Blue Mountain Resort and the End of An Era

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Isn’t it somewhat unimaginable to believe that a 220 meter high hill on the escarpment could change the entire economy and face of a town for over 7 decades? Unimaginable indeed yet it happened.

The buzz all around town on Friday was the announcement that Intrawest bought all of the remaining shares held by Blue Mountain and by the end of the month, the founders will no longer own any portion of the resort operations.

It’s interesting to see how people have reacted to the news and for most locals, the comment is that, while not a surprise, the announcement got them right in the heart. Me too.
Jozo Weider changed the world for this area. Without him, there is no telling what the Collingwood Blue Mountain area would be like today. He left a legacy that was born of his vision and, that legacy has touched untold numbers of lives over the past 70+ years.

Jozo

Many of those who live here can recall working at the resort or, of our kids working there as they made their way through the schools years. They learned to ski or board at Blue, they learned about customer service and about working for a living at Blue Mountain. Others recall lasting memories of their own vacations and adventures.

As the Second World War broke out, Jozo and His wife Helena, sought political asylum in Canada as political refugees from Czechoslovakia. In 1941, they settled in this area on a big hay field at the base of the escarpment with their 3 year old son, George and in partnership with Peter Campbell, began the challenge of developing a ski resort at Blue Mountain. The first ski lift was 2 sleds drawn by a cable system powered by an old truck engine! You can read more about the history here.

While working the fields in the area, Jozo discovered that the soils in the area were full of clay and once again, his vision created Blue Mountain Pottery which operated from 1947 until 2004.Pottery

After a tragic car accident in 1971, control of the resort passed to Jozo’s son, George and later, management was turned over to Jozo’s son-in-law, Gord Canning.

I have to add a personal note. George and Barbara Weider have been friends of mine for over 30 years when I first met Barbara in her capacity as the manager of the Georgian Triangle Economic Development Corporation. Over the years, she has been a mentor to me as well as an inspiration to so many through her passion for the arts, her tireless efforts to establish a theatre in the area and her commitment to the South Georgian Bay campus of Georgian College. To give you an idea of how incredibly kind and generous these folks are, they moved me deeply when they attended my father’s funeral, two hours out of town. They are kind and generous with their knowledge, their time and their extreme kindness.

It’s that personal relationship and glimpse it has given me into the Weider family that put a great big lump in my throat when I heard the news. I hope they know how deeply and profoundly they have affected our community as they have sustained and further developed the legacy of Jozo Weider.

As every decade has passed from those early days in the 1940’s, the resort grew and grew which it continues to do today. That 220 metre hill combined with a families vision has brought lifetime memories to millions of people and it has anchored the local economy for over 70 years. The resort will continue, the legacy will grow and all of the Weider family will always live in the people and places that make up this community today. Job well done!

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Sept. 5-11, 2014

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.
Previous week(s) in brackets.

Single Family Residential
New Listings:  52
Average List Price: $507,134
Range of List Prices: $149,900 – $2,500,000
Number of Sales: 34
Range of Sale Prices: $145,000 – $1,250,000

Condominiums
New Listings: 14
Average List Price: $316,864
Range of List Prices: $121,500 – $949,000
Number of Sales: 14
Range of Sale Prices: $119,900 – $715,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 7
Number of Sales: 5
Range of Sale Prices: $21,000 – $250,000

Price Changes 50

Notables this Week

- 1 single family residence at it’s list price

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board

Big News at Blue Mountain today

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Frozen Village

Hot off the press, we have some bug news out of Blue Mountain today.  It was announced this morning that Intrawest Resorts Holdings Inc. is buying the remaining 50 percent stake of Blue Mountain Resorts Holdings Inc. that it doesn’t already own for 58 million Canadian dollars ($52.4 million).  I have not had time yet to digest what these means but my first thought is that it truly is the end of an era and must have been a gut wrenching decision for the Weider family.  The Weiders are very much part of the fabric of this community and my thoughts are with them at the moment as they reflect back on the wonderful legacy and history of what their family has meant to this area. They literally changed our world.

You can read more here.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/09/12/3397661/intrawest-buying-remaining-stake.html?#storylink=cpy

Insider’s Tip: Where to Watch Lightening in Collingwood

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No, not at a council meeting although it can be stormy at times too.photo 1

With the cold and rainy week we just had, it made me think of what my hubby and son do when there is a thunderstorm with lightening. While I race to hide under the covers, they rush out to the spit and park themselves behind the towering grain elevators. From that vantage point, they can watch the lightening and the storm as it moves across Georgian Bay. Weird.

The Collingwood Bread Company Ruined Me

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Bread Company (1024x768)

Look at that face of evil.  She knows exactly what is about to happen, doesn’t she.

Opened just one month now, we’ve found bread nirvana here in Collingwood.

