Steamboat Springs Of 14 home sites in the 1,063-acre Storm Mountain Ranch subdivision, three are back on the market with price tags higher than $3.5 million, making them some of the most expensive residential lots in town.
Seven miles south of Steamboat Springs, two of the Storm Mountain Ranch home sites are undeveloped: the 70-acre "Homestead Eight" with an asking price of $4.2 million, and the 35-acre "Homestead Four" with an asking price of $3.87 million.
The third property is a 35-acre site called "Ranch Central" -- the original homestead on the ranch -- that includes a 2,888-square-foot home with two ponds and a guest house that was built in 1926, and has since then been updated and remodeled.
What makes the properties so unique is that the buyers, like all Storm Mountain Ranch property owners, will have access to four lakeside cabins, a secluded cabin deep in Walton Creek Canyon, on-site trophy-trout fishing, 10 horses, ranch vehicles and the large Awapa Lodge.
The modern, rustic-appearing lodge is equipped with a high-end gourmet kitchen; dining room with seating for 40; fly-tying station; living area with state-of-the-art entertainment center; fully stocked bar; a large back porch with built-in grill; and plenty of dazzling light fixtures.
Prudential Steamboat Realtor Eric Steinberg said that some home-site buyers have chosen not to build yet.
"You don't have to build a home to enjoy all the amenities," Steinberg said. "Some have felt there is no need to build. They just like using the cabins and the lodge as a corporate retreat or a weekend getaway."
However long an owner wants to stay -- permanently or for the weekend -- he or she can spend a day riding one of the horses using customized Storm Mountain Ranch saddles, bridles and cowboy boots, or fishing from 10 acres of ponds that are constantly being cleaned, filtered and oxygenated mechanically.
Jeff Temple, one of the original developers of Storm Mountain Ranch, caught a 12.2-pound trout from one of the ponds last year.
He now has it mounted on the wall at his home on the ranch.
The fishing ponds and their adjacent lodge earned the endorsement of Orvis, an outdoor sporting goods distributor and guide service.
A home-site owner might choose to spend a day relaxing in the secluded "Hideout Cabin." Deep in the Walton Creek Canyon, this fully equipped log building looks hardly like a cabin, but much like a hideout. It has all the amenities of a home, but exceeds the norm with two large master bedrooms and an outdoor hot tub with a surreal view of June Falls cascading down the side of the mountain.
Two full-time ranch managers live on the ranch to keep up with the day-to-day chores that come with such a huge outdoor area. The areas around the cabins and the Awapa Lodge stay neatly groomed with beautiful flowers growing all around.
Also adding to the prestige of the ranch is that 793 acres -- about 75 percent of the land -- is protected by a conservation easement through the Yampa Valley Land Trust.
"The conservation easement is a permanent fixture," Temple said. "It will keep it open forever, and people know the land will stay open. It was important to us, and it seemed important for the land."
Temple and his brother, Jamie, purchased the ranch in 1999 and sold all 14 lots within 18 months.
One of the original Storm Mountain buyers bought a 70-acre homestead site for $2.7 million, and year later, sold it for $3.5 million.
"It's nice to see the original value increase so significantly," Temple said. "Some of the original buyers saw the investment opportunity in the ranch, and it looks like it is paying off."
Temple now spends much of his time at the ranch and his wife and two children. "I couldn't think of a better place for (the children) to grow up," he said.
-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204
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