Legacy Ranches and Fine Sporting Properties

The Lodge at Rivercliffe Ranch

Bailey, Colorado (Park County)
$2,500,000Sold
145 +/- Deeded Acres

The Lodge at Rivercliffe Ranch offers world-class private fly-fishing on 2/3 mile of the famed North Fork of the South Platte River along with a stunning 5,600 square foot, 6 bed/6 bath 1890’s fully modernized stone lodge.

Featuring
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  • Offering includes a 2.34-acre +/-  fee-simple site on which the lodge, cabin and outbuildings are situated plus a 20% undivided interest in a 142.7 acre gated estate
  • 2/3 mile of world-class private fly-fishing on the North Fork of the South Platte River
  • Private small stream fishing on ¼ mile of Craig Creek
  • A majestic 6 bedroom/6 bath 5,600 sq. ft. riverside stone lodge built in the 1870s. Once featured in Country Living Magazine, the Lodge is offered “turnkey” with its stunning furnishings and decor
  • Only 45 minutes from Denver
  • The lodge is completely modernized with high speed Internet access, multiple phone/fax lines, satellite TV, and a security system
  • Property is bordered by thousands of acres of Pike National Forest, and is characterized by pastoral meadows, dramatic rock outcroppings, aspens, spruce, fir and pine
  • Abundant wildlife including elk, deer, bear, raptors, song birds, and small mammals
Introduction
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The Lodge at Rivercliffe Ranch offers world-class private fly-fishing on 2/3 mile of the famed North Fork of the South Platte River along with a stunning 5,600 square foot, 6 bed/6 bath 1890’s fully modernized stone lodge. Only a short 45 minute drive from Denver, the property includes 2.34 acres of fee-simple land, and a 20% undivided interest in approximately 142.7 acres. Private live-water fishing within an hour of Denver is extremely scarce; Rivercliffe is extraordinary, with tons of trout including 20″+ browns and rainbows, and 15″+ cutthroats and brookies. The historic lodge is elegant with plenty of rustic charm, and is offered turnkey with custom-made furnishings and diverse textiles and accents collected from around the world.

Lay of the Land
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The Lodge at Rivercliffe offering includes a 20% undivided tenant-in-common (TIC) ownership interest in 142.7 acres, and a 2.34 acre fee-simple lot on which the home sits. There are five total interests in the property, each with a 20% TIC ownership. Fishing and land use rights are strictly covenanted to protect the privacy and interests of the owners.

The centerpiece of the property is the North Fork of the South Platte River, which meanders through the property for over 2/3 of a mile. The river itself provides diverse water structures, from gentle meadow riffles to canyon cuts with boulders, rapids, runs, and deep pools. The river basically runs from south to north through the property, where it flows into the Pike National Forest. The National Forest offers many miles of fishing opportunity through public land which is walk-in only and very difficult to access. The nearest public access point is a 5+ mile walk away from the north end of the property, safeguarding the river and surrounding public lands from heavy use.

The land itself is nicely varied with pastoral meadows, the canyon itself with dramatic cliffs and rock walls, and timbered glades with Ponderosa, Douglas Fir, Blue Spruce and Aspens.

The Lodge at Rivercliffe is a short 45-minute drive southwest of metro Denver in Park County. The property lies along County Road 68, about 3.5 miles southeast of Bailey, CO.

Improvements

The Tudor style stone lodge has been expanded, renovated and modernized several times during its long history. Today, the approximately 5,600 square foot lodge, once featured in Country Living Magazine, is comprised of two wings that include six bedrooms and six bathrooms; a massive great room with a huge fireplace and billiards table; a remodeled kitchen and eating area; formal dining room; sitting/TV room with wood stove; enclosed summer patio room with dining area, fireplace, and bar; and a rustic pub room with built-in bar. In the spacious master bedroom, double French doors open to a balcony with a commanding view of the river and cliffs, inviting in the cool mountain air and soothing sounds of the flowing river. The lodge enjoys all the amenities of modern technology, including high-speed Internet access, satellite TV, security system, multiple phone/fax lines, and top-notch heating, ventilation, water and plumbing systems.

History

The Lodge was constructed between 1889 and 1892 as a summer residence for the daughter of a British Industrialist. In 1946 the lodge and property were purchased by well-known Denver radio and TV personality, Pete Smythe. Before his radio fame, Pete lived in the lodge and operated a dude ranch at Rivercliffe along with his wife and two young children. Pete’s colorful exploits during his years at Rivercliffe are chronicled in the 1968 autobiographical book Pete Smythe: Big-City Dropout.

Sporting Features
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Fishing

The fishing at Rivercliffe is simply superb. The North Fork of the South Platte flows through the ranch for 2/3 of a mile. Approximately 1/5 of the private water flows through a gently sloping open meadow with moderate to shallow depths and flows over a