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Brower: Granby and Grand get real estate boost with surprise ranking

Patrick Brower
Grand Enterprise Initiative
The Fraser to Granby Trail, just south of the gazebo parking lot, overlooking Granby Ranch.
Sky-Hi News file photo

Granby has made a mark in the realm of national real estate market recognition, thanks to a top-10 ranking in “The Best 10 Places to Buy a Winter Vacation Home” as tallied by Vacasa.

Forbes magazine, a nationally respected business publication with a worldwide reach, reported the news of Granby’s surprise ranking in its Feb. 27 edition.

Forbes relied on Vacasa as a reliable source when it comes to evaluating vacation real estate. As stated by Wikipedia, Vacasa is an international vacation rental management company based in Portland, Oregon. It provides property management services for over 25,000 vacation rentals in the U.S., Europe, Central and South America, and South Africa.



So, has Granby really made the big time, especially in comparison to places like Breckenridge and Winter Park?

“There are a few surprising markets included in this year’s report,” says Vacases’s VP of Sales and Marketing Shaun Greer in the article.



“But there’s also consistency with last year’s Best Places to Buy a Winter Vacation Home. Homeowners who are looking to invest in these destinations want to see that consistency in terms of the cap rate, or the rate of return on investment,” Greer advises.

Look to new and increasingly popular ski destinations as options, the article paraphrases.

“It was no surprise that states like Colorado, Montana, and Vermont were featured prominently again this winter, but we did welcome a first-time destination to the list: Granby, Colorado, an up-and-coming mountain town nestled between Winter Park and Grand Lake,” Greer explains.

So there you have it. Granby is an up-and-coming mountain town. Who would have thought?

Well, I certainly would have thought so based on the way things have been going in the last year, not the least of which is what I would call a feverish real estate market and positive news from the Granby area.

Let’s start with the obvious. The new River Run Resort near Granby has provided a boost to the more typical tourist and vacation travel in the Granby area. It’s a massive development with lots of tourism potential for Granby.

Granby Ranch’s situation is not exactly great, as it’s for sale by lenders. But there’s real hope and optimism about what the future will hold as soon as the massive resort property on the other side of Granby gets in the right hands.

The once moribund Grand Elk has seen extremely robust real estate construction and new home and townhome sales, with waiting lists in place that are filling by the day. Home sales in Granby have seen high prices and extremely short wait times for purchases to take place.

And then there’s the commercial side. There’s demand for commercial properties and movement is now taking place on buildings and lots around town. In town, there’s the promise of brand new commercial, office and townhome properties. Believe me, downtown Granby will look a lot different in two years.

Yes, this is good news. But it’s also good news with a very mixed blessing. Regular workers with decent middle class incomes can’t afford to buy in this hot market. Even worse, there’s not much (if anything) to buy in that range anyway. There’s not much of anything for people to rent at a fair rate. The end result of this is that it’s near impossible to find workers for even secure, middle-paying jobs.

Granby, like much of the rest of Grand County, is going through the throes and growth pains of being a Top Ten place. Let’s embrace it, of course, but let’s do so with an understanding of the broader implications of being in the Top Ten.

Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He offers free and confidential business management coaching to anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He can be reached by calling 970-531-0632 or at patrickbrower@kapoks.org.

Top 10 places to buy a winter vacation home

Following is the list of top 10 places to buy a winter vacation home compiled by Vacasa and published in Forbes magazine.

1. Big Sky, Montana

2. Poconos, Pennsylvania

3. Conway, New Hampshire

4. Killington, Vermont

5. Vail, Colorado

6. Big Bear, California

7. Breckenridge, Colorado

8. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

9. Granby, Colorado

10. Mammoth Lakes, California

Source: Vacasa


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