Vail Daily column: What is a ‘resort area’? |

Vail Daily column: What is a ‘resort area’?

Joan Harned

​Dear Joan,

I am ​intent on buying​ a second home in the Vail resort area. My husband and I are now locked in a battle over what constitutes “resort area.” I want to be in Vail or Beaver Creek; he insists that any place in this ​valley​ is considered resort property. I feel I can easily support my theory on what constitutes resort property​,​ simply by the prices, not to mention how close ​Vail Village and Beaver Creek​ are to skiing. What do you consider “resort” property when you are talking to your clients?

Dear Resort Buyer,

Oddly enough, I have never thought about sorting it out with your definition. I guess I have always felt more like your husband feels, that most everywhere in this valley is so beautiful, with such gorgeous season changes and great climate, that every day can feel like a holiday. Now that I am contemplating it from your viewpoint, I believe you are closer to correct. Using Webster’s definition of resort, “a place providing recreation and entertainment especially to vacationers,” you could easily say Vail, Lionshead, Beaver Creek and probably include Arrowhead​. Arrowhead may be a little light on the entertainment​ and night life​. Vail obviously is the mecca of the recreation and entertainment, and you are right again that the prices reflect a resort designation.

The interesting twist that I am now seeing is that as we go through different stages of our life — “recreation” and “entertainment” change in meaning. For many baby boomers, living on a golf course in this valley feels like resort living. The golf clubs​ provide​ recreation and going to tournaments and club activities provides the entertainment​ at a certain point in one’s life. With 17 golf courses in this valley, from Vail through Gypsum, the resort lifestyle feels alive and fulfilling for many ​of the homeowners in Eagle County.

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For the millennium generation (with much overlapping from both ends), the hiking and biking, weekend races, 14er climbing, fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, etc., all provide recreation and entertainment. Let’s face it, Colorado and Vail Valley in particular have an awful lot to offer that feels good — like a resort should (I couldn’t resist). You technically won this disagreement, but I would support your husband in his theory that you just find something you like in this valley that fits your lifestyle, start really enjoying every day, then I don’t think you can go wrong! Best of luck with your decision!

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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