A secret plan to connect Smuggs and Stowe.
So, if you haven't heard already, there is a big story brewing about Smugglers Notch Ski Resort (Smuggs) and Stowe Mountain Resort one day being connected by a Gondola. According to a recent article shared on Lift Blog, Smuggs and Stowe have secretly been working on plans to connect the two mountains by a gondola that would consist of 9 towers, 26 carriers and would be able to transport about 1200 people an hour from Sterling Mountain to Spruce Peak at Stowe. For those of you that are not familiar with the area, these two mountains are separated by a short distance and are easily accessible to each other in the summer by using the winding section of Vermont Route 108 seen here in this video.
A drive through the Notch that connects Stowe and Smuggs only takes 6 minutes!
But once it snows, this section of road is closed down and commuting between the two resorts can take a significant amount of time. Although the two resorts are close geographically, they are vastly different. Stowe is an upscale mountain with high-speed lifts, a Gondola and is a part of Vail Resorts Epic Pass. Smuggs is on its own local pass, has no high-speed lifts, and is considered one of the best local mountains in VT.
The purpose of this article …
In this article, I'm not going to get into which mountain is better or why this could be good or bad for skiing...to be honest, I'm biased towards Smuggs because this is where me and my family ski and we love this mountain, we love that it's not overcrowded and that there's a nice local feel to it... heck, even the picture on the front page of this website is a picture of my son Max who's on the Smuggs Free Ski Team. But instead, in this article, we're going to look at how potential condominium values could be impacted if these two mountains were to combine into one giant resort in the future.
Looking at how prices of Condos currently compare on both sides of the notch.
Let’s take a look at some examples below and see how the prices and quality of the real estate currently compare between the two sides of the notch and how that may change in the future. Now no one knows for sure if this plan to connect these two mountains will ever come true;it could just be one giant pipe dream, but for those of you out there who like to try to find an edge on potential investments or like to think about how your current investment might turn out in the future, being aware of things like this is essential because it could have an impact on the value of the properties in these areas. So let's jump right into it.
Here are the numbers from the MLS for the Median and Average sales price of condos in Stowe vs Cambridge over the last 12 months.
Here are some examples of actual condo listings. (click any the images for full listing pages)
7412 Mountain is a 700sqft 1 Bed at The Lodge At Spruce Peak in Stowe that is listed for $650,000
21 Garden Road, is a 2 bed 2 bath 1600sqft condo for $650,000.00
233 Fox Hill Road a 3 Bed, 3 Bath 1700 sqft condo for $595,000.00
44 Sterling Lane is a 741 sqft 1 bedroom condo at Smuggs that recently sold for $159,000.00
151 Riverside at Smuggs a 2 bed 2 bath for $185,000.00
27 Slopeside, a 3 Bed 3 Bath 1600 sqft condo for $365,000.00
So when we look at these properties, you can clearly see that there is a dramatic price difference for similar size condos. There is also an obvious difference in quality, with many of the Stowe condos being newer or in luxury buildings and the Smuggs condos being in older, more rustic buildings. Spruce Peak, for example, is a full-service complex with a much higher level of amenities like a spa, concierge and more. But is this really enough to justify the price difference? We don’t think so. The real difference in price is because Stowe is a more prominent, higher-end mountain that is on the Epic Pass vs Smuggs, which is an old-school local’s mountain with no high-speed lifts. So the question is, if you could live at Smuggs and have year-round access to Stowe would we see the prices shift? We believe we would see quite a jump in the prices on the Smuggs side as there's plenty of room for upside based on the current price per square foot. On the Stowe side, prices might actually go up as well. This is because now there's new value added by having an even bigger and better ski mountain to ski at. We don't think connecting these two mountains will actually create some sort of sell-off or drop in the prices on the Stowe side.
In summary, this Gondola is most likely a long way away from ever happening. But it is something to pay attention to. If you have more knowledge on this or opinions that might help the readers of this article, please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts on how connecting Smugglers Notch Resort and Stowe Mountain Resort will impact local real estate prices.
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