Aspen Updates from Sally Shiekman

I am regularly espousing the deep value of the Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley, and it is clear that I am not alone. 

It's time to dig out those skis and if you are ready to move closer to the lifts, give me a call. 

Technology and Real Estate

June 18, 2024
With an extensive real estate career spanning over 32 years in Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley, I am no stranger to the industry's evolution. However, the current surge of technological advancements, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and the broader digital transformation, is set to be the most revolutionary. Here are just a few ways these technologies are reshaping our industry.

Embracing Future Technologies: AI and AR
Integrating AI and AR in real estate is not just a trend but a game-changer. AI, for instance, revolutionizes various aspects of real estate services, from devising marketing strategies and messaging to virtual staging and lead management. This technology empowers us to work more efficiently, allowing for personalized and effective client services painting a bright future for the industry. Future iterations of AI will be used, for example, to predict the best locations to invest.

AR offers potential buyers an Quick read more or view full article immersive experience by layering computer-generated images over real-world views. This magic lets clients visualize properties interactively, making virtual tours more engaging. These technologies represent the future of real estate marketing and client interactions.

The Digital Transformation of Real Estate

The digital revolution in our industry is in full swing, with more elements of the home-buying process transitioning online. Many platforms have sprung up, facilitating seamless connections between buyers and sellers. Features like 3D home tours, drone videos, and virtual staging have become indispensable tools, offering clients a comprehensive and convenient experience.

Moreover, the mortgage application process is nearly entirely online, simplifying one of the most complex parts of buying a home. This digital-first approach enhances efficiency and makes the real estate market more accessible to a broader audience, empowering us with information and convenience and keeping us well-informed about the market.

Why Technology Integration is Crucial

Integrating AI, AR, and other digital tools is more than a trend; it's a necessity for real estate professionals to stay relevant and competitive. These technologies enhance our ability to serve clients effectively, streamline operations, and make informed decisions. While not all these technologies are fully implemented at Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty, they represent the industry's direction, motivating us to adapt and stay ahead and inspiring a sense of healthy competition.

For real estate professionals, embracing these advancements means being at the forefront of industry evolution to be better equipped to meet evolving client demands. It allows us to provide a level of service that aligns with modern expectations of convenience, accuracy, efficiency, and accessibility.

The technological transformation of real estate is the most relevant and important topic today. As we integrate these advancements, we can look forward to a more dynamic, efficient, and customer-centric market.

Stay tuned for more insights and updates from the Aspen real estate market. If you, or someone you know, would like more information about this fantastic region, please call me at 970-948-7530.

Warm regards,

Sally Shiekman,
Aspen Realtor with Mountains of Experience
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The Impact of Colorado's New For-Cause Eviction Law on Landlords

April 23, 2024

The Impact of Colorado's New "For-Cause" Eviction Law on Landlords in Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley

As a property owner in the affluent areas of Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley, the recently signed "for-cause" eviction law in Colorado represents a significant shift in the landlord-tenant dynamic that could impact how you manage your rental properties. This article aims to provide an in-depth look at what this new legislation entails and the specific considerations you need to be aware of as a landlord in these high-end communities.

Understanding the "For-Cause" Eviction Law

Governor Jared Polis recently enacted a law that intensifies protections for tenants across Colorado, including those in high-demand areas like Aspen and Snowmass. The law mandates that landlords can only evict tenants or refuse lease renewals for specified reasons, such as non-payment of rent or breach of lease terms. Importantly, the law also gives tenants the right of first Quick read more or view full article refusal to renew their leases, barring any breaches.

For landlords in upscale areas, where properties often command premium rents and attract short-term vacationers as well as long-term residents, this change means a reduced ability to freely manage tenancy renewals based on market fluctuations or personal discretion.

