Copper real estate season off to a strong start |

Copper real estate season off to a strong start

Lu Snyder

COPPER MOUNTAIN<The 2002 real estate season started off with a bang for Intrawest.The Canadian company and owner of Copper Mountain sold 19 of 27 homesites in its newest neighborhood, Lewis Ranch, in a recent one-day sales launch. Salespeople have since sold five additional units.Intrawest has taken the remaining three units off the market for the time being to focus energies on building the neighborhood’s infrastructure, said Intrawest spokeswoman Leslie Robbins.Lewis Ranch was named for Chuck Lewis, who founded Copper Mountain 30 years ago with a vision to combine a great ski mountain with a vibrant community, according to an Intrawest press release.The neighborhood will be situated in a private, gated enclave on the west end of the resort. The custom lots average one-quarter acre each. Buyers will be able to begin construction of their single-family homes once Intrawest completes the neighborhood’s infrastructure, which “should be done by this coming fall,” Robbins said.The size of homes in the exclusive neighborhood will be dictated by county code, Robbins said, and could range from approximately 4,000 to 10,000 square feet.Sales of the 24 lots total more than $12 million dollars<lots ranged in price from $379,000 to $749,000 each.”The majority of our buyers came from the Colorado market and a few from outlying areas,” Robbins said.”The overwhelming interest in Lewis Ranch shows that resort real estate is alive and well in Copper Mountain,” said Paul Stashick, regional vice president of Intrawest Resort Development Group.Though the Lewis Ranch sales launch is only the beginning of Copper’s 2002 real estate season, Intrawest officials are optimistic. Last year, the company cancelled plans for its Blue Wing Lodge when it did not meet a 50-percent presale goal, Robbins said. She explained Intrawest has a self-imposed presale requirement as a way of testing the market before proceeding with a project.The low sales for Blue Wing indicated a market downturn, and Intrawest officials responded accordingly, Robbins said. The Blue Wing project was tabled and the company instead proposed The Cirque for the same location.What was to be a 86-unit condo hotel known as Blue Wing was modified to The Cirque’s 37-unit lodge-style building, located new the New Village and Union Creek.”It’s a smaller-scale building,” Robbins said of The Cirque. “The units are slightly larger and there’s a slightly higher level of finish.”The Cirque building was designed in a semi-circle, which “wraps around a central courtyard with expansive outdoor water features” including a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and waterfall.Intrawest officials unveiled the The Cirque last month and sales of the units<which range from $89,900 to $289,000<have begun, but Robbins would not disclose the number already sold.Still, condo activity at Copper has increased “exponentially” since the new year and the Olympics, Robbins said.”We feel that the success of Lewis Ranch and the tremendous amount of activity we’ve had since the new year indicates that the market’s strong,” Robbins said.Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or

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