DEER VALLEY The idea was to build the ultimate ski home. A home designed by skiers for skiers.
Joseph Ballstaedt believes his new "Dream Home" is just that a skier's home, albeit a home few skiers could afford and most can only dream about.
Asking price is $19 million. Shorter visits are $10,500 a night, going to $13,000 during Christmas and certainly the Sundance Film Festival.
The starting point of the home goes back several years when SKI Magazine asked its readers for their views on the ultimate ski home.
It found, said Ballstaedt, CEO of Resorts West and one of the home's owners, "that real estate, particularly buying real estate in and around ski areas, was of great interest. In fact, it found it was actually becoming a part of the sport."
The magazine came up with the idea of building the ultimate home for skiers. Deer Valley, which had just been named the No. 1 resort in the country in 2001, was chosen as the location and Resorts West the developer.
Ballstaedt said he took of all the information submitted by magazine readers, then formed a committee of property managers, Realtors, guest-services representative, housekeepers and maintenance experts and came up with the elements, which were then given to an architectural firm to incorporate.
• A 14,000-square-foot home with an additional 4,500 square feet of outdoor patio/deck space heated by outdoor fireplaces or gas fire pits.
• A home with six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, with fireplaces in all of the bedrooms and several of the bathrooms. A TV screen that reflects through the large mirror in the master bath to keep bathers up-to-date on all sporting events. In all, there are 15 interior and exterior fireplaces.
• An entertainment area with a DJ booth, dance floor, pool table, 550-gallon native-trout aquarium, an indoor golf-course simulator and a 124-inch high-definition screen in the grand theater.
• A large outdoor pool, with air jets, that serves as a hot tub, with a cascading waterfall and a constant water temperature of 104 degrees. There is also a smaller hot tub away from the pool placed to gather in views of Park City, Deer Valley and Jordanelle Reservoir.
• A day spa with sauna, steam room, treatment room and a nearby fitness room behind a large bank of windows overlooking Jordanelle.
• An elevator, secret room behind a bookshelf and a multi-vehicle garage with car wash and dog spa.
• Radius African mahogany stairs and Brazilian walnut floors and onyx, marble, brunello, granite and glass tiles and countertops and floors.
• And ski-in, ski-out access to Deer Valley runs and a lift.
"What we found from the information we gathered is skiers wanted home that celebrated skiing and life in the mountains," Ballstaedt said.
"We created a lot of indoor/outdoor opportunities where doors and windows open to blend the two. The 4,500 square feet of heated outdoor space makes it possible to sit on the deck and watch the sun come up and go down, and be comfortable.
"One request was for an enormous hot tub. Skiers said a special part of their ski vacation was having a large enough hot tub where people could congregate at the end of the day. That's why we built the large pool with the water feature, jets and why we keep the temperature at 104 degrees."
Another thing that constantly showed up in responses was skiers wanted a "ski in, ski out" access to the home, which is why the home is at the top of the mountain at the 8,000-foot elevation and is located adjacent to a Deer Valley chairlift. They didn't want to have to leave the home, pack the gear up and drive to and from the resort.
"Another thing that kept showing up was a request for a bowling alley. We couldn't find room in this home, but maybe the next. We plan to build one dream home a year at different resorts," he said.
Other things on the wish list, which were built into the home, were the large home theater, DJ booth, golf simulator, fireplaces in almost every room and rooms that made it possible to get away from the crowd.
"If you look down on this home, there are individual pods located around the perimeter and great entertainment space in the middle. With many homes this size you don't have the entertainment or gathering space," said Jeff Hill of Midways Builders, which built the home.
Each of the pods or bedrooms, workout rooms or office space is somewhat isolated and has its own entrance and bathroom.
"You can be in one of these rooms, isolated, and step out and immediately be in the large open areas," he said.
The design also filled another request, which was for more room. Ski vacations today are taken in groups, with friends and extended family members brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and grandparents instead of a single family going it alone.
Hill said the home took two years to build with lots of challenges and the rewards. Answering to three bosses Resorts West, SKI Magazine and Deer Valley was, at times, challenging, but at the same time it was rewarding "because together they knew so much about skiing and what skiers wanted."
One thing he felt was unique and something skiers felt strongly about was the entrance from the ski hill into the home.
Typically, he said, it's located in an obscure, out-of-the-way area on the lower level.
With this home, it is celebrated with a bridge that has a water feature running beneath it that drops into the pool. Skiers will go over the bridge and enter on the main level into a very elegant ski-prep room with individual lockers, sitting area and a bar.
This room, Hill said, "is three to four times larger than what you'd find in other homes of this size."
"We really tried to tie everything together, especially the indoor/outdoor experience, which is why you see this whole bank of windows in the ski-prep room open up on to the deck."
He felt the most difficult challenge was the radius features on everything from the stairs to the railings to the stone work on the counters.
"Anytime you go away from straight lines, the work become much more difficult. Take the grand staircase, for example. Work started on the stairs when we started framing, and they were one of the last things finished. I look at them as artwork, and you see this throughout the home.
"Also, the technology in this home is the most advanced available. You have control of almost everything from every room."Ballstaedt said his committee would continue to gather opinions from skiers and other sources, and he would try to incorporate some new ideas into the next home, which might include the bowling alley.
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