Research and investment for livable mountain communities®

Driving RESEARCH & Policy for best practice COMMUNITIES

APX1 is dedicated to finding best-practice solutions for community building in U.S. mountain regions.




"Housing crisis, soup kitchen, three-hour commutes, pages of unfilled help-wanted ads, squatter settlements…" These phrases were used to describe America’s most popular mountain resort towns in 2018. Why? Geo-fenced by public lands, conservation easements, resort properties, and private estates, American mountain towns are islands with limited opportunity for growth. As of March 2018, three of 26 U.S. mountain towns had available free-market, single family housing options for the middle income (50-150% AMI earning) workforce.

A sustainable municipality offers obtainable opportunities for full-time residents to live, work, and prosper. To this degree, America's mountain towns are failing. Full-time residents who make up local economies struggle to live. As a result of extreme living costs, families leave to find work elsewhere.  This exodus drains mountain municipalities of essential skilled labor, resulting in an unsustainable economic model. For mountain resort communities to remain viable and keep the talent on which they depend, region-wide collaboration and investment is needed to facilitate, foster, and learn from better community archetypes.



APX1 is dedicated to ongoing research, investment and development for livable mountain communities. From workforce housing to food security, APX1 is the first nationwide effort to address the core issues resort-based mountain towns face. We find, fund and facilitate best-practice, developments. APX1 is becoming a go-to resource for public and private sector stakeholders stand for innovative solutions on behalf of US mountain communities and beyond.



APX1 began in 2018 as a multi-phased study to index, evaluate, and rank workforce housing and food security programs in 26 U.S. Mountain Towns. The project has since grown into an invaluable resource for public and private stakeholders. As a result of the research, APX1 is beginning to impact invest in best-practice development solutions.




  1. Resort town population less than 50,000

  2. Resort town geofenced by public lands and conservation easements

  3. Resort town located more than 30 minutes from an Urban Area (UA), a region with a population greater than 50,000



  • Mammoth, Mono County California

  • Kirkwood, Heavenly, El Dorado County California

  • Boreal Mountain, Nevada County California

  • Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Placer County California


  • Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Pitkin County Colorado

  • Breckenridge, Keystone, Summit County Colorado

  • Crested Butte, Gunnison County Colorado

  • Steamboat, Yampa County

  • Telluride, San Miguel County Colorado

  • Vail, Beaver Creek, Eagle County Colorado

  • Winter Park, Grand County Colorado


  • Brundage, Valley County Idaho

  • Schweitzer, Bonner County Idaho

  • Stanley, Custer County Idaho

  • Sun Valley, Blaine County Idaho


  • Big Sky, Gallatin County Montana

  • Whitefish, Flathead County Montana


  • Heavenly (Area), Douglass County Nevada

  • Mt. Rose, Diamond Peak, Washoe County Nevada


  • Taos, Taos County New Mexico


  • Mt. Hood Meadows, Hood River County Oregon


  • Moab, Grand County Utah

  • Park City, Deer Valley, Summit County Utah

  • Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, Weber County Utah


  • Stowe, Lamoille County Vermont

  • Stratton, Windham County Vermont


  • Leavenworth, Chelan County Washington


  • Jackson Hole, Teton County Wyoming

  • Lander, Fremont County Wyoming


  • Banff, Canada

  • Revelstoke, Canada

  • Whistler, Canada

  • Chamonix, France

  • St. Moritz, Switzerland

  • Zermatt, Switzerland

Target issues

  1. Policy

  2. Land Use

  3. Development

research process


Create a systems architecture index of workforce housing (defined as 50%-150% AMI) and food security projects in geofenced, U.S. Mountain Towns. Deliverables: Index public and private housing and food programs in geofenced towns that fall within the following parameters: resort region population < 50,000, resort town > 30 minute commute to closest Urban Area (defined by U.S. Census Bureau as population centers > 50,000). (Complete)


Develop methodology to analyze the produced systems index. Identify common denominators of successful and failed developments. Initial methodology will include: land costs, zoning restrictions, infrastructure services, historical NIMBYism, and transportation connectivity. Additional variables will be integrated with further research. Deliverables: Develop methodology to evaluate specified past projects and programs. (Complete)


Evaluate indexed projects and programs using the developed methodology. Contact stakeholders active in both the private and public sector to gain insight around successes and failures. Interview beneficiaries who work and live within indexed developments to evaluate longterm impact and applicable scalability.  Deliverables: Evaluation of indexed projects and programs. (Complete)


Rank state of affairs in select regions using results gained through Phases 1-3. Deliverables: Publish ranked list of 26 mountain regions to summarize land use, policy, housing, resort, NIMBYism, and economic climates to inform future investments. (Complete)


Evaluate supply-demand, viability, ROI, and organizational models for future private and public impact investment developments in select pilot locations. Deliverables: List of developable workforce housing and food security projects in select U.S. Mountain Towns. Host national conference to showcase rankings and faciliate industry-wide dialog. (Complete)

Fund + Build

Invest in best practice developments using ApexOne framework. (Ongoing)


Research Collaborators


Summit Institute is the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of Summit Co. ApexOne is special project of the Summit Institute, which accepts donations on behalf of the project. Summit Institute’s mission is to apply creative solutions to real-world challenges related to the environment, education, the arts, health, and social innovation. Summit Institute pursues the above goals by orchestrating large-scale projects to bring communities, initiatives, and leaders together with projects that can be disseminated and leveraged throughout Summit Co’s international influencer community. Summit Co. is the premier community for entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders who believe that business and collaboration are tools that should be used to elicit lasting, positive impact in the world. Founded in 2008, Summit Series events are designed to help attendees build relationships and achieve their personal, professional, and philanthropic goals, and have helped raise tens of millions of dollars for business and nonprofit ventures. In April 2013, Summit purchased Powder Mountain in Utah to create a permanent home built around the ethos that the community and organization have come to embody and promote.