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Affording a Resort House: A Case Study for Average Wage Folks

Apr 13, 2008
The greatest snow dumps for skiing in the U.S. are throughout the big mountainous areas of the Rockies, Cascades and Sierra Nevadas. People hinge their livelihood around this lifestyle, simply because for some, it is truly a way of life. However those who have the money capitalize on the prime real estate there. And with the demand comes high prices. Jackson Wyoming will be a case study for such a place, where just outside of the city, beyond the Wyoming border there is a place called Victor, Idaho, which has caught on recently as an affordable place for regular people -- Victor real estate has in turn taken off.

To back up a little, for the uninitiated, I'll describe some of the draw that the Jackson Hole area brings. This is the magnet that has recently brought need for further affordable housing and created bedroom communities like those in the Victor.

Jackson's Magnetic Pull: Slopes, Skiing and Celebs

Like any resort it typically starts with the sport of skiing and other snow recreation opportunities. Jackson's ranges, Grand Teton Mountains, are the mass of craggy peaks that suck the moisture from the air to produce the copious amount of snowfall for the season. The glacial cut mountains make them a beautiful presence, as they have such dramatic knife-edged ridges and Matterhorn-esque pyramidal peaks.

The mountain's glacial activity resulted in what pioneers called the "hole" in Jackson. The hole is simply considered the small valleys and clearings between the steep Teton system -- the common misconception is that the city is named Jackson Hole when it actually is the whole valley region.

More to the point, the skiing resorts are key to the area's tourism. The well-healed vacationers flock to Jackson Hole to partake in spectacular skiing right in the center of town (Snow King Resort). It's well known for the powder skiing and since it developed such a monster of a resort system it made its name globally familiar. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort grew into one of the nation's biggest resorts.

Jackson is considered home by many of the household notables: Harrison Ford, Sandra Bullock and Tiger Woods. They surely don't have trouble finding resources to fund a home, or in Ford's situation, an 800 acre ranch. Middle class Wyomingites and out-of-state transfers have found more affordable places in Driggs and Victor Idaho, which are just a skip over west from Jackson.

Victor Real Estate Alternative

Located just over Teton pass, Victor sits on the Idaho side and sits just below towering Teton peaks. The majority of its permanent residents are commuters to the Jackson area. Because the commute time to get to Jackson is easily doable, Victor real estate and overall popularity have caught the attention of many.

It's definitely a slower life with only about 1500 that are either with rural farming backgrounds, or seekers of peace, solitude and outdoor fun.

Although it's a bedroom community, the residents are very civic minded. City leadership and environmental concern have been at the forefront of small city politics. The city growth has caught fire recently so management of the town's affairs and livelihood is never left on autopilot.
About the Author
The Ponds in Victor (http://www.thepondsinvictor.com/index.shtml) provide quality housing in the Victor real estate area. Their homes retain the natural surroundings while keeping a competitive price among other Jackson area residential areas. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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