Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

Written by Kentwood president and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

Rooted in… Change

In 1996 when I embarked on my career in real estate, I quickly learned that no two transactions, no two clients and no two co-op agents would ever be the same.

Experienced real estate brokers, whether they practice residential, commercial or leasing services, know this is a fluid business. They understand how change impacts people’s need for different surroundings. They also become adept at managing expectations and outcomes.

Managing Expectations

It’s reasonable for you to believe your real estate broker will be honest, forthright and ethical throughout your relationship and transaction. In fact, we have a duty to be just that. These relationships are bi-lateral, however, and in order to have the best working relationship it’s important for the consumer to be able to receive news and advice from their broker with an open mind. The best way I found to help clients manage expectations was to give them their options, wait a beat, and then ask them if they had any questions and how they wanted to proceed.

Managing Outcomes

Once the options are weighed, sometimes with the advice of counsel, sometimes with the input of home inspectors, the next steps can be plotted. This is where an adversity to change can negatively impact the outcome. Real estate isn’t a zero-sum game, there are people on the other side of the transaction. People with their own motivations, hopes and desires. We must always keep the best outcome for our client front and center, while being open to changing course, giving here and there, or getting what we may not have expected. That’s negotiation.

Changes in circumstances, even when they’re a positive step forward in a life plan, can cause stress and anxiety. Top real estate brokers are attuned to this dynamic and assist their clients in finding the best way forward.

At the end of all of this change lies the outcome, and this is what Kentwood has always been about. Results for the people who have entrusted us with their life changes.

Our company purpose says it best:

At Kentwood, we believe in community.

That we accomplish more together.

That deep roots matter.

We inspire people to imagine the next steps in their life journey.

Colorado Real Estate News

Weekend Vacation Ideas In Northern Colorado

We’re all guilty of not taking enough vacation, especially this year. Even if we are able to travel for vacation, it flies by far too quickly. One of the perks for living in the great state of Colorado – especially in Northern Colorado – is the enormous amount of land and experiences available for new adventures and weekend staycations.

Instead of traveling elsewhere, stay local this weekend with a few of our favorite must-do’s experiences in Northern Colorado.

Estes Park
One of our favorite and not-so-secret Northern Colorado destinations is Estes Park, CO. Home and basecamp of the northern gate into Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is a small town about 6,300 people. Estes Park is famous for the resident elk who reside in the park and meander throughout the historic downtown area as if they run the place. While the elk rule the town, the Big Thompson and Fall Rivers converge downtown and lead to the appropriately named Lake Estes where visitors can fish, paddle board and kayak.

Bonus local tip: Do something a bit off the beaten path. Literally. Have a local guide take your thrill-seeking family on a tour with jeeps, ATV’s, white water rafting, horseback riding or even a mountain climbing trip. The park itself is designated as by the federal government as “wilderness,” meaning absolutely no motorized vehicles, but the land surrounding the park will keep the motorheads busy.

Greeley
Greeley, CO is the largest municipality in Weld County of Northern Colorado, located east of I-25 from Loveland. Entire centrally-located homes are available for short-term rentals for around $50 per night – an incredible price for anywhere in the Front Range. A few of the top activities in Greeley are the hiking the Poudre River Trail, the Pawnee National Grasslands, and WeldWerks Brewing Co., one of Colorado’s most talked about breweries. WeldWerks recently made headlines for canning the once-blasphemous idea of a low-calorie hazy IPA. While the beer fanatics may argue sacrilege, it’s a delicious alternative for those of us not wanting to drink 200 calories per beer and other brewers are racing to produce their own.

Loveland
Directly west of Greeley and just south of Fort Collins is Loveland, CO. At the base of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, Loveland is a beautiful town with tons of restaurants and outdoor shopping at The Promenade Shops, a gorgeous hike to the nearby natural Dakota sandstone arch known as Devil’s Backbone, a thriving downtown district at Foundry Plaza with winter events, lights and sculptures, as well as local craft breweries. In normal years, September in Loveland sees the ‘Thunder in the Rockies’ for Harley-Davidson fans, the ‘Good Guys Car Show’ where antique auto drivers bring their treasures from across the country, a Loveland Oktoberfest, and so much more.

