Wednesday, February 28, 2007

RIVER TRAIL: La Plata County commissioners Tuesday approved a $100,000 supplement to the 2007 budget for a 2.3 mile extension of the Animas River Trail to Three Springs development. The supplemental funds will be added to a multi-agency effort to ented the trail from the point where it currently ends at River Road near Home Depot.

The SMART 160 Trail is a collaborative effort among Trails 2000, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Land Management and the governments of La Plata County and the City of Durango. SMART is an acronym for safe, multi-modal, aesthetic regional transportation.

The expansion work is estimated to cost just less than $2 million. Laurie Blanz, Region 5 Planner for CDOT, said that if the federal funding comes by June or July as expected, construction of the 2.3 mile trail extension should be completed by September 2008.

To learn more about Durango real estate and our wonderful area visit our websites: or

Monday, February 26, 2007

DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT: We had an opportunity last week to tour the new townhouse/condominium developments under way at Purgatory. The mountain is booming! From Engineer Village, Black Bear Townhomes and Cascade Creek to the Alpenglow and the Lodge at Purgatory construction is everywhere. According to sources at the mountain sales have been very strong.

Particularly impressive was architectural rendering of the new lodge and plaza area. The lodge is a multi-story structure with retail shopping and dining on the main level, time share condominiums on the mid levels and full ownership units on the top level. A exterior heated pool with a heated deck is only one of the extravagant features planned. The new plaza will be landscaped with a running stream down the center. From what we saw and were told the new lodge will be unlike anything Durango Mountain Resort has seen.

Impressive, very impressive. If you're thinking about a mountain vacation property or even a full time residence, give us a call. We'll be glad to show you why we're excited about Durango real estate. To learn more visit our websites : or

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

THE WEB: A study in 2006 by the California Association of Realtors provides unequivocal evidence that the Internet approach to buying a home is now the overwhelmingly consumer favorite.

For example:

** 92% of Internet buyers found their agent on a web site; 63% found them through an Internet search engine; 0% of Internet buyers found their agent through brochures, flyers, yard signs or mailers to their home.

** In 2000, 28% if people said that they used the Internet as an important part of their home buying and selection process. In 2006, 70% said they did.

** 86% of home buyers started using the Internet as part of their process before they started looking for a specific home; the other 14% did after they started but before that contacted a real estate agent; that means that 100% of buyers surveyed started looking at homes first, agents second.

** 69% of Internet buyers said response time was extremely important. 83% of those buyers chose email as their favored communication method with their agent. 0% chose "in person."

** Internet buyers were more satisfied with their agents: 4.3 to 3.3 for traditional buyers, on a scale of 5 where 5 is "exceeded expectations."

Mary & I recognized in 1998 that the real estate industry was changing. (Something that many agents, to this day, haven't realized.) The consumer had not only the desire but also the ability to be in control. By embracing and developing this technology we are able to provide a superior product to both buyers and sellers in helping them with their needs in Durango real estate.

In viewing our web stats, I can see that we have individuals in Germany, Korea, Taiwan and Great Britain regularly visiting our websites and looking at real estate in Durango. It's amazing!

Drop us an email if we can help.

Friday, February 16, 2007

BAYFIELD: The Trustees at Bayfield's Town Board meeting denied approval of a revised sketch plan for the Dove Ranch Subdivision, which would include about 300 units in a high density residential plan north of U.S. Highway 160 and east of County Road 501.

In explaining his reason for voting against the project, board member Daryl Yost said, You want to see city living in Bayfield, this would be city living. I'm just against any project that's this high in density."

Our view - if you want affordable housing higher density is part of the answer.

Visit and for more information about Bayfield and the Durango area.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

BAYFIELD: The town of Bayfield has grown in recent years, but an unpleasant reality may force things to slow down.

Ed Morlan, speaking before the Town Board, said that the town's sewage treatment plant reached its capacity in December and there's only one way to fix it. "We need a new plant, " said Morlan, chairman of the Bayfield Sanitation District. Morlan said plans are under way to construct a new sewage treatment plant near the high school, but only $2 million of the $7 million needed for construction has been raised. About $1 million was raised through tap fees and the other $1 million comes from a recent grant from the State Department of Local Affairs' Wastewater Enhancement and Treatment Initiative. He and the sanitation district board are counting on the remaining $5 million to come from a state revolving loan fund that targets communities in need.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

ECONOMY: When looking at the data available for 2006, the La Plata County economy fairs very well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual average wage in our count in 2005 was $32,163, compared with the state average of $41,601 ( a little more that 75%.)

The latest available unemployment rate locally is 2.9%. Although this is considered very low, which is typically seen as a good thing, it also indicates that some local employers may have trouble finding workers; that might put upward pressure on local wages. Those industries that pay the highest wage in the county are mining (including oil and gas extraction), followed by transportation and warehousing, information and wholesale trade.

Major employers in La Plata County include firms in the construction industry, service, retail and government. These industries, which include tourist activity, continue to drive the local economy. The 2006 data for retail sales, passengers both using the Durango-La Plata County Airport and the Durango/Silverton Railroad, visitors to Mesa Verde and lodger's tax revenue all show increases over 2005.

Agriculture still remains an important contributor to our economy. Hay production and cattle and sheep ranching remained strong. Other contributors to our economy are Fort Lewis College, the construction industry and the real estate industry. Residential real estate prices continued to increase in 2006, but it appears price increases are flattening out. With the development progressing at Three Springs, expect construction to remain strong.

Finally, bank deposits, which are an important indicator of the ability of financial institutions to make loans, continued to increase in La Plata County. According to the FDIC, the first six months of 2006 showed a 16.7% increase over the same period in 2005.

Please feel to contact us for additonal informaton regarding Durango real estate and our economy or visit our websites and