Friday, October 20, 2006

Marabou Ranch featured in NY Times Article

NYT photo
There is a great feature article in Sunday's New York Times that covers large ranch communities that go the extra mile to preserve the land for future generations> Marabou garnered most of the coverage due to all of the unique things they are doing to be good stewards of the land. If you would like to know more about Marabou Ranch give Jon Wade a call at 970-819-6930. I will give some perspective on what a special place they are creating out at Marabou, will send you more info and can arrange for you to see it in person. You can't truly appreciate Marabou without setting foot on the property.

From the NY Times: "Of all the attractions at Marabou Ranch, in Steamboat Springs, Colo., Jeff Temple, one of its developers, is most animated about the sharp-tail grouses mating grounds. “From April to June each year, about 50 birds come back, so we close off our trails and keep the construction away, he explained. “We set up a viewing area and go out at daybreak to see them. Open space is disappearing, he said, sounding more like a conservationist than a real estate developer. But Mr. Temple, a fourth-generation Steamboat resident whose father founded the Steamboat Ski Resort, sees a larger picture. “Here, were creating a legacy for our kids and grandkids.

Mr. Temple and his partners at Due West Land Ltd., which owns the property, have preserved in perpetuity 1,300 of the ranch'’s 1,700 acres. On the remaining land, they have created 62 lots what he calls homesteads— of 7 to 10 acres, priced at $2 million to $4 million apiece. If we’'re doing this right, each of our buyers can say they bought a 1,700-acre ranch, he said. Marabou, which sits along the Elk River, is among a widening group of expensive developments in Western states that are preserving land. At Marabou, Mr. Temple said, the developers decided not to place homesites along the Elk River or on the ridgelines, locations that would have reaped handsome profits. From a business perspective, this was risky,” he said.

We've said to potential buyers: ‘You can'’t have a home on the edge of the river. That's for everybody, he said. “Many of our owners are successful entrepreneurs used to running their own show. If you tell them they can'’t build their dream house, you risk turning them off, and away. But the conservation ethos has not deterred buyers. Since the 62 homesteads were put on sale early this year, 7 have sold, 9 are under contract and 11 have been reserved. It's an incredible piece of property,” said David Rayner, a communications executive from Denver, who bought a nine-acre parcel for $2.65 million this summer.

The fly fishing on the Elk River is quality, he said. A passionate fly fisherman, he has been casting on the river with his son, Michael, 18, throughout the summer and fall. In 2001, he and his wife, Cheryl, bought a 70-acre lot at Storm Mountain Ranch, a 1,000-acre development that was Mr. Temple'’s first in Steamboat.

The planning process for these low-density developments is lengthy. Mr. Temple estimated that it took an extra year to work out the details with Routt County officials, who supported the conservation approach. Marabou consulted wildlife biologists, agriculturists and others to create a master plan that would protect wildlife habitats and support ranching. One great way to preserve open space is to produce food on the land, Mr. Temple said. Marabou expects to produce 200 tons of hay a year, most of which the homeowners association will sell. Some will be used as feed for the 55 head of cattle and 15 horses on the property.

Marabou continues a long tradition of ranching in Steamboat Springs. To avoid overgrazing the land, ranchers rotate the cattle through different paddocks, a process known as intensive grazing because of the extra work needed to move them. When he is not herding cattle at Marabou Ranch, Chad Bedell, a former world champion steer wrestler, saddles up the horses at the development'’s barn and equestrian center and rides with owners on the 12 miles of trails. Mr. Bedell is one of five full-time employees whose principal duty is to show residents the art of fun.

Other master guides available to Marabou residents include Abi Slingsby, the Colorado state champion in cross-country mountain biking and Todd Lodwick, an Olympic Nordic skier and ski jumper who has won 17 national titles. We'’re avid skiers, so we'’re really looking forward to these services, Mr. Rayner said of his family. Mrs. Rayner and the couple's daughter, Lauren, 13, also plan to go horseback riding on the property.

Read the whole article here.

Back to the Marabou Ranch blog main page for more.

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