February 7, 2017

"Tamitude" — the attitude of Tamarack...

... the ski resort that failed as a big commercial enterprise, but lives on as a community of homeowners.
The debt pile has been cleared, and in October homeowners banded together to buy the resort’s operations....

[I]t seems unlikely that Tamarack will fulfill the original idea of a high-end resort for skiers flying in from around the world.... [L]ike so many projects that were stalled by the financial crisis and Great Recession, the resort has re-emerged to find value in a diminished sense of self. Real estate agents like Trisha Sears are talking up the value of $350,000 condos that are now largely bought by locals instead of the out-of-towners who used to pay $1 million. In place of celebrity sightings, presidential visits and an ambition to be the next Vail, Colo., there is talk about a family-friendly vibe and the absence of crowds....
Here it is on the map. That's a part of the country where I could see living. I don't know if I'd like all those expanses of parking lots and the burdens of the empty hotel (including the inevitable joking about "The Shining"). 

47 comments:

Michael K said...

A friend of mine has had a condo in Deer Valley for 20 years. Maybe it was just one too many, The old mining towns of Wallace and Kellog are now ski resorts too. Back when I was up there in 1959 the legal whorehouses were still there.

rehajm said...

I make the trip from Lewiston to Boise once in a while. It is a beautiful part of the country. I'm a big fan of McCall but the in laws dismiss it too 'touristy'. One of these days I'll take the float trip on the Middle Fork to visit the old family homestead...

As the real estate market was collapsing I got the hard sell from every Tamarack resident wanting me to invest. It was a slow painful death. Part of the problem of making that area a second home destination is it's too far from a major city and airport. Boise is a too long and too treacherous drive through remote wilderness in Winter.

MaxedOutMama said...

Don't get into that, Ann. It's a money pit. The homeowners have bought in, but without a major influx of capital, the costs to sustain any sort of infrastructure at all will break them.

The reason this article is in the NYT is that they are seeking an investor, and if they get one, the deal will be hard and that investor (probably a consortium) will wind up controlling everything.

This is nothing a retired couple should get into, believe me.

traditionalguy said...

Try Eagle, Colorado. It is a Vail, but with mostly wealthy American residents instead of European Aristocrats who despise American commoners invading their territory.It is very liberal and very white...a real mini-Madison. And it is a quick drive on the Interstate over the mountain to Denver.

David Begley said...

Althouse's own private Idaho. Madison's loss.

Ann Althouse said...

"One of these days I'll take the float trip on the Middle Fork to visit the old family homestead..."

Thanks for that link. I love people like that.

Ann Althouse said...

"Don't get into that, Ann. It's a money pit. The homeowners have bought in, but without a major influx of capital, the costs to sustain any sort of infrastructure at all will break them."

I know!

It's too complicated. Interesting to do, though, if you were already an insider. I'd like to watch a documentary about these people.

Michael said...

I was asked a few times to invest. Grandiose and doomed from the outset. All projects work if the projections come to pass but then you could make the case that if you built Rockefeller Center in the middle of the desert that people would come. They would but you would be long gone broke if you were the developer.

Ann Althouse said...

"Try Eagle, Colorado. It is a Vail, but with mostly wealthy American residents instead of European Aristocrats who despise American commoners invading their territory.It is very liberal and very white...a real mini-Madison. And it is a quick drive on the Interstate over the mountain to Denver."

Ahem.

Eagle, Colorado is where we got married.

We talk about moving to Eagle just about all the time.

My biggest problem with it, which is a problem I have which most of the beautiful places in the west, is that the buildings are not to my taste. They were built fairly recently, but not with a taste for modernism. You know what I mean? It doesn't rise to the level of "post-modernism." It's just affluently sad.

Ann Althouse said...

As for "a real mini-Madison," the impression I get is there's no there there.

Where's the downtown? It's not enough of a place.

Yes, they have a city-county building where you can buy a marriage license and then suddenly declare yourself married and it's legal, but we chose that spot because there is a Ritz-Carlton hotel nearby.

~ Gordon Pasha said...

Idaho-55 northbound is a goat track north of Horseshoe Bend.

Known Unknown said...

Isn't Tamarack the Robert Byrd taxpayer boondoggle on Interstate 79 South in Beckley, West Virginia?

You can buy some shitty arts and crafts there. We've stopped at the travel plaza there but never ventured down the road a smidge to behold the wonder.


harryo said...
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EDH said...

Danny Says

Danny says we gotta go.
Gotta go to Idaho
But we can't go surfing
Cause it's twenty below.

Hangin' out in 100 B
Watching 'Get Smart' on TV...

It ain't Christmas if there ain't no snow.

harryo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Eagle has colder winters and hotter summers than Madison (plus it's arid).

I want a place with 4 seasons with at least somewhat milder winters and summers at least as good as Madison.

Madison is a much bigger place than Eagle. Eagle has 6,000 or so people. Madison has a quarter million.

Ann Althouse said...

Also, I'd like a better tax situation.

Here's a map showing which states are better for taxes for retirees.

Idaho, like Wisconsin, is in the middle

Colorado is more tax friendly.

I could see ending up in Colorado, but show me the town I would like. I care about landscapes and architecture! Whenever I get down to the level of looking at houses to buy, I just lose all hope. Everything is terrible! (And I mean at all price levels. I hate the taste out there.)

traditionalguy said...

But, but there are mountain biking trails, lots of them. And it is a good place during a Nuclear War, unlike all those Cities with Big Archtecture.

Out West, the big architecture hardly exists except for San Francisco.

rehajm said...

I want a place with 4 seasons with at least somewhat milder winters and summers at least as good as Madison.

Missoula? Everyone believes they get alpine Winters but they get less than 50 inches of snow. Summers are heaven...

traditionalguy said...

I have heard good things about Steamboat springs, Colorado. But it's only 12,000 residents + tourists in the winter.Snowboarding heaven.

rehajm said...

I gave up on this search a while ago. You really need two places...

tcrosse said...

Back in the 70s I moved from Madison to Minneapolis. At the time I thought of it as a Big Madison, except the effect of the University was a bit diluted. Fine with me. Brutal winters, lots of Virtue Signalling, high taxes. What's not to like ?

Marc Puckett said...

I recall that Bozeman (which is much larger, now, than the years I lived there, before 2000) has four seasons, although you might have snow in any of them.

Michael said...

Anywhere in the Roaring Fork Valley west of Aspen that you can afford. Basalt, Carbondale are both nice towns with the former possessing a Whole Foods. Biking up the Frying Pan from Basalt to Reudi is great, coming down better still. Bike trail from Carbondale to Basalt to Aspen. Carless. Great. I have been all over the American West and this is my absolute favorite area. Hiking and climbing in the Maroon Bells, Capitol Peak area. Great orthopedic medicine.

sooner or later the altitude might get you

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, FWIW when the wife and I were looking to downsize one of our criteria was access to a first rate hospital. Old and retired is lots of fin, but things do break down.

harryo said...
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traditionalguy said...

That list of qualifications will lead you back to Atlanta every time. But then I think 90F is a mild summer. Those two months are when you go to the mountains in Highlands,NC or to the beach at Amelia Island.

320Busdriver said...

"Also, I'd like a better tax situation."

Did not take too long realize the benefits to shedding the WI tax burden in retirement. Plus you likely get to ditch the depressing WI winter weather.

I was in Dallas for an hour yesterday. It was 72 and humid. Sometimes thats all I need to survive WI winters, that plus the time we spend above the clouds.

It seems like a mountainous area like those in CO would suit you, but CO's income tax is nearly what WI's is.

I saw this a week or so ago which seems pretty cool. You could be based in any state like NV, FL, TX, and see the rest of the best of the nation.

http://www.today.com/video/-workamping-on-the-road-to-retirement-gains-popularity-861495875655

But my guess is the RV is a no go item for you.

In all my travels, there seems to be no better way to beat taxes than living in Vancouver, WA where there is no state income tax and a quick drive across the Columbia river yields shopping with no sales tax. Mt Hood is a short drive east.

320Busdriver said...

Blogger rehajm said...
I gave up on this search a while ago. You really need two places...

2/7/17, 9:58 AM

Word

Rob said...

My daughter lives in Steamboat Springs. They had 10 feet of snow between December 25th and January 25th. The winter temps are brutally cold. Taxes are high, real estate prices are incredibly high. Summers are like heaven on earth, though.

jebkinnison.com said...

