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Blog :: 01-2015

Winhall Police warn about rental Scams at Stratton

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Monday January 12, 2015, 1:17 PM

Winhall Police & Rescue

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Advisory: Winhall Police & Rescue Press Release

Dear Nixle User,

FRAUD ALERT

Please be aware:

The Winhall Police & Rescue Department have received several complaints regarding vacation home rental fraud. Complaints were received last winter and they have begun to recur again this winter.

The offenders in these cases go on-line and find a legitimate real estate advertisement. The offenders steal and modify the advertisement from a vacation property for sale advertisement to a vacation property for rent. The fraudulent advertisement is then posted on a web site like Craigslist or HomeAway.com.

They use rental contracts that look legitimate, and they ask that the rent money be deposited into an account. The property is not really owned by the offenders and when the scam victims arrive for their vacation, they can’t get into the property and learn that they have been scammed. The scammers are frequently outside of the USA, in places like Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa.

The Winhall Police recommend that anyone who is renting a vacation home or condominium be cautious. Use a high degree of suspicion and verify any and all information. When the homeowner will only take payment that is deposited into an account, this should make you suspicious. Making your rentals through a local real estate office should ensure that the rental is legitimate.

For full details, view this message on the web.

 

Stratton Ice Castle

Coming to Ski Stratton for a weeknd or are here for the season - Don't miss Stratton's Ice Castle.   I skied by the castle in the SunBowl where it is being constructed.   It is a pretty wild thing and will be awesome to see when its completed this weekend. 1/16/2015

Here is more information from WCAX:

Destination Recreation: Stratton Mountain Ice Castle

Posted: Jan 10, 2015 9:00 AM EST Updated: Jan 10, 2015 9:08 AM EST

STRATTON, Vt. -

Nestled in the snow covered slopes of Stratton Mountain a magical kingdom is under construction.

"I just want you to feel like you are in a different place. You know, an ice wonderland," says Cory Livingood.

Livingood is King of the Castle...ice castles. He and his crew are busy harvesting icicles to complete the wonderland. They work for an entertainment based company out of Utah that travels the U.S. handcrafting large-scale events from ice.

"Most places the way they build is with blocks of ice. Ours in very unique. It started in a guy's backyard when he was just playing with sprinklers and icicles. He actually has a patent on the process. So not only are we the only people who do this, we're the only people allowed to do it too," he says.

Typically the team need three to four weeks to finish a project. But warmer temperatures in late December shortened the timeline. Stratton's castles are located next to the Sun Bowl Lodge. The kingdom will have 31 towers,12 to 20 feet tall arches, a reflecting pool and waterfalls, all illuminated with colorful lights.

Livingood says it's an attraction for all ages.

"A lot of people will say, oh the kids must love it. But even as adults, when you're standing next to a tower that's 20,30,40 feet tall, it makes you feel small," he says.

We got a sneak peak during the construction phase. The team carries bags of fragile icicles, cementing them in place with slush.

"Every temperature has a different growth that comes from it and we can use the temperatures to manipulate the way we want to build," he says.

When it's complete, the castles will look similar to the company's other creations. In addition to southern Vermont, they'll also appear in Lincoln, New Hampshire and as far away as Minnesota and Utah. You'll be able to tour Stratton's kingdom starting next Saturday, January 17. Livingood recommends dressing warmly and wearing winter boots.

"Basically when you enter we ask you no running, no climbing no breaking the ice and it's all for your own safety," he says.

Tickets range from $7 to $14 depending on age and time of week. You can spend just a few minutes or all day inside. Livingood says it takes most people about a half hour to tour the towers. His team will maintain castles throughout the winter, adding more water as the ice melts and evaporates. Depending on the weather, visitors should have until March to experience the magic.

The team members call themselves icicle farmers. If you'd like to learn more about the profession, they're the focus of this week's Odd Jobs. That's coming up Tuesday during our 6 p.m. broadcast.

Christmas Rental Scams at Stratton Mountain

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 This Christmas at Stratton was very busy with lots of people who came to enjoy a wonderful holiday season.  We rented more vaction rentals this holidays that ever before.    Late one afternoon, a nice family came knocing on our door.   They had found a beautiful home on Craigs list and sent the "owner" $6000 for rental.    The house on Craigs list is a beautiful property that is listed for sale in excess of $2 million dollars on Realor.com and other sale websites including our own.   Should it be for short term rent it would be $2000. a night or $12to $14,000 for the holiday week.   The tenants went and knocked on the door to find that the house was NOT for rent and their $6000 lost.    Unfortunately, we were sold out and were unable to help them.     A good reason to not try to save money by not going through a reputable company.

The market seems to be heating up with lots of appointments and properties are getting offers and going under contract.  Prices are still very competitive and now is a good time to look and buy.