Villas at Cortina

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Signs of Spring in Telluride: Vacation Home Sales are Highest EVER



Vacation home sales in the U.S. are at their highest ever, or at least since the national Association of Realtors began tracking vacation home buyer trends in 2003. Vacation home sales are up a whopping 57.4% from 2013, with an estimated 1.13 million vacation homes going under contract last year.

Most of those purchases are in the south and west.

Now may be the best time ever to buy a vacation home in Telluride, Colorado for BOTH winter and summer.


While April 5 — Easter Sunday — is the technical end of the ski season in Telluride, life on the slopes is still not over. Not even close! Locals and second home owners alike are taking in as many extra runs as possible.

This Sunday does mark the last day you will be able to ski into the Villas at Cortina, however–time to break out the bike and hiking shoes, for spring is here! The Villas at Cortina is one of very few condo developments in Telluride with direct ski in and ski out access. Leave your boots, skis and poles right at the ski tunnel entrance in the Owners Lounge — this place makes Deer Valley look like hard work!

(I’ve heard that hot toddies are sometimes waiting for you!)

The Villas at Cortina is also the newest Mountain Village development offering the most amenities of any ski-in/ski-out development: a heated year round outdoor pool and hot tub, private owners lounge, a kids and adult game-room, private shuttle service to go to the grocery store, out to restaurants, or to the free gondola into town.


Once the snow clears, April and May tend to be quieter, peaceful months for Telluride– voted the #1 Ski Resort in America by the picky folks at Conde Nast for three years in a row.

“April and May are when we re-energize and re-charge, for our summer season” says Kate Woods, a local agent and marketing consultant. “I love the Villas at Cortina for it’s absolutely perfect access to everything Telluride offers, it’s incredible views – literally from every room –  and I cannot find a better combined amenity and location package in all of Mountain Village. The Villas really have it all.”

They need to: the greatest thing about vacation home ownership in Telluride is you get a year round calendar of fun: ski from November to April, summer hike, bike, fish, relax, and cool-off from May to October.

It’s not too late to look into home ownership at the Villas — gorgeous, panoramic views from every residence starting at $1.595 million to $3.295.

Phase I is now complete. Purchase now, move in in April, and you will be ready for the best summer vacation ever!

What Are You Buying Your Valentine? How About a Little Ski In/Ski Out Number at the Villas at Cortina in Telluride?


Gus Cortina

I know it’s 72 degrees in Dallas, but the ski season is in full swing just a few hundred miles north of us.  And we are quite in love with the town of Telluride, Colorado. We would prefer a little ski in/ski out place at the Villas at Cortina over a box of chocolates. Or flowers. That’s a place where we could escape in winter OR summer, bring the kids and grand-kids, and make it a family fun time. When your children grow up and work, their time becomes incredibly precious and cannot be parsed out enough.

Cortina Villas

A care-free second home at the Villas of Cortina in Telluride provides the perfect family getaway with the cleanest, most wholesome family sport of all times: skiing. That photo is of 2014 Olympic silver medalist in Slopestyle skiing, hometown Telluride boy, Gus Kenworthy, in the Villa’s ski tunnel.

First of all, it’s easy to get to Telluride from Dallas. Dallas snow seekers are taking advantage of increased service to Telluride (MTJ) this winter on American Airlines. Telluride has announced a 20% overall increase in flights to the destination for the 2014-2015 winter season, and the Dallas flight leads the way with a 51% growth in seats.

“We are thrilled to provide such a significant increase in flights this winter,” said Colorado Flights COO Matt Skinner. “With daily direct flights, Dallas residents have easy access to the best skiing in the Rockies.”

American/US Airways offers daily direct flights out of Dallas through April 6, 2015, with an added Saturday flight (through March 28, 2015) to accommodate the growing number of Telluride enthusiasts in the Dallas metro area. And there are many!

“The new and increased flights are a game changer for North America’s #1 resort,” said Telluride Ski & Golf President & GM Greg Pack. “We are pleased by the significant added access from Dallas. We already have the easiest ski town to get around in with our two free gondolas and free public transit system, so making it easier for our guests to get here falls in line with our core strategy — make it easy for our guests.”

That’s another great thing about Telluride when you own a home at the Villas at Cortina: it’s a truly walkable community and if you need a car, they’ll give you a lift!

Telluride was recently named North America’s #1 ski resort, by the readers of Condé Nast, for the THIRD consecutive year.

Why do SKIERS like Telluride so much?

