You could have bought the resort for less a $1 million a few years ago.
South Africa: Tiffindell Ski Resort
Tiffindell, South Africa’s only ski and snowboarding resort, opened in 1993 near Rhodes, on the remote southern slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains. But the resort closed in 2010 after falling into disrepair during a legal battle between the owner and property developers. In July, Lew Campbell, who owns an artificial ski-training slope in Johannesburg, bought Tiffindell at auction for about $730,000. He’s invested another $560,000 in building upgrades, snow-making machines and ski equipment. The 192-bed resort reopens year-round in January 2013. It has snow from June to August, but let’s be honest: it will never compete with the big leagues. With only 57 acres of skiable terrain, Tiffindell Ski Resort is less than one one-hundredth of the size of Whistler Blackcomb. Yet what it lacks in size and sophistication it makes up for in South African hospitality. Visitors who schlep up the gravel roads, past cattle grazing on grassy hills, will be met by local English-, Afrikaans- and Xhosa-speaking staff members. Skiers can expect sunny and dry winter days, and après-ski aficionados bored with Aspen’s bourbon milkshakes may get a kick out of Tiffindell’s boerwors, a South African spiced sausage.