved from a hodge-podge of diehard riders to an organized group, integral to development of multi-use trails in the region and closely affiliated with the broader mission of the nascent Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA). Together the bike groups have built and continually maintain nearly 50 miles of trail in Stowe and Waterbury, a neighboring community to the south. As the network gained notoriety, VMBA worked to have the area identified as an International Mountain Bicycling Association "Ride Center", a designation that reflects high standards for sustainable trails and quality of experience. Colloquially referred to as the 'Vermont Ride Center', the network already attracts riders from around the northeast and Canada.

The partnership between Stowe Land Trust, Stowe Mountain Bike Club and the Town of Stowe had also evolved and was put into practice throughout the community. The land trust purchased and conserved land, the Town became its long-term owner, and the Club signed on to manage and maintain the extensive trail networks. The partnership worked well, and by 2011, was poised to take on the acquisition that would secure the 11 mile trail network and protect the heart of Stowe riding.

"You should just buy it." Rick Sokoloff, the president of Stowe Mountain Bike Club said to me one day in early 2011 of the 258 acre Cady Hill Forest, which was then owned by two separate landowners. Despite what was sure to be a daunting price tag, the research began and the questions started flowing: how much of the land can the land trust afford to purchase in order to protect its natural resources and the trail network? Who will own it? What about permitting, parking and public access? Will the landowner agree to our timeframe? And most importantly, where to find the money?

Irene Presents Opportunities In the wake of Hurricane Irene, many Vermont communities that lost everything were looking for ways to make investments in the assets that remained. While Stowe was largely unaffected, Waterbury lost a complex of State offices that housed over 1500 workers and countless businesses and residents were damaged. Many residents saw the value in investing in recreational resources and the Vermont Ride Center fit the bill. The land trust worked with community representatives and their partners to take the message of economic recovery all the way to State government - and in December, 2011 the first financial investments in Cady Hill Forest were made. With a Vermont Housing and Conservation Board grant for $350,000 the land trust had the makings of a real project as well as leverage for bringing other supporters on board. But with a total price tag of $1.56M and a scheduled closing date of May 30, 2012, it would take many more donations before the project was complete.

As the project gained momentum, several foundations including the Open Space Institute of New York and other major contributors laid the groundwork for a financial investment to come from the Town. On Town Meeting Day in March, Stowe voters approved a $288,000 request paid for by a local option tax on rooms, meals and alcohol. Many voters appreciated the fact that supporting the vote would not affect their property taxes while others felt that permanent protection of the land was worth any cost. "Protecting the backdrop of the heart of Stowe Village is a pretty compelling reason to vote yes" said Barbara Baraw, a local historian who cares deeply about the Village's scenic qualities. By the time Town Meeting Day had passed the land trust had raised over $1.1M.

Overwhelming Response Rebecca Washburn is busy sorting stacks of files that represent over a year of hard work. "We raised the final $450,000 in less than 12 weeks" she says, now reflecting on the public phase of the campaign. Washburn, SLT's Assistant Director who coordinated the PR during the final months of the campaign is proud of the way the community came together. "Area businesses were so quick to jump on board and see the value in protecting the land for recreation. Inns, lodges, campgrounds, bars, restaurants, retail and outdoor stores all saw the benefit of the conservation project and many conducted their own fundraisers to support the effort," she said. Phone calls from board members, press releases, Facebook updates, presentations, property walks, appearances on radio talk shows, donor lunches, and mailing after mailing became routine during the campaign. With the help of a brilliant marketing volunteer, the land trust's campaign reached far beyond Stowe engaging over 650 individuals from 26 different states and 3 countries. The last dollars came in the door only hours before the closing.

Cady Hill Forest Hardy Avery can see things the rest of us can't as he walks through the newly conserved, town-owned Cady Hill Forest. Avery has been planning and building trails in the Stowe area since he was a teenager and is largely responsible for the fun, flowy single track that has put Stowe mountain biking on the map. On this day, Avery is flagging a new trail that will lead from the soon-to-be-constructed 20 car parking area. The new trailhead will provide permanent public access to the forest and anchor the Vermont Ride Center in Stowe Village. "Now that Cady Hill Forest is protected, our vision for the Vermont Ride Center is much closer to becoming reality", Avery said as he places another pin-flag in the ground. "Conserving land is something everyone can get behind and its amazing what can happen when we all work together."

Heather Furman is the executive director of Stowe Land Trust

Summer Inventory Hitting The Market

Traditionally the Stowe, Vermont real estate market is most active in the summer through through the fall. Current inventory is lower than it has been in the last 4-5 years. Local inventory at the end of the first quarter 2012 was much lower than in recent years - back to 2008 levels. This is good news for sellers!

Late spring is the time of year in Stowe, VT when the majority of properties come on the market. Homes that are priced correctly are seeing a lot of activity and are selling quickly. Good example - A property listed last year in our office never sold and was withdrawn from the market. The same property recently came back on the market at a new price. This has lead to multiple showings and 2 offers coming in on the same day!

Below is a chart that shows inventory levels as of 3/31/2012. New residential properties have come on the market since then but there are still only 109 active residential properties on the market in Stowe. Still well below prior year levels. Now is a great time for buyers and sellers: new inventory coming on the market daily and low interest rates!

 

1st Quarter Stowe, Vermont Real Estate Sales Report