For 15 years, Tye and Brielle Stockton sacrificed, saved and built a life in Vail while planning every square foot of their dream mountain property
Tye Stockton used to put a beer in the hand of any visitor to his family’s 1,300 square foot half of a duplex at 2470 Bald Mountain Drive in East Vail and take them on a tour.
Pointing at the scratched and clawed siding, worn shag carpet or the overgrown back porch, he’d start by saying, “One day…”
Almost 15 years later, standing in place of that ragged, 1970s-built duplex is a 6,700 square foot, mountain modern, single-family home that was not so much bought or built as it was created by years of fiercely intentional planning and saving by the Stockton family.
“Being in real estate, I had the experience of seeing what 1,000 or more buyers would respond to,” Stockton, one of Vail’s top-performing real estate professionals with Liv Sotheby’s International Realty, says. “Then there were all these things you would like to have as a local living in Vail.”
“We wanted to make it a real house for a full-time family that lives in the mountains.”
From their time as newcomers to the Vail Valley in the 90’s, to marriage, through the birth of their two children and into becoming established locals, Stockton and his wife, Brielle, awed over the details of nearby mountain homes, built their business, kept a manila folder of clippings from magazines like Architectural Digest and never let their vision for the future be constrained by their current walls.
“We had a specific design list,” Stockton said. “We knew we wanted a three-car garage, a great mudroom, a main-level master bedroom, an open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, big glass windows, a heated patio and driveway, a game room and big outdoor space for the kids to build ski jumps.”
When it came time to build, the years the Stockton’s spent living in Vail yielded one more incredible resource: relationships. There is an inherent barter system among locals in Vail, a town of roughly 5,300 people that only incorporated in 1966. A referral among year-round residents often means friendship and that type of friendship is laid deep into the carpentry of the Stockton’s home.
“I’m celebrating 26 years of living in Vail, and, in my business, I was able to give people business,” Stockton says. “All these great local people wanted to help us build. We had three premiere architects, builders who regularly take on the specifics of multi-million dollar projects, and the best plumbers and electricians all wanted to pitch in. That is something I feel every time I walk inside.”
Now, when visitors arrive at their house, they don’t get some tour of idyllic grandeur. Instead, the Stockton’s seem to have a story for each detail. There is great work done by Randy the trim carpenter, or the diagonal wall that perfectly frames the Gore Range seen first by architect Mike Suman.
Perhaps the fondest stories he tells, though, are of all the memories. Though the new house was built in place of the old duplex, the family milestones seemed to have somehow carried over.
“After an 18 month build, we moved in on November 15,” Stockton says. “It was snowing these big heavy flakes. Our two kids grabbed their sleds and immediately headed outside to the same sledding hill that had always been there. The two Blue Spruce trees we planted when our kids were born are still there.”