Plug for Vancouver, WA (especially the town of Camas, shores overlooking Lacamas Lake) -- mountains with snow in view, evergreens, but winter is mild; summer cool; no state income tax, other taxes reasonable. We looked at Portland and found an income tax higher than CA's for middle incomes, higher property taxes, insane county tax on all *royalties* (freelance author earnings, the oil well Aunt Sally left you, etc.), worse-than-Madisonian politics. Clark County just across the Columbia is a down-to-earth, easygoing purple place near a great airport and all of Portland's resources without the downsides. It's as if San Francisco had Nevada on the other side of the Bay Bridge.

traditionalguy said...

Atlanta has old houses on broad Blvds, such as Ansley Park built in the early 1900s on Collier Estate lands. It once had the Governor's Mansion until West Paces Ferry claimed it in the 1960s. It is adjacent to oldest surviving house in Atlanta, Wash Collier's place, in the middle of Sherwood Park, next to Ansley Park, built circa 1821. (He was my 4X great grandfather.)

The structures on lands of the Collier Family were mostly burned in the summer of 1864 as fire wood for two encamped Armies. Then CSA's Hood foolishly attacked Sherman's Army to start the Atlanta campaign at the Old Collier Mill where they faced one another across Peachtree Creek.



David said...

Eeek! Danger, Ann Althouse! Danger! Danger1

The heartwarming return of a failed real estate development is often touted but rarely actually achieved. The short to intermediate term prognosis is "money pit.'

David said...

Santa Barbara, Montecito, Carpenteria. My wife grew up in Carpenteria. Great year round climate with a non harsh winter but so expensive we can't afford to live there.

traditionalguy said...

A Developer with vision that starts his mega Development and runs across a Financial Contraction in the first 5 years will always go bell up. And the Insurance Company lenders are then enabled to take it over with the visionary plans done and the start up infra structurecosts already incurred, then personally sue the Developer on his guaranty into Bx, and finally hold it for recovery of the economy when they can it off then at a profit.


It's the lenders strength with cash flows that the Developer temporarily lacks that allows them to do him in and get rich.

Michael K said...

In all my travels, there seems to be no better way to beat taxes than living in Vancouver, WA where there is no state income tax and a quick drive across the Columbia river yields shopping with no sales tax. Mt Hood is a short drive east.

We gave that serious thought but my wife has emphysema and does not do well in cold wet climate, which that is.

Her oldest son lives in McMinnville about 40 miles south and they are having a very cold snowy winter. Storms like the streetcars of old Chicago. One along every few minutes.

Michael K said...

If you like winter, Cour d'Alene is nice. My daughter went to Gonzaga Law School in Spokane.

raf said...

Ann, your google maps link is about 40 miles off. You need to find Tamarack Resort down by Lake Cascade. Your link goes to Tamarack Mill.

Eric said...

FYI, for Anne's apparently incorrect location, I had to expand the map 7 times to find a town name I recognized. For the correct location, I had to expand the map 9 times. No thanks to either.

dbp said...

They built Tamarack after I moved East, but I have skied at Brundage a couple of times, it is not far from Tamarack. The snow was very good and the crowds sparse.

Both ski areas are within easy driving of McCall ID. which is small, quaint and has things like a grocery store and is right on a beautiful lake. Althouse seems to mostly do cc skiing so no real need to go to a resort for that. Boise is smaller than Madison and is 100 miles away. To my recollection, this place is much less arid than Colorado. The valleys have farms and the hills have forests.

hawkeyedjb said...

Tamarack was a client of my firm, back in the halcyon days. I think we got paid.

Michael said...

hawkeyedjb

You were one of the lucky ones!!!\

tcrosse said...

So many wonderful places with year-round good weather. So few one could afford....

traditionalguy said...

David is right. You are looking for Santa Barbara, California. Just bring your money bags with you.

retired said...

Sure Ann, you're going to the reddest state to hang with the white supremacists (if you can find any.)

fritz said...

Ann, you said "It's too complicated. Interesting to do, though, if you were already an insider. I'd like to watch a documentary about these people." If you were talking about the people responsible for bringing Tamarack Resort to Idaho, and about those involved in the management and financial side of it from its inception up to the current time, you wouldn't be cheered. It should never have been allowed to happen.
Ask the REAL locals about it--you know, the ones who've been here all their[our]lives.
We've been hearing the hype for a long time.

fritz said...
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