18 Jun Calgary Herald – The Residences at Bighorn Meadows
When Janet Colvin saw her cat’s focused glare out the patio window of her Radium vacation home, she investigated, discovering a young deer peacefully sleeping on the other side.
“How more perfect could it be,” says the 60-year-old Colvin who, with her husband Doug, took possession of their place in the Bighorn Meadows Resort a year ago.
The couple purchased a duplex in the Residences at Bighorn Meadows, part of the overall 10-acre development sitting on Radium’s The Springs golf course.
“The golf course is out our door — my husband golfs and I am trying — and this winter we went out on our cross-country skis,” says the retired Colvin, whose own childhood and that of her children was spent visiting British Columbia’s mountain playground.
But it wasn’t until their son and his family decided to purchase a second home in Fairmont that Janet and her husband started looking for one of their own.
The couple has a house in Calgary (moving into the city from an acreage) and didn’t want an apartment condo or a single-family home for their recreation property, but they did want full ownership. They found Bighorn Meadows, which has launched a new phase of the community started in 2003, offering duplex-style cottages at full or partial ownership.
Randy Trapp, president of Luxury Resorts West, builder of Bighorn Meadows, is bullish on this year’s sales season for the residences.
Currently, 88 per cent of owners in the overall project come from Alberta, the majority of those, like the Colvins, from the southern half of the province.
He has seen a change in the last several years in buyer demographics with continued interest from empty nesters being bolstered by those in their 30s to late 40s, with older kids, looking at that lifestyle purchase.
“It is a recreation property that you use like a cabin on the lake without the headaches.”
He says the lack of headaches comes from Bighorn Meadows Resort amenities including outdoor maintenance, concierge and front desk services to buy all your groceries before you arrive, book your golf games or hang-gliding experience, plus a meeting/flex room.
He predicts this year will see continued purchases by that younger group, as well as the return of empty nesters shifting focus from the United States to properties back home.
Trapp says downsizers can buy in Bighorn and still enjoy winter months down south, by exchanging weeks in the resort-share program. And the homes in the East Kootenays are not part of the B.C. government’s recent speculation tax, placed on out-of-province owners of vacation homes.
The 44 new units offer low maintenance, energy efficiency and more privacy with the duplex-style configuration.
The mountain-contemporary cabins have two bedrooms/two baths with 1,100 square-feet of living space. There are basement options in this new phase, allowing for addition of two bedrooms and a bathroom.
The duplexes have added low-maintenance features including Hardie board siding, on-ground concrete aggregate decks, energy efficient heating/cooling, B.C. Home Owner Protection Warranty, 30-year shingles and all-weather windows.
Strata fees are less than in other Bighorn Meadows Resort phases because of the minimal upkeep needed on the buildings.
Bighorn Meadows owners can also choose to put their unit into a rental pool, managed on site. The average two-bedroom owner can offset ownership costs by as much as $17,000/year in rental revenue.
Colvin says her home is perfect for the couple’s weekend or vacation trips or when she comes on her own, with her husband still working.
“It’s my own little sanctuary. It’s way better than living in the city,” she says. “I can walk everywhere and feel safe. It is the perfect place for the two of us (plus cat), with room for our grandchildren when they stay over.”
PROJECT: The Residences at Bighorn Meadows
AREA: The overall 10-acre Bighorn Meadows Resort development sits on The Springs golf course in Radium, British Columbia.
WHAT’S AVAILABLE: This is the third phase of the 44 duplex mountain-contemporary cabins with two bedrooms/two baths and 1,100 square feet of living space. There are full basement options in this phase, providing the possibility of two additional bedrooms and a bathroom. Prices start in the low $300,000s.
BUILDER: Luxury Resorts West