TREK, TOUR, TOAST — Colorado

The Savvy List is your Connection Concierge for all things luxury—in town and out of town. One mission of our summer trip to Colorado was to identify local Realtors in some of the favorite mountain destinations where Dallasites own homes. Please let us put you in touch with a savvy local agent and let our travel agent affiliate, Luxury Travel Trek, make all the arrangements for your real estate research excursion.  Contact us at

If fall’s golden aspen trees in Colorado have you dreaming of owning a second home where you can enjoy skiing this winter or cooling off next summer, the first question to ask yourself is what your family is really seeking out of your Colorado vacation home.

Vail – Beaver Creek

Perhaps it’s the charming pedestrianized town of Vail with its enchanting European feel that fits the bill. Truly there, tots to seniors and everyone in between could find something to enjoy in any season. Vail is closer to Denver which is both a plus and a minus. It’s easier to get to but a favorite of the local Coloradans, too; so watch out for crowds. Skiing Vail’s back bowls by winter and summertime wading in the shallow river that runs through the town makes it a perfect choice for families who intend to travel with extended family. Those looking for another purpose-built ski resort in Eagle County with a bit of smaller feel village feel may find their utopia ten miles west of Vail at Beaver Creek.

Vail—Luxury Penthouse—4 bedrooms, 4.1 baths, 4,421 sq. ft., $16,900,000

Beaver Creek—Single Family—6 bedrooms, 8 baths, 9241 sq. ft., $7,299,000

Copper Mountain

Half an hour southeast of Vail, Copper Mountain has long boasted the fact that Mother Nature seemingly split herself into three sections, neatly dividing advanced, intermediate and beginner terrain—something for everyone. It’s less expensive than Vail and Aspen and also has a pedestrian-friendly village atmosphere. The Copper Mountain Ski Resort is undergoing $20 million in capital improvements, and Frisco and Silverthorne are also garnering attention as nearby growth areas for real estate investment.

Copper Mountain – Single Family—7 bedrooms, 5.1 baths, 4423 sq. ft., $2,950, 000


In Pitkin County, you’ll find the ski haven where the rich and famous have four mountains to choose from—Aspen Mountain (Ajax), Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands.  Whether you choose to position yourself in a Victorian home in the old town of Aspen or prefer the newer condos or a home in Snowmass Village, everything is convenient, classy and costly.  Those who put pampering on par with powder will appreciate the Ritz-Carlton at Aspen Highlands, where both rental and ownership options are available.

Aspen—Single Family—5 bedrooms, 5 baths, 5,357 sq. ft., $7,500,000

Taking a break on a hike to Cathedral Lake near Aspen.

Crested Butte

If posh and skiing don’t belong in the same sentence as far as your family is concerned, Crested Butte may be your place. Use the Gunnison Airport for easy access; it’s just 20 miles away. Once upon a time, Crested Butte gave itself the title, “The Last Great Ski Town in Colorado”—a place where the generation of hippies, that it first drew back in the 1960s and 1970s, settled in and thumbed their noses at places like Aspen and Vail. (Think of it kind of like a Colorado version of the way Austin used to be, too). But a little over a year ago, the Crested Butte Mountain Resort was bought by corporate giant Vail Resorts. For now, it somehow retains its refreshing, funky vibe and things still seem much more bohemian and less contrived there.

Crested Butte—Single Family—5 bedrooms, 4.1 baths, 5,128 sq. ft., $5,200,000


Also located in Gunnison County, Marble, Colorado, still offers the feel of a sleepy 1880s mining town in a peaceful, unspoiled mountain valley perfect for those that might put Nordic skiing, ice skating, sledding, horseback riding and back-country skiing on their wish list. It’s about an hour away from the world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding options of the Aspen area.  Lift ticket prices at Sunlight Mountain Resort, just south of Glenwood Springs and with terrain for all ability levels, are about half that of Aspen.   All alpine skiing options are a bit of a drive, but that may help Marble stay more pristine.  If you’re planning to use your home for more of a summer getaway, putting down roots in or near Marble might make sense.

Marble, Co—Single Family—4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3,583 sq.ft., $1,149,000

Colorado gets about 300 sunny days a year. Many of those days are of the sunny but mild variety that Texans love when our native sunshine here gets to the scorching level. Colorado summers are for hiking, rafting, biking, fishing and bumping into plenty of your Dallas neighbors!

Stay tuned to this column where, next month, we’ll explore the fastest growing areas along the Scenic Hwy 30A corridor on Florida’s Gulf Coast.  We would love to know where your family owns and hear your suggestions about that particular area!  Or if you have a home for sale or rent that we can promote here, please reach out

Disclaimer:  Steve Smirnis, the co-owner of The Savvy List, LLC, is a licensed Texas Realtor sponsored by The Lansford Group, LLC, a Texas Real Estate Broker.  Featured properties were active at the time of publication but may no longer be available.  Featured properties may not be listed by this agent or broker.  List prices are subject to change and home data cannot be guaranteed.