Key Concerns for Local Landlords

  1. Lease Management:** Landlords must now be more diligent in drafting leases. Clauses should be clear, and all requirements and expectations explicitly stated. Since landlords can only evict for cause, having a well-documented lease agreement is crucial to enforce terms and conditions.
  2. Tenant Relations:** With tenants having stronger protections, fostering positive landlord-tenant relationships becomes even more critical. Responsive maintenance, respect for tenant privacy, and fair handling of complaints can help in preventing disputes that could escalate to legal challenges.
  3. Eviction Protocols:** Understanding the legal grounds for eviction under the new law is essential. Landlords should consult with legal experts to ensure that any actions to terminate a lease or evict a tenant are in strict compliance with the new regulations to avoid potential legal repercussions.
  4. Financial Implications:** The restriction on evicting tenants without cause may affect landlords' ability to adjust rental properties in response to the market or personal circumstances. For instance, if you were planning to renovate or sell the property, the new law requires landlords to navigate these plans with more caution and possibly more extended timelines.
  5. Documentation and Record Keeping:** Maintaining thorough records has become more important under the new law. Documentation of all tenant interactions, repairs, complaints, and lease agreements should be meticulous to support any necessary legal actions or disputes.

Strategic Adaptations for Property Owners

To adapt to the new law while maintaining profitability, landlords might consider the following strategies:
  1. Enhanced Tenant Screening:** To minimize risks associated with longer tenant tenures, rigorous screening processes will be more important than ever. This includes comprehensive background checks and financial screenings to ensure potential tenants are reliable and likely to comply with lease terms.
  2. Flexible Lease Terms: ** Consider offering lease terms that align with tenant needs and property management goals. For example, slightly longer lease terms could be beneficial if tenant stability is preferable, depending on your business model.
  3. Invest in Legal Counsel:** Given the complexities of the new law, it is advisable to retain a lawyer who specializes in Colorado real estate law to navigate lease agreements, tenant disputes, and compliance with state regulations.


Introducing "for-cause" eviction laws in Colorado marks a pivotal change for landlords, especially in high-end markets like Aspen and Snowmass, where the real estate stakes are high. By understanding these changes and strategically adjusting management practices, landlords can continue to thrive in this new regulatory environment, ensuring their investments remain profitable and compliant. Read Less

The National Association of Realtors Settlement

March 27, 2024
As a realtor with Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty, I'm here to break down the recent developments concerning the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) settlement. This agreement, addressing nationwide claims on broker commissions, signifies a pivotal moment for our industry.

Firstly, it's crucial to note that myself and other Sotheby’s affiliated agents and franchisees are protected against current and future litigation related to these claims, thanks to a prior settlement by our parent company, Anywhere. This means we can continue our operations without the immediate need for action.

The NAR's settlement introduces several changes, especially around commission structures. Offers of compensation will no longer be mandated on the MLS, granting us more flexibility to negotiate directly. This aligns with Anywhere's stance on the matter, advocating for choice and negotiation freedom in compensation matters.

Moreover, the agreement mandates buyer representation agreements for MLS participants, ensuring that buyer agents are appropriately Quick read more or view full article compensated for their efforts. We fully support this move towards greater transparency and fairness in the industry.

While the full details of the NAR settlement will be clearer once the agreement is publicly filed, these changes are in sync with the industry's direction towards more openness and client-focused services.

Our priority at Sotheby’s International Realty remains to offer exceptional service and support to our clients, navigating these changes with professionalism and care. If you have any concerns or need more information, please contact me. We're here to ensure a smooth transition and continue delivering the high-quality service you expect from us.

If you or anyone you know is looking for real estate anywhere on the globe, I hope you will put my “Mountains of Experience” to work for you.  Read Less

Spring is in the air, it’s time to prepare

March 5, 2024
The days are getting longer and warmer. As we embrace the vibrant energy of spring in Aspen, the real estate market is buzzing with anticipation, especially with the expected future decrease in interest rates. I'm Sally Shiekman, your Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's real estate advisor with 32 years experience, and a five-time recipient of the Aspen Times' Best of Aspen, Best Female Realtor award. Today, I'm here to share essential guidance for both buyers and sellers to navigate the upcoming spring market effectively.

For Buyers:

The spring season often brings a renewed sense of opportunity in the real estate market. For those looking to purchase in Aspen, here are three strategic tips:

1. Pre-Approval Is Crucial: If you require a loan in order to purchase a property, begin with securing your financing. A pre-approval not only speeds up the buying process but also solidifies your credibility in the eyes of sellers, giving you a Quick read more or view full article competitive edge in negotiations.
2. Balance Your Wishlist with Flexibility: While knowing what you're looking for in a home is important, remaining adaptable can open up possibilities. Sometimes, a property with great potential might require a bit of personalization to truly feel like home.
3. Act with Conviction: The Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley market can be highly competitive. When you find a property that aligns with your criteria, being prepared to move quickly can make all the difference in securing your ideal home.

For Sellers:

Selling in Aspen's sought-after market means leveraging strategy and insight. Here are three key considerations for a successful sale:

1. Realistic Pricing: Setting an accurate price from the outset is fundamental. A well-priced property attracts serious interest and can lead to a more efficient sale process.
Invest in Presentation: The visual appeal of your property cannot be overstated. Professional staging or minor improvements such as a fresh coat of paint, can highlight your home's best features, making it stand out to potential buyers and likely even increasing its value.
2. Prepare for Swift Action: The right buyer might come along sooner than you anticipate. Being prepared for prompt decision-making can facilitate a smoother transaction and capitalize on the momentum of the market.
3. Whether you're aiming to buy or sell this spring, the key to success lies in informed, strategic action. With a nuanced understanding of Aspen's real estate dynamics and a commitment to my clients' goals, I'm here to provide the expertise and support you need.

Considering a move in the Aspen market? Reach out to me, Sally Shiekman, at 970.948.7530 or explore for more information. Together, we can put my “Mountains of Experience” to work for you as we navigate the opportunities this spring season has to offer. Read Less

The Impact of Hero's Terrain Closure on Access and Local Real Estate

February 26, 2024
As a realtor with over 32 years of experience in the Aspen area, I've seen the ebb and flow of real estate trends, particularly how they intertwine with our beloved outdoor lifestyle. A recent development at Aspen Mountain has sparked conversation in both the skiing and real estate communities: the closure of certain backcountry access points around the new Hero's terrain.

Aspen Skiing Company, in response to both safety concerns and requests from adjacent landowners, has altered its traditionally open-boundary policy for this area. This decision impacts backcountry enthusiasts who cherish the freedom to explore beyond the ski area's boundaries but also highlights the complex relationship between private land rights, public access, and recreational use in our unique mountain setting.

For skiers, this means a change in how they can access and return from the backcountry areas surrounding Hero's terrain. While there is still a gate for reentry beneath runs marked as part of Hero's Chutes #1, the closure underscores the need for Quick read more or view full article awareness and respect for both the natural environment and private property rights.

From a real estate perspective, this development is noteworthy. The adjacent parcels, one of which is being marketed as a multimillion-dollar investment, illustrate the high value and desirability of land in this area. The closure may enhance the exclusivity and appeal of these properties, potentially affecting their marketability.

This situation serves as a reminder of the delicate balance we must maintain in our mountain communities. As we strive to enjoy and develop the beautiful Aspen area, we must also consider the implications for safety, environmental preservation, and the rights of all stakeholders involved.

For those of us who live, work, and play in Aspen, these developments are more than just news items; they're changes in the fabric of our daily lives. Whether you're hitting the slopes, considering a real estate investment, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of our area, staying informed about these changes is crucial.

As we move forward, let's continue the conversation about how we can collectively ensure that Aspen remains a place where outdoor enthusiasts, residents, and investors alike can thrive.
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High-End Aspen Real Estate: A Closer Look

January 25, 2024
As a seasoned real estate professional in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, I've spent 32 years navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of the high-end property market. Here's an insight into what sets this market apart and how I approach it:

Limited inventory
The single most relevant driver to our high-end real estate market is the limited inventory of the specialized, spectacular dwellings that cater to the most refined pallet. 

Luxury homes often come with stellar views, ideal locations, and square footage that could be described as Rubenesque.  Some municipalities have limited the size of new construction, further driving the demand for existing larger dwellings. Should you wish to build your own masterpiece, you can wait years for the engineering, permitting and approvals. Aspen only grants six demolition permits per year. If you are number seven, you must wait to tear down the old house to build your new one. 

Some of Quick read more or view full article these homes rarely come on the market, and some sell before being publically listed. When these homes do become available, the right buyer can snatch it up quickly. My largest single transaction, $32.5MM, was placed under contract in 24 hours.

Properly representing these gorgeous testaments to luxury requires some special tools and techniques. 

Advanced Marketing Techniques for Luxury Properties
  • Aerial Videography: Utilizing drones for aerial videography has become essential in showcasing these magnificent properties. This perspective captures not only the scale and beauty of the estates but also the breathtaking surroundings, which are a significant selling point.
  • Matterport Virtual Tours: In the digital age, offering a Matterport virtual tour is no longer a luxury but a necessity. This technology allows potential buyers to navigate each room and floor, offering an immersive experience crucial for high-end listings.
Targeted Advertising
  • Reaching the Right Audience: Advertising in prestigious publications like The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times may be a strategic choice. These platforms are frequented by a demographic not only interested in luxury real estate but also with the means to invest in such properties.
Understanding and Marketing Unique Features
  • Specialized Amenities: High-end properties often have unique features like geothermal heating systems, private bowling alleys, elevators, and sophisticated mechanical and audio-video systems. Each has its value, which I try to understand and effectively market.
  • Customized Marketing Approach: Understanding and highlighting these special amenities in marketing materials is crucial as they often are significant selling points for high-end buyers.
Niche Marketing Strategies
  • Off-Market Listings: High-end buyers often prefer a more exclusive approach to property hunting. Off-market listings, or pocket listings, provide a level of discretion and exclusivity. This method ensures that only the most serious and qualified buyers are touring the property, maintaining privacy and exclusivity.
My Approach and Dedication
As an expert in this niche market, my approach has always been to blend in-depth knowledge of these unique features with a personalized marketing strategy. Understanding the intricacies of high-end properties and the preferences of luxury buyers allows me to provide a service that goes beyond the conventional.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, allow me to put my Mountains of Experience to work for you. 
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Cheers! To the best ski season ever!

December 22, 2023
As the snow begins to blanket Aspen and Snowmass, excitement and nostalgia fill the air. This isn't just any ski season; it's the beginning of an exhilarating new chapter in my beloved mountain ski areas.

This year, Aspen Mountain proudly unveils its Hero's terrain, marking the first significant expansion since the introduction of the Silver Queen Gondola in 1985. This addition brings a vast 153 acres of fresh terrain, including nineteen chutes, three gladed areas, and four new trails. It's a mix that caters to all skiing levels, offering breathtaking views from Independence Pass to the Roaring Fork River. As someone who has skied these slopes since childhood, I can hardly wait to explore every inch of this new terrain.

The excitement continues with Aspen's return to the International Skiing Federation World Cup stage in March 2024. This season, the focus is on the men’s giant slalom and slalom, promising a thrilling showcase of Quick read more or view full article athletic prowess on our legendary slopes. The energy and anticipation around this event are palpable, and it's a privilege to see Aspen play host to such a prestigious global competition again.

Meanwhile, Snowmass has earned its own spotlight, being voted the No. 1 ski resort in the U.S. and Canada in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2023 Reader’s Choice Awards. This recurring accolade (voted #2 in 2022) reflects the area's evolution into a ski destination that perfectly combines delightful terrain with a lively après-ski atmosphere. It's a testament to the charm and character of a place that holds so many cherished memories for me.

Beyond the slopes, there are new restaurants, live music, and endless events to enrich your ski experience.

I am filled with a sense of pride and anticipation. Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands provide endless varieties of terrain, experiences, and memories. This year, more than ever, the region will sparkle in the snow. 

If you or someone you know is interested in Aspen, Snowmass and the Roaring Fork Valley real estate, please reach out at 970-948-7530 or
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Homeowner Tax Relief is Coming

December 8, 2023
In the wake of Colorado's recent legislative session, Aspen homeowners and everyone in Pitkin County face a landscape of changing property taxes. This is a direct response to the significant increase in property values in the state, with Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley experiencing some of the steepest rises following the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the defeat of Proposition HH, a tax measure aimed at reducing property taxes, Governor Jared Polis convened a special session that led to the creation of Senate Bill 1. This bill offers temporary relief from the surge in property taxes due in 2023. It’s a notable shift from Proposition HH, providing similar relief but funded from the general state fund rather than the TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) surplus money.

The specifics of Senate Bill 1 are particularly relevant to the Roaring Fork Valley. The bill has lowered the state assessment rate and increased the home value deduction when Quick read more or view full article calculating taxes. While this translates to an average saving of about $200 for Colorado homeowners, the impact on Aspen homeowners and the rest of Pitkin County might be more pronounced due to the area's higher property values and unique real estate market dynamics.

Property taxes in Aspen are calculated by considering a home’s valuation, the state assessment rate, and local mill levies, which are taxes set by local districts, including schools and fire departments. The state-level changes mean that the current year's local mill levies are yet to be finalized. The county has promised to release them by January 10, 2024, and also promised that they will not increase by more than 5.5%. This creates some uncertainty in the exact figures for property taxes.

Using previous years' data and projections for the current year, estimates suggest that homeowners in Aspen and wider Pitkin County could see significant savings under Senate Bill 1. The savings could be substantial when considering the adjustments in the state assessment rate and the increase in deductible value.

Local mill levies have not been released, so it is impossible to be precise. But to estimate the potential tax savings, homeowners can start by assessing their property’s valuation minus the new $55,000 state deduction, then apply the new state assessment rate of 6.7%, and finally multiply by the total mill levies for their property. Comparing this with the calculations under the previous assessment rate and lower deduction rate can reveal the extent of savings attributable to Senate Bill 1.

These changes are critical for the real estate market in Aspen and Pitkin County. They provide short-term relief from the rising property taxes accompanying the area's booming real estate market. Homeowners and potential buyers should consider these changes in their financial planning and investment strategies, as they represent a significant factor in the overall cost of owning property in this high-demand area.

As the situation evolves with the certification of new mill levies and further market developments, staying informed and understanding the implications of these legislative changes will be crucial for Aspen, Snowmass, and Roaring Fork Valley homeowners in navigating the real estate markets and managing their property investments effectively.

If you or someone you know would like to put my Mountains of Experience to work for you, please call me at 970-948-7530 or email at  Read Less


