"Aspen, Colo. isn’t just a year-round playground; it’s also a cultural oasis, the home to the Aspen Institute think tank, a world-class symphony, and dance and art festivals. The four major ski hills speak for the themselves. The Maroon Creek Club includes a challenging golf course designed by Tom Fazio. The city’s West End has a mix of 19th-century Victorians and modern abodes not far from the "beachfront"–downtown neighborhoods within walking distance of the lift. The posh shopping is so good that some folks never find their way up to the trails."

Prices of luxury real estate are finally starting to rise, as bargain hunters swoop in. Some of the best deals are in second homes with discounts of as much as 40%. …At long last, the market for luxury real estate is coming back to life. Prices for primary residences, which plunged at least 20% from the peak in 2007, appear to have bottomed. In some of the snappiest locations, scattered bidding wars are breaking out and prices are turning upward.In Greenwich, Conn., realty brokers say, the final months of 2009 were almost record-setters for sales volume, as two years of pent-up demand was unleashed. Even the megadeal is back. In Beverly Hills, film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg just plunked down $35 million for an 8,700-square-foot home on six acres.There’s nothing like a stabilized economy and a huge rebound in stocks to send folks looking for the perfect manse. The return of hefty Wall Street bonuses hasn’t hurt, either…With summer just around the corner, Barron’s sized up the market for upscale second homes, one of the greatest luxuries of all. We scoped out dozens of deluxe enclaves across the country, speaking with brokers, homeowners and others.
By Steven M. Sears, March 8, 2010, Barron’s

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