Fun fact: Did you know two of the largest love lock sculptures are in Loveland, CO? Think of the touristy love locks on the Pont des Arts bridge – which were recently removed by French authorities – but with a mountain background.

People often think of taking a vacation at far-away, tropical beaches or giant, city metropolises, but completely forget about the local treasures available here in Northern Colorado. Book a room, pack light, and drive up to the unforgettable towns that make Northern Colorado so special.

Colorado Real Estate News

Top Front Range Off-Leash Dog Hikes

We’re all fans of our four-legged fur babies and likely go above and beyond to give them the best homes possible. But they also deserve to go wild and be dogs, off-leash! While Colorado offers Front Range residents the most beautiful backyard playground in the world, here are a few trails to take your dogs off-leash!

Reminder: Please follow all trail safety guidelines and restrictions by going to each trail’s website, social media page, or calling ahead.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Colorado Springs
Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs, CO is located just minutes west from downtown Colorado Springs and south of the famed Garden of the Gods. The off-leash dog area is one of many phenomenal amenities provided to guests who visit the park including seven different trails (the Upper and Lower dog loops are the only off-leash areas), a pavilion, rock climbing, horse trails, and a mountain bike-only trail.

The natural red rock formations and two lakes are wonders to behold, especially for those skipping the crowds at Gardens of the Gods. The trails vary in difficulty from easy to moderate, which are great opportunities for the entire family.

Twin Lakes, Boulder
Twin Lakes is the top off-leash area in the Boulder-area with the West Twin Lakes Trail lake available for dogs to roam wild. The lake’s 0.7 mi shoreline is great for dogs to swim and fetch, and the lake is surrounded by fencing. The mountain views are spectacular and the lake can be fished by anglers, although the website states the lake is not stocked.

Glendale Farm Open Space, Castle Rock
An extremely popular dog park, the Glendale Farm Open Space is located off I-25 just north of the Castle Pines neighborhood. The 17-acre dog park is wide open prairie land without much shade, so be sure to bring lots of sunscreen and water on hot, sunny days. Once you’re done letting your dog loose in the fenced area, take them for a leashed hike in the park’s 1.6 mi looped trail. The dog park is a great place in the winter for dogs to run wild through snow. Don’t forget about the obstacle course for dogs!

Union Reservoir, Longmont
The Union Reservoir Nature Area is located east of Longmont and day-use tickets cost $10 – but worth the money for dog owners. The south side of the lake’s swim area and beach is off-leash. The lake is extremely popular with local sailors and paddleboarders due to the no-wake law prohibiting use of motorized engines, allowing for a peaceful experience with the doggo’s.

Fun fact: Union Reservoir is one of the only few natural lakes in Colorado, carved out during the last glacial age.

If you’re searching for a home or are interested in selling, work with experienced brokers who know your neighborhood’s history, up-and-coming developments, and fun facts about nearby off-leash dog parks – while selling your home for top value or finding your dream home.

Colorado Real Estate News

The Top Reasons People Are Moving This Year

Today, Americans are moving for a variety of different reasons. The current health crisis has truly re-shaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many people to re-evaluate what homeownership means and what they find most important in a home.

In 2019, 67,000 people moved to Colorado according to the US Census Bureau. In July, the Front Range Housing Market remained very competitive. Many sellers were collecting multiple offers over asking price as people continue to move to and around the front range

According to Zillow:

“In 2020, homes went from the place people returned to after work, school, hitting the gym or vacationing, to the place where families do all of the above. For those who now spend the majority of their hours at home, there’s a growing wish list of what they’d change about their homes, if possible.” 

With a new perspective on homeownership, here are some of the top reasons people are reconsidering where they live and making moves this year.

