President Gerald Ford’s Winter Country House – DIRT

Although they are more commonly associated with the California desert community of Rancho Mirage, where the Betty Ford clinic is located, Vail, Colorado, was a favorite vacation destination for Gerald Ford and his wife Betty. Although best known for being a klutz, the 38th US President was actually a sports star. After playing college football and winning two National Championships, he turned down offers from the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers in favor of going to Yale Law School.

While living on the East Coast, Ford learned to ski. Beginning in 1968, as a member of Congress, he began to spend his spare time discussing the slopes of Vail. He said in 2000, “Betty and I, our children and grandchildren are always happy to come to Elephant’s to celebrate Christmas and New Years. We love it here.” In fact, he helped put the ski resort on the map.

The veteran politician drew dignitaries to Vail for his world forum and golf and ski competitions, and today, the city’s main municipal park and famous outdoor amphitheater are named after him. Locals loved “Jerry” because it wasn’t on the air. He often buys his own elevator tickets and Fords have been listed in the local yellow pages for decades.

They rented a house in Vail before they bought an apartment, and they paid $50,000 for it by raiding their kids’ college money! By the late 1970s, they had traded a family-sized home, which remained until the early 1980s and is now available for $13 million Presidential via Tye Stockton in Compass.

Built in 1967, the house sits on approximately half an acre between the fourth and sixth courses of Vail Golf Course. There are seven bedrooms and five bathrooms in approximately 5,900 square feet. There are also great views of both the mountains and the golf course, as well as ample seating, a comfortable den, and a huge outdoor deck and hot tub.

The hand-hewn gables adorning the ceilings are perhaps the home’s most eye-catching feature, while large adobe fireplaces, in the large room and basic bedroom, provide warmth on cool mountain nights. The spacious kitchen and dining area are part of the flow of the large room.

The centerpiece of the house is the master suite on the main level, with amazing views. The suite is complete with a beautiful master bathroom, seating area and dedicated office space. On the main level there is also a small master suite. Laundry/mud room and two car garage. The lower level includes three more bedrooms for family and friends, as well as an Alpine-style children’s bedroom.

The wrap-around deck at the front of the house includes a gas stove and fire pit. And if that space isn’t enough for outdoor relaxation and entertaining, a large patio at the entrance to the house provides a second wood-burning fireplace.

As President Ford said, “It’s a nice environment, winter or summer.” Which is – at least you have 13 million dollars to spend!

%d bloggers like this: