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The Denver Post | Aspen, Telluride make list of America’s most white-knuckle airport landings


For a commercial airline pilot, some landings are a relative breeze—think airports with long, clear runways located on flat land at sea level, with benign weather and modest traffic.

We’re here to discuss the other kind.

The final approach and landing represent the most challenging aspects of a pilot’s workload, and come with the most accidents. Consider airfields where congestion, geography, winds, altitude, and other factors can make the approach a bear. These airports can also test a pilot’s judgment in terms of willingness to abort a landing and go around.

Honeywell Aerospace, a major aircraft avionics producer that’s part of Honeywell International Inc., compiled some of the most challenging U.S. venues. The list isn’t ranked in terms of difficulty, but Aspen/Pitkin County is widely known to pose a massive workload for aviators, and got a special nod from more than a dozen Honeywell pilots who were polled.

Among others where the approach and landing can regularly be a hassle: Juneau, New York’s LaGuardia, Washington’s Reagan National, and San Diego airport.

Aspen/Pitkin County Airport

Few airports challenge a pilot to the same headache-inducing degree as Aspen, playground for the rich and famous. The approach involves descending into a narrow space surrounded on two sides by mountains and frequent cloud cover. On top of all that, the winds can shift rapidly, and gust wickedly. The Aspen approach is “like shooting through a mine shaft” with little margin for error, one pilot told the Los Angeles Times in 2001.

In March 2001, 18 people died when their Gulfstream charter jet from Los Angeles, flying off course, crashed into terrain short of the runway. Investigators cited numerous pilot errors during the nighttime approach. A private jet pilot also was killed in January 2014 during a failed approach. In the winter ski season, pilots must keep close watch on the minimum approach conditions, as weather can deteriorate rapidly.

Bert Mooney Airport, Butte, Mont.

This airport is largely surrounded by steep terrain, and doesn’t have a control tower. Bert Mooney also has cold-weather restrictions, requiring operating adjustments when the temperature drops to -2 Fahrenheit. One other note to pilots: There are a lot of deer around.

Juneau International Airport, Juneau, Alaska

Surrounded by mountainous terrain, Juneau wins raves as a picturesque city but occasional jeers from pilots. The area also has an abundance of cloudy, drizzly weather, with low cloud ceilings.

LaGuardia Airport, New York City

Ten miles east of Manhattan, LaGuardia sits beneath some of the world’s most congested airspace, with two major international hubs just a few miles southeast (John F. Kennedy) and southwest (Newark Liberty). It also has a high-density flow of traffic — roughly 17 hours per day —owing to its location as the closest of all three to Manhattan. If you’re flying into LaGuardia, grab a left-side window seat—that’s where to get the better look at the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan on approach. Grab a right hand seat in the summer time and you might get a way-too-close-for-comfort look at sunbathers on Queens rooftops just before touchdown.

Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport, Bullhead City, Ariz.

This west Arizona airport has mountains on three sides, north, east, and southeast, including what pilots call “terrain” on both ends of the 8,500-foot runway. As a result, departures require a steep rate of climb. Laughlin/Bullhead landed commercial service last month with a daily flight from Phoenix, so more pilots — and passengers — are holding on tight.

Mammoth Yosemite Airport, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Mammoth Yosemite lies in a box canyon hard east of several major peaks in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, including the namesake ski resort. In winter, the season that garners most of the commercial air service, inclement weather can present a perpetual challenge.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Arlington, Va.

The District of Columbia has plenty of restricted, heavily guarded airspace. Veer off course or ignore air traffic control near the Capitol and you’ll quickly find a fighter jet on your wing. These defenses also require some sharp 30-40 degree turns along the Potomac River when flying the “River Visual” approach to Reagan National Airport. (Passenger tip: Sit on the left for views of many of the major national monuments.)

San Diego International Airport, San Diego

Pilots report frequent gusty tailwinds that can require quick adjustments on approach. Arriving flights typically land to the west, which means passengers get a view of downtown office buildings and parking decks. Peer out the window when flying into the former Lindbergh Field — it’s a landing you won’t forget.

Telluride Regional Airport

At 9,070 feet, Telluride is the highest-elevation commercial airport in America. It also features 1,000-foot cliffs on both ends of the runway and strong vertical turbulence during winter months caused by the mountain winds. There are several videos of the approach into Telluride showing the sharp plateau on which the strip is perched. “Nothing you want to do tomorrow is worth risking your life and the lives of your passengers today!” the Telluride airport says in a notice to pilots.

Yellowstone Regional Airport, Cody, Wyo.

This airport has a few mountains in the vicinity, but no control tower. It also requires pilots to perform what is called a “non-precision” approach, a standard procedure for a pilot but one that doesn’t offer any vertical guidance, requiring the aviator to calculate the rate of descent.

The Denver Post | Colorado’s mountain resorts again see record spending

The fastest growing months for visits in some high country destinations are the so-called off-season: September, May and October


Visitors and locals are spending record amounts in Colorado’s mountain communities, with sales tax collections again reaching all-time highs in 2016.

For a fourth year in a row, community coffers are swelling in the high country as sales tax collections shatter records and climb beyond budget expectations in resort communities like Aspen, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Snowmass Village, Steamboat Springs, Telluride, Vail and Winter Park.

The sales tax numbers mirror skier visits, resort revenues and statewide tourism numbers, all of which have been climbing at a record-setting trajectory since the state’s high country economies began scrambling from the recession in 2012. Skier visits to Colorado resorts reached an all-time high of 13 million in 2015-16 and early indications show that 2016-17 visitation will near or surpass that number.

More than 77.7 million people visited Colorado in 2015. The latest research from the Colorado Tourism Office shows fewer out-of-state vacationers traveled to Colorado in the summer of 2016, but they spent more, which jibes with sales tax collections in mountain destinations.

Breckenridge’s 9 percent increase in taxable sales over 2015 came from healthy increases in retail, restaurant and short-term lodging taxes. (For the marijuana cheerleaders: Breckenridge’s vibrant weedtail sales climbed 18 percent in 2016, reaching $1.4 million, which still accounts for less than 2 percent of the total taxable spending in town.)

A lot of that revenue goes into improvements in moving people around the increasingly congested town, said Breckenridge manager Rick Holman. The town this year breaks ground on a $1.5 million pedestrian project with heated sidewalks encouraging more people to stroll around. And the town just ordered its second trolley to bolster its new service. Town leaders keep four months of operational cash in the bank — about $8 million — in case times get tough.

“These are good problems to have,” Holman said. “I think the popularity of Colorado in general is driving this. I believe our proximity to Denver certainly helps us. We are seeing huge numbers of people moving to Denver and they are coming to Colorado to enjoy the outdoors and they like to come up to the high country.”

In Aspen, visitor spending last year climbed to more than $713 million, marking a more than 60 percent increase from the collapse of 2009. The city’s tax collections in 2016 climbed 7 percent over the previous year.

The largest chunk of those collections goes toward parks and open space. The city’s 4-acre John Denver Sanctuary is actually a water treatment plant, filtering storm water runoff through a sprawling garden. Tax dollars also are bolstering the city’s transportation system and several new affordable housing projects are in the works, said city finance director Don Taylor.

Winters are busy in ski towns. Always have been. And in the last several years, summer has grown just as bustling. The latest sales tax collections show a slight plateauing in July and August, similar to the leveling seen in the winter months years ago. That’s pushing growth to the shoulder seasons. The fastest growing months for visits in some high country destinations are the so-called off-season: September (Steamboat and Aspen), May (Breckenridge, Telluride and Vail) and October (Winter Park). The total spending during those shoulder months still pales compared to the high season, but it reflects a growing effort to push traffic to less-busy times with fall and spring events.

Even though Telluride has enjoyed several years of monthly annual growth in visitor spending, tourism tax revenue from both Telluride and Mountain Village is climbing almost 10 percent faster in those shoulder months versus its vibrant core season.

“There is more opportunity to grow in those months. For us, October and May are clearly an opportunity,” said Michael Martelon, the head of Visit Telluride.

