It’s hard to believe that in just ten years, a vacant field at the base of Blue Mountain has turned into a bustling, Old Ontario style village. Today, the Village at Blue is home to about 46 shops and restaurants plus about 700 hotel-condominium units that hosts over a million visitors each year.
In a partnership between Blue Mountain Resorts and Intrawest, the Village changed the face of our region making Blue Mountain one of the top tourist destinations in Canada. Millions and millions of dollars have changed hands over this past decade creating an economic engine based to a large degree on one thing…. real estate. Oh yes, there is an economy in jobs, sales and service but without the 700 new condominiums, none of the other sectors in themselves would thrive.
My previous series on buying a condominium at Blue Mountain generated numerous enquiries and requests for more information about the Village at Blue so, it seems like a good idea to delve into that a little further. In this new four-part series, we’ll look at what the village is, why people buy units there, how the rental program works, what you can expect, financing and future plans for the Village at Blue.
The Village at Blue Mountain is Ontario’s premiere, four-season resort destination. It is nestled at the base of the Niagara Escarpment where traditionally, skiing on Blue Mountain was the biggest attraction. Today, the region attracts over two million visitors annually in all seasons and, resort real estate has become a mainstay of our economy.
The Village itself is home to five main buildings that house a combination of ground floor retail and dining businesses with hotel style condominiums above. The oldest of these is the Grand Georgian with about 87 units followed by the Weider Lodge with 91 units, the Westin with 224, Seasons with 137 units and the newest building Mosaic with 165 units. As of now, ALL developer units are SOLD OUT. The vast majority of units are active in a rental pool and are offered as accommodation to paying guests from around the world.
In addition to the Village units, there are two other Intrawest-built developments in the immediate area including Historic Snowbridge and River Grass plus, there are the original older units of Blue Mountain including Cachet Crossing, Chateau Ridge, Mountainwalk, and Wintergreen. All are eligible to be part of the Blue Mountain rental program.
In the Village, there have been an average of 90-100 sales per year of new and resale units. Originally sold for about $325.00 to $650.00 per square foot, prices have gone down significantly in recent years due to a combination of factors. Economic contractions, stiff competition from neighbouring developments and, certainly internal competition from new developer inventory have all put downward pressure on values.
In the last year, resale prices have ranged from $128,000 to over $500,000 in the Village while golf course units have ranged from $267,000 to over $1 million. There are currently about 75 resale units available representing about 10% of the total village inventory available.
Some believe that with no further internal competition of new product availability, that scarcity will begin to increase resale values. I think this could be true based on supply and demand however, external factors such as rental revenues, neighbouring competition and economic conditions will have an even greater impact. In recent weeks, we are seeing sales pick-up and I think we may now see prices start to climb making this a GREAT time to buy.
Go To Part 2: Reasons Why People Buy Condominiums at Blue Mountain
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg