Schools in ski towns across the U.S., in areas including Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada, Aspen, Colorado,, Mammoth and Bear Valley, among others, have seen a marked increase in enrollment both due to more people relocating to less urban areas as well as an uptick in remote learning due to the “new normal” of 2020. How locals students, parents, teachers, school staff, administrators are affected, has yet to be seen.
According to a new report in Business Insider, ski towns near ski destinations from the Sierra to the Rockies and beyond are dealing with the fallout of urban flight and the spread of online instruction that has become more common since last Spring. Ski resort employees as and those living in ski resorts are already dealing with a lack of housing and jobs, especially as these locales approach the Winter hiring season.
Locals who depend on the ski industry have expressed concern about increased exposure, crowds, traffic, and the increased demand for real estate and short-term as well as long-term rentals in Lake Tahoe and beyond. More kids in classrooms built for rural communities has proved challenging.
Families from Bay Area locales from Fresno, Palo Alto, Mountain View, San Francisco, and other urban areas will soon be heading to the local mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe. A phenomenon known as “urban exodus” has arrived with people searching out open areas with fewer people. Yet, the demand for open space creates a conflict. As Business Insider reported, visitors or new residents to these areas:
“…are snapping up properties and moving into their vacation homes full-time, looking to escape high rates of COVID-It’s just one snapshot of a larger trend playing out across multiple western mountain resort towns, as families with means are pouring into locales like Lake Tahoe, California and Aspen, Colorado. Families who usually drive up from Palo Alto, Mountain View, and San Francisco to spend a weekend carving up powder around Lake Tahoe are snapping up properties and moving into their vacation homes full-time, looking to escape high rates of COVID-19.”
The average home price in Tahoe last month was $749,000, up nearly 25% since the same month last year, according to Redfin. In Pitkin County, Colorado, where Aspen is located, the median sales price for a single-family home in 2020 was over $3 million, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors, up more than 14% over 2019.
As a result, many local schools, especially those offering in-person classes, have seen increased enrollment of new students from urban and surrounding areas. Everyone involved has been forced to quickly adjust in order to meet the demand. The Colorado Sun called the phenomenon an “urban exodus,” pointing to institutions like the Vail Mountain School, whose waitlist is its longest ever, and Aspen school district, where enrollment has soared.
One thing is true: we all are in for a challenge in the coming months as we recover and try to curb the impacts of the pandemic and its effects on all of our communities. Fundamentally, under current knowledge various anecdotes interest locals.