Back in 2013, National Geographic released a list of the top 10 emerging ski towns. At the time the list got a lot of attention and I’m sure there are a few people who actually might have pulled steaks and move to one of these up-and-coming ski destinations. Now, 10 years later, did they get the list right?
For a refresher, here is the list of the top 10 emerging ski towns by National Geographic from 2013.
- Ogden, Utah
- Reno, Nevada
- Revelstoke, British Columbia
- Nelson, British Columbia
- Sandpoint, Idaho
- Driggs, Idaho
- Mammoth, California
- Red Lodge, Montana
- Waitsfield, Vermont
- Durango, Colorado
The United States has witnessed an astounding surge in real estate values over the past decade, with prices skyrocketing in various towns and cities. Undoubtedly, the real estate boom has led to the “emergence” of numerous towns, as reflected in the exponential climb of property prices. One such location, Reno, NV, stands as a prime example, boasting an astonishing annual appreciation rate over the years.
However, real estate prices alone cannot solely define whether a town has truly “emerged.” The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a paradigm shift in lifestyle choices and work preferences, giving rise to an unprecedented interest in ski towns. With the advent of the work-from-home culture, more people found the opportunity to call these ski communities their home. As a result, ski towns experienced a remarkable surge in popularity, attracting a massive influx of new residents and investors. This newfound interest has not only driven up real estate prices but has also brought forth numerous business opportunities, paving the way for economic prosperity among the inhabitants.
Nevertheless, amidst this transformation, it’s crucial to consider the sentiments of long-time residents. Many of them have an intimate connection with their towns, cherishing the way of life they have known for years. For these individuals, the emergence of their towns might not be seen as a positive change. They may prefer to preserve the essence of their communities as it was in 2013, fearing that rapid development and commercialization could erode the unique character and identity of their beloved hometowns.
Reno, NV, serves as an intriguing case study to understand the complexities of a town’s emergence. While the remarkable appreciation in real estate prices signifies economic growth and attractiveness to outsiders, it also raises questions about the impact on local communities. The influx of new residents can lead to increased demand for resources, infrastructure, and public services, placing strain on existing systems. Balancing growth with preserving the town’s heritage becomes a delicate challenge for local authorities.
In addition to Reno, other towns across the nation have witnessed similar transformations. Take, for instance, the picturesque mountain towns in Colorado, the charming coastal villages of California, or the historic hamlets of the East Coast. These places, once considered hidden gems, have now captured the attention of investors, homebuyers, and tourists alike. As a result, the real estate markets in these areas have surged, transforming the economic landscape and influencing the way of life for both newcomers and established residents.
The emergence of towns goes beyond mere economic indicators; it encompasses a broader socio-cultural transformation. As new populations arrive, they bring diverse backgrounds, traditions, and perspectives, enriching the social fabric of these towns. However, striking a harmonious balance between old and new can be challenging. Preserving local heritage, community values, and environmental sustainability amidst rapid growth requires careful planning and collaborative efforts from all stakeholders.
The past decade has witnessed a remarkable surge in real estate prices, leading to the emergence of various towns across the United States. Places like Ogden, Utah with its sky-high appreciation rates, serve as examples of this trend. However, the notion of emergence extends beyond economic metrics. The pandemic-induced work-from-home culture has breathed new life into ski towns, attracting new residents and business opportunities. While this transformation has been beneficial for many, it’s important to acknowledge the concerns of long-time residents who wish to retain the essence of their towns. Striking a balance between growth and preservation is essential for creating sustainable and vibrant communities as we move into the future.