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Sally recently helped my wife and I to purchase a building site in the Missouri Heights area. Sally made the purchase a great experience; she showed us much of what the valley had to offer over a several days time frame. Sally presented us with information on what was currently on the market. We have since purchase a property and are already projecting an increase in value. Sally has kept in touch since the purchase providing valuable information.
Donald Russell
Sally went above and beyond to at first find us a home to suit our needs and finally to sell our home in a timely manner… Sally guided us through all of the details of our sale and was a terrific advocate for us in the process. We wouldn’t consider using anyone else in the future.
Ericka & Joseph Meade
Sally is a consummate professional who knows her market and takes great pride in being thorough, direct, and positive. I was particularly impressed with her ability to balance patience with execution, given the property we were selling was quite old. I also appreciated the frankness around expectations, and I am sure that pace of closure for our sale agreement in a matter of days, was due to her. If you want to best, she is it.
Buck Byrum
Through Sally’s efforts our transactions went through without any problems and we received the highest sales price for a unit of our size in the complex. Sally is a true professional in all respects and provided us with top quality service. She made the process easy and painless. Should we ever require a real estate broker in the future, you can be sure we will call Sally.
Kim Nuzzo and Eileen Kinkelaar
I received your gift card, and want to express my appreciation. Quite a nice surprise! Also to acknowledge all your help with our transactions and rentals over the past few years. It turns out that, directly and including the new Tahoe home, you were involved with five different properties we have had owned over the years. (And you have seen Owl Meadows as well, making six.) Which is quite a few for small time investors. You got us out of the properties we needed to get out of, and into one that was just fine for as long as we needed it. Then out again, as we moved on. We hope to see you on our next Aspen visit. And we will toast you at Valenti’s!
Tom & Jan Restaino
Sally was there with guidance throughout the process of purchasing our home in Snowmass Village. She is knowledgeable about the markets from Aspen to down-valley. We definitely recommend Sally for anyone who is looking for a real estate professional.
Dan & Judi Smith
Sally and her team were such a pleasure to work with. When deciding to sell our home, she gave some excellent advice on what we could do to improve how it shows without any pressure to do so. She’s a realist who tells it as it is and we very much appreciated that. She gave great advice when we asked for it, and led us to a surprise free closing on a timeline that worked best for us. If we are back in the roaring fork valley again, Sally will be our first call!
Josh Meyer
Sally is the best. We have worked with her twice. Accept no substitute!
Jackson Emmer
The most important thing that Sally did for us was to make us comfortable with the experience. She answered all of our novice questions and understood that we were truly starting from the beginning. She showed us a wide range of property so that we had a full view of the valley real estate market.
Jenny & Simon Elliot
We feel that Sally is always looking out for our best interests. She has a great knowledge of the market, is diligent, honest and has integrity. We would not consider making another move with out Sally’s help. She is the best!
Gigi & Tim Durand
Sally brokered both sides of our first home purchase this last fall. We felt that Sally always had our best interest in mind, carefully and thoughtfully explained the unknown to us (as novices) and took the time to help make this monumental life moment easy for us. Furthermore, her services didn't stop after we closed, she still checks in to ensure we are comfortable and settled in. She is a wonderful resource to connect with regardless of your home purchase needs. We are forever thankful the Sally Shiekman was our real estate agent and in our corner, thank you!!!
Brooke Benton
Sally worked with us to understand our needs, out architectural preferences, and our financial capabilities. She patiently showed us properties from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, and we fell in love with our house in Carbondale.
Randi Lowenthal
I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the fantastic job you did in helping me find a home. I had been through the process several times before, and my experiences have been mixed. However, after working with Sally, I believe I have truly seen someone who wants to consistently provide the absolute best service for their client. Sally’s professionalism, concern for my specific needs, and consistency in following-up on every detail went beyond my expectations.
Scott Crawford
Sally was so good to work with during our entire home buying process. We know we took a lot of her time getting to know the market and what was available. I can't say enough good things about her and her interactions with us. Her communication was so very helpful, and she always followed up. She either responded immediately to calls, texts, and emails or let us know when she could get back to us. We highly recommend using Sally.
Dave Shinneman
Sally is a true professional. Her open manner, honesty and knowledge of the real estate market are outstanding. I would highly recommend her to any potential buyer or seller in the valley.
Nancy Albert
I highly recommend Sally Shiekman as a realtor. She was always available to answer any questions I had and was on top of every deadline in the contract. I am a busy mortgage lender and so I appreciate Sally’s attention to detail, integrity and genuine concern.
Karen E. Crepps
I want to thank you for all the work you did to sell my Aspen condo. Now that I have worked with you as a buyer and a seller, I am definitely impressed with your professionalism. I know that you are busy, but you are very organized and thorough so that your clients get excellent service. I think the hardest part of any real estate deal is negotiating a contract and getting that contract to closing. I appreciate you helping me get a full price contract with only minor contingencies, and then following each deadline so that nothing fell through the cracks.
Betty Hoye
Sally was very professional, persistent without pressuring, and handled all details necessary to complete the sale. When it came time to sell that property and purchase another, although both my husband and I had become good friends with many other local realtors, we both felt strongly that Sally should be our listing and buying agent.
Anne & Mark Grice
Sally Shiekman has acted as my real estate broker in 4 different transactions. Her professional manner, close attention to the market and new additions to it, attention to detail, and willingness to do what it takes to find the perfect buyer and/or property make her an exceptional broker.
Margo Chisholm
Sally always carefully explained each part of the selling/buying process, answered every question patiently, and was completely honest about the possible outcome(s) of the entire event. Buying/selling a home is an emotional and exciting time; Sally has the ability to keep things calm while retaining that important sense of excitement.
Wally & Kris Graham
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