Increase in taxable sales from 2015-2016

  • Aspen: 6.7 percent
  • Breckenridge: 8.6 percent
  • Crested Butte: 3.9 percent
  • Frisco: 10 percent
  • Snowmass Village: 2.8 percent
  • Steamboat Springs: 6.9 percent
  • Telluride: 6.6 percent
  • Vail: 2.4 percent
  • Winter Park: 6.6 percent

5 Majestic Castles For Sale Now

Castles have long captured the imaginations of European royalty, who dotted the Old World with them starting in the 9th century. The enduring appeal of such grand estates lies not only in the muscular nature of their design—which often feature moats, keeps, and battlements—but in their downright palatial size, some clocking in at thousands of square feet and encompassing hundreds of acres. We’ve rounded up the five most majestic properties currently on the market, from a $3.4 million Victorian-era estate in the Scottish Highlands to a $17.8 million fortification north of Bordeaux.

Dournazac, France | $17.8 million  Photo: Courtesy of Allez-Français

Set amid 408 acres a couple of hours northeast of Bordeaux, the imposing Château de Montbrun dates from 1179. Although pillaged then rebuilt in the 1430s, the 16-bedroom manor nonetheless retains its original eight-story crenellated tower and medieval moat, while its current owners have added luxuries like radiant-heat floors and an elevator, cinema room, and sauna. Listed as a historic monument, the site is where Richard the Lionheart is said to have died from a wound sustained during a siege of a nearby castle.


Milngavie, Scotland | $3.4 million  Photo: Savills

Dating from 1885, this storybook Victorian pile is located outside Glasgow, at the edge of the Scottish Highlands. The current owners acquired the 11-bedroom retreat, dubbed Craigallian, in the 1990s, maintaining original decorative features such as inlaid oak paneling, fleur-de-lis plasterwork, and elaborate cornices while modernizing spaces like the kitchen—which was outfitted by kitchen-design firm Clive Christian. A veritable sporting haven, the rambling 340-acre property features a large trout-stocked lake and boathouse, horse stables, and a charming two-bedroom sandstone cottage with its own conservatory and garden.


Málaga, Spain | $10.7 million  Photo: Kristina Szekely Sotheby’s International Realty

To help safeguard Spain’s  southern coast in the 1620s, King Philip IV ordered a fortress be built on a nearby mountainside overlooking the Mediterranean. In 1929, with the stronghold long abandoned, the Count of Mieres asked the French firm Lahalle et Levard to craft a majestic 27,000-square-foot neo-Moorish palace on the 1.5-acre parcel. Refurbished as a luxe eight-key hotel a decade ago, the property retains original elements like Mauméjean stained-glass windows, wrought-iron chandeliers, and marble floors—not to mention the ancient ruins, now presiding over the lush terrace.


Asti, Italy | $5.1 million  Photo: Turin Sotheby’s International Realty

In the early 1900s a local nobleman was gifted this 15th-century Piedmont estate as a token of gratitude for his military service, and he promptly enlisted architect Giovanni Chevalley to oversee an extensive renovation and expansion. Organized around a central courtyard, the horseshoe-shaped plan now holds six bedrooms, a tower, and a consecrated chapel across 21,500 square feet. (Original details were graciously preserved as well, including frescoes from 1633, intricate plaster moldings, and an impressive sandstone fireplace carved with a coat of arms.) Dotted with vernacular outbuildings, the manicured eight-acre grounds boast staff quarters, a barn, and a greenhouse, plus an orchard and a private lake.


Limburg, Belgium | $9.6 million  Photo: Brussels Sotheby’s International Realty

In 1998 Belgian industrialist Jos Vaessen purchased this 18th-century compound, known as Château Ommerstein, situated about 50 miles east of Brussels. “It was more or less a ruin,” he said in 2012, describing the property’s condition prior to architect Vittorio Simoni’s exhaustive eight-year renovation, which introduced Art Deco–inspired interiors and modern amenities (including an elevator and rooftop terrace) to the 25,000-square-foot, 12-bedroom villa. A pair of spacious detached wings, meanwhile, contain staff quarters, stables, and a four-car garage. There’s also a heated pool on the estate, whose 33 acres are graced by some of the country’s oldest giant sequoias.


Sotheby’s International Realty® Brand and New Story Partnership

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The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand is proud to announce that it has partnered with New Story, a non-profit organization that puts 100% of donations toward transforming dangerous living environments into communities of safe, sustainable homes, for $6,000 a home.

