Ski House Building Analysis Pegs Cost Per Square Foot of Building at a Resort

By AlpineZone News |
Nov 20 2012 - 03:41 PM

Aspen Tops the Charts as the Most Expensive Place to Build an Ultra High-End Ski House

NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — With winter vacation season quickly approaching, Chris Pollack, President of Pollack+Partners, Inc., an ultra-high-net worth (UHNW) design/build cooperative, conducted an analysis of the costs to build a luxury winter estate in several of the most sought after ski destinations in North America.

The study identified seven winter vacation destinations and compared the cost to build a custom estate on a per square foot basis. According to the Pollack study: Aspen, CO tops the list at $1,235 per square foot (psf) while Whistler, BC, came in on the low end at $715 psf.

City, State Construction (psf) Project Cost (psf)
Aspen, CO $950 $1,235
Big Sky, MT $900 $1,170
Telluride, CO $875 $1,138
Jackson Hole, WY $750 $975
Vail, CO $700 $910
Park City, UT $650 $845
Whistler, BC $550 $715

“Our study offers insight into UHNW spending trends in some of the most desirable ski resorts in North America,” said Chris Pollack, President of Pollack+Partners, Inc. “In addition to construction costs, our analysis accounts for overall project cost, which many clients discount or do not acknowledge when establishing or discussing their budget.” On average, architectural, engineering and specialty consultant fees are 30 percent of the budget.

Pollack continued, “The top segment of the market tends to be less susceptible to fluctuations in the real estate market and the overall economy. Our clients desire first class design and amenities and are willing to pay a premium.”

The remote locations of winter destinations dramatically increase normal construction costs, as unique items such as climate-specific building materials, challenging site logistics, accessibility and geotechnical conditions all add to the project budget.

“Building costs vary with the terrain, elevation and project location, as well as the required design guidelines of specific resorts. These guidelines can demand additions ranging from a certain percentage of the exterior to be of native materials to requiring specific environmentally sustainable means and methods,” said architect Peter Bohlin of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the firm credited with designing the Apple stores and a partner of Pollack’s on a modern family ski compound at the exclusive Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, MT, a private ski and golf club.

Pollack concluded, “Other custom features our clients request include: exotic imported stone and wood, handcrafted cabinetry, antique flooring and technological integration, all of which require significantly more labor, hardware and materials, which increase project costs.”

Similar to Pollack’s beach house analysis, this study found that while UHNW clients continue to utilize unique construction methods and design materials, trends show that the majority are choosing to build homes with slightly less square footage since the market correction of 2008.

For those interested in warm weather destinations please check out our summer home analysis conducted in July of 2012 at

About Pollack+Partners
Pollack+Partners ( is a worldwide ultra high-net worth residential design / build firm. With a select group of strategic partners under its umbrella, Pollack+Partners goal is to provide clients with a team of proven industry experts that create time, quality and monetary efficiencies. Pollack+Partners deliver projects with integrity and complete transparency of all facets of the development process.