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Snowshoe Mountain Lodge
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Updated 2 months ago
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2 months ago

Hello all,  I wanted ask about some of your experiences more recently owning a Mountain Lodge condo at Snowshoe?  My wife and are contemplating a purchase of a 2 bedroom unit.  I’ve seen some of the older posts on this topic, but most are older posts from before AirBNB really took off.

Our goal in a condo is one that is 2 bedrooms for our 2 daughters to come with us on ski trips as they grow up several times per year.  Then when we reach retirement in about 20 years to have it condo paid for and use it on a more regular and full-time basis in the winter.  I know we really won’t be using the condo enough in the next few years during ski season to justify the purchase, but we are thinking about the long game. 

In the years we would like to rent the condo to offset the cost, using as many avenues as possible to have it rented out.  A couple of questions that come to mind while weighing our options and making decisions are:

1.  What can we expect as a gross income per year renting? 
2.  Does anyone know if there are any special assessments planned for Mountain Lodge in the future?
3.  Can the condo be listed through Snowshoe Rental and also listed by the owner on the internet sites like AirBNB, VRBO and Homeaway?  Or is there an exclusivity clause in the contract with Snowshoe Rental?
4. Do you foresee appreciation or depreciation over the next 10-20 years on Snowshoe Realestate , specifically Mountain Lodge?

Thanks for any input you can provide.  

2 months ago

bombard16 wrote:

 A couple of questions that come to mind while weighing our options and making decisions are:

1.  What can we expect as a gross income per year renting? 
2.  Does anyone know if there are any special assessments planned for Mountain Lodge in the future?
3.  Can the condo be listed through Snowshoe Rental and also listed by the owner on the internet sites like AirBNB, VRBO and Homeaway?  Or is there an exclusivity clause in the contract with Snowshoe Rental?
4. Do you foresee appreciation or depreciation over the next 10-20 years on Snowshoe Realestate , specifically Mountain Lodge?

Thanks for any input you can provide.  

As an owner of a 2 BR in ML (10+ years) I can offer a few comments

1 - I’ve done over 20K consistently and a few friends in the bldg have been as high as 25K.  More effort = more income

2 - We have a MAJOR renovation project up for vote next month

3 - I do not believe Snowshoe will allow you to do vrbo, etc … if you are on their rental program.  Not sure as I rent on my own

4 - Hopefully the area has seen the bottom of the real estate decline.  Depending on the direction of the renovation vote, I would hope values increase in 10 - 20 years 

 

2 months ago

#3. Snowshoe rental program WILL NOT let you rent in both places. 

2 months ago

If you are looking to make money(income), owning a ski condo in the Mid-Atlantic, don’t expect it to make you rich. I own a townhouse at Hidden Valley and I have only rented it 3 times in 12 years. I own it for the lifestyle. I have made many friends at HV and the resort lifestyle social life is one of the major reasons I own. I may actually have more friends at HV than I do back in Baltimore. Now you may cover some of your costs. But if you consider the condo fees, the mortgage, the cost to maintain and improve the property, the cost to drive there, the wear and tear on your car, the cost to have 2 toaster ovens, two sets of cook wear, etc, the cost of the ski season pass, etc., it is not a money making proposition. You do it because you love to ski, you love the mountain scenery, you love the outdoors,you love to enjoy this with your family and you love the resort lifesyle. It’s like owning a boat. Once you buy, your life will be centered on going to your vacation property. If it is not, then it makes no sense to buy a vacation home. I typically go to my vacation home every other weekend. The long drive is one reason I did not buy at Snowshoe. Dirving 5.5 hours from where I live to Snowshoe is not something I want to do on a Friday and Sundat night every other weekend. The drive to/from HV and Baltimore is only about 3 hours and 10 minutes which is about my limit. Consider leaving work on Friday at rush hour and then driving for many hours to get to your vacation home. Think about how tired you will be and your crabby wife and kids. Soon I will reitre and I’ll spend more time at my vacation home and less time driving there. When I first bought my vacation home, I did not know that the ‘resort lifestyle’ would be what keeps me here. The social life is something that you need to pursue to really enjoy the lfiestyle.

Best of luck!

2 months ago

I could not agree more with the advise offered by Snowsmith.  I have been renting extensively since the very beginning of Homeaway and AirBnB for 2 properties I have outside of Hiidden Valley.  While it is true that these internet platforms have taken off, it is also true that the listings and resulting competition for renters has as well.  There are plenty of newcomere who have no idea what it is really costing or takes them to run a rental business (and you will need to look at it as a business to achieve the higher end of income you hear about).   While  the high rates paid on peak ski weekend seems great on the surface, keep in mind that you will be paying bills and doing maintenance year round.  Things can be very slow midweek at Mid-Atlantic resorts, and ski centric locations may have little rental appeal the rest of the year.  That is especially true for a condo or town house , whose main attraction is being close to the lift.  Also. when you rent, it is not the same as a place of your own in terms of how you leave it and what you need to do while you are there; You should have more costly business insurance ( not homeowners insurance) or else you will be exposing yourself to potential liability.   You will find yourself needing to do frequent visits to deal with issues as they come up, and  you need to develop a thick skin to deal with “the public”, which is an experience..  It is a second job to do it right; My advise would be to approach it either for personal use, or else as a business.  It is hard to be somewhere in between without making significant compromises in either direction. 

Not to stear this thread toward the Laurel Highlands Resorts, but take to heart Snowsmith;’s point about the travel time.  I could not imagine having to deal with a trip much longer than my 3 hour trips, or dealing with the much more variable road conditions to Snowshoe on a regualr basis.    From a rental perspective, I have been surprised to find that my busiest season is the Summer, and get lots of gusets due to proximity to the turnpike, Pittsburgh, and Balt/Washington.  I don’t have experience with Snowshoe  rentals, but suspect tthere would be less of that kind of opportunity.  Finally, since you will find yourself needing hardware ifrom Lowes, supplies from Walmart, and an array of other services,  i have come to appreciate having a town like Somerset with all the essentials to be just a few miles away. 

Somehow I have come to enjoy dealing with the repairs and issues associated with this and people I have met along the way. The Journey is the Reward, just put some thought up front of direction you want to go. 

 

2 months ago

We own a condo at Snowshoe, and we do the halfway thing where we use it ourselves and also rent it out. It is a lot of work to rent it out, and we don’t make much of a profit, but it does help to defray costs. Mid-week is pretty much dead for us, but weekends are always booked in the winter. We don’t rent it in the summer, but maybe we will start to now that it seems like Snowshoe is putting a larger emphasis on the summers. We don’t regret buying it at all, we enjoy going out there about 4 times per winter, and about 3 times in the summer. It is a long 4 hour drive, more in bad weather, but anything 3 days or more is not a big deal.

2 months ago

One thing about resort condos is the POA or HOA fees.  They can be VERY HIGH.  In some cases, many & possibly most cases, any profit is often wiped out paying the Management and POA fees & local taxes (Mountaintop Assesstment + Annual Taxes) so while some may be able to generate $20K in revenues, their costs are also right near that same mark.  So, if you have cash to buy the unit outright, you may be able to make a few hundred dollars a year.  If you have to also make a mortgage payment.. well, that may all need to come out of your own pocket.

I already own land on SS and plan on building on it sometime in the future but I am also now looking into buying a 1 bedroom condo for me and my boys to enjoy 3 or 4 times a season.  I am planning on buying a distressed unit and spending an additional $20K or so to bring it to a Brigham status (Superior) and plan renting exclusively through Snowshoe.  I expect to spend between $3K and $4K/year “investing” in this unit each year.

Related resort rental experience - For the past 15 years we have owned (outright) a 2BR oceanfront condo in Myrtle Beach and the POA & fees also take their toll.  We did use an off-site property management company that did a good job for only 25% commissions …for about 7 years until they started listing it on VRBO and still taking the 25%.  They were charging low rates and we got low revenues for a while.  Tried VRBO myself without the agency and just didn’t care for all the headaches (Both me and the wife still work 40 hour jobs).  While some who are retired enjoy doing the VBRO themselves, it simply was not worth it for us.  We returned the management of our beach condo back to the on-premise team and revenues increased 50%.  While they do take ~38% of the revenues (mix of 30% off season and 40% in-season), the 50% rental increase has MORE than paid for itself and I never ONCE get ANY calls about… well, anything.  The condo is in a great, well known and respected complex which has TONS of ammennities & we have kept it updated with new furnishings throughout the years.

ML may be inexpensive up front but “special assessments” can eat your lunch (just ask the Rimfire guy that had to pay $30K to have his concrete outside deck replaced last year) and you can buy a 2 bedroom there for less then I will eventually spend on my 1 bedroom but I don’t like the ML property itself.  The interior structure & noisey hallways, the bedrooms generally share the hallwall wall and seem (to me) to be paper-thin so you hear kids screaming as they run up and down them at all hours.

I would guide you to consider alternative complexes. Summitt may be a better price per square foot than a 2BR @ ML but if you want to see the slopes from your unit you have to be in ML($), Highland House($$), Expedition Station($$$) or Allegheny ($$$$).  There is a nice 2 bedroom @ Exp Sta they are only asking $145K for that has been on the market for a long time now (so who knows, you may be able ot pick it up for around $125?  At Allegheny & Rimfire a few people have picked up 1BR dens and converted the “Den” into a 2nd bedroom but those can still be $150-$165K so they also selling like there are already 2 bedroom units).  There are some 2BR lock out units selling under $150K in Rimfire (I think) and those can be split up and rented spearately which I hear brings in more revenue than rented as a 2BR and then you could always used it as a 2BR when you visit.


Value - With Aspen coming in and taking over, many of us with property and those of us who plan on buying additional there are all hopeful that we will see continued improvements but the reality is that there are very, very, VERY few other options of a full resort-styled ski mountain other than SS that is within 5 hours of my hometown of Charlotte, NC.  There ARE a lot of ski reports in the NC mountains (I think 8 at this time) but none of those have the on-slope condo operations like SS.  Sure, I could buy someones individual condo and then worry about maintenance, repairs on the unit and even the finicky weather in NC mountains but I’d personally rather buy a SS condo, let SS manage it for us and have a nice, well-kept, modern unit I KNOW will be perfect for us when we visit.

Good luck & perhaps we will be neighbors up there eventually

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