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Shop With A Cop and Snow Updates

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 05, 2018

We have been delighted to be a part of the Shop With A Cop event for many years and this year was another success! Thank you to everyone who donated and to those that came out to volunteer for the event.

This week we wanted to share 3 Ways to Spruce Up a Home in the Winter by Realtor Magazine - The colder months can make selling tougher. The home’s exterior can look dreary against a gray sky backdrop and buyers may want to go into hibernation rather than shop for homes in the chilly weather. But real estate and staging professionals say there’s still plenty you can do to make your listing stand out in the wintertime. Realtor.com® spotlighted a few of their ideas, including

Pay attention to curb appeal. Don’t let the colder months be an excuse to not pay attention to your yard maintenance, even if mounds of snow are covering your lawn. Make sure buyers always have an easy path to the front door by shoveling the driveway and paths. Clean out the gutters of any leaves so ice doesn’t back up and lead to any roof damage. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Consider some winter-themed outdoor decor, too. “I love putting evergreens next to the door and on the porch,” Rebekah Scott, a real estate broker for Atlas Real Estate Group in Denver, told realtor.com®. “Everyone knows how elegant evergreens look with snow on them, so it’s a good way to really showcase the snow.” Read more about additional ways to create a warm and inviting winter listing.

Heat it up. Make the home cozy by turning up the thermostat and fixing drafty spots. “A cold house can hurt a sale,” says Scott. “When a buyer enters the house and wants to hurry up and get out of there because it is so chilly, it probably means they are going to have a bad memory associated with the home, no matter how great it is. You want to provide a warm and inviting environment so buyers will want to take their time and linger.” If the home has a fireplace, consider firing it up—not only can that help make a home feel warmer, but it’s also a great way to highlight this selling feature.

Appeal to the senses. Pay attention to the home’s smell. In the winter months, you might consider adding in some seasonal scents, such as oranges, cloves, and cinnamon on the stove. Or, freshly baked holiday cookies on a cooling rack in the kitchen, Scott says. Also, consider playing some soft seasonal music, like holiday-themed jazz. Suit their flavor tastes, too, by offering up some hot cocoa or coffee. It can be a great warming treat in the cold and it can boost potential buyers’ moods, Dale Schaechterle, broker-owner at Realty Executives Integrity in Milwaukee, Wis., told realtor.com®.

Forbes Magazine recently shared that Vail Ski Resorts Announce New Sustainability And Environmental Programs by Larry Olmsted. Vail Resorts just inked a wind power deal that will help the company offset 100% of the power used at its dozens of ski resorts, hotels, restaurants and offices across North America.

Between climate change, massive amounts of plastics in the oceans and other environmental destruction in the news daily, it is always uplifting to hear some good tidings. This is especially true as an avid skier, a sport that relies on snow, is directly at risk from historically unprecedented rising temperatures, and often consumes large amounts of power for snowmaking and other operations. As someone who has written extensively on skiing and snow sports for more than 20 years, and has had an Epic Pass the last several seasons, for access to all the many properties in the Vail Resorts global portfolio (to be fair, this season I’ve also got a competitive Ikon Pass, and you can read about the differences here), I know I personally feel better the more efforts the ski resorts I visit take to go green. That’s why I was very pleased with the announcements earlier this month. I am also a big fan of Protect Our Winters, a non-profit backed by many big snow sports industry players including gear manufacturers (Patagonia, North Face, Burton, etc) and ski resorts and resort groups (Aspen Snowmass, Ski Utah, Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective, etc.).

Publicly traded Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) is the world’s best-known ski resort operator, and also runs hotels and resorts. Now the company is setting a leading example of how the ski industry can get greener and take significant steps to offset the impact of bringing large numbers of travelers and recreational participants into the mountain environment. The company has been taking a deep dive into sustainability and environmental issues for well over a decade, but last year announced its biggest goals yet in its Epic Promise Commitment to Zero, which included achieving zero net emissions and zero waste to landfills by 2030. Epic Promise is a standalone department within the company that also includes the non-profit Epic Promise Foundation.

Earlier this month the company announced long-term wind energy contracts with Lincoln Clean Energy that will produce enough wind energy to reduce the emissions associated with Vail Resorts’ estimated 2019 fiscal year electricity use in North American, where the vast majority of the company’s operations are located, by 100 percent. This covers seventeen resorts (ski and non-ski) and all their associated retail, hospitality, and corporate office usage. In addition, Vail Resorts signed a contract with Xcel Energy in Colorado to support a new solar energy facility, and in Utah (where they operate Park City, the nation’s largest ski resort) is sponsoring Rocky Mountain Power’s request for proposal for 308,000 MWh of renewable energy, which could lead to a significant increase in the amount of solar, wind, and geothermal projects. The company also invested $2.4 million in the past year in energy efficiency projects across its resorts, including low-energy snowmaking and energy-efficient building upgrades.

Since launching its Commitment to Zero last year, Vail has reinvested more than $2 million in resort energy efficiency improvements. One of the most visible efforts to fight waste and environmental damage has been a recent worldwide war on plastic straws - certainly a deserving enemy - with major fast food chains and even entire municipalities banning traditional plastic straws. Vail Resorts also jumped into this fray, announcing a partnership with Eco-Products to supply all of its North American restaurants (there are typically half a dozen or more at each major ski resort) with compostable and recycled-content items. They will eliminate conventional single-use plastics, including cups, straws, beverage lids, plates, bowls and cutlery, beginning immediately (the process actually started last ski season). This move alone, according to the company, will divert nearly 300 tons of waste from landfills. The new compostable straws will be available by request only, and Vail Resort’s North American restaurants are moving to durable products, such as replacing single-use paper cups with reusable tumblers everywhere dishwashing is available, a move expected to eliminate nearly 300,000 disposable cups this season.

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