1. Working from Home

Remote work is becoming the new norm in 2020, and it’s continuing on longer than most initially expected. Many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live close to the office anymore, and they can get more for their money if they move a little further outside the city limits. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes:

“With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”

If you’ve tried to convert your guest room or your dining room into a home office with minimal success, it may be time to find a larger home. The reality is, your current house may not be optimally designed for this kind of space, making remote work and continued productivity very challenging.

2. Virtual Schooling

With school about to restart this fall, many districts are beginning the new academic year online. Education Week is tracking the reopening plans of schools across the country, and as of August 21, 21 of the 25 largest school districts are choosing remote learning as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 4.5 million students.

With a need for a dedicated learning space, it may be time to find a larger home to provide your children with the same kind of quiet room to focus on their schoolwork, just like you likely need for your office work.

3. A Home Gym

Staying healthy and active is a top priority for many Americans. With various levels of concern around the safety of returning to health clubs across the country, dreams of space for a home gym are growing stronger. The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans explains:

“For many in quarantine, a significant decrease in activity is more than a vanity issue – it’s a mental health issue.”

Having room to maintain a healthy lifestyle at home – mentally and physically – may prompt you to consider a new place to live that includes space for at-home workouts.

4. Outdoor Space 

Especially for those living in an apartment or a small townhouse, this is a new priority for many as well. Zillow also notes the benefits of being able to use yard space throughout the year:

“People want more space in their next home, and one way to get it is by turning part of the backyard into a functional room, ‘an outdoor space for play as well as entertaining or cooking.’”

Many urban dwellers remain enamored with the dynamic urban lifestyle and still enjoy condo living. Those that wish to remain downtown are looking at properties with larger patios or building rooftop decks. They look forward to the lock and leave lifestyle again in future months, but want to enhance their current space with a home office and an area to get outside on those lovely Colorado days.

Moving May Be Your Best Option

If you’re clamoring for extra space to accommodate your changing needs, making a move may be your best bet, especially while you can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates. Low rates are making homes more affordable than they have been in years. According to Black Knight:

“Buying power for those shopping for a home is up 10% year over year, with home buyers able to afford nearly $32,000 more home than they could have 1 year ago while keeping their monthly payment the same.”

It’s a great time to get more home for your money, just when you need the extra space.

Bottom Line 

People are moving for a variety of different reasons today, and for many people, their needs have changed throughout the year. If you’ve been trying to decide if now is the time to buy a new home, contact a Kentwood broker to discuss your options!

Colorado Real Estate News

The Reservoirs Of Northern Colorado

The end of summer is quickly drawing near, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to enjoy Northern Colorado’s beautiful lakes and reservoirs! Whether you’re looking to cool off and dive into the refreshing waters or you’d prefer to go fishing, boating or simply take in the view, there are several options near in Northern Colorado to choose from.

Grab your suits and sunscreen, and check out these top lakes and reservoirs: 

Boulder Reservoir:
Just about an hours’ drive from Fort Collins, Boulder Reservoir is certainly worth the trip. From its massive size to endless options for recreation, it’s a perfect day trip for the whole family. The swim beach at the reservoir is one of the largest swimming beaches in all of Colorado– which even comes with a seasonal lifeguard– and there is a shallow, roped off area that is perfect for kids.

Horsetooth Reservoir:
Horsetooth Reservoir is the most well-known body of water in Fort Collins due to its proximity to the city and secluded setting. There are over six miles of water where you can enjoy fishing, camping, picnicking, water skiing and even scuba diving, with a total shoreline of 25 miles. Horsetooth is extremely popular with local fisherman to catch walleye, small and largemouth bass, all species of trout, and panfish.

Lake Loveland:
The center of activity for all of Loveland’s locals and visitors is Lake Loveland. The lake provides an extraordinary visual of Rocky Mountain sunsets from its banks. North Lake Park is a common place to gather at Lake Loveland with a swim beach, a train, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, a picnic area and an amphitheater.

Windsor Lake:
Windsor Lake is surrounded by a 2.25-mile trail, which is perfect for walking, running and biking, or you can take in the beauty of the lake from within by boat. There is a swim beach as well as a dog park located on the north side of the lake, and the Rocky Mountains make for a picturesque backdrop.

