Mountain News: Big ranch sold in resort areas 

Compiled by Allen Best

JACKSON HOLE, Colo. — The brisk market for ranches near resorts is revealed in several sales during recent weeks.

First was the 650-acre Guber Ranch near Aspen, which sold for $46 million, or $70,800 an acre.

Second is the 10,300-acre Castle Peak Ranch near Eagle, which sold for $23 million, or about $2,200 an acre. The buyer is an investment banker from London. Proximity to a major airport (Eagle County Regional), the restaurants and other cultural activities of Vail and Beaver Creek, plus views piled upon stunning views contributed to the healthy sales price.

It might have gone higher, except that the ranch lacks a critical feature wanted by hobby ranchers – a river running through it. Brokers associated with the deal told the Eagle Valley Enterprise that they expect virtually no development to occur.

Meanwhile, in Jackson Hole, a development company owned by Ross Perot Jr., son of the two-time presidential candidate, has contracted to buy 1,300 acres of a ranch. The price has not been disclosed, reports the Jackson Hole News & Guide, but the listed price was $110 million. If that were the sales price, that works out to $8,461 per acre.

Perot’s company intends to subdivide the land into parcels of 35 acres or more, but retain the core of the property as a working ranch.

Real estate brokers say that agricultural production alone does not justify ranch prices of more than $2,000 an acre. In Jackson Hole, ranches rarely exceed $10,000 an acre, except in smaller acreages. In the Blue River Valley of Colorado’s Summit County, prices of smaller ranches are in the range of $10,000 to $30,000 an acre – as long as there’s a river or creek in it.

Near Meeker, where golfer Greg Norman and financier Henry Kravis have ranches, prices range from $2,000 to $6,000 an acre. The beauty is unsurpassed, but their ranches are several hours from the cultural opportunities of Steamboat, Vail, and Aspen.

Avalanche cuts power to Telluride

TELLURIDE, Colo. — March this year came in roaring like a lion, nearly knocking Telluride on its rear end.

A quick but hard snowstorm that isolated nearby Silverton for several days because of avalanches also caused avalanches that knocked out two power lines supplying the Telluride area. That left only one remaining power line, causing rolling blackouts. The gondola was idled as were some lifts. Diesel generators were fired up to power the remaining lifts.

Meanwhile, the wobbly remaining power threatened to go off, too.

How to repair the power lines? As explained by The Telluride Watch and others, authorities suspected another avalanche above the power lines, so power company officials would not allow workers to repair the lines until the danger had abated. On top of all this, another storm was moving in.

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