Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Harry Newton
9:00 AM EST, Tuesday, March 17, 2009.
Imagine popping into a community where they build $24 million, 16,000 square
foot homes on spec and where the local merchants comment that they've never
seen the place busier. That was the "scene" at Beaver Creek, Colorado
this weekend. Imagine a place where the single family homes start at 6,000
square feet and quickly climb to 10,000 square feet.
Typical single family house up on hill at Beaver Creek.
Naively, I commented to a local, "It's like a small hotel?"
he corrected me."It's like a large hotel.
I saw one home
with seven bedrooms and 14 bathrooms. There's so much space in these houses
they have to invent names for the rooms, like the hearth room and the morning
room. The media room was my favorite. It was sloped. It had comfy, couch seating,
a surround sound system with speakers as large as my suitcase and a front
screen projection (like a real movie theater). The room was fed by a 10 feet
high six feet wide, 19" rack mounted electronics system that contained
a video server capable of storing at least 15,000 movies -- and having each
of them play at the push of a button from the wireless master console next
to your couch.
The place in
This is Beaver Creek village with some of the lifts visible on the mountains.
The village is basically fully built with 1300 residences. Gerald Ford made
the place famous by having a house there, but then so did some famous criminals,
including Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom, Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco, the Rigas family
of Adelphia fame.
In one house
there were seven master bedrooms, each with its own washer and dryer. The
main laundry, however, still had two washing machines, three dryers and an
electric mangle. For those of you ignoramuses who don't know what a mangle
is -- and have never craved one -- let me explain. A mangle is a machine for
ironing sheets and napkins by passing them between heated, wide rollers. In
the old days, mangles actually pumped steam in as the sheets passed through.
I spent the most romantic time of my entire life in a suite at the de Crillon
Hotel in Paris sleeping in ironed sheets. It was such a wonderful weekend
that I spent the next six months trying to recreate the moment by buying the
sheets the de Crillon used. The end result was twofold. You can't recreate
the moment. And second, the de Crillon rents the sheets from a service who
won't talk to crazy Americans about its trade secret -- where it gets its
sheets from or how it irons them. The end result -- I can't resist this --
is "no sheet."
building slowdown? This
is one of many construction sites in Vail. They were all going full-bore yesterday
in the 50 degree Spring warmth and cloudless sky. .
season ski pass. Six mountains, unlimited,
unrestricted access $579 for an adult and $279 for a child.
With this ski pass, you will have unrestricted
and unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly
and Arapahoe Basin. But you must sign up before April 9. The skiing is vast.
Vail alone has 5,000 skiable acres. My friend started one morning at the base
and ended up in the afternoon seven miles from where he started. Click
private plane business is doing OK? These
were a few -- just a few -- of the private jets parked yesterday at the Eagle
County Airport, which serves Eagle, Beaver Creek, Avon and a million other
towns that have grown up along the valley in recent years. Most weren't there
when I last visited the place.
American Airlines did a perfectly fine job of bringing paupers, like myself
and my friends into town.
Stewart rips into CNBC's Jim Cramer. Jon
Stewart hosts The Daily Show on Comedy Central. He shreds Jim Cramer
of CNBC's Mad Money into little pieces. Watch Stewart and Cramer go
at it. It's fun watching Cramer cringe. Click
tennis continues. FSN is Fox Sports Network.
Wells Tennis TV Schedule -- EST times
PM - 7 PM
10:30 PM - 2:30 AM
PM - 7 PM
10:30 PM - 2:30 AM
PM - 7 PM
10:30 PM -12:30 AM
PM - 7 PM
10:30 PM - 12:30 AM
PM - 8 PM
PM -5 PM
This column is about my personal search for the perfect
investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered
with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor.
I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three
reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column
is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect
Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas,
concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address
is . You can't
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