When The China Act of War Virus shuttered parts of the US last March, many companies discovered workers did not need to be in 1 place, the office.
And many professional people discovered if you can work anywhere, then you can live anywhere.
Some left urban areas for the suburbs, some relocated to the open spaces of Western ski resorts.
According to MLS reports, sales and rentals are booming in mountain towns particularly, a Park City, Utah broker, told the WS-J, “This was the busiest summer selling season ever.”
For young professionals leaving a major city, the main reason for relocation is the high cost of living, according to a Quicken survey. It shows 34% of millennials are now working remotely, a number which is expected to increase. Some experts predict tech workers will never return to an office: Microsoft announced that it would offer the option to work from home permanently, just as Facebook and Twitter did.
There is an old saying about newcomers to ski resorts: “I came for the skiing, I stayed for the Summer.” In these chaotic times, it has morphed into “I came to escape a pandemic, and I stayed for the lifestyle.”
Sun Valley offers a prime example of how Western ski towns, from Aspen to Truckee, have become more accessible, year-round mini-cities, with quality arts and culinary offerings, offering people a balanced life.
Many locals view the recent migration as a mixed blessing. There is anxiety that newcomers, making higher wages than resort workers, are contributing to surging real estate prices, forcing locals further away to commuter towns.
Some fear their small towns could become another playground for the rich. Others wonder whether new residents will shop Amazon or support local seasonal shops who traditionally struggle through the wind-down shoulder season.
The Big Q: Could this new generation even buy and revitalize the beloved businesses (all ski towns have them) of aging owners?
In the 1940’s and on, American ski resorts were settled and popularized by immigrants, many from Austria, Switzerland, or Norway, like Olympic legend Stein Erickson.
The identity of ski resorts came from the melding of European culture and style with American. Now when the chaos is over, some migrants will likely stay, and some missing the amenities of city life will leave. The business landscape will have changed…
Have a healthy weekend, enjoy your travels, and Keep the Faith!