Steamboat Springs Landmark Table Rock Ranch in extreme southern Routt County changed hands this month for $7.55 million.
Dick Kesler of Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate in the Vail Valley said the buyer is a limited liability company formed by the Walters family of Houston, Texas. They are principles in Walters Oil and Gas. The seller was Bruce Etkin, who is well known for his commercial real estate ventures in Denver.
Kesler was both the listing and selling Realtor for the ranch, which includes 775 deeded acres surrounded on three sides by BLM land north of McCoy.
"This was a family legacy purchase," Kesler said. "The ranch is a classic. It has good hayfields and Egeria Creek flows into Rock Creek in the northern end of the ranch. It offers great fishing, even in a drought year. It has great riparian areas, meadows and tree cover."
Kesler said Etkin's group, Four-B-Ranch LLC, gave some thought to dividing the ranch into five parcels in order to market it as a "community ranch," but decided quickly that wasn't their best option.
The original asking price for the ranch was $7.7 million.
The new owners have no intention of breaking the ranch into smaller parcels for development of trophy homes, Kesler said. There's a distinct chance they will build a home on it in the future.
The modern buildings on the ranch are all in good shape, and the existing ranch management will remain in place, Kesler said.
Kesler said he has been actively matching wealthy buyers with desirable working ranches since the 1980s. In his experience, they almost always bring the resources to make needed improvements, like upgrading irrigation facilities and other equipment. His clients have a strong record of rehabilitating trout habitat, he added.
Kesler said he has sold three other ranches comparable to Table Rock this year, and sees the market rebounding in spite of the dampening effect the securities markets are having on the economy.
"Definitely, that bigger money that buys ranches cooled in 2001," Kesler said. "But I see them coming back. My problem is, I don't have another Table Rock. Ranches of that quality are very difficult to find."
Kesler said Table Rock Ranch is just one-eighth of a mile inside the Routt County line, and is not visible from Colorado 131.
"It's a very private valley," he said. "And yet so close," to Interstate 70 and the golf courses and skiing in the Vail Valley.
Kesler is based in his firm's Eagle office and works in the Mountain Ranch Properties Division.
To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205 or