Vail Daily column: Come for the winter, stay for the summer |

Vail Daily column: Come for the winter, stay for the summer

Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

My family and I are greatly enjoying our first trip to Vail this holiday season. We have been so enamored with the area that we have been looking to see what it would cost to own a vacation home in the valley. I have visited with many people and a few Realtors, who all have repeatedly spoken of the fact that people “come for the winter and stay for the summer.” Can you explain this to me?

Dear Enamored,

Those of us who have moved here and stayed, do believe this to be a fact. It seems that a majority of the visitors originally come to our beautiful valley for the winter recreation. As you can see this year, it is a stunning winter wonderland and, of course, the skiing, boarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling are exhilarating and delightful adventures. This does not even take into account the wonderful dining opportunities, shopping and sightseeing. There are beautiful snowflake-filled evenings and days as well as crystal cold nights that are often followed by bright sunny days. Compared to many winter climates in the world, this is a true delight.

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Now, if you stay for the summers, it gets even better (or at least as good in a different way)! We have very little humidity, bright blue sunny days and crisp, cool, star-filled nights. We have golf, hiking, extreme climbing, mountain biking, rafting, fishing … the list goes on and on. The pace is a little slower than the jam-packed ski season and the escape from oppressive heat for much of the country is an untold pleasure. We actually have many second-home owners that come and stay in the summers almost exclusively. They most undoubtedly originally came to the area because of the winter season experience, but they decided to purchase and make frequent visits because the summers were so irresistible!

My advice to you, which you have not asked for, but I will provide anyway, is to find a good Realtor and stick with them to help you find a property that will be a treasure for you and your family to visit winter and summer. You will start to make family memories that will be cherished forever … not to mention you will always have a place the family loves to gather as they grow up and spread out to different locations in years to come. Best of luck to you and your family and have a wonderful holiday season and a perfect new year in 2015!

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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