Elevated Living Blog

A Decade of Excellence: The Evolution of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

Posted on February 17, 2022 by Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty

2022 marks the 10th anniversary of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty and we are proud to recognize our growth as the largest, top-selling real estate brokerage in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are a powerhouse firm of over 200 experts in the industry and 14 offices and we strive to continue leading the way with strategic innovation while providing irreplaceable value to our clients around the world. Though the Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty franchise is 10-years-old, our local expertise is built upon a 20+ year legacy of real estate innovation and influence within the Roaring Fork Valley. 


Here are 10 things worth celebrating as we ring in a decade as Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty:


1. Our name represents the longest standing tastemaker in the world, the Sotheby’s Auction House. Founded on the same commitment to exceptional service that characterized the Sotheby's Auction House for more than two centuries, the Sotheby's International Realty brand was launched in 1976 and is known around the world for the distinctive properties it represents.

2. We have deep local roots. All of our owners and leadership team live in the Valley full-time, and remain involved in our company and community.

3. We offer more than just sales. As the leading full-service luxury vacation rental agency in the Roaring Fork Valley, we have more exclusive luxury rentals between Aspen, Snowmass, and Basalt than any other brokerage.

4. We have 14 offices in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs with just under 200 broker associates and 25 members of support staff

5. We currently sell more than our next two competitors combined, and in 2021, we represented 39% of all transactions above $2 million. We also represent 39 of the 100 top-performing brokers in the Valley.

6. All our listings are featured on the award-winning Sotheby’s International Realty website now in – 14 languages/dialects – attracting more visitors than any other luxury real estate website. 

7. Sotheby’s International Realty is the #1 most viewed real estate channel on YouTube. 

8. Over 50% of our transactions are closed in-house, a tribute to a unique culture of collaboration among brokers, and our established presence in every major area.

9. We’re passionate about each of the communities we serve, and are proud to support more than 50 local charities. In the last 5 years, we donated more than $741,833 to philanthropic causes in the Valley.

10. Our listing exposure in the local newspapers is unparalleled, guaranteeing that all listings are rotated in our full-page company ads once every 4 - 6 weeks. We are also the exclusive real estate advertiser at the Aspen Pitkin County Airport.



When the collapse of the housing market led to the economic crisis in 2008, Aspen and its surrounding areas were subject to an epic shift in how homes were sold and purchased. During the thick of the Great Recession, Craig Morris and Ernie Fyrwald, owners of Morris and Fyrwald Real Estate, affiliated with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand with the intention to align themselves with the global brand’s reputation and reach as a way to combat this market turbulence. “Our thought was to attack the Aspen Snowmass residential real estate market while times were tough and uncertain,” says Craig Morris, who now is the #2 selling broker associate in all of Sotheby’s International Realty. “If we could weather the storm and begin building our brand and our business during tough times, we would be in a great position when times turned good again,” continues Craig Morris. 


In 2012, Aspen market leader Morris & Fyrwald Sotheby’s International Realty and Snowmass market leader Chaffin Light Real Estate merged, forming Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty. Before the merger in 2012, I looked around and there were three or four companies with similar market share and I knew there would be tremendous advantages to scale, both for brokers and the company. I stalked Ernie at a Rotary meeting and we met at Little Annie’s for lunch to talk about the new company name and how to make the deal work. In the 12 months before the merger we were about 19% of market share, combined. In the next few years, we grew market share to almost double that. I think Sotheby’s played a part in that but so did having scale, and we kept amazing staff from each company and they did a great job learning to work together,” says Andrew Light, partial-owner of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty who’s father, Jim Light, started Chaffin Light Real Estate in 1978. Ten years later, through strategic acquisitions, mergers, and the opening of several offices throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has grown to be the largest real estate brokerage in the Roaring Fork Valley. “Our goal has remained the same; create value to our buyers and sellers by knowing and understanding the market and representing everyone with integrity, grit and hard work,” says Craig Morris. 


The growth of the company solidified in 2015 when Roaring Fork Sotheby’s International Realty was founded as a subsidiary within the company and two offices were opened in Glenwood Springs. In 2017, our colleagues at Frias Properties of Aspen joined the company, adding our 11th office. In 2019, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty continued our success by opening a new office in Carbondale at the River Valley Ranch Barn. In 2020, we expanded again with a new office in Willits. Now, ten years after the inception of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, no other brokerage in our valley has the global reach and distinction that Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has due to our unique culture of broker collaboration and our established presence within every major area of the Roaring Fork Valley. 


“It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since four iconic Aspen Snowmass real estate families (Morris, Fyrwald, Chaffin and Light) joined forces to create the Roaring Fork Valley’s #1 real estate firm. It’s been incredible to see what Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has accomplished over the past decade, and I’m personally very excited about the next ten years,” says Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty’s newly elected President, Andrew Ernemann."Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty continues to provide the highest level of service to our clients; and it’s our dedication to supporting our impressive brokers and staff with the best training and tools in our industry that will keep Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty at the top of the Roaring Fork Valley real estate market for years to come."

While the success of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty can be credited to our expert industry knowledge, collaboration, innovation, and market dominance, it’s the energy our brokers, support staff, and owners bring to this company that makes Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty what it is. The awards, the parties, the support to local charities, the support we give each other, the values we all practice – there’s so much to celebrate and be proud of. 




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Sotheby's International Realty ® and the Sotheby's International Realty Logo are service marks licensed to Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Any services or products provided by independently owned and operated franchisees are not provided by, affiliated with or related to Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC nor any of its affiliated companies.