A stay at Devil’s Thumb Ranch offers a very different ski vacation—along with a chance to unplug.
Après-ski at Devil’s Thumb Ranch isn’t your typical drinks-at-the-bar-soak-in-the-hot-tub-head-out-to-dinner type of experience. Rather, after a long day pounding the moguls at Mary Jane, hunker down for a mean game of Clue, glass of pinot in hand, slippers on your feet. Fold into an overstuffed leather couch in the airy, mountain-rustic loft that overlooks Heck’s Tavern—so named for the hexagonal stone hearth that rises three stories to the ceiling’s pine beams.
Is it time to buy that dream ski home? With the real estate market in the deep freeze, there are some deals, albeit few steals. And the Russians are coming.
Ken Libby, a realtor in Stowe, Vt., recalls the boom years early this decade, when home prices rose 25 percent annually and a house sold on the day it was listed. “Everyone from Boston to Baltimore was buying property in Vermont,” he says. “I’ve been in this business 30 years, and I’d never seen that before—and probably won’t again.” Then came 2007’s mortgage crisis. Sales plummeted.