It’s no secret that a large number of ski towns across the United States are exorbitantly expensive. Many of these towns have become increasingly costly as time has gone on, and cost more than a pretty penny to travel to in 2022. For better or worse, it does not appear that this trend isn’t going to go away anytime soon. We have compiled some of the most expensive ski towns in the United States below:
9. Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge is a beautiful mountain community located in Summit County, Colorado. The town is among the highest in elevation in the country, situated at 9,600 feet above sea level. It was originally founded as a mining community in the 19th century but has since turned into one of the premier ski destinations in the world. The town features a gorgeous village and is ripe with ski-in and ski-out rental properties scattered around the base of the mountain.
With the median listing home price for Breckenridge sitting at $1.4 million currently, it is no secret that this community is an extremely expensive place to live in or visit. That equates to 145% above the national average and 78% above the state average in terms of cost of living. Breckenridge offers many valuable benefits in both the summer and winter, reflected by these statistics.
8. Big Sky, MT
Big Sky, Montana is one of the newer towns on this list, but it has become an increasingly popular destination. Big Sky sits at an elevation of 7,218 feet above sea level and is approximately one hour south of the large western town of Bozeman. The town has more of a modern feel to it than some of the more historic towns on this list, but it offers expansive mountain views and recreational opportunities that have pushed it to the top of many people’s ski town bucket lists.
With direct access to Big Sky Mountain Resort and its proximity to Yellowstone National Park, the town has become quite expensive, for good reason. It is also adjacent to the ultra-exclusive Yellowstone Club, a private ski resort that prominent business tycoons, actors, and other high-profile guests frequent. The median home listing price in this resort town comes out to $2.3 million.
7. Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, Colorado is located in the Park Mountain Range and offers an authentic western culture that has made it a desirable destination for decades. This, combined with some of the best powder you can find in the nation, makes it an amazing location to own a home or have an awesome vacation. They also have churned out 100 Olympic athletes, a truly remarkable statistic that points to the high quality of their slopes.
With a cost of living 36% higher than the national average and 23% higher than the Colorado average, you’ll have to have a lot of dough to make it out to this Northern Colorado ski paradise. The town sees these figures grow at a 2.3% rate each year as well, meaning that this situation is unlikely to change any time soon. Colorado ski towns are often quite expensive places to make a living in, and Steamboat Springs is no exception.
6. Incline Village, NV
The remarkable beauty of Lake Tahoe combined with a plethora of amazing ski resorts to choose from makes Incline Village a very desirable place to go to. Although many communities sport a high cost of living around the lake, Incline Village comes in at #1 for the area. This is evidenced by the fact that 4 out of the 5 most expensive properties sold in the last year have been located in Incline Village, among other statistics.
Incline Village sports a cost of living 53% higher than the national average and 64% higher than the statewide average for Nevada. The median home cost in this picturesque community is a whopping $1.7 million, clearly indicating that many see it as one of the premier ski towns in the country to own a home in. With access to resorts like Palisades Tahoe, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, and Heavenly, it is no surprise to see that people consider this Lake Tahoe gem to be of extremely high value.
5. Telluride, CO
Located deep in the San Juan Mountains in Southern Colorado, the natural beauty of Telluride is hard to beat. The town dates back to the 1800s and has a history stooped in silver mining. Situated deep in a box canyon at 8,750 feet above sea level, the mountains that surround the town combined with its charming and quaint downtown district make it an amazing place to spend time in, regardless of if you’re just visiting or are lucky enough to call this place home.
With a median listing home price of $3.1 million, Telluride is not only one of the most expensive ski towns in the United States, but also one of the most expensive towns in general. It is not uncommon to see mansions listed well above $20 million in the area, effectively pricing out a large majority of the population. The town has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a mining hub!
4. Park City, UT
Having hosted the Olympics in 2002 and being the home of the largest ski resort in the country at 7,300 acres, Park City is naturally quite expensive. Located in Utah’s Wasatch Mountain Range, Park City offers expansive mountain views and a community entirely devoted to skiing. The United States Olympic Ski Team has its training center here, and the resort has long had a reputation for having some of the best powder the Rocky Mountains has to offer.
Park City sports a cost of living that is 64% higher than the national average. Six billionaires own properties in the town, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The expensiveness of Park City is further evidenced by a median home listing price of $1.8 million, on par with many of the other towns that find themselves on this list. All of these statistics paint the picture of a luxury experience that is hard to rival.
3. Vail, CO
Located in Eagle County, Colorado, Vail has a storied ski history that rivals almost anywhere. Vail is considered one of the premier destination resorts in the country, which can be attributed to its legendary back bowls, long ski history, and amazing Rocky mountain powder. The town sits just off Colorado’s main ski town artery, I-70, and has been fulfilling the dreams of locals and visitors alike for decades.
Vail sports a median home listing price of $1.7 million that is consistently rising at a 9.3% rate year after year. That level of growth means that the high price of spending any amount of time here is not going away any time soon. Surrounding towns that support the resort, such as Avon, have similarly high costs of living as well. Anyone looking to ski here will be forced to shell out a solid chunk of change to do so.
2. Jackson, WY
Jackson is one of the most legendary ski towns in not just the United States, but the whole world. As the only town on this list in the state of Wyoming, this western town has an old-time western culture that has stood the test of time. Jackson is the base camp for not only the legendary ski resorts of Jackson Hole and Snow King but also Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. There is an endless amount of outdoor recreation available in the surrounding areas.
With a median home listing price of $2.6 million trending at an unreal 165% growth rate since 2020, Jackson has become one of the most valuable towns to call home in the United States. The town has become a hub for A-list celebrities, with stars such as Harrison Ford, Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Tiger Woods, and Matthew McConaughey owning land here. Due to the extremely low 4% state tax rate in Wyoming, it has reached tax haven status.
1. Aspen, CO
Coming in at #1 on this list, it is no secret that Aspen is one of the most expensive places to call home in the entire world. This ski mecca has four amazing resorts to choose from, hosts the X Games annually, and has high prices on everything from food to gear rentals. It has gone through many changes throughout its history but currently sits as one of the biggest hubs on earth for those who are in the ultra-wealthy financial class.
In August of 2022, 84 of the 346 homes on the market were priced at $10 million or higher. This includes one listing at an unfathomable $100 million, the most expensive house in all of Colorado by a margin of $15 million. The amount of wealth concentrated in this one town is almost impossible to believe. Anyone coming to Aspen must be ready to pay an extremely high premium to access the amazing slopes of Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and Aspen Mountain.
Were you surprised to see any of these towns selected? It is no secret that the price to take a family skiing has increased massively over the years, and towns like these provide evidence of this phenomenon. It should be noted that these are far from the only places to have an amazing time on the slopes in the United States, and many would argue that the level of wealth present in these communities serves as a detriment to the overall skiing experience. If you get the chance to visit any of these luxurious places, you are quite a lucky person!