The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort had a record number of skiers this past season. Officials say the resort broke its benchmark of a half-million visits, with more than 502,000 skiers hitting the slopes since Nov. 24. That’s an increase of five percent over last year and broke the previous record set in 2008. They say they’re lucky, considering the resort only received 385 inches of snow. That’s down from 605 inches five years ago.
An otherwise strong year for sales tax took a hit this month when collections for Jackson came in much lower than expected. The town collected $607,000 in sales taxes in February. The state distributes the money to local governments in April. Jackson’s collections are $101,000 less than the total for the same time period last year — $708,000.
Even with the poor showing, the town still is on track to collect $63,000 more for the fiscal year than estimated in the budget.
Town leaders already amended the 2013 budget earlier this year to reflect more optimistic sales tax projections for this fiscal year, which began July 1, 2012, and ends June 31. The town now anticipates bringing in 3.88 percent more in sales tax revenue than last year’s total of $9.32 million. That would mean $9.68 million filling town coffers by June.
Jackson business construction is bumping up the value of building permits issued by the town. Through the first quarter of the year, the town of Jackson has issued the same number of permits as last year. But the price tag for those projects has nearly quadrupled.
The 23 permits doled out by the building department from January to March of this year add up to $12.1 million of work. Jackson inspectors issued the same number of permits last year at this time, but the value of those permits totaled just $3.4 million. A strong March contributed to the bump in the projects’ value. Only 12 permits were approved last month, but the cost of the work totaled $5.8 million. In 2012, builders received 18 permits adding up to $2.6 million.
Part of the overall increase can be attributed to a handful of large projects. Owners of the old Sunrise True Value Home Center land on Highway 89 pulled a $2 million permit in March for a commercial addition. The Jackson Whole Grocer is supposed to move to the property sometime later this year. Another $4 million permit was issued to JMI Realty in January for an overhaul of Snow King Resort.
Still, the mix of projects this year has been diverse. In March the town distributed five permits for commercial alterations, three permits for new single-family homes, and one each for a commercial addition, a residential alteration, new commercial construction and siding. Last year, the town issued building permits worth $21.3 million in construction.
- Is the water supply public or private? If it’s well water, you should have it tested to check for chemicals or other harmful components.
- Does the house have adequate septic? When a house is constructed in a rural area, a leach field is built to collect sewage and water waste. Make sure the leach field is the proper size to avoid costly construction bills down the road.
- Is the house on a private road? If so, you could be facing thousands of dollars in extra expenses each year, as you’ll be forced to split the bill with your fellow residents for plowing, maintenance and paving.
- Has the area ever experienced a major power outage? If so, how long was the power out?
- How is the air quality? Ask about radon levels and smog levels from any nearby manufacturing plants.
- What is the average snowfall? How does the town handle major snowstorms?
- Where are the boundary lines? Make sure the property divisions are clear and established.
- Who handles trash pickup? Is there a nearby dumping ground?
- Are there any deed and zoning restrictions?
- How difficult is it to maintain the property?
Sales were up and inventory down in the Jackson Hole real estate market during 2012, and the lower price range was especially hot. Many people who live and work in Jackson took advantage of the market and spurred big sales in the segment of the house and condo market with prices under $500,000. Sales overall improved from 2011, encouraging brokers.
Andy Cornish of Rocky Mountain Appraisals said the market’s biggest troubles “came to a stop by about midway through 2011, and the improvement we saw continued to hold last year, which was good. “It’s too early to say it’s a frothy, heating-up market,” Cornish said, “but people are interested in getting in at favorable interest rates.”
In his Jackson Hole Report, now in its 18th year, he put the total number of sales in 2012 in Jackson Hole at 565, up 38 percent from 2011. Dollar value by Viehman’s calculation rose 50 percent to $881 million. Sixty-two percent of transactions were for less than $1 million, he said. Mayo was especially encouraged by a drop in total listings, “which have certainly declined from during the dark days, when we had 1,000 listings, to now, where it’s under 700.
The turnover rate in the market — the number of sales compared to the number of listings — is about 76 percent. At the height of the market, he said, before the Great Recession, inventory was turning over between two and three times a year, but during the depths of the crash turnover fell to 25 percent a year.
Viehman, who says his Jackson Hole Report includes every transaction, not just those on the Multiple Listing Service, figured that turnover had improved by year’s end to the point that overall inventory was down to 11 months. He said the average time from listing to sale for single-family homes is nine months, seven months for condos and townhouses. His method put the total listings at year’s end at only 498.
