HISTORIC EMERALD RIDGE RANCH: SELLS FOR $7 MILLION
HISTORIC EMERALD RIDGE RANCH
SELLS FOR $7 MILLION
When Emerald Ridge Ranch, located three-and-a-half miles south of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, sold on September 30, 2016 at a price of $7 million, the sale marked the end of an era for the notable property. Steeped in history, this legacy property was a part of Steamboat’s Lufkin family for four generations. It was also one of the few remaining heritage ranches in Steamboat Springs’ south valley area, and represents the most significant vacant land sale on the Yampa Valley floor in 2016. With this sale, Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty Farm and Ranch Division and its ranch broker, Ren Martyn, have established themselves as driving forces of the ranch market in Northwest Colorado. “If you look at what is available in the South Valley and in close proximity to the city limits, this is one of the last land holdings on the south side. All of the larger sites have been subdivided and developed. With over 500 acres, this ranch is unique because of its location and what it offers,” says Martyn.
DALLAS-BASED AUTOMOTIVE DEALER PURCHASES RANCH
The property was sold to Reed Sanctuary, LLC, a Texas company registered to Randall Reed, the Dallas-based owner of World Class Automotive Group and, “will continue to be used to recreate on,” according to Pam Vanatta of Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented the buyers in the transaction. Reed and his wife already own a home south of the newly purchased Emerald Ridge Ranch, as well as other parcels in the Alpine Mountain Ranch Subdivision and a property at Lake Catamount, all situated in the south valley area surrounding Steamboat Springs.
Reed’s plans for the Emerald Ridge Ranch property are to use it for hiking, biking and hunting; keeping it as a historic legacy property for his family for years to come, much as Herbert Lufkin did all those years ago.
ESTABLISHED IN 1919—ALMOST 100 YEARS IN THE LUFKIN FAMILY
Originally established in 1919 by Herbert Lufkin, these 780 acres were used for summertime cattle grazing in conjunction with the Lufkin family’s established cattle program. Well known in this area for their vast ownership of land in the South Valley, the Lufkin family owned the acreage comprising today’s Haymaker Golf Course and almost everything from mountain to mountain in Steamboat’s south valley.
Sold in the 1950s to Herbert Lufkin’s son, Don, Emerald Ridge Ranch remained in the family as a part of their cattle summertime grazing program for almost 100 years. In 1994, Don Lufkin’s nephew, Doug Scott, purchased the ranch with his sons through an LLC and held the property until its recent sale in 2016.
780-ACRE EMERALD RIDGE RANCH AND CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
The 780-acre Emerald Ridge Ranch property is located just south of the Steamboat Springs ski resort. The Scott family placed almost 500 acres of the land under conservation easements through the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT), a conservation company with a specific focus on agricultural conservation. According to the CCALT website: “Conservation agreements are voluntary agreements between a landowner and a qualified organization like CCALT to restrict the development of a property. They are permanent and run with the land despite any changes in ownership. No two conservation easements are alike. Each is tailored to a specific piece of land and the conservation values of its owner.”
Easements are designed to not only limit development of natural lands and resources, but are also put in place to protect those same natural resources in perpetuity to further encourage the uses and activities that take place on those lands, such as: hunting, fishing, grazing, farming, and ranching. According to Martyn, “the majority of the Emerald Ridge Ranch land is under easement and will remain protected at the same level of stewardship that the Lufkin family provided for all these years.”
DEVELOPMENT ON THE PROPERTY
Currently the property has a 576-square-foot, two-bedroom cabin on it and the high mark (maximum amount of buildings) for the conserved acreage is limited to single family homes in two separate building envelopes. Each envelope would include: one home with no size restriction, and one home with 2,500 square feet of living space.
The remaining 290 acres on the east side of the property are unencumbered and have full development rights, which means that at a maximum, you could build one home site per 35 acres for a total of eight home sites in all, but, Vanatta says, “although there is developmental potential for this property, this family plans to use it as a private family recreation compound. It is more of a legacy property for their family for years to come.”
According to CCLAT, “land easements support rural communities by helping to stabilize the agricultural economy as a whole. They also offer a way for communities as a whole to preserve the natural resources, open spaces, scenic landscapes, and wildlife habitat that draw recreation and tourism dollars.”
As Martyn says, “this is a good thing, because you know these lands are going to remain protected from vast development and will continue to add to the cultural and historic landscape of Steamboat Springs and Routt County.” They will be enjoyed for recreational and agricultural purposes and remain intact for years to come, further preserving our rural communities in Northwest Colorado.
WHY STEAMBOAT SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY FARM AND RANCH DIVISION?
CCLAT’s website notes that, “more than 80 percent of Colorado’s private lands are owned by farmers and ranchers, and land conservation keeps our rural heritage alive, fosters healthy communities, generates good jobs, supports sustainable agriculture, preserves diverse wildlife habitats, and maintains the wild landscapes of the West.” So it should come as no surprise that the Scott family selected Ren Martyn of Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty Farm and Ranch Division to represent the marketing and sale of Emerald Ridge Ranch.
Much like putting together a puzzle with a million pieces, being a ranch broker requires someone who is detail-oriented and vastly knowledgeable about numerous topics around land practices. A farm and ranch broker must know everything from: hunting and fishing laws, agricultural trends, water rights, land easements, property tax laws, land use, mineral rights, and more. “You have to gather together every piece of data that you can about this one property and create a data vault so that you can explain the finest details about a property,” says Martyn. It is a long, in-depth process to assemble the information from so many different places and resources. On average, it takes two or more years for a large farm and ranch property to sell, but for Martyn, he “loves getting his hands around each and every detail about these large historic parcels.”
THE FUTURE OF RANCH SALES IN ROUTT COUNTY
If you look at this historic sale of Emerald Ridge Ranch, you get a glimpse into the future of farm and ranch sales in Routt County and other parts of Northwest Colorado. Larger parcels are on the move, and sales volume in general in Steamboat Springs is ticking upward. With increased interest in Steamboat Springs, more business, people, development, and investors will soon follow.
According to Martyn, this sale speaks to what an exceptional brand and market force the Sotheby’s International Realty brand is, both nationally and internationally. Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty opened their Steamboat Springs office in January of 2014, and in just two short years has captured an extremely large market share, making them the newest farm and ranch brokerage in town, but one of the most well-known and influential. With the power of the Sotheby’s International Realty (SIR) brand behind him, Martyn is able to grow his business and is expanding into Wyoming and across Colorado.
Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty has an unparalleled reach through their affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty network, which includes more than 18,000 sales associates, spread out over 70 different countries worldwide. Ingrained in the SIR culture is a unique and specific marketing platform that supplies its sales associates and brokers with the resources necessary to deliver the global exposure that is required in today’s real estate market, as exemplified by Ren Martyn’s recent work on this historic sale.
As the Lufkin’s close their family chapter on Emerald Ridge Ranch, Randall Reed and his family are starting their own family chapter at the same location; and, while the Reed’s plan to use this ranch just as the Lufkins did—as a legacy property with continued historic significance.