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Telluride, Colorado, is a Rocky Mountain gem. A world-class ski resort with luxury real estate, the historic former mining town is surrounded by the towering 13,000-foot mountain peaks of the San Juan Mountains, measures about one square mile and has a population of about 2,500.
Located in southwestern Colorado, Telluride has its own distinctive four-season identity. In addition to the slopes are top-flight golf, an abundance of events and internationally noted film and music festivals. Private Telluride Golf Course, one of the country’s highest links in elevation, is billed as “the most beautiful place you’ll ever tee.”
The Telluride area, including Mountain Village and Placerville, offers luxury home buyers a variety of property types and price points. Victorians in historic Telluride, slope-side ski-in/ski-out homes, luxury condos and townhouses, wilderness estates, ranches, multi-acreage private retreats, fractional ownership units and vacant land are all available.
Currently listed for $5 million in the heart of Telluride is the Pink House with four bedrooms, a loft and a large deck. A 70-acre retreat in the Gray Head Wilderness Preserve is on the market for $10.995 million. The 8,428-square-foot residence was designed and crafted from three 1800s tobacco barns. A Mountain Village ski-in/ski-out six-bedroom home with a log-and-stone exterior is listed for $5.95 million.
The housing market, says T.D. Smith, the co-founder, president and managing broker of Telluride Real Estate Corp., “is all about simple supply and demand circumstances.” Smith’s deep knowledge of Telluride began in 1971. He’s been directly involved with the rebirth and development of historic Telluride.
In addition, Smith is co-owner of the marketing arm of Telluride Mountain Village’s master developer. “Looking at residential development, we go back to the late ’70s,” Smith says. “The community made a decision then to not have more than 5,000 total residential units to retain the character of Telluride.”
It’s the stringent development regulations that have kept Telluride from becoming “a city in the mountains,” Smith says. “Old Telluride is an 1880 national historic landmark and has retained its character. We have strict design review guidelines for building.”
The San Miguel County real estate market continued to set records in the third quarter of 2021 with $132.8 million in sales during September. As a result, year-to-date total sales volume reached over $1 billion. The market is on track to exceed the total 2020 record sales volume of $1.16 billion. Year to date, the number of transactions is up 143% over the same period a year earlier.
Telluride offers the benefits of a small-town lifestyle with sophisticated cultural, dining, shopping, entertainment and leisure amenities. You won’t find a stoplight or fast-food restaurant. The Gondola links Telluride and Mountain Village for alpine convenience.
“Since the pandemic began, we have seen more families relocate here and Fortune 500 CEOs buying properties here as a good place to hide out,” Smith says. Not to mention a few Hollywood stars. You never know which celebrity you might see in Telluride embracing this ski town’s low-key below-the-radar five-star lifestyle.
I have covered the business of real estate (both residential and commercial) for over 25 years, including more than a dozen years working in the Forbes Los Angeles bureau reporting and writing about as I call it, Adventures in Real Estate. From the first tear-downs turning into mega-mansions in Beverly Hills to luxury condos as investments in Las Vegas, I follow the ups and downs of real estate markets around the country just for the fun of it.