8th Fairway Shamokin Nine in Stoney Creek― Perfect for Cross Country Skiing

Before discussing what is happening within the resort, I’d like to bring you up to date on an excellent year for real estate sales.

Here’s what happened in 2018 (from the Charlottesville Albemarle Area Realtors MLS).

Area Sales Price Range
Mountain
Homes
67 Sales $154,800 to $1,800,000
Mountain
Condos
92 Sales $37,000 to $370,000
Mountain
Townhomes
6 sales $195,000 to $260,000
Mountain Lots 6 sales $8,500 to $66,000
Stoney Creek
Lots
15 sales $13,020 to $140,000
Stoney Creek
Homes
39 sales 230,000 to $775,000
Stoney Creek
Townhomes
2 sales $229,500 to $330,000
(one in Rosewood and one in Stone Orchard)

Like many places, Wintergreen real estate prices were adversely affected by the 2008 recession and are only now starting to see recovery. But last year, sales increased substantially. Our company sold twice as much in 2018 as in 2017 ($60 M vs $30 M). In fact, this is great time to sell.

Area Count For Sale
Mountain Homes 1,200 73
($199,000 to $1,595,000)
Condos 1,400 69
(25 one-bedroom)
Stoney Creek 700 10

As our Inventory is shrinking, prices are starting to go up. There is a definite need for more inventory as demand grows. Sales in Stoney Creek showed a substantial increase last year. We dramatically increased marketing and advertising last year, and it shows: 27 homes sold in 2017 but over 40 in 2018. Our office in The Mountain Inn gives us a tremendous advantage. Because of the location we are listing and selling more and more Wintergreen properties.

Now, on to the Resort. Ski season is good. Weekends are busy and there are a even lot of skiers during the week. Despite the occasional warm weather we can re-cover the slopes quickly because we have one of the best snow making systems in the nation. Most of the annual income of the resort comes during ski season so cold weather and well-covered slopes are critical.

As you probably know by now, Wintergreen Resort is in the midst of a multi-million dollar capital improvement program. If you visited Wintergreen during the winter holidays, you will have noticed a lot of changes.   

  • A new Skier’s Day Lodge space in the Mountain Inn (will serve as a lobby and group function space during the rest of the year)
  • A new, larger Terrace Café replacing the Gristmill
  • A new shopping experience in the Mountain Inn, the Blue Ridge Boutique
  • A new ski and snowboard shop in the Mountain Inn called Outdoor Elements
  • A renovated Tennis structure at Devils Knob
  • Improvements and updates to the indoor pool and spa at the Wintergarden
  • A new, larger Member’s Ski Locker Room & Lounge in Skyline Pavilion
  • A new Real Estate office in the Mountain Inn
  • Enhanced Club Membership offices
  • A new 24-hour Lobby Market to serve our lodging guests
  • An expanded and renovated the Wintergarden Fitness Center
  • A renovated Stoney Creek Clubhouse Fitness Center and Locker Rooms

These improvements are providing our guests with a better resort experience, and are also driving more demand for Wintergreen Resort lodging properties, particularly higher end rental units.

To complement these improvements, the resort plans to enhance their rental program with a new Exclusive level. If condo owners improve to a Platinum standard, they can increase their revenue from 50% of the rental fee to 70%. The new plan is consistent with that for high end single family homes in the Wintergreen Resort Rental Property Program, but will now also be available to town homes and condominiums owners in the resort rental program. To qualify for the Exclusive category in the rental program, condos will need to reach a new Platinum rating, a step up from the current highest current level (Gold). There will be sufficient demand to increase occupancy of the new Exclusive units, allowing for a higher Average Daily Rate (ADR) for the nights occupied. This creates a winning scenario for owners and attracts high-end group guests allowing the resort to book more higher-end group business. How? By modernizing units in our rental program to a level comparable to newer lodging properties in the Mid-Atlantic region. Improvements might entail new flooring, reworked bath and flooring, new paint and often new furniture. Based on the first units that have been renovated, we project most units can be renovated to qualify for the Platinum status for between $15,000 and $30,000. Based on the calculations for increased occupancy and ADR, this is a money-making change for rental owners. The Resort rental folks are committed to make this as easy as possible by providing design services and coordinating any contractors that might be required to help bring your condo or townhouse or home up to a Platinum rating. If you would like more info on the Exclusive level of the rental property program, please contact us at 434.325.8024.

Finally, a couple of dates to think about as we move into spring and summer. In September we are hosting Brian Clowdus and his outdoor theater production. (Click on his name to get an idea of the scope of this production). We cannot discuss it until the resort announces it in early May. Do not miss this production!

Also, Geoff Redgrave, our Golf Director, is organizing a major golf tournament with a craft brewery theme for the last Monday in July. We expect a very large turn-out and the breweries will be well represented over the weekend in Stoney Creek. We have sent invitations to every major craft beer and cider brewer in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Maryland. There will be major prizes and the cost for those who want to sign up is $500 per foursome. The tournament this year will benefit children sick with cancer through the Adipsy Organization. Each brewery will have an opportunity to field a foursome, but our owners and members are also welcome to compete. Please contact Geoff soon if you and your friends would like to play. He has all the details.

From Tim Merrick

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