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Five Colorado Cities Among Best Places to Own a Vacation Home

Colorado mountain destinations rank highest of any state


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Bloomberg recently did a study to determine the best places in the United States to own a vacation home. Colorado had the most of any state with five of the top 15 spots. What cities were on the list? Why are these cities the best cities to own a vacation property? Should you invest in real estate in these five markets?

How were the cities determined?

Bloomberg looked for small pockets of wealth in more than 500 areas across four equally weighted metrics: vacation home stock, share of the workforce employed in real estate and recreation-related industries, home valuations and household income. The final index is comprised of 70 micropolitan statistical areas. A micropolitan statistical area includes one main urban center with a population of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 people, at least one county and all designated hamlets, villages and townships. 

What cities were on the list?

#2 Edwards/Vail

#3 Breckenridge

#5 Steamboat Springs

#10 Glenwood Springs

# 13 Durango

Vacations have changed

Seven of the top 10 spots are “mountain west” resort communities. Travel and vacation trends are changing. Many vacationers are looking for vibrant small cities and active adventures from skiing to hiking, biking and so on. In the past, vacationers would lounge on the beach. The new generation of traveler wants to mountain bike, snowmobile, white water raft and is more active. All five of these Colorado cities have captured the new generation of travelers.

Why these five cities?

Although all five of these cities have skiing close by, summer activities in the mountains have recently become a large draw, making each of these cities year-round destinations. Each of them has been on multiple lists and are known as “cool and hip” places, which has further attracted vacationers to these towns.

Along with destination tourists, local tourism has also grown as Denver and cities along the Front Range continue to attract transplants. These new residents are venturing into the “mountain playgrounds” furthering the increase in visitation to the top five Colorado investment cities.

Highly paid location-neutral workers are also being attracted to these same cities. Many location-neutral workers can live just about anywhere with high speed internet. Like tourists, they’re choosing many of the same mountain communities so they can play where they work.

Each of the top five cities are good long-term real estate investments

As more vacationers are attracted to each of these cities, more demand is created for purchasing in each of these markets. This increased demand will continue to drive prices. At the same time, none of these five markets have considerable supply (or the room to build), which will further increase the pressure on prices. Long-term, each of these markets are good investment choices.

The Mountain West, and Colorado in particular, will continue to attract tourism due to the changing vacation habits. This trend will likely accelerate as millennials continue to become a larger force in vacation spending and cities like Denver continue to attract residents that will recreate in various mountain towns. The list by Bloomberg highlights what most residents of Colorado already know — the state continues to be popular and these five resort communities will continue to flourish.

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Glen Weinberg

Glen Weinberg is and owner and the chief operating officer of Fairview Commercial Lending, a privately funded hard money lender based in Evergreen.  Fairview has been lending since 1975 He is recognized throughout the industry as a leader in hard money/non-traditional real estate financing on both residential and commercial transactions throughout Colorado. More information on Colorado hard money loans can be found at www.fairviewlending.com  Reach him at 303.459.6061 or glen@fairviewlending.com

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