Minoterie (15 of 24)

Why did we choose New Story as a partner?

  • 100% of donations go directly to the field. They operate with completely separate overhead cost so every dollar donated goes straight to building homes.
  • Donors have the ability to see the exact family they’re sponsoring, along with the supplies and costs their donation is covering. In the beginning, the donor receives a photo of the family and their story. When the home is completed, they are delivered a move-in video to share in the excitement of this incredible effort.
  • They hire local labor and buy domestic materials to boost the country’s economy. New Story does more than build houses – they provide jobs and economic stability for the communities they service.

Watch this video to get a closer look at New Story, who was just named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” for 2017 in their not-for-profit sector.

Click here to learn more about New Story and meet the Guillaume family from Haiti, the recipients of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand donation.

CNBC | Sotheby’s International Realty sees big growth in a tough market, while telling people ‘what they may not want to hear’

During a year when the words “slowdown” and “slump” were used to describe the luxury housing market, 2016 turned out to be a banner year for Sotheby’s International Realty.

The firm reported on Monday that it saw record global sales last year, most coming from a tough U.S. market that experienced pockets of softness in key regions. All told, Sotheby’s has seen annual volume explode over the past 12 years, from $4 billion to $95 billion in 2016. That’s within shouting distance of the more than $166 billion Coldwell Banker, another luxury real estate giant, moved in 2015.

CEO Phillip White told CNBC in a recent interview that Sotheby’s International Realty makes “the consumer the real focus, and that’s important when you do business in the luxury space. We made a decision early on to provide the consumer a high level of exceptional service and true global exposure.”

High-end clients “want to be taken care of and catered to, and that’s what we really brought to the business,” said White, a 36-year real estate veteran who’s been the firm’s CEO since 2013. “Then we were able to expand it quickly in the high-end markets of the world in a pretty short period of time.”

3 Countryside Lane in Cherry Hill Village, Colorado. Sotheby's International is the broker for the $9.5 million listing.

Source: Sotheby’s International Realty
3 Countryside Lane in Cherry Hill Village, Colorado. Sotheby’s International is the broker for the $9.5 million listing.

The company’s big year took place in a luxury market that retrenched worldwide, but was particularly acute in some places, including New York. The ultra-exclusive enclave of the Hamptons saw sales tumble 8 percent in 2016, according to Town and Country Real Estate, while luxury units sales in Manhattan plummeted by 18 percent last year, according to data from real estate broker Donna Olshan.

Against that backdrop, Sotheby’s International Realty recorded $85 billion in domestic sales volume, while increasing its sales force and offices. However, White said the firm’s recipe for success included elements that are unconventional, and perhaps a bit counterintuitive when servicing demanding high-end clients.

“There are not a lot of people who can buy some of these places, and we have to work hard to get in front of the right people,” said White, a former Marine. However, “sometimes we have to tell them things they don’t want to hear.”

Needless to say, the ultra-rich aren’t usually considered the sort of people who take “no” for an answer, and often expect a certain result. However, White explained that honesty and transparency are key ingredients to moving luxury homes — especially in a challenging market.

“That’s when you have to do your homework and be prepared,” White said, adding that Sotheby’s International Realty agents perform extensive research on a particular market to assess a home’s true value.

“If you go into someone’s house and say ‘it’s worth this [much]’ and the seller might be disappointed, you can tell them you looked at” other houses in the area, White said. Then, the firm explains “how their house compares to all the others, because you took the time to go through all the others. That’s doing your job.”

He added: “It’s easier to go along with them, but that’s not doing them a service because it’s not going to sell. It’s doing them a disservice.”

Significant Sales | Volume I – Issue XI

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From a contemporary mountain home in Aspen, Colorado, to an exquisite lakefront estate in Austin, Texas, this issue of Significant Sales also showcases homes from throughout the United States, Australia, Belgium, Italy and Germany.

