3 Communities to Turn Your Ski Vacation Into a Ski Lifestyle

3 Communities to Turn Your Ski Vacation Into a Ski Lifestyle

If you’re already working remotely and your kids are attending school online, maybe this is the year to follow your dream of turning that annual ski trip into a new ski lifestyle.

And, if that dream includes visions of the wide-open spaces of a western ranch, here are three luxury ranch communities to consider.

Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club

Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club is a 1,216-acre luxury ranch community in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The ranch features 63, five-acre homesites and 900 acres dedicated to wildlife preserve and open space only five minutes from town and the ski area. Ranch amenities include an Owners’ Lodge, Guest Cabin, concierge services, fishing lake, equestrian facilities, a private backcountry retreat, five-miles of on-site trails, private fishing on a 1.5-mile section of the Yampa River, and exclusive membership opportunities at the five-star, slopeside, Alpine Mountain Summit Club.

Homesites offer scenic vistas that border preserve lands and include a building envelope to ensure the preservation of native forests, meadows, and wetlands for the enjoyment of all residents. Homesite priced from $1.5 million and homes from $4 million.

Architectural Guidelines for homes in Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club ensure the natural beauty of the region is maintained and respect is paid to the character of local architecture while allowing homeowners the flexibility to choose Colorado Mountain Traditional, Transitional or Contemporary designs.

The community’s Design + Build program alleviates headaches for homeowners by offering an on-site construction team that can oversee the entire design and building process leaving homeowners to be as involved or uninvolved as they prefer.

Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club is only five-minutes from downtown Steamboat Springs and the ski area. Steamboat is famous worldwide for its authentic western atmosphere, genuine friendliness, Olympian tradition and Champagne Powder® snow. The Steamboat Ski Resort encompasses 165 trails, 3,668 vertical feet and nearly 3,000 skiable acres across six peaks filled with world-class groomers, bumps, steeps, meadows, legendary trees, and four terrain parks.

Steamboat Springs is served locally by the Yampa Valley Regional Airport offering nonstop flights from 14 airports including new Southwest flights from Denver and Dallas Love, and JetBlue from New York JFK.

Devils Thumb cross country skiing

The Ranches at Devils Thumb

Fans of the award-winning Devil’s Thumb outside Winter Park, Colorado can now book a permanent stay as homesites have been added to the ranch resort’s offerings.

The Ranches at Devil’s Thumb is a private enclave of 24 custom homes being built in harmony with its woodland-and-meadow setting. Sites range from 11 to 35 acres and are spread across 550 acres.

Residents of The Ranches will enjoy resort amenities that include an elegant lodge, acclaimed restaurants, renowned spa and concierge services. Activities like fly fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, ziplining and cross-country skiing are available on site.

Winter Park Resort is just down the road from The Ranches at Devil’s Thumb. Winter Park Resort has been voted USA Today’s #1 Ski Resort in North America two years in a row. Winter Park boasts more than 3,000 acres of world-class terrain, spread out over seven unique territories, setting up perfect conditions for exploring miles of cruising groomers, bumps, steeps, trees, and most definitely deeps.

The Ranches at Devil’s Thumb homesites are located on a ridge just northwest of the base area of the resort and have 360-degree views. Several sites overlook national forest land, while others are tucked into the valley, close to a trout-filled river.

Established design guidelines allow for a unique vision while maintaining cohesiveness within the community and with the environment of the Ranch Creek Valley. And home size is dependent upon the location and terrain, with most sites allowing up to 8,000 square feet and a handful up to 10,000 square feet.

Homesites are priced from $750,000.

The Ranches at Devil’s Thumb is 75 miles from Denver and its international airport.

Moonlight Basin cabinsImage credit: Zak Grosfield

Moonlight Basin

In 1992, a couple ranching buddies bought a vast, 25,000 acres next door to Big Sky Resort and titled the property Moonlight Basin Ranch, and their plans were audacious.

Rather than develop the huge ranch, they decided to develop just the wedge of land closest to Big Sky Resort while selling big sections in the drainage to conservation-minded buyers.

Today, some 14,500 acres of the original 25,000 acres have been preserved with conservation easements, protecting a wildlife corridor that extends to Yellowstone National Park.

That wedge of land closest to Big Sky Resort is the Moonlight Basin community. A rustically luxurious 8,000-acre ski and golf community, it offers mountain living and homesites with ski-in, ski-out access to Big Sky Resort; a lodge with tavern, spa, fitness center and pool; a Jack Nicklaus-signature golf course with clubhouse; miles of hiking and mountain biking trails; and cool, clear trout streams.

Big Sky Resort offers 5,850 acres of terrain, 4,350 feet of vertical and more than 300 named runs on four connected mountains, including 300 degrees of skiing off Lone Peak. And Moonlight Basin members have opportunities for early access to the slopes, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking on winter trails, hockey, ice skating and snow tubing.

New developments at Moonlight include Gateway Condos, Lakeview homes and townhomes, and Moonlight Territory parcels. The community’s second lodge, LakeLodge, will open in 2021 with 16 residences ranging from studios to five-bedroom penthouses.

Big Sky is 50 miles from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport offering nonstop flights to 21 cities around the U.S., including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, New York, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.

One of the many lessons learned in 2020 is that open space and access to outdoor recreation is paramount to mind, body and spirit. Maybe now is the time to make the move.