Snowbirds are showing increased interest in ski towns

on Feb10
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PALMERTON, Pa. – More snowbirds are interested in buying ski town getaways over beach vacation homes – and experts say the pandemic is driving the shift.

“I have a five-year-old and a four-year-old, which makes the Poconos a great place,” said William Pollina, who just bought a vacation house in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.

Pollina’s kids are learning how to ski, so they stay at their vacation home near Camelback Mountain every other weekend.

“We’re literally just down the road here. We can be on the chairlift within seven, eight minutes,” said Pollina.

It takes about two hours for them to drive to the Poconos from New York.

 “I got to tell you the kids, as soon as we pack them up in a car and start hitting the road they are just like, ‘Oh we’re going to Pennsylvania, we’re going to Pennsylvania, we’re going to Pennsylvania!’ and they’re so excited,” said Pollina.

The owner of Pocono Mountains Real Estate says inventory is at an all-time low. (KATIE BYRNE//FOX NEWS MULTIMEDIA REPORTER)

The owner of Pocono Mountains Real Estate says inventory is at an all-time low. (KATIE BYRNE//FOX NEWS MULTIMEDIA REPORTER)

Realtors at Pocono Mountains Real Estate say the area’s a hot spot for families from New York and New Jersey. Since the pandemic hit, the group’s inventory has been shrinking as sales are up.

“There’s not a lot of homes to go around. Actually, in my 26 years, it’s at an all-time low,” said owner Dominick J. Sacci.

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According to Sacci, sales in the region are up by about a third, which means buyers have to act fast.

“If you see something you’re unfortunately going to have to act sooner than later. Just because things are moving so quickly,” said Sacci.

He says it’s a different market than the one he started in years ago.

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“I remember when there were 100 homes for sale in this community. This morning there were two,” said Sacci.

A new report from realtor.com shows more people in the Northeast and Midwest are leaning towards ski towns over beach towns when it comes to vacation destinations.

“We took a look at what folks from these metro areas that typically are Snowbird, so where people usually look for homes in Florida, and what we found is that we were seeing a big increase in their interest in ski towns,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com.

According to the report, searches for homes in ski towns jumped 36 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. Eight ‘Snowbird’ cities in particular – including Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, and Minneapolis – showed record interest in ski towns. 

According to Realtor.com, eight 'Snowbird' cities in particular - including Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, and Minneapolis - showed record interest in ski towns. 

According to Realtor.com, eight ‘Snowbird’ cities in particular – including Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, and Minneapolis – showed record interest in ski towns. 

 “Instead of looking for a getaway destination that’s a little bit further away, they are looking for something that’s close to home,” said Hale.

The numbers don’t surprise Joe Pellettiere, who drives two hours from New Jersey to ski at Blue Mountain in Palmerton, Pennsylvania with his kids.

“With the COVID-19 that we’re dealing with, [skiing] seems to be something that you can do well and social distance,” said Pellettiere.

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For families like his, and the Pollinas, it’s an easy choice.

“It’s so much more fun,” said Jude Pellettiere. “When you go down the slope and, like, you’re trying to make turns and stuff. Then, when you’re at the beach you are just like in the ocean and relaxing.”

“Changing the scenery of being cooped up at home due to the pandemic was everything for us,” said Pollina.



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