Grand County Real Estate Developments: Trailhead Lodges in Winter Park
February 24, 2008
Bruce Walker knows a real gem when he sees it.
This former geologist was chiseled out of retirement-mode when this sales opportunity surfaced: A prime downtown location nestled between the newly renovated Hideaway Park on one side and federally protected wetlands on the other.
Throw in a private recreation center as its epicenter, combined with stunning mountain views, and you have the Trailhead Lodge resort condominium development.
We scaled a mountain of snow so that I could see the neighborhood from a different perspective and to survey the surrounding area. Though just a few lodge frames sprinkled the existing landscape, I could envision the site plan’s circle of buildings ” each building spaced far enough apart to take full advantage of the views.
From atop my snowy perch, I could see the Fraser River winding through the neighboring wetlands. James and Perry peaks flickered surreally in the distance, and the resort’s ski slopes were imprinted through the trees off to the west. With the natural landscape flooding beauty from most every angle and Hideaway Park’s entertainment value on the nearby, these homes will no doubt offer the best of both worlds.
Turning toward the development, a concrete spire stood proud, waiting for framing to commence around it. Elevators are in each building, and apparently it is proper protocol to design the building keeping the elevator in mind; once the shaft is built, the building is constructed around it.
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“It’s a ski town, so most people are lugging around equipment,” said Bruce. “We wanted this to be a place where people looked forward to coming, and let’s face it ” elevators make life easier.”
Call me lazy, but simplistic truths are always so refreshing.
The Commons is a private clubhouse for homeowners. What’s not to love about the year-round swimming pool, hot tubs, fire pit and barbecue areas, fitness area, and, of course, a common gathering room with a fireplace and kitchen that will maximize the enjoyment potential in this 5,000 square feet amenity.
With eight lodges circling this nucleus, the clubhouse should be ready for its first wave by late fall.
It’s evident that Summit Legend Trail Head Inc., the development company, knows how to draw in new residents. This show of commitment to finish the clubhouse before the majority of the 96 resort condos are even completed is by design. Just one glance at their availability board is proof of this ” all of the two-bedroom condos within the first release are sold already.
Currently, there are just two three-bedrooms and seven one-bedrooms available, one of which is ADA-compliant.
Lodges 7 and 8, consisting of 24 condos total, should be completed by this summer, and Lodges 5 and 6 are slated for completion by late fall.
I asked Bruce for his secret to success.
Bruce Walker, the self-proclaimed Air Force brat that single-handedly promotes the sales side of Trailhead Lodge, explained that the quality of the project translates into steady sales.
“The upside for me is that it’s hard to talk to rocks,” he said. “People are much more fun.”
Of course, I imagine it’s always a blast when the feedback is predominantly positive.
Secondly, these new buyers have choices beyond the standard few that are typically offered.
Once a reservation holder solidifies his or her decision with a firm contract, they are sent into the expert arms of Creative Touch Interiors, down in Denver.
This interior design company has created finish packages to choose from. Or, a buyer may customize every detail, from upgraded appliances to different shades of granite and hardwood flooring.
The sales center displays different examples of granite edges, pictures of standard fixtures and upgrades options, shower doors to open and close, framed windows plus much more.
Outlining these details can take the guesswork out of pre-construction sales, giving even tactile buyers peace of mind to sign the dotted line before the shovel ever hits the dirt.
Did I mention that all of these condominiums are “End Units” with 9-foot ceilings and in-floor radiant heat?
Oversized windows and doors complement these energy-efficient homes, all of which qualify for the ENERGY STAR label.
Energy-efficient advantages equate to lower utility bills and healthier indoor air; the tight construction with expensive closed cell foam insulation paired with good quality windows helps to improve insulation, as well as keep out excessive heat, cold and noise.
“Acoustical engineers suggested that the gypcrete not be poured all the way to the wall and to be suspended by an acoustical matting to attenuate sound transmission,” said Bruce. “So, that’s exactly what we are doing.”
Even special carpet pads, designed specifically for in-floor radiant heat, were utilized so that the heat would transmit through the carpet, directly to your cold toes.
High-quality construction practices and attention to details like this is how they won the People’s Choice Award in the 2004 Parade of Homes for their other multi-family project, Sawmill Station, and my guess is that awards are forthcoming for this sister neighborhood as well.
It’s All In The Details
Summit Legend’s development and construction team has been managing projects since 1990, and, in the beginning, they forged their energy into building high-quality custom homes in Boulder.
In the mid-nineties, their focus shifted to Summit County and urban in-fill developments, with River Crest Townhomes in Frisco as their first.
This followed with Summit County Home Builders award winners such as Sunset Drive Townhomes, Castlewood on the River, Granite One, Teller Village, The Ranch at Eagles Nest and the Homestead at Three Peaks prior to expanding into Winter Park.
Summit Legend also just received final approval from the City of Denver for their Downtown Urban Brownstone community.
Touring through Lodge 8, I was blown away by the consistent views and thoughtfully laid out floor plans.
Marketplace Architect, out of Dillon, designed these functional condominiums from the inside out, with renderings showcasing large, easy-cook kitchens, inviting living rooms with designer lighting, knotty Alder arch-paneled doors and trim to offer warm tones throughout, all the way out to the aesthetically-pleasing exterior pillars, accented with real Colorado Moss Rock.
Other notable features include covered porches on all first floor homes, and all third floor homes include vaulted ceilings in the living room area.
Marian Waldron, an agent with Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties, fell in love with this development and bought a 3-bedroom as an investment property.
“First of all, I really liked the single-level floor plans,” she said. “But what really made the difference for me was the idea of the clubhouse’s outdoor pool, spa and other amenities, plus the location can’t be beat”you can walk to all of the restaurants and shops in town.”
She’s been turning on other clients to these exceptional and best of all, affordable, condominiums.
Run”Don’t Walk, to the Sales Center
Condominiums are available for purchase in this current phase of construction, but if you miss out on these due to a sell-out, don’t despair. Reservations will be accepted very soon for Lodges 3 and 4, and a fully refundable, $2,000 deposit can help you secure one of these when they are finally released. Lodges 3 and 4 should be completed by the summer of 2009.
Prices range from the high $200’s for a one-bedroom, two-bedrooms start in the $400s, and three-bedrooms are in the $500s.
For more information, visit their sales center a block East of the Winter Park Visitors Center or contact Bruce Walker directly by calling (866) 262-6200 or