Mitch Whiteford moved to Vail for the first time in the fall of 1961, the year before the skiing opened, when his parents, Gretta and Bill, decided to commit their family’s critical mass to the largely hypothetical ski area dreamed to open at the base of Vail Pass. He, his brother, and parents lived upstairs in the partially completed building at the top of Bridge Street that would house his mom’s boutique downstairs. That first winter was filled with trips for groceries to Minturn, by far the more complete community in 1961, and an introduction to skiing at, horrors, Aspen.
Vail miraculously took shape the next summer, and the Whitefords' Gondola Boutique opened just before the mountain in the fall of 1962. The Whitefords also coaxed Gretta’s cousin, Larry and his wife Marge to bring their combined family and open the Red Lion Inn across the street mid-winter 1963. The family’s fledgling hegemony over Bridge Street was completed when Bill opened Casino Vail and the Cornuti Bar on the corner of Bridge Street and Gore Creek Dr in the fall of 1964 just a few weeks before Pepi’s, and so could claim status as Vail’s first bar. The three family businesses were gateway employers to many of Vail’s long-term residents and shapers of the local culture.
While the adults at the fledgling ski area fretted details about how to get the streets paved, and whether to incorporate into a town, and how to bring enough business to keep the skiing company and town going, the Whiteford boys played in the foundations of every new building in town, getting a true ground floor perspective on the local real estate market, or maybe just hiding from Pete Jr. and Guy Parker. They skied as much as they could, and when made to, occasionally walked up Bear Tree to attend school in the Seibert’s basement.
With some structural re-working of the family, Mitch’s childhood years were completed between Denver and Vail, so he gained an early experience as a visitor too.
Mitch backed into a spectacular education at Stanford (they must have intended admission to someone with a similar name), where he accumulated academic exposure to earn an AB in Economics, and then borrowed the money for an MBA at Columbia where he was a Dean’s List student in Accounting and Finance. Mitch took that background and spent more than 20 years arranging financial solutions for visionary entrepreneurs from Sumner Redstone to Steve Jobs, working for, and then with, imaginative financiers at Citibank, and the Mergers and Acquisitions Group of Drexel Burnham Lambert in New York, and then Robertson Stephens in San Francisco where he started in Institutional Sales and eventually rose to the firm’s Executive Committee and responsibility for all capital markets activities. His institutional clients at RS&Co included T. Rowe Price and The Soros Funds. On the corporate side, he coordinated financings for more than 200 of the fastest growing companies in the world, and was a frequent source of financial market commentary for the Wall Street Journal and other national and local media.
All the while he visited Vail whenever he could, and for at least a few days every ski season. He also bought and sold dozens of properties as a principal, indulging a lifelong interest in real estate, with most of the property in the Vail Valley. And at the same time, developed a strong sense of what was helpful, and what was not in a real estate broker.
Now he brings the same imaginative service mentality, and analytical process to serving real estate clients. By teaming with Slifer Smith & Frampton, he is best able to serve clients. Said Whiteford, “I learned a lot about real estate and brokerage as a real estate principal. Working as a broker at Slifer offers the best service to my clients. Slifer has locked in incredible exposure and marketing support for listings and has an incredible network effect to help buyers. There is no better firm for my clients.”
Mitch will provide solutions to families looking to purchase or sell a multi-generational legacy home, or a first time buyer trying to get toehold in the Valley. He has the perspective of resident and visitor, having been both, and he is still an avid participant in the Vail lifestyle, skiing frequently and racing in the Vail and Beaver Creek Series (though pulled as if by Star Trek tractor beam to results in the middle of the pack).
So, please think of Mitch to help you, or your friends, with your real estate needs in the Vail Valley, whatever they may be, or come skiing in the winter; he has numerous tours for every level of skier, or hiking or biking in the summer.
Thank you for reading!
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