Vista Verde Guest Ranch in the Elk River Valley has been placed on the market for $19.9 million. The guest ranch has undergone extensive improvements and has a four-diamond rating from AAA.

Courtesy of Christy Belton

Vista Verde Guest Ranch in the Elk River Valley has been placed on the market for $19.9 million. The guest ranch has undergone extensive improvements and has a four-diamond rating from AAA.

Vista Verde Guest Ranch near Clark hits market for $19.9 million


— When Jerry Throgmartin bought Vista Verde Guest Ranch, he had no intention of ever parting with it.

“He was passionate about the West,” Christy Belton said. “He just ate it up.”

Steamboat Homefinder

Visit for more real estate news.

Throgmartin threw resources and himself into Vista Verde, renovating existing buildings, building new ones, developing a top horse breeding program, adding land and making the experience the best possible for guests.


Courtesy of Christy Belton

The great room at Vista Verde Guest Ranch is seen. The ranch is on the market for $19.9 million.

“They were living here and building their dream,” Belton said about Throgmartin, his wife, Peggy, and the rest of the family.

It was only his sudden passing in 2012 that separated Throgmartin from the ranch.

“It was a shock to me and my family and everybody at the ranch,” Belton said. “It was a shock to a lot of people in the community.”

This corner of Northwest Colorado is a long way from Indiana, where the rest of the family lives, so Belton, with Ranch Marketing Associates, has listed Vista Verde for $19.9 million.

The ranch consists of 587 acres with Routt National Forest on three sides for access to nearly boundless wilderness. Improvements on the property include a timber frame lodge, 10 guest cabins (each with a hot tub), staff and manager housing and a 8,000-square-foot owners home overlooking the ranch.

Vista Verde also has a 26,000-square-foot indoor equestrian arena for year-round use to go along with the more than 100 horses that are part of the breeding program.

“He loved to raise these top-quality horses,” Belton said about Throgmartin. But instead of sending them to show rings, she said, he shared the experience of riding top-caliber horses with the ranch’s guests.

Along with horseback riding (on trails and not), the ranch property and forest service permits allow guests to enjoy hiking, fishing, mountain biking (snow biking in the winter) and cross-country skiing.

And no expense was spared during Throgmartin’s improvements to the accommodations, putting it in a special class of guest ranch: Vista Verde has a four-diamond rating from AAA. Only one other guest ranch in Colorado enjoys that distinction.

“They did not have that rating when Jerry and Peggy bought it,” Belton said. “The staff and upgrades have really contributed to that recognition.”

“The staff is very committed,” she said. “Not only do they bring in very talented help from all over nation for summers, they also have a very strong core who have been here for a decade or more who live here and are part of the community.”

“They’re ready to embrace the new owners,” Belton said. “That staff is going to make that transition very smooth and very enjoyable.

“It’s going to be a great adventure for the new owners, as well.”

The purchase price is based on the appraisal value, Belton said, and the ranch does show positive operational cash flow.

“Our intention is not to be on the market an extended period of time,” she said.

Belton has been at the ranch on and off for the past eight years, she said, and along with her husband, Matt, she supplies cattle for some of the programs at Vista Verde.

The welcoming atmosphere of the ranch is a trickle down effect from Throgmartin, Belton said.

“He was kind to all people and animals,” she said. “So there’s a special feeling up there.”

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz


sharon bedell 2 years, 10 months ago

The Hollis Tufly family owned Viste Verde Ranch in 1963. It was the first year I was married and I remember well helping Jean Tufly make lunches and cook for the hunters they were guiding. We would make the sack lunches and store them on the porch in an old washing machine where they would stay cool. Then as the hunters each left from breakfast they would pick up a sack as they went out the door. At that time there were only the old original buildings, house, a few cabins, and barn. How times have changed.


jerry carlton 2 years, 10 months ago

Good story Sharon. I was first married in 1965 and I miss the simpler times.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 10 months ago

There are remaining large scenic ranches with old buildings, a few cabins and a modest house. There are south and west.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.