The world’s woes can seem far away in the Rockies’ playgrounds, but the economic meltdown is having its effects here, too. Foreclosures are rising and the once-meteoric real estate industry is sputtering.
By David Frey, 10-02-08, Newwest Magazine

While Wall Street was trying to regain its staggering losses and Congress was reaching for a way to prop up the economy’s tumbling dominoes, it was party time at Vail.

At the foot of Beaver Creek Mountain, 1,000 people came last Friday to nibble caviar and sample from the ice-carved vodka bar at its newest luxury lodge: a half-a-billion-dollar world of ski valets and spa treatments, all in a LEED-certified, eco-friendly setting.

The world’s woes can seem far away in these playgrounds of the Masters of the Universe. But the economic meltdown is having its effects here, too. Foreclosures are rising. The once-meteoric real estate industry is sputtering.

“A lot of that was being driven by people’s 401Ks,” says Louis Meyer, CEO of the engineering and surveying firm Schmueser Gordon Meyer, which handles many of the region’s largest projects. He likens the outlook to the days after Black Sunday, when western Colorado’s economy crumbled after Exxon shuttered its oil shale plant in 1982.

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