Logo by John Adams, April 2010

Edelweiss

History

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A quick look at how Edelweiss came into existence

The Edelweiss development came about partly as a result of the proposed development of the Early Winters downhill ski resort which was under the planning and research stage from the 60ís to the 80ís. In the early stages of the planning, recreational cross country skiing was virtually non existent. Due to continued opposition by environmental groups and the huge costs of trying to bring the resort to fruition, the downhill area was never developed.  Instead, the Methow Valley grew in a gradual way and is now primarily known for its cross country skiing and biking trails (among other recreational activities), with downhill skiing available at the Loup and via helicopter.

While planning for the ski resort was still underway, Bill Laney, an insurance executive and his partners bought 550 acres from Aaron Burkhart for $120,000, hired Don Drake as manager, and began developing the first of the 4 plats which would be included in the Edelweiss development. The project was nearly bankrupt in the early 70ís (due to the high costs of development, plus poor sales attributed to a 2 yr. construction closure of Goat Creek Rd. , and poor economic conditions in Seattle ). Laney sought help from the Johns Company, which was a company in Okinawa made up of former servicemen who sold investments to other servicemen using a payroll deduction plan. After the firmís visit to Edelweiss, they eagerly took on the project, and within a year the total inventory of Edelweiss lots was sold. Laney got the money from the contracts, and the Johns Company received the 20% down payments. The opening of the North Cascades Highway , plus continued optimism about the possibility of the ski resort going in at Sandy Butte, further fueled the rise in lot sales.

When it became evident, in the 90ís, that the resort would not be built, many lot owners lost money on lots they had previously purchased. At any one time there were as many as 50 lots or more for sale. Circumstances shifted around 2003 as the Methow Valley became an increasingly popular destination for cross country skiers, as well as the other recreational activities (biking, fishing, hiking, etc.) Lower interest rates also helped fuel a rapid rate of lot sales and homebuilding in Edelweiss, especially in the years 2004-2006. While real estate sales have slowed down a bit recently (2006/2007), the limited amount of recreational land in the valley, coupled with increasing numbers of retirees and even younger couples/families wanting part time or permanent homes here, it is unlikely that land values will diminish.

 

Upper Meadow, photo taken by Karen Reneau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                             Revised: 04/24/2010