Jackson Lake State Park
Jackson Lake State Park is located approximately 45 miles west of Greeley. The lake features 2,700 acres of surface water, and its shallows warm up quickly in the summer. Swimming is allowed on the west and south shores, and there is a plethora of other outdoor activities to enjoy like boating, sail boating, fishing, jet and water skiing, camping, hiking, picnicking, hunting and bird watching.

Grand Lake
Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake, with over 60 miles of surface water length. The lake’s waters flow out of Rocky Mountain National Park, which surrounds the lake on three sides. There is public swimming and other water activities such as boating, canoeing and more. Its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Mark also allows for many other recreational activities such as hiking, biking, camping and horseback riding.

Carter Lake Reservoir
Located between Loveland and Berthoud, Carter Lake is a beautiful reservoir surrounded by 1,000 acres of public lands. Visitors love Cater Lake for fishing, sailing, water skiing, swimming and even scuba diving.

Lake Estes
Lake Estes has a full-service marina where you can find everything you need to enjoy the lake to the fullest with boat rentals including paddle boats, single and double kayaks, canoes, fishing boats and several pontoon boats. You can also enjoy the lake from the shores by renting a bicycle or have a picnic in the open air pavilion.

Whichever lake or reservoir you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Get out there and enjoy some of Colorado’s best summer activities because winter will be here before we know it!

Colorado Real Estate News

The Easiest And Most Extreme White-Water Rafting In Colorado

One of Coloradans favorite outdoor pastimes is white-water rafting. There are more than 30 main white-water rafting areas so finding a river and a professional outfitter is never too hard to find. Some of the most popular areas for white-water rafting in the state are Steamboat Springs, Winter Park, Vail, Fort Collins, Durango and Buena Vista. The season typically lasts from April through October, with the peak occurring when the snow starts to melt in May and June, raising the rivers’ water levels and speed of currents.

Depending on where you go, you can find any level of difficulty from Class I (easiest) to Class VI (most extreme and rarely attempted).

Rio Grande River
The Rio Grande stretches for 1,760 miles in Colorado, running through the scenic San Juan Mountains all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re a more experienced rafter, you’ll want to hit the “upper box” portion of the river where there are Class III and Class IV rapids, while the lower stretch is much more family-friendly. Head to the historic city of Creede for your launching point.

Colorado River
While this massive, 1,450-mile-long river runs through seven different states, rafting the Colorado River in Colorado is a must. The river winds through various canyons with incredible views along the way. The river is great for all levels, with areas of wild rapids and long stretches of calm waters. You can find popular starting points in Breckenridge, Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs.

Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is appropriate for rafters of all ages and skill levels, boasting Class I to Class V ratings. Head to Royal Gorge in southern Colorado for the most incredible views along the river, and make sure to check out Echo Canyon River Expedition, the leading white-water destination resort in central Colorado.

Clear Creek
Located right off of Interstate 70 with easy proximity to Denver, Vail and Breckenridge, Clear Creek is definitely a convenient option for white-water rafting with a starting point in Idaho Springs. There are day trips available from mid-May through August, and you can find all levels of rafting from beginner and child-appropriate calm waters to some of the toughest rapids you can find. Don’t let the name ‘creek’ fool you, the Class V rapids here are quite the challenge!

Yampa River
The Yampa River in Steamboat Springs will give you a white-water trip with a side of history. The river runs right through the ski village’s restaurant and bars, then by the Dinosaur National Monument, which is an area packed with dinosaur remains that you can see in the rocks. The Yampa River is one of the last free-flowing tributary rivers on the Colorado River, and you can find rafting trips for all levels of experience, from family-friendly to some major challenges for the adrenaline junkies.

Roaring Fork River
Located near Aspen and Carbondale, the Roaring Fork River is both convenient and offers adventurers endless opportunities. The top part of the river is known as Slaughterhouse, which has extreme rapids but the payoff is experiencing one of Colorado’s rare commercially rafted waterfalls. Starting at 12,000 feet above sea level, Roaring Fork is approximately 70 miles long and ends in the Glenwood Springs. If you’re looking for a more mild ride, you can set off further downstream where kayaking is popular in the lower waters.