Walton is the widow of John T. Walton, one of the sons of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. Christy Walton inherited her vast wealth when her husband, a former Green Beret and Vietnam war medic, died in a tragic airplane crash in Wyoming in 2005. She’s the richest woman in America, and Forbes also ranks Christy Walton as the #6 richest person in the United States and #11 on the list of global billionaires. The bulk of her holdings are in Wal-Mart, the massive retailer founded by her father-in-law Sam Walton and his brother James in 1962. She also owns a stake in solar panel maker First Solar. When she’s not doing philanthropic work, Walton resides in the picturesque Jackson Hole, WY-area. A longtime resident of the area, she has just listed her 2.45 acre luxurious and private estate bordering Ellen Creek with direct access to the national forest and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
An ‘architectural masterpiece,’ the fully-furnished home incorporates traditional alpine-style with European details, including imported stone pavers, 200 year old reclaimed oak floors, cathedral ceilings and hand-crafted Albertini windows.
An 118-acre estate in Jackson Hole, Wyo., is going to auction, according to Laura Brady, president of New York-based Concierge Auctions, which is conducting the auction. There is no minimum bid or reserve.
The home, which is owned by entrepreneur Jeff Hussey, was previously listed last September for $37 million. That was the first time the home was on the market. It was reduced to $32.95 million at the end of February.
On top of Riva Ridge, 800 feet above the valley floor and behind a log entry, the compound includes a 13,721-square-foot main house with five bedrooms and nine bathrooms as well as a 3,850-square-foot, four-bedroom guesthouse. A tunnel that doubles as a wine cellar connects the main home to the 1,400-square-foot annex, which includes a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, a greenhouse and a three-car garage. There is a private lake on the property, as well as aspen groves, ponds, creeks and waterfalls. The compound is about 15 minutes from the Jackson Hole Airport, the town of Jackson and the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Mr. Hussey, who bought the property nearly 10 years ago, said in a statement that he was selling because his child had grown and it was time to move on. New York-based Concierge Auctions will sell the home in a live auction on Sept. 12 to the highest bidder, in cooperation with Julie Faupel and Graham Faupel & Associates of Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, a Christie’s affiliate.
New York-based Concierge Auctions is pleased to announce the July 12th auction Without Reserve of The Grand Teton Estate, ranked in the top three most spectacular ski homes in America by CNBC, just minutes from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding in the winter and unparalleled sightseeing, hiking and biking in the summer. Designed by premier Montana Architect Jonathan Foote, this rock and timber masterpiece is located on 10.63 heavily treed and very private acres near the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The architecturally-stunning estate offers 23,250+/- square feet of living and would be impossible to reproduce with today’s building regulations. Originally offered for $32.5 million, The Grand Teton Estate will sell to the highest bidder.
“This auction represents a rare opportunity to secure one of the finest homes in Jackson Hole without the limitations of the current building size restrictions. Today, Teton County allows only 8,000 square feet of habitable living space in contrast to the over 23,000 square feet this estate provides,” stated Renner. “There is no other property in Teton County that offers what this property does — rare, expansive square footage on over 10 completely private gated acres, world-class amenities, and a premier location with spectacular views at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.”
If you’re planning to build in Aspen, expect construction costs (materials) to average $950 per square foot and the project cost (materials + labor) to be $1,235 per square foot.
“Aspen is at the top of the list perennially because it is the most exclusive ski resort out west,” Chris Pollack, president of Pollack + Partners, told Business Insider. “And that factor lets it demand the highest prices for construction costs. Everyone wants to be there.”
Big Sky, MT came in second on the list, at $900 per square foot for construction and $1,170 per square foot for the total project.
Autumn in Jackson Hole beats autumn in New York, autumn in New England – or just about anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere. Deciduous trees burst into gold and red among the dark green conifers, with the rugged, snow-dusted Tetons and Rockies providing a dramatic backdrop. Even if you aren’t coming for the Annual Marathon or one of the other events held throughout the year, the spectacular autumn scenery is reason enough to fall in love with this region of the Equality State (we call Wyoming that because ours was the first to have a woman in the governor’s mansion, and actually gave women the right to vote over forty years before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment).
Many people who come to Jackson Hole find they want to make it their second – or even their first – home. The good news is, at today’s lower prices and record-low interest rates, there has never been a better time to invest in Jackson Hole real estate.