Steamboat Springs 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.”
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.
“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 mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz