Sunday, August 14, 2005

Steamboat Springs has 3 new luxury neighborhoods on the way

The Steamboat Springs Luxury Real Estate market has really blossomed over the past few years with the development of Catamount, Priest Creek Ranch and Storm Mountain Ranch. Steamboat is now a world class luxury home destination without losing any of it's rural family friendly appeal. People interested in all but the loftyest price points can now find what they are looking for in Steamboat Springs.

What nearly all of them have in common is the desire to relax with their family and friends in a place that is so rich in recreational opportunities. A big driver is Steamboat's appeal as a place to bring the grandchilren. I frequently hear that when your kids only have 2 weeks of vacation they are much more eager to visit you in Steamboat and get in a good vacation for themselves at the same time. Many people that have been coming to Steamboat for years are upsizing their places here to allow them to share Steamboat with their family and friends. Many people step out of more and more of the daily operations of their businesses to spend time with their family and spending more time in their favorite places is a natural extension of that desire.

It is also becoming almost common place for people to arrange their schedules and jobs to telecommute from Steamboat all or part of the year escaping some of the stresses of fastrack careers and city life. Several people I have talked to feel they can be more productive here without the daily commute. Coming to Steamboat gives others the chance to think more strategically about their business and can turn out to be a net postive for both their business and personal goals.

Selected quotes from the Steamboat Pilot
Trio of rural subdivisions offer high-end acreages By Tom Ross, Staff Reporter

A trio of rural subdivisions working their way through the county planning process holds the potential to create 117 new multi-million dollar homes in the valley. The three subdivisions are Tailwaters River Ranch (Steamboat River Ranch), Alpine Mountain Ranch and Marabou Ranch (Elk Mountain Ranch during the planning phase). All three would be land-preservation subdivisions, which cluster home sites so that the bulk of the property can remain open space. Steamboat River Ranch would cluster 19 home sites on 115 acres of a 531-acre site. The subdivision would be built on part of the historic More Ranch just below Lake Catamount, south of Steamboat on Colorado Highway 131. The Yampa River runs through the property.

Alpine Mountain Ranch
is larger than Steamboat River Ranch and closer to the Steamboat Ski Area. It would create 43, 5- to 5.5-acre home sites clustered on 230 acres just south of the city limits. The subdivision would be adjacent to the existing Priest Creek Ranch subdivision. At one time, they both were part of a proposal for a denser residential project. Former Vail Resort president Andy Daly and Cincinnati-based Bill Butler are the principals in Steamboat Alpine Development. They purchased the land for $19 million in April.

Elk Mountain Ranch is the largest of the three proposed LPS projects. It is being developed by Jeff Temple, one of the principals in the existing Storm Mountain Ranch, and his partners, Mark Hall and Jeff Jepson. Temple said the 14 home sites at Storm Mountain Ranch came on the market for $2 million to $2.4 million and were sold within a year. "Nobody thought that would happen. We worked very hard with our team to make every single aspect of the ranch really special," Temple said. "We hoped the market would support it. It was rewarding when they turned out to be a good investment."

Temple said three of the undeveloped home sites were resold by the original purchasers for as much as $3.85 million. Another is on the market for $4.25 million. After launching Maytag Ranch near Salida, Temple is back to expand and, he said, improve on the rural-luxury model. The Elk Mountain LPS would be developed on 1,717 acres west of Steamboat and north of U.S. Highway 40. It would create 55 lots on portions of the Kettel, Sherrod, Selby and Sammons properties. Planning Commission has given tentative approval to the plan.

All three development groups are proposing to use building envelopes that are smaller than what is typical to reduce the homes' visual disturbance of the landscape. Steamboat River Ranch should not be obvious from Colo. 131, county planner Mary Alice Page-Allen said. "You might be able to see a couple of roofs from 131, but for the most part, you'll never even know (the homes) are there," Page-Allen said. "It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been," Comes said.

All three projects envision keeping existing hay meadows and wildlife habitat intact. Temple said he thinks a large grouse lek on Elk Mountain Ranch, along with elk, deer and an occasional mountain lion, are all part of the attraction. "We want the ranch to remain a very viable ag operation and we've tread very lightly," Comes said.
Storm Mountain Ranch combines trophy trout fishing in Walton Creek as well as in ponds and irrigation ditches carefully rebuilt to fish like spring creeks. It also offers its owners horseback riding and a small group of guest cabins clustered around a lodge.

Temple said he and his partners spent $17.5 million on amenities at Storm Mountain Ranch. "We think Steamboat is really special and the hours and hours and all the detail that went into the ranch and the architecture of the buildings is phenomenal."
Their plans at Elk Mountain Ranch include a lodge building, seven fishing cabins along the Elk River, an equestrian facility and employee housing.

Alpine Mountain Ranch anticipates offering a stable of as many as a dozen horses and a trail system for the use of residents. The goal also is to provide hiking trails on par with trails in the Routt National Forest. There will be trout fishing in ponds.

Comes hopes his trout stream will target avid anglers in his marketing.


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