Wherever you choose to go, make sure that you do your research before picking a guide, and never attempt to go white-water rafting on Colorado’s rapids on your own. 

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

By Kentwood CEO and President Gretchen Rosenberg

Top 5 Reasons to Leave Your Shoes at the Door

We all have pre-conceived notions of what our Colorado homes and real estate should be like.

For many people in Colorado that might be a view or a fireplace. For some it’s a gourmet chef’s kitchen and a soaking tub. Nearly everyone these days wants an area they can use as a workspace or for quiet time. The lists can be long or modest, but the best advice my first real estate broker gave me was to leave my pre-conceived notions at the door and be prepared to give a little. Here are 5 lessons from our Kentwood Real Estate brokers who have much hard-won wisdom to impart.

  1. It’s nearly impossible to get everything on your “must have” list. Create a list of A level amenities, B level amenities and C level amenities. Know in your mind that the A list should be very short, and the B’s and C’s will be nice to have, but could end up being crossed off. This applies to commercial real estate as well.
  2. Be open to suggestions from your broker. Real estate brokers are sometimes accused of pressuring buyers into looking at properties they don’t want to see. A great broker (like all Kentwood brokers) will listen intently, with a problem-solving frame of mind. They’ll also have input borne of wisdom. Let them provide suggestions for additional areas of town, insight into why some amenities might not be Colorado typical, or how a shift in price could get you closer to fulfilling all of the A’s and B’s on your list.
  3. Avoid a carpet allowance. (I was going to say “like the plague” but I’m writing this during the current pandemic, so like coronavirus.) Sellers – a carpet allowance doesn’t work anymore. It hasn’t in years. Buyers are watching HGTV and want their new house to “look just like that.” They generally don’t want to have to do any work, any updating or spend additional money. Why would they part with cash when they can finance at 3%?
  4. Know the photos make it look different. Properties are photographed in their best light, with a wide-angle lens and perfectly set for photos. The rooms always appear larger than they are. 3D Virtual tours and virtual (live) open houses are a better way to assess the space, and can be a good stand-in if you can’t be there or want to check some places off your list. The very best way to know if “it’s the one” is to visit the property. You’ll use more of your senses than just seeing photos when you’re actually there. You’ll smell (pets or candles?) You’ll see (what the room sizes really feel like when you’re standing in them.) You’ll hear (birds chirping or train tracks?) You’ll feel (those amazing soft close cabinets or a roll in the floor from settling.)
  5. National news is general, real estate is locale specific. Our Kentwood Commercial brokers have been asked a lot lately about their predictions for how depressed the commercial real estate market will be next year. Our Denver Rental team is asked about rent collections and whether property management is taking a hit. Our residential brokers in both Metro Denver and Northern Colorado are offered opinions on what’s going to happen with home values. It’s all correct, and it’s all wrong. Home values are going up rapidly in certain price points and neighborhoods, while other sellers are having to contend with lack of traffic and price reductions. Warehouses and light industrial real estate are booming, retail is struggling. Most of our property management clients are having no issues collecting rent, but that could also change as the COVID-19 months progress. This is the reason to seek an informed and expert broker. It’s a tough time to try to go it alone.

Leaving your shoes at the door is a metaphor for avoiding pre-conceived notions and being okay with asking for help. Kentwood Real Estate brokers are best-in-class and will help you find your next home, sell your current home, evaluate your commercial portfolio or lease a property. We’re here to help.

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Real Estate Broker Goes Beyond Realtor-client Relationship as the Ultimate Embodiment that ‘We are All in this Together’

Realtor® Pat Wall gifted her clients socially-distant family porch-portrait sessions to capture a nostalgic moment in history for Denver-area families

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamic of every home and every family across the world, and behind every front door is the story of how individuals are facing the challenges of today. So, Denver-area Realtor® Pat Wall of Kentwood Cherry Creek, a real estate agent with over 40 years in the profession, captured this moment in history for clients with whom she has built relationships with over the decades. 

