Wake up to the sun peaking over the rugged Needles and warming the face of Engineer Mountain. The clouds hang low though your breath dances high and away into the winter air. From your steaming cup of coffee or tea, cast your gaze upon the snow-blanketed wonderland and smile. You are steps away from being on the slopes of Purgatory, and you are also home. Durango Mountain Realty invites you to stop in and say “Hi.” While you’re there, you might as well take a look at the real estate opportunities at Purgatory Resort and in North Country—the area spanning from Rockwood to up past Lime Creek Road. Jaime Marquez, the managing broker, and Cyrilla Cass, the marketing/office manager and associate broker for Durango Mountain Realty, joined me in their office at the resort to discuss who they are and what Durango Mountain Realty has to offer.
“There really is something for everyone up here,” Cyrilla said as we sat by a stone fireplace on the office’s large leather couches. Jaime explained that the property offerings start as low as $49,000 for fractionals—part-ownership where the owner has set dates during which the property is theirs, alternating among owners throughout the year—to high-end, luxury homes priced over $2,000,000; with pretty much everything in between. Located in the Purgatory Lodge Building off the main plaza, the real estate office sits next to the ticket window. It first opened in 2000 as part of a growth and expansion plan enacted by then new owner Chuck Cobb. Even as James Coleman took over Purgatory Resort in 2015, Chuck maintained ownership of the real estate company.
Today, Durango Mountain Realty is a valuable part of the resort experience. Sitting down with the two women felt like sitting in a living room with friends. The conversation flowed smoothly, and it was clear that the brokers and staff at Durango Mountain Realty know the market, and they genuinely love their jobs and the people with whom they connect. “It’s a fun place to work because most of the people who walk in the door are owners, or they have rented here, or they have skied here, or they are mountain bike enthusiasts. I mean, what’s not to love about Purgatory? It’s a special place,” Jaime said. Cyrilla added, “You also meet people from all over the world. One of the first things we always ask people is, ‘Where are you from?’”
It probably helps that they also believe in what they are selling. Jaime pulled out a chart revealing the price differences among other resorts, and she pointed out that “this is really the best deal for a ski resort property in Colorado.” Purgatory is truly competitive both in lift ticket values and real estate prices. “It’s just really a very family-friendly, casual vacation resort environment overall.”
That’s why Associate Broker Phil Wehmeyer is going into his 20th year with the company. He specializes in the resale market that is so strong up at the resort. I spoke with Phil later, and he explained that he had dedicated so many years to Durango Mountain Realty because “I have very much enjoyed the atmosphere of working with families and the second home market. I like having been here for so long. I don’t know everything, but I definitely know most of it, like the back of my hand. I have developed that niche for myself, and it’s something I really enjoy.” It also doesn’t hurt that purchasing real estate at Purgatory is almost secondary to the fact that you are genuinely buying proximity to adventure. You are also acquiring luxury. Even with the most basic purchase, your new property comes with all the benefits of the resort
“Anybody who purchases up here also gets access to the full Durango Mountain Club,” Cyrilla explained. “The Club includes access to the year-round outdoor heated pool and hot tub. There is a private restaurant, private bar, private family game room, fitness center, spa facilities, and tennis courts. That’s an incredible benefit of owing in the resort.” Jaime and Cyrilla went on to explain that the resort market is, by nature, extremely renter-friendly. Guests receive hotel-level service during their stay, with housekeeping and maintenance all readily available.
Also, their office helps clients easily navigate the specific details of buying and selling in a resort market. Jaime pointed out that “a lot of times we can give buyers historical rental income on specific properties, we can connect them with the HOA management, and we can give them contacts for questions or details. That is all here, on-property.”
As our conversation continued, Jaime showed me a map of the greater resort area to reveal the future development plans and opportunities that are becoming available. The combined knowledge of the agents in the brokerage is an excellent asset to anyone interested in the present or future of Purgatory’s growth and development. “We are realtors, but really we are this one-stop-shop,” Jaime explained. “We can help if you want to buy or sell or build or upgrade or downsize. DMR is the only on-site real estate office at the resort.” And the future is looking bright with James Coleman’s plans for growth and expansion. Phil commented on the ways he has seen and felt the resort change over the years. “James Coleman’s approach seems to be: if I build it, they will come. The vibe is more positive than it has been in my history in the last 20 years. People, visitors and locals alike, are just ecstatic with all he is doing.”
Whatever your season—skiing, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, or merely loving nature at her most beautiful—and whatever your reason, looking for your first or second home, Purgatory and North County have something to offer. The agents at Durango Mountain Realty are excited to get to know you and to help you find the perfect house to call, “Home.”
“There really is something for everyone up here.” – Cyrilla Cass, Marketing/Office Manager and Associate Broker for Durango Mountain Realty
Story written by: Sara Knight Photos Provided by: Durango Mountain Realty