01. Aspen

$24,000,000 USD | Aspen, Colorado | Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

Situated on a captivating front row lot on Aspen’s prestigious Willoughby Way, this home is a vision of contemporary style and sophistication. Intelligently designed by David Johnston Architects and meticulously crafted by Paul Rasmussen, Pitkin Green will be well served by its newest addition. Comprising 8,710 square-feet of elegant, yet comfortable heated living spaces, the development team has brought all of their experience and expertise to bear on this unique project. The home utilizes three levels to incorporate six bedroom suites, six-full baths, two-half baths, exercise room, wine room with bar, o ce, 750-square-foot three-car garage, and 2,960 square-feet of patios and decks. The comprehensive landscape plan allows for enjoyment of the outdoor experience as much as the indoor.

04. East Side

$13,900,000 USD | New York City, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage 

On Fifth Avenue, you have it all; the best of the city, architecture, museums, and tree lined streets. Carnegie Hill is a neighborhood that o ers a perfect dose of charm. As you exit the elevator that opens up onto the private landing of your 12-room residence, you are lured into your living room by the captivating views of picture-perfect Central Park, the Central Park Reservoir and the south-facing New York skyline. Beyond perfection, this unimaginable renovated home enjoys soaring ceilings and large picture windows that showcases Central Park greenery from every room.

05. Kuper

$11,500,000 USD | Austin, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

This exceptional Mediterranean villa overlooking Lake Austin offers four opulent acres of breathtaking panoramic views surrounded by a lush landscape. This magnificent waterfront estate is highlighted by six oversized bedrooms, seven-full and two-half baths, three living rooms, two dining rooms, wine room, butler’s pantry, gym with kitchenette, library and office, pool, boat house and seven boat slips, four-car garage, and detached guest quarters. Masterfully designed to provide supreme privacy and lavish entertaining while also being conveniently located to downtown.

Browse past editions of Significant Sales

Noteworthy Sales from Around the World


Price Undisclosed | Australia | Peninsula Sotheby’s International Realty

Offered for sale for the first time, this signature position at the spectacular and sheltered end of Fisherman’s Beach within the tightly held cul-de- sac of Weeroona Estate, provides incredible views across Port Phillip Bay, Police Point and Portsea Pier. Once owned by Australia’s 17th Prime Minister, Harold Holt, this 1,885-square-meter allotment is the perfect private setting for this modern home. Constructed in 1990 and featuring a N/S mod-grass tennis court and fully tiled self -cleaning pool, the home also features private stairs, providing quick beach access to the water’s edge and stunning cove of Weeroona Bay. Comprising five bedrooms over two levels, the residence also offers a spacious kitchen that overlooks the dining and living areas with a gas log fireplace that spills out to a generous terrace where ships sailing through punctuate an otherwise serene outlook.


€5.550.000 EUR | Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

This one-of-a-kind penthouse, situated in a prestigious building built at the end of the 19th century, enjoys unrivaled views of the Castello Sforzesco. The property is set over two floors and features a large living room on the top floor with double sun light exposure, game and reading area, dining room, bath, kitchen with balcony and a service area with laundry and bathroom. The top floor is complemented by a planted panoramic terrace. The master bedroom features a walk-in closet and bathroom while the home also offers a second double bedroom and a large bedroom with adjacent bathroom all situated downstairs.

Discover more in Significant Sales | Volume I – Issue XI

CNN | 9 Ski Resorts You Can Fly Into

(CNN)The freedom found skiing on a mountain is often earned after lengthy journeys, airport hassles and time-consuming traffic.

But what if flying to the slopes was simple?
Certain ski resorts do offer this — and not just the ones involving a helicopter lift from the nearest international airport.
“The benefit of private jet travel for ski trips is as much about time saving and convenience, as it is about luxury,” says PrivateFly chief executive Adam Twidell.
Here are nine of the best ski resorts that can by flown directly to, with airfields less than 10 miles from the ski lifts.

Courchevel, France

Courchevel: A matter of yards from runway to slopes.

Courchevel is the queen of the crop when it comes to flying straight to the slopes. Europe’s highest tarmacked runway at 6,583 feet is just yards from the piste.
Skiing is only a matter of minutes away from landing. The steeply sloping runway — only 1,762 feet long — means pilots must power up on landing, a counter intuitive move.
“Get it wrong and the runway has to close while they get a tractor to come down and tow you up,” says Richard Lumb, director of Kaluma Travel. But make it intact, and the 372 miles and 166 lifts of the vast Les Trois Vallees ski area — shared with Meribel, Val Thorens and Les Menuires — are all conveniently close. So, too, are Courchevel’s seven Michelin-starred restaurants, galaxy of five-star hotels, such as the Cheval Blanc and Les Airelles, and constellation of ultra-luxury chalets.
Did you know? Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge chose Courchevel as the venue for a four-day ski break in March 2016.

