Stagecoach–Could a Private Ski Club be in the Future?
First, here’s a bit of history about Stagecoach. The ski area at Stagecoach, Colorado, was only open between 1972-1974. There were big plans for 2000 homes, a lake, a store, townhouses, and a golf course. Unfortunately the ski area went bankrupt and it was boarded up, as it remains today.
While the ski area remains packed in mothballs, the dam did get built. Stagecoach got a beautiful lake and a State Park. Over 500 houses have been built, most in the last couple years.
Interestingly, the Stagecoach Ski Area is located entirely on privately owned land. That’s really rare. Almost all big ski areas –including Steamboat Springs–lease Forest Service land for ski runs. One privately owned ski resort is the Yellowstone Club near Big Sky, Montana, where Bill Gates is a member.
A private ski area in the planning stages is right down the road in Minturn, CO, on the other side of the mountain from Vail. The vision is to develop 4,300 acres of land on Battle Mountain. There will be five areas of development which will have 1,700 housing units, but they need to annex the land into Minturn first. (Update: The land was annexed but there has been no development by Gunn.) 1700 homes are more than the housing units in Arrowhead and Bachelor Gulch combined. Bolts Lake will be the hub with golf, tennis and fishing.
Another private golf/ski community is Mt. Holly Club in Utah. It has the distinction of having building sites where you walk out the back door to ski-in and ski-out and walk out the front door to a Jack Nicholas golf course. This lifestyle doesn’t come cheap at Mt. Holly, so maybe it helps that Las Vegas is a short 22 minute private jet ride away.
Stagecoach has the same elements the club in Minturn and the Mt. Holly Club have. Stagecoach Lake is two to three times bigger than Bolts Lake (depending on the source). It has land for a private golf course right near the water. The ski area is large, with 2000 vertical feet. It would make a perfect private ski/golf/boating area.
Private ski areas require the users to be homeowners. You can’t just buy a day pass and hit the slopes. They are exclusive, private, and perfect for people who have the money and prefer to ski on uncrowded slopes.
Will Stagecoach be a private ski community? We’ll have to wait and see.
March, 2009 update: The Stagecoach real estate market has slowed dramatically, making it highly unlikely that there will be a ski area in Stagecoach in the near future.