If you don’t get there early, the shelves will be empty. I made it in just in time to break my no gluten rule and then dive into the best cinnamon raisin bread I’ve had in my life.  I couldn’t help it.  They’ve ruined me.

Check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/collingwoodbread and then visit them in the Cranberry Mews Plaza just west of town on Hwy 26 by Cranberry of course.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Aug. 29-Sept.4, 2014

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.
Previous week(s) in brackets.

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Barometer

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Barometer

Single Family Residential
New Listings: 62
Average List Price: $466,075
Range of List Prices: $149,900-$2,999,000
Number of Sales: 16
Range of Sale Prices: $130,000-$3,100,000

Condominiums
New Listings: 15
Average List Price: $256,340
Range of List Prices: $129,900-$699,900
Number of Sales: 8
Range of Sale Prices: $195,000-$385,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 7
Number of Sales: 1
Range of Sale Prices: $310,000

Price Changes 38

Notables this Week

- 4 single family residence sold for more than their list prices

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board

August 2014 Real Estate Market Recap For Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Area

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The real estate market in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain and south Georgian Bay area remained strong through August in one of the best summer markets we’ve had. A few highlights of the local

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Barometer

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Barometer

market in August:

• The number of new listings were down marginally but so were sales numbers keeping the pattern much the same as July
• The sales-to-listing ratio is in balanced market territory in most areas and YTD, Collingwood has now topped 51% meaning it is now a seller’s market. The lowest or slowest area is in the Town of Blue Mountains although that area saw a surge in sales last month
• The number of properties sold in all local areas last month topped sales for the same period last year
• Listing inventory of proeprties for sale is tightest in the Collingwood area
• The average sale price continues to clim in most areas and is up about 5% year over year
• The number of condos sold in August (38) was down from July (51) however, the average sale price is higher and sat at $227,000 last month.

September has been off to a fast start and I expect we’ll see continued strong activity for at least the next few months.

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board

Quick Calculations for 5 Year Mortgage

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percent house dollar pictureFor those of you in our Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Meaford or Grey Highlands areas who are thinking about mortgages…did you know that Canadian mortgages are calculated semi-annually, not in advance, and therefore you cannot do a straight interest calculation to come up with an accurate mortgage payment.

Here’s An Example:

If you wish to calculate a 5 year mortgage, amortized over 25 years at current rates – say 3.19%, the multiplier is $4.83 per thousand dollars of mortgage.

So a $100,000 mortgage with a 5 year term, amortized over 25 years will cost approximately $483.00 per month. ($100 x $4.83)

Similarly, a $200,000 mortgage with the above terms/amortization would result in a monthly payment of approximately $966.00 per month.  ($200 x $4.83)

 

 

 

Hobbies, Horses and Homesteading on 30 acres near Collingwood

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If you wish you had a totally private and perfectly maintained hobby farm or country home near Collingwood, I think we’ve found it for you.

Live closer to the land here – grown your own veggies, raise chickens, make some noise or enjoy the peace and quiet. This exciting new listing is located less than 20 minutes from Collingwood or Blue Mountain and is very privately hidden away at the end of a no-exit country road. Beautiful rolling hills, an adorable and immaculate 14 year old Cape Cod style home, a barn with stalls and, just $424,900! Check out all the details on the website by clicking here or watch the video. Welcome home!

The Wired Monk Is Now In Collingwood

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Wired Monk ext

With little fanfare, another coffee shop has opened in Collingwood bringing the total to… um… a lot. I was passing by the other day and popped in to see what it was all about and it was impressive.

The Wired Monk is a franchise based in BC where they have 15 café’s. They also have one in Halifax and this is the first one in Ontario. The owners, Stacey and Steve Demello, were originally from Ontario and then lived in BC for the last 24 years. They wanted to come back to Ontario but wanted a lifestyle community so chose Collingwood which they had visited in the past.

The café opened on August 1st and I had not heard a word about it and so far, I don’t think many others had either. Let me say, it’s worth a visit. The shop is located in the former Three Herons design shop in the first block of Collingwood’s downtown on the east side. The interior has been nicely renovated keeping the old charm and exposed brick walls. Most tables were occupied when I dropped by and enjoyed a very delicious Matcha Tea frappe. They also sell sandwiches, breakfasts and baked goodies. Stacey tells me they are best known for their espressos and in particular, their red espresso made from a Rooibas.

Wired Monk Interior

This new spot is not named after anything to do with Internet although they do of course offer wireless access. The name comes from a legend about a Monk and some peppy sheep. Read it here on the main website.

An added and smart feature is that they offer a meeting room that holds 10-12 people and bookings are coming in quickly. Great idea. The café is open 7 days a week from 8-8 and there are plans in future for special evening events celebrating local musicians and others.

With other local artisanal style coffee shops in Collingwood such as Espresso Post and Ashanti, it will be interesting to see how they all fare. Each one offers something a little different and, heck, we’re Canadian and love our coffee!

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