Pat Wall hosted complimentary family porch-portrait sessions, hiring Denver photographer Emily Spetosky. The stories behind these ‘Porch Photos’ captured include:

  • Photo of parents and their young children having a fun time bouncing on a trampoline with rolls of toilet paper in the air. Wall represented this family in the purchase of their home.
  • Photo of twins that just graduated high school, but couldn’t have a formal ceremony. Wall has known the twins since they were 18 months old, having helped the family find homes in different stages of their lives.
  • Photo of three grown children staying at their parent’s home together for the first time in years, one of whom usually lives in Europe. You can see them sitting, laughing and bonding together. Wall has known the family since they moved to Denver in 1990, having helped them to buy their first home in the Denver area.
  • Photo of parents with a one-year-old baby that said this is the first time in months they got to get dressed up. Wall sold them a home that backs up to a park and lake which is perfect for a child during this time when social distance calls for families to stay home. 

These stories represent an important period in history. The nostalgia that Pat Wall is gifting to these families goes beyond a Realtor-client relationship – it’s the embodiment of ‘we are in this together.’

“Seeing these precious photos reminds me of all of the times we have spent together,” said Pat Wall. “I have known them as teenagers and now they have teenagers! I have seen all of their life events – births, deaths, weddings, graduations and all of their homes. These homes are central to their lives and so it was fitting that they be photographed in them while quarantining. The families enjoyed the experience.”

Pat Wall is a broker associate with Kentwood Real Estate. With over 40 years as an agent, she was designated a Realtor® Emeritus in 2018 by the National Association of Realtors®, an exceedingly rare honor. For more information, visit Kentwood.com. The photographer, Emily Spetosky, started taking Porch Photos in April. For more information on Spetosky, visit EmilyJanPhoto.com.

About Kentwood Real Estate

At Kentwood Real Estate we believe in community. That we accomplish more together. That deep roots matter. We inspire people to imagine the next steps in their life journey. Our brokers are the highest producing, most knowledgeable, caring, and experienced brokers in the country who offer a quality customer service experience. The exclusive affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America in Colorado, Kentwood Real Estate produces more sales volume per agent than 99 percent of all real estate companies in the U.S. The company is comprised of Kentwood Real Estate – DTC, Kentwood Real Estate – Cherry Creek, Kentwood Real Estate – City Properties, Kentwood Real Estate – Northern Properties in Fort Collins, Kentwood Commercial Real Estate, Denver Rental, and Prosperity Home Mortgage. For more information, visit Kentwood Real Estate online at www.kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

Colorado’s Wine Country On The Western Slope

Colorado might not be the first location that comes to mind when you think about wine tasting, but Colorado’s wine region offers settings and wine-tasting experiences like no other wine region in the world. From peach or viognier to a raspberry-honey blend or cabernet franc, Colorado has countless interesting wines that are beginning to draw recognition throughout the nation as not only being legitimate, but in some cases, actually world renowned.

While there are tasting rooms throughout the state, the prime spot to raise a glass in Colorado is in the heart of wine country along the Western Slope just a few hours from the Front Range. Home to dozens of wineries, the toughest part of a visit to Grand Junction and Palisade might just be picking which one is your favorite. Luckily, there are several interesting tasting tours and unforgettable wine excursions to choose from on the Western Slope, and here we’ve rounded up our top five favorites:

Two Rivers Winery and Chateau

The wines from Two Rivers Winery have won 60 awards in international competitions since its founding in 1999. The winery produces six wines, including a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Syrah, Port, and a signature Merlot.

Maison La Belle Vie Winery

This winery is known for its elegant tasting room that makes you feel as if you’re spending an afternoon in French wine country. Known for its Vin de Peche made from Muscat grapes and peaches, all of the wine recipes here have been passed down through the family since the late 1800s. Make sure to check out the winery’s signature charcuterie board while you’re there, which includes a selection of meats, cheese, olives, hummus, fruit and chocolate.