The word I hear over and over is terrain. There is something for everyone to ski on these mountains. Like moguls? Well, they make me turn! Telluride is said to have the best, found mostly on the mountain section that drops between the gondola mid-station and the town of Telluride. I haven’t been yet, but ski expert Larry Olmstead cannot say enough great stuff about skiing Telluride terrain:

…which is where I have traditionally spent much of my time, but this is less than a quarter of the map (click here for interactive map). So I had relished world class bump runs like Spiral Stairs, Kant-Mak-M and Mine Shaft at the expense of the rest of the mountain. Secondly, Revelation Bowl, the last major terrain expansion, did not exist the last time I visited. On the backside of the peak, this is Telluride’s answer to Vail’s Back Bowls (though on a much smaller scale). It is a true treeless bowl where you can ski basically any line, and it is all single black terrain that tends to load up on powder and usually has one groomed route down. What this means is that it is accessible to a wide range of skier abilities including those who normally could never really experience bowl skiing elsewhere. A strong intermediate can manage the groomer under most conditions, and advanced skiers will love it. And when it snows it really snows…

Bowl skiing made easy? Book my trip! How about a 4 and a half mile beginner’s run when your energy is on low?

Even intermediate skiers can sample powder skiing with Telluride’s vast assortment of varied blue and double blue trails.There truly is something for everyone on this mountain and the ability level is exceptionally well distributed. Beginners have their terrain, including a 4 ½ mile run down from near the top, something not many mountains offer. In many cases, less skilled skiers never see anything above the mid-mountain restaurant, but the top of Telluride offers some of the most stunning views in American skiing, vistas across the jagged San Juan range, and any skier of any ability can get up there, experience this true alpine environment, and then ski down.

So true! So many times the hardest lifts have the best views, and I have to side-slip my life away. Not at Telluride:

Intermediates have it made, because Telluride has tons of very varied blue and double blue terrain – and not just groomed cruisers. Improving advanced intermediates can try bump runs and powder skiing and glades, all especially welcoming to first timers in these styles and well suited to learning. There are very few mountains that offer intermediate glade skiing. Basically they have every step along the skiing ability curve, from novice to beginner to intermediate, advanced intermediate, expert and way beyond. The Polar Queen Express high speed quad is like an entire blue and double ski resort in and of itself, and many skiers spend their whole day here. Prospect Express is another area devoted to green, double green, blue and double blue skiing. For less skilled skiers, the Sunshine Express area has lots of long green runs and is isolated from more aggressive skiers who sometimes scare beginners.

Then there is the town: Telluride is an historic Old West Colorado town set in a box canyon, surrounded by mountains and protected wilderness. Unlike most ski resorts, this is a town you can walk or ski into and out of. Few ski resorts boast this — certainly Vail, Park City Mountain Resort, Aspen, Breckenridge and Heavenly (for expert skiers) all have ski in/ski out towns, but Telluride is the most authentic.

Besides, when you have a ski home at Cortina, you have a private tunnel that gets you right to the lift lines which also, by the way, seldom have lines. Most owners find they stay in and relax at the Villas, but if you want to go out…

Telluride also offers a plethora of experiences once you are off the slopes. Some people are hard core, I know; they will get on the first lift of the morning and when the last lift goes up, they are on it. But for some people, skiing is a half-day adventure. Then it’s Miller Time. When you are not skiing, Telluride offers a lot of fun things to experience:  lots of restaurants, shopping, off-slope and après ski activities.

Cortina kitchens

Cortina great room

Cortina bedrooms

Cortina outdoor cooking

When you live at the Villas, your apres- ski menu includes a soak in a beautiful year-round pool and hot tub, a drink in the owner’s lounge or fun convo around the outdoor fire pit. You will likely run into someone from Dallas here! Kids can find fun in the game room, or the pool, or you can even let them wander down to the plaza unsupervised if they are old enough. Parents have told me one reason why they love Telluride so much is that it is one of the few places in American where they can “unleash” their children with confidence, which actually builds in another layer of parental relaxation.

Then there’s the service and ski pampering you only find at the Villas of Cortina: a private shuttle service takes you or the kids wherever you want to go in town — grocery shopping, the free gondola, drop off or pick up the kids in the plaza. It’s almost like having a private chauffeur. They will even pick you up from MTJ. Oh, and schlepping is a word you might just drop from your vocab after the Villas get hold of you: ski valet and storage is right at the ski tunnel in the Owner’s Lounge, right there when you come in off the mountains, right there when you are ready to head out.

The Villas at Cortina make skiing much less cumbersome for families, which keeps you coming back for more and more. Villas start at $1,595,000, and last a whole lot longer than Valentines flowers!


It’s Telluride Time: The Villas at Cortina Are Your Perfect Mountain Home-Away-From-Home


Telluride snow

Maybe you’ve just returned from a holiday escape to the hills. Or maybe you are planning a ski outing in a month or two. We all know how much North Texans love to head to the mountains of Colorado to get their downhill fix. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!