Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties crosses threshold in 10-year quest to set up shop in Wyoming hot spot
Widely recognized as one of the world’s most affluent luxury resort markets, Jackson Hole has placed at the top of Coldwell Banker’s wish list for quite some time.
This fall, the dream of adding the Wyoming mountain paradise to its repertoire finally came true for Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties (CBMP).
“For over a decade, Coldwell Banker has had no presence in Jackson Hole,” says Dennis Saffell, owner and CEO of Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties, which operates an ever-growing swath of luxury markets across the mountain west, including Vail, Colo., Taos, NM, and Teton Valley, ID. “Jackson Valley was the only major luxury ski resort in the country that didn’t have Coldwell Banker represented. We were literally competing for the opportunity among other Coldwell Banker franchises. It’s been more than 10 years in the making and three years of focused, continuous work to make it happen.”
Home to one of the world’s highest concentration of billionaires and located in the richest county in the United States (Teton), where the per capita income exceeds $250,000, Jackson Hole has long held a special place for Saffell on a personal level.
A lifelong skier, he has never notched a more thrilling experience than jumping off of Jackson Hole’s infamously steep and rugged Corbets Couloir.
“The skiing is second to none,” Saffell says. “It has big snow, steep slopes, the backcountry is crazy good. The skiing is epic.”
But the epic skiing is just one facet of Jackson’s appeal.
“It’s not about the wealth or the luxury as much as it is about how down-to-earth the town is. Movie stars, rock stars, billionaires, politicians, they can all wander around town and no one cares. People can be themselves and be comfortable,” Saffell says. “Then, there are more than 1,000 creeks and rivers within two hours of Jackson Hole to fly fish. The Snake River goes right through town. It’s the gateway to Yellowstone Park, the most magical place in the country. Moose crossing signs are all over the place. It’s the unique combination of a true western, cowboy boots kind of town combined with the sophistication and ambience of luxury.”
Along with long-time local real estate partner Matt Belford, Rick Wieloh heads up CBMP’s local team of brokers. He and his wife moved to Jackson Hole in 1996 and he made a sweeping career change, having begun his professional life teaching special education to young children. He was immediately drawn to the challenge of Jackson’s unique real estate market, which, even 25 years ago, was characterized by its scarcity.
“This market has always had low inventory,” Wieloh says. “In the valley, 97 percent of the land is dedicated to National Park, National Forest and designated Wilderness, making the developed area just three percent of the region. A majority of that was already developed. These boundaries and low inventory create a sellers’ market. The lifestyle and natural beauty have driven pricing up. As values increased, so did the attractiveness of redevelopment opportunities.”
While the ultra wealthy have gravitated to those redevelopment opportunities, Jackson Hole continues, as it did when Wieloh first launched his real estate career, to draw a broad range of residents and second homeowners.
“The clientele here is not subject to a certain demographic, but rather the area calls to anyone who loves what many desire – beautiful views, western charm, wildlife interactions and a safe community,” he says. “Some owners use their home to host board members and colleagues, others use it as a refuge to spend time with children in the summers or on holidays. Some owners who desire a more manicured environment can choose the golf courses and base area at Teton Village. Those that don’t mind a few rough edges or elbow room can choose a homestead or ranch setting.”
The strict cap on new development has also meant that Jackson Hole has remained more pristine and rugged than other ski resorts.
“The ski area is on the edge of the Grand Teton National Park. It leases land from the National Forest, so it’s not a glorified development where the roads and homes are built into it like Big Sky or Deer Valley. Due to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort being a bit more remote, you don’t see the traffic or casino crowds like you’d see in the Tahoe region. As our local culture evolves, Jackson provides art, music, dining and an unparalleled access to recreation, clean air, water and views.”
On an international level, Coldwell Banker acknowledges that securing business in Jackson Hole is a major triumph.
“We have great confidence in the long-term viability of the Jackson Hole real estate market and our expansion into this new facility in this location will support future growth,” says David Marine, chief marketing officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “I am so very pleased that the sales associates and ultimately their clients and customers will benefit from the tools, technology, and superior support that a company of our class can provide. We make a prominent and influential sales team in this community.”