St. Kathryn Cellars

Located in Palisade, this winery specializes in unusual blends and flavors. From the Strawberry Rhubarb Blend to the Sweet Scarlet Blend, made from Merlot and blackberry wine, these combinations are truly one of a kind. The most famous of their wines, however, is the Lavender Wine, a Colorado Riesling infused with organic lavender.

Whitewater Hill Vineyards and Winery

If you’re looking for a more traditional vineyard, Whitewater Hill is the place to be. Their Ethereal Blend is a mix of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. They take the best barrels from each vintage year, and many have said it rivals the best wines in Napa Valley. If you decide to raise your glass al fresco, you can enjoy a picturesque view of the vineyard, highlighted by an old-fashioned windmill.

Carlson Vineyards

Carlson Vineyards has been family-owned since 1981 and quickly became a prominent player in Colorado’s wine scene. Customers are treated as part of the family, too, as the winery’s philosophy is that wine is for everyone, and wine tasting should be a fun affair for all. The winery has a diverse selection of reds, whites and dessert wines to sample, as well as other wine-inspired recipes like the Tyrannosaurus Red Spaghetti Sauce.

Whether you’re a novice to the wine world or have a seasoned palate, a weekend trip to the Western Slope’s wine country will provide the perfect setting for a relaxing getaway, as well as a chance to support Colorado-grown wineries. Make sure you leave extra room in your suitcase to bring home a bottle or two!

Colorado Real Estate News

The Scoop on Noco Farmers Market Openings

Farmers market season is upon us in Northern Colorado, and while many are looking forward to the fresh food, socializing, and supporting local business owners, there’s no doubt things are going to look a little bit different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite coronavirus pumping the brakes on many of our favorite summer traditions this year, most of Northern Colorado’s farmers markets have scheduled their returns, but with strict regulations in place. Here’s the scoop on which Northern Colorado farmers markets will be open this summer, and what you should expect from the guidelines that are put in place.

Fort Collins Farmers’ Market

The Fort Collins Farmers’ Market is located outside of Ace Hardware at 1001 East Harmony Road, and is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The market will include signage throughout encouraging shoppers to keep their visits brief and maintain proper social distancing and hand sanitizing. Shoppers over the age of two will be required to wear masks, and curbside pickup for the elderly and health-compromised individuals is being considered. No dogs will be allowed at the market this year, and aisles between booths will be expanded to 16 feet allowing for more space and better traffic flow. Food will also no longer be consumed on-site and all ready-made food must be taken to-go.  

Fort Collins Farmers’ Market on Drake (Formerly known as the Drake Road Farmers’ Market)

The Fort Collins Farmers’ Market at 802 West Drake Road takes place on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will honor the same rules and regulations as the Fort Collins Farmers’ Market.

Larimer County Farmers’ Market

Located at the Larimer County Courthouse parking lot (200 West Oak Street) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, the Larimer County Farmers’ Market is asking shoppers to come solo in order to cut down on foot traffic and shopping times. Signage will direct shoppers through the market, and masks, gloves, and physical distancing are encouraged. Market Bucks will not be sold this year in order to cut back on money handling, and instead, exact change or credit cards are encouraged whenever possible.

Farmers Market at Fairgrounds Park – Loveland

The Farmers Market at Fairgrounds Park is located at 700 South Railroad Avenue in Loveland and is held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday from now through September.

This year’s market will feature fewer vendors, booths will be more spaced out and wider aisle spaces and the focus will primarily be on food and produce. The city is also working to create an online market component, which will allow shoppers to preorder items and pick them up curbside. For more information, please visit cityofloveland.org/farmersmarket.

Windsor Farmers Market

The Windsor Farmers Market is located at Boardwalk Park in Windsor from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday beginning June 20.

There will be new rules and regulations that are not yet determined according to the town’s Parks, Recreation and Culture department, however, they will be following social distancing guidelines and recommendations from the Weld County Department of Health and Environment as well as the Colorado Farmers Market Association.