For years, Dana and Andy Rodes talked about retiring in Colorado. A Colorado Springs native, she planned to eventually leave Texas and return to the mountains where she grew up. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, and her husband began working remotely. Their youngest son was heading to college this fall, making them empty nesters in a growing city that felt increasingly crowded. In June, they visited her brother, Eric Johnson, who owns Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge in the Richmond Basin. “When we were up at 11,000 feet at my brother’s place, both of us just got so rejuvenated. It felt almost like a resurrection of our lives,”Dana Rodes said. “Right then we said, ‘What are we waiting for? Let’s do it.’” That night, she started searching online for homes, and found one on Loretta Court. She called Realtor Marc Hitchcox on the drive back to Texas and told him they wanted to make an offer. “We bought it sight unseen, we did a video walkthrough,”she said. Their Texas home received a full-price offer within a few hours of being on the market, she said. Instead of waiting to retire, her husband can easily work from Ouray and they’ll have more years to enjoy their new surround- ings. “Between our children being able to move out of the house and COVID making it really known that he could work from home, we just knew, all of a sudden we didn’t have to have ties there,”she said. They moved in July, and are settling in as full-time residents in “paradise,”Rodes said. “We don’t regret it. Everyday we pinch our- Business & Real Estate O u r a y C o u n t y P l a i n d e a l e r • s e p t e m b e r 2 0 2 0 Buyers are snapping up Ouray County homes at a greater pace than 2019 — and at record high prices — as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes people out of metro areas Dana Rodes, above, and her husband Andy bought a house on Loretta Court in Ouray and moved here from Dallas in July. The couple had planned to leave Texas at some point, but with their kids moved out and Andy working from home due to the coronvirus pandemic, they decided to make the move now. Plaindealer photo by Mike Wiggins Market through the roof See MARKET p9 by Liz Teitz liz@ouraynews.com