Meribel, France

Meribel sits at the heart of the Three Valleys, a welcoming wooded buffer between the chic Courchevel and high-altitude Val Thorens. Its mini airstrip, nestling among the firs, is just 1,332 feet long and can only cater for light aircraft. The Meribel valley has 100 miles of ski runs, stretching from up to the mighty Mont du Vallon at 9,685 feet, with a mix of easy, intermediate and daringly difficult slopes such as the Saulire couloirs, some of which access Courchevel. Meribel was founded in the 1930s by Briton Colonel Peter Lindsay, who decreed all the building must be sympathetic to the environment, hence the predominance of timber and chalets. The sole five-star hotel is Le Kaila, with its Michelin-starred restaurant, while Hotel Le Grand Coeur and Spa is a long-time favorite for deep-pocketed visitors.
Did you know? Meribel hosted the ice hockey and the women’s downhill at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics.

Gstaad, Switzerland

Sound of Music actress Julie Andrews reportedly once said “Gstaad is the last paradise in a crazy world.” Arrive quickly by plotting a course to Saanen private airfield — a VIP gateway just three miles from glamorous Gstaad, which clings to its earthy farming traditions while attracting the beautiful people with generous sprinkles of snow. This Swiss Shangri-La on the northern ramparts of the Bernese Oberland boasts 136 miles of runs split between five main ski areas. Glacier skiing up to 1.86 miles is available a short drive around the valley above Les Diablerets.
There are five five-star hotels including the castle-like Gstaad Palace (the Penthouse suite starts at $10,000 a night), the Park Gstaad and the new Alpina Gstaad.
Did you know? Gstaad regulars over the years are said to have included Louis Armstrong, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, Roger Moore, John Travolta and Roger Federer.

Zell am See, Austria

There's just two miles between landing strip and Austria's beautiful Zell am See.

There’s just two miles between landing strip and Austria’s beautiful Zell am See.
Two miles is barely enough time to apply sunscreen, but that’s how far Zell am See‘s airport is from the resort. The nearest lift, the Areitbahn, is just across the road.
Medieval Zell am See occupies a picturesque spot on the western shore of Lake Zell at the base of a horseshoe-shaped mountain, the Schmittenhöhe, with 48 miles of runs.
The new zellamseeXpress gondola has opened up an old run into Glemmtal with plans to extend further towards Saalbach-Hinterglemm. The total skiable domain is about 86 miles, including the trails on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier at 10,500 feet, which towers above Kaprun, and the family-friendly Maiskogel area. The historic Grand Hotel Zell am See sits on a lakeside peninsula, while the nearby Salzburgerhof has a five-star superior rating.
Did you know? The Steinerwirt is rated as Zell am See’s top restaurant on TripAdvisor, while the Crazy Daisy is a popular apres-ski spot.

St. Moritz, Switzerland

The term “jet set” could have been coined for the glitterati of St. Moritz. Private jets land at Samedan airfield in the Engadin valley, only four miles from the historic birthplace of winter tourism and the favorite alpine hangout for international moneybags, aristocrats and superstars. The 218 miles of ski runs and 58 lifts in the Engadin valley are centered around St. Moritz’s Corviglia area, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948. The resort also provided the setting for the skiing scenes in James Bond flick “The Spy Who Loved Me”. Gourmets are well catered for with a selection of fine-dining including La Marmite, the highest Michelin-starred restaurant in the Alps at 8,156 feet. Celebrated five-star hotels include the 120-year-old Badrutt’s Palace (Engadin suite from $5,328 per night), the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains and the Kulm Hotel. A two-night return from London’s Luton Airport to Samedan with a four-seater Citation Mustang is about $9,000 with PrivateFly. Otherwise it’s an almost three-hour trek from Zurich airport.
Did you know? St. Moritz is home to the infamous Cresta Run toboggan course, first built in 1884, and the nearby Olympia bob run, the world’s first and only naturally refrigerated bobsleigh track. The town also hosts an annual polo match and the “White Turf” horse race on the frozen lake.

Veysonnaz/Nendaz, Switzerland

Whisper it, but there’s a back door to Switzerland’s famed 4 Vallees ski area — jewel in the crown Verbier — and visitors can fly right up to the doorstep.
Sion airfield in the Rhone Valley is a Swiss Air Force fighter jet base (though they’re moving out next year), but it also welcomes limited commercial flights and private jets if the pilot’s qualified for the tricky approach through towering 13,000 foot peaks. Veysonnaz and Nendaz are traditional hamlets, eight and nine miles from the airport respectively, which connect into the circuit, Switzerland’s largest ski area with 248 miles of runs and 93 lifts. The high point is Mont Fort at 10,826 feet, with Mont Blanc and Matterhorn panoramas. The luxury Hidden Dragon chalet in Veysonnaz was built using Shinto and feng shui rituals to site the plot.
Did you know? Verbier’s La Vache mountain restaurant is co-owned by singer James Blunt, former England rugby union captain Lawrence Dallaglio and former Superbike world champion Carl Fogarty.

Aspen, USA

Pitkin County Airport, connected with dozen of US cities, is a convenient entry to Aspen town.

Pitkin County Airport, connected with dozen of US cities, is a convenient entry to Aspen town.
Everyone’s heard of Aspen, the Colorado silver-boom mining town done good — so good, in fact, it’s an A-list favorite with some of the most expensive real estate in the United States.
And its Pitkin County Airport is just a few short miles from the slopes. The airfield, which connects with dozens of US cities, is just three miles from the town of Aspen, surrounded by the ski area of Aspen Mountain (known locally as Ajax), Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. Another ski area, Snowmass Village, is just six miles from the tarmac. Aspen, which features in several songs by late resident John Denver, claims a total of 319 miles of tree-lined Rocky Mountains trails. Common celebrity crash pads include the five-star Little Nell, Hotel Jerome and the St Regis.
Did you know? Aspen’s Buttermilk hosts the Winter X Games, while the 2017 FIS alpine skiing World Cup finals will be held there in March.

Revelstoke, Canada

A check for $9,890 will buy a round-trip ticket on a private charter from Vancouver to Revelstoke deep in the heart of powder country. The airport — which also hosts two scheduled flights a week (via Revelstoke Air) is just two miles south of town. Be rewarded with a vertical drop of 5,620 feet — the most in North America — and 64 runs among glades and high-alpine bowls on Mount Mackenzie. Revelstoke is also known for its heli-skiing. From the uber-luxury Bighorn lodge, step onto a chopper parked out front and be whisked from doorstep to deep powder in minutes.
Bighorn costs $79,160 for the lodge in a high-season week, excluding heli-skiing. The helicopter will clock up $1,223 per person, per day.
Did you know? Don’t forget to pack a snorkel — Revelstoke is blessed with 40-60 feet of snow annually.

Telluride, Colorado

This former mining town from the mid-1800s was the setting for Butch Cassidy’s first bank heist in 1889, but now Telluride rates as one of North America’s hottest ski locations. Telluride Regional Airport sits on a lofty plateau six miles west of town and is open to scheduled services via Great Lakes Airlines or private charters. This makes it possible to fly in and be cruising in the San Juan mountains within the hour. Telluride’s compact center, only eight blocks wide and 12 long, retains a boutique Wild West look with clapboard storefronts and Victorian-era homes. Famous residents have included Tom Cruise, Jerry Seinfeld and Oprah Winfrey. The ski area — 2,000 acres and 127 runs among aspen and spruce glades — is dominated by Palmyra Peak at 13,320 feet.
The Revelation lift whisks skiers up to a high point of 12,515 feet above Revelation bowl.
Did you know? The ski area at Telluride — thought to be a contraction of the phrase “To hell you ride” — was founded in 1970 with snowcat skiing for $12.50 a day including a sack lunch. The first lifts followed in 1972.

