Mirr Ranch Group works with buyers and sellers of a lot of ranch properties across the Rocky Mountain West, often near famous ski resort towns like Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, Jackson, and Park City. Being in close proximity to such special places affords a ranch owner a multitude of unique options. We sat down with Mirr Ranch Group broker, Tommy Latousek, to learn more about what an informed buyer should know when buying a ranch property near a resort town.
1. Recreational & cultural amenities:
Ranch owners not only get to enjoy the sporting opportunities on their own property, but also those in town, such as world-class downhill skiing. Great restaurants and music and the arts also tend to be showcased in mountain towns. And being a local in such places means one can often avoid the crowds that come at peak times, getting to experience the best a place has to offer at quiet times of a week or season.
2. Income opportunities:
The influx of tourists coming to resort towns looking for unique experiences means there’s a built-in customer base that nearby ranches can take advantage of – renting out their fishing and hunting resources to outfitter/guides, and also for horseback rides, and even as wedding locations (especially if the ranch has a great barn!). This is why guest ranches are sometimes located near western resort towns.
3. Conservation & Development:
Due to the demand to be near the recreational and cultural amenities and scenic attributes of many resort towns, nearby ranches can often be more expensive on a per acre basis than more remote properties. This means that the opportunity to either both conserve or develop one’s large acreage, rural property can be lucrative. Colorado, in particular, possesses unique financial incentives to preserving one’s ranch with a conservation easement.
4. Local Consumer Market:
Busy resort towns with restaurants, hotels, retail shops, and farmers markets need products to sell. Often times the ranches and farms nearby supply these places with meat and vegetables and other retail products like clothing. Some existing local partnerships are 7X Ranch steaks at Aspen’s Little Nell Hotel, wool sweaters in Steamboat shops from sheep ranchers nearby, and Paonia vegetables at swanky restaurants in Telluride.
5. Seasonality of tourist towns:
Be aware that the ski season from December to April, and the summer/fall season from June through September, are often quite busy. On the flip side, the shoulder seasons in between can see such locales get very quiet. If one is buying or selling a ranch, one needs to understand the volatile nature of visitation to resort towns.
Resort towns are usually found on main highways and have a fleet of snow plows at the ready. The main roads are taken care of year-round and due to proximity to town, there are always numerous plow companies for hire. The year-round accessibility to the ranch also makes it easier for maintenance companies and other vendors to be able to get to your property if there is ever a problem.
It is always good to know the benefits when deciding whether or not to invest in a mountain ranch near a resort town.
Here’s a video recap for your viewing fun: