Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Porches at Steamboat: Family-Friendly Houses, Reasonable Prices

Sales momentum at premier Colorado resorts has slowed, but The Porches at Steamboat, which I visited recently, offers multigeneration-sized single-family homes that would cost a whole lot more in Vail or Aspen. Looking for five-bedrooms? You’d have a hard time finding that big a house for $3-million in those towns. Yet the 5,000 square foot homes at The Porches qualify for that often-misused term “affordable luxury.”

To make The Porches unique in the Yampa Valley, co-developer Bruce Shugart and partners combined an amenity package with a neighborly atmosphere designed to woo those who want their children and grandchildren or grandparents with them in snow country. At the center: “The Barn,” a clubhouse whose wood floors, reclaimed from an 1883 barn in Pennsylvania, reflects Steamboat’s cowboy heritage. There’s nothing old-fashioned about its interior, which includes soaring windows and a generous exercise facility with Nautilus equipment. A concierge and property management team handles everything from stocking the fridge to producing poolside birthday parties.

The goal, says Shugart, is “an environment you can bring families to. We fill a niche – large private homes with services,” including ski shuttle and equipment storage at the base of the ski mountain less than a half mile away. The Porches also is marketing several of its homes – as six-week Private Residence Club fractionals starting at $340,000. And yes, the houses do sport rocking chair-ready porches.

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