We all know how much North Texans love to head to the mountains of Colorado for the holidays. One of the top destinations for Dallasites is Telluride, Colorado. The town happens to be the county seat of San Miguel County in southwest Colorado, a former mining town in the San Juan Mountains. But ever since skiers discovered its steep mountains and fabulous snow in about 1972, Telluride has become known as the pinnacle of Colorado mountain living, both in summer and winter.
Telluride is a laid-back Aspen: no Prada store, no Louis Vuitton. Rumor has it that even Starbucks must get permission to move to Telluride, and thus far that permission has not been granted. There is a Starbucks in Mountain Village in Hotel Madeleine, about as close as a Skinny Vanilla Latte will ever get to this place.
Funny thing about Telluride: folk lore says it was first called Columbia, Colorado but because there was a California town with the same name, the post office wisely changed the town’s name to Telluride in 1887. There was a separate town called Columbia located near the current Shell station. But really, the Town of Telluride was never called Columbia. Rumor has it that Telluride was named either for the element Tellurium, a rare element not found in the valley, or (and this is very cool) from the phrase “To Hell You Ride” because the town is so remote. No one really knows for sure. For years, before the slopes became the main draw, Telluride’s mines produced copious amounts of zinc, lead, copper, silver and other gold ores.
Now the main draw is the terrific terrain that leads to skiing, snowboarding trails, hiking, mountain biking, golf, rafting and fly-fishing, or even pitching a tent to view the box canyon and the steep forested mountains and cliffs surrounding it. Sought for its spectacular scenery, cultural offerings and colorful past, Telluride was designated as a National Historic Landmark District in 1964. The town is now home to world-famous festivals, including the Bluegrass Festival, Jazz Festival and Film Festivals, as well as diverse culinary offerings and a star-studded travel set.
Still, with all that activity, life is just quieter here. The town, population about 2,500, still has no traffic lights: all traffic flows through a roundabout and pedestrians have right of way. As one resident puts it, Telluride is a laid-back Aspen of about 20 years ago. There is a story that Jerry Seinfeld, one of the most sought after actors in America, eventually bought a ski home in Telluride because it was one of the few places where he could dine, wearing a baseball cap, and have not one single fan recognize him.
Other notable residents include Tom Cruise, whose house is on the market for $59 million with the local Sotheby’s office, off-market. Then there are Ralph Lauren, Meg Whitman, and Oprah Winfrey, who had a house in Mountain Village long before Seinfeld bought one near Telluride.
Now those of us in Dallas can join them. The Villas at Cortina offer some of the most comprehensive new luxury housing opportunities in the southwest and what everyone wants: a coveted spot in Telluride’s Mountain Village.
The Villas at Cortina are an enclave unlike any other. Offered in a limited edition, these residences represent an opportunity to own within one of the world’s premier four-season resorts. Though they are true ski-in, ski-out condominium homes, they are distinguished by architecturally-enhanced privacy one would normally only find in a single-family residence.
The Villas at Cortina offers 12 full ownership condo units, with six available for immediate occupancy. In fact, one unit sold within days of completion. The finish out is more than first class and the style is what Coloradans call “mountain modern”: a mix of clean lines with a strong nod to the historical ranch past. Touches include reclaimed antique pine floors and doors, and mahogany exterior doors and windows that are so impermeable to the seasonal cold, you will want them installed in your Dallas home come August while you are cooling it in Telluride.
Talk about walkability, this is where you fly in and leave your auto at home. The Villas at Cortinas has a private driver and car available for all guests. He’ll take you wherever you want to go, including airport pick-up service, in a big black Escalade.
Prices start at $1,895,000 for a three-bedroom, two bath condo. Again, a total luxury private home feel with the lock and leave sensibility of a condo. Most vitally, the Villa’s excellent location gets you quickly on your way to Lifts 1, 10 and the Gondola. Real Estate studies in ski areas show that the single most important component for a ski property with buyers is the accessibility of the mountain.
And the amenities offered are simply over the top. The Villas at Cortina have set the real estate bar higher, offering the highest level of luxury service, amenities, building prowess and location. There is direct ski-in/ski-out, private access, ski valet and storage, shuttle service, heated outdoor pool, hot tub, spa, gym, and a lovely outdoor seating area around a fire pit. Think you’ve been spoiled at Deer Valley? Think again!
Small wonder, that the Villas at Cortina are among the most desirable resort residences in snow country. And with direct flights from Dallas, you can leave in the morning and be on the slopes by noon! If you happen to be in Telluride over the holidays, feel free to meander over to check out the Villas at Cortina and enjoy hot coffee, hot chocolate, schnapps and cookies as you check out some of the hottest new vacation home offerings in Colorado! Yep, those are the red handles on a Wolf Range in all the Villa kitchen… I’m sold!