W | A Travel Guide to Telluride, Where There’s More Snow Than in New York Right Now

As you make the drive from the airport in Montrose, Colorado into Telluride, you pass the remains of old mining operations and wind through the striking San Miguel Mountains. The anticipation continues to build until finally, you drive into the box canyon where Telluride (which was originally named Columbia when it was founded back in 1878) sits.

Part of the allure of Telluride, which transitioned from a mining town to a ski-bunny, hippie haven in the late ’60s and ’70s, has long been its exclusivity. It’s hard to get to, making it extremely attractive for celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and designer Ralph Lauren to buy land in this Colorado ski enclave. Celebrities won’t be bothered by paparazzi or swarming fans here—it’s almost an unspoken rule that you just go about business as usual, similar to other hotbeds for the rich and famous, even if Tom Cruise or Katie Holmes are walking down the street with Suri tagging along.

Telluride Ski Resort. Photo: @tellurideski

As opposed to other more glitzy ski towns around the world, Telluride is not a place to see-and-be-seen, and you can leave your outrageous fur coats and Moon Boots at home—there’s no place for them here.

As Lauren explained in an interview, “Colorado was an escape for us. It wasn’t about being in fashion. It was about a life that would be different, that would be freer—that would have nature and trees and animals and big sky.”

Just because Telluride is about understated glamour, however, doesn’t mean it lacks a strong culinary scene, high-end shops, or luxury accommodations. This small town needs to cater to the most discerning of tastes and it does not disappoint on that front. You’ll find impressive local microbrews, wine lists with some of the world’s best bottles, multi-course tasting menus served at the top of the mountain. To help, here are some insider tips to use as your plan your itinerary:

When to Go:
Telluride Ski Resort is a skier’s paradise in the winter months, with everything from a beginner’s terrain to hike-to-ski areas to Nordic-style skiing. In the spring and summer, however, Telluride plays host to some of the country’s top film and music festivals, like the Telluride Film Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. (Summer, for the record, increasingly draws the biggest crowds of all.)

Madeline Hotel & Residences
Madeline Hotel & Residences

Photo: Madeline Hotel & Residences

Where to Stay: Madeline Hotel and Residences, situated right on the slopes with ski-in/ski-out access, is a go-to spot for repeat Telluride visitors from around the world. Highlights include the sweeping mountain views from the rooms, the food at Black Iron kitchen (make sure to try the Colorado lamb sliders), an impressive fitness center with the most up-to-date equipment (in case you need to work off a few too many lamb sliders or French fries), and the full service spa with an inspired range of treatments, ranging from targeted ski and mountain recovery treatments to crystal massage therapy. If you want something remote and extra luxe, opt for Telluride Ski Resort’s Tempter House, situated at 12,200 feet up on the mountain. The house was designed in the late ’90s by Anne Eckley, who is registered nationally at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Where to Eat:
For fast and casual bites, the innovative tacos at Tacos del Gnar in town will blow your mind. If you are in need of something to warm you up in between ski runs, Poachers Pub is where the locals go—try the chili and the Ska Euphoria IPA. Other on-mountain dining favorites include Bon Vivant (for French country cuisine like crepes and cheese plates) and High Camp (they have self serve hot chocolate!). For a more gourmet, special dining experience, both Allred’s and Alpino Vino on top of the mountain are a must. Afterwards, if you are still looking to keep the party going, have a nightcap in town at High Pie or There Bar.

Telluride Ski Resort. Photo: @tellurideski

What to Do:
Aside from lots of ski and snowboarding, (and eating), do a scenic fat bike (it’s a bike with extra fat tires so you can bike on the snow) tour to Telluride Brewing Company to sample some local microbrews. Make sure to try the Tempter IPA. Also, spend at least one afternoon exploring the charming town of Telluride (just a short ride away from the mountain village), where you’ll find historic landmarks like the 103-year-old Sheridan Opera House (which has hosted more world premiere films than any theatre in the U.S. between New York and L.A. and still acts as a working theatre today), and a slew of specialty boutiques (Two Skirts is a must, along with Swanky Buckle, Picaya and T.K. Imports for home goods) and galleries. There’s also a cannabis walking tour, led by Telluride Green Tours, where you can visit the town’s many dispensaries and explore the cannabis scene, if that’s up your alley.

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