When Mac and Kamie Hummel felt the world pulling their children farther away from home, they knew they had to do something. At age 53 and living in Oklahoma—not exactly the most enticing of destinations—the Hummels wanted to create a hub that their three adult kids and 16-year-old daughter would make it a priority to frequent. Having vacationed in Breckenridge since 2002, but only as renters, they realized it was time to commit to the 80424 zip code.
“The kids will always want to go skiing and snowboarding, but they may not always want to come back to Tulsa and visit Mom and Dad,” Kamie Hummel explains. “So we just figured: let’s build a house up there that we can all meet at, and hopefully as we get older and move further in our different ways, we will be able to find time to come together.”
In late 2013, Pinnacle Mountain Homes completed the Hummels’ “legacy,” or multigenerational, home on Breckenridge’s Peak 8: six bedrooms, six and a half baths, and 6,443 square feet of traditional post-and-beam construction in the Timber Trail subdivision. The Hummels can ski to within 10 feet of the front door—or shimmy around a snowbank and make it all the way to the three-car garage.
“We wanted it to be close enough to the slopes that people can always come back,” Mac Hummel says. “Instead of people leaving to go skiing for the day and you don’t see them again, people leave to go skiing, then they come back for lunch, come back to rest. It’s almost like having a lodge on the mountain.”
The Hummels were committed to creating a place that their children would take ownership of, as opposed to feeling like guests. So during the latter stages of construction, all four kids—Zac, 27; Clint, 24; Ellie, 20; and Abbie, 16—visited the granite store, the furniture store, the tile store, and the lighting store, customizing their bedrooms.
Yet for all the personal touches, here’s the rub with the Hummels’ home—and why it represents a novel trend among custom homes in Summit County: they built it for themselves, yes, but also for people they may never know.
During the conceptual process, before it went to BHH Partners architects Marc Hogan and Ted Shaffer, the Hummels decided they would rent the house whenever they weren’t staying there. “It seemed silly to not capitalize on it and help pay for the expenses,” Kamie says. So in addition to features they desired in a family home, they also included amenities they might not want but renters would, such as an eight-bed bunk room downstairs (the whole house sleeps 22), a hot tub, and a home theater.
“We kind of felt like, if we’re going to rent it for what we want to rent it for, we should have all the amenities,” Mac said.
With renters in mind, they also incorporated lockable storage compartments inside the bedroom closets for the homeowner, perhaps the most critical amenity of all. “Once people get past the concern of having someone else in their house, the wrestling match really is: how do I transition out of it?” says Pinnacle partner Russell Whitt, who oversees Pinnacle Lodging, the company’s vacation rental management business. “And it’s as simple as lockable closets within closets, lockable cabinetry in bathrooms and kitchens that allows them to simply leave their stuff.”
So far, the strategy has worked: the Hummels’ home—called Slopeside Manor on Peak 8—has logged more than 180 rental days since January 2014, fetching from $1,200 per night in the summer to $3,950 per night in the prime winter season. Many of those nights were booked via online listings that Whitt says are crucial for high-end properties—on sites such as VRBO and FlipKey.com—as well as with travel agents around the world.
What those renters, and the Hummels themselves, encounter when they cross the threshold is a majestic and airy space. A large great room with arched high beams and vaulted windows flows into a kitchen with an island, offering seating for five, that could host a Martha Stewart cooking show. Kamie Hummel assembled a box of her family’s favorite recipes for renters to use, and when stocking cookware, she heeded lessons learned from her own experience.
“I’ve rented a home that will sleep 12 people, but the biggest pot in the kitchen meant I had to cook four batches of spaghetti,” she says. “I tried to think of all the things I wanted in a rental home when we were renting, and I tried to incorporate all of that into our home.”
Throughout the house, small, private spaces nestle within the larger ones, including a second roomy living area on the bottom level, complete with table tennis and full-length shuffleboard tables. The pods work especially well when multiple families rent the home together, Whitt says.
A small deck and hot tub just beyond the pool table anchor one of four outdoor living areas. Although views may not be Slopeside Manor’s signature selling point—the large-footprint home sits on a half-acre lot in a popular neighborhood—one can still admire the high peaks of the Williams Fork Range, Keystone Resort, and the western Front Range, including fourteeners Grays and Torreys, from inside the home. Not to mention Peak 8, whose 12,998-foot summit beckons through the great-room window.
A central grand staircase links all three levels of the home under a pair of skylights that flood the column with sun. The rays flicker off of a three-story, etched-glass chandelier, the most distinctive detail in a house full of them. The stairway’s rails are fashioned from chairlift cables; vessel sinks in the upstairs bathroom were carved from black granite boulders; and the combination of Wyoming snow-fence siding and copper gutters adds a rustic aesthetic to the exterior, especially on the deck branching off of the master suite upstairs. And wood defines the interior: much of the flooring is hand-scraped hickory; both the bunk beds downstairs and the high beams on the main level are hand-hewn Douglas fir; even the custom off-white finish on the kitchen cabinetry adds a degree of elegance to the room.
Although optimized as a vacation rental, Slopeside Manor feels foremost like the lived-in family home that it is. After all, it was designed by homebodies, a couple that began dating when they were in the eighth grade, 39 years ago. (“Kamie and I are junior-high sweethearts,” Mac affirms.) More than anything, they want their family’s closeness to last as long as they have as a couple.
As such, despite the convenience of having regular rental income, the point of building their home on Peak 8 was simple, Mac says: “We tried to make it so that no one would want to leave.”
Appliances & Lighting
Ferguson Enterprises, Silverthorne
BHH Partners, Breckenridge
Pinnacle Mountain Homes, Breckenridge
Cutting Edge Woodworking, Leadville
Granite & Marble Designs, Denver
Western Fireplace Supply, Avon
Vantia Hardwoods, Frisco
Pinnacle Mountain Homes, Breckenridge
Rocky Mountain Landscape, Breckenridge
Inferno Metalworks, Breckenridge
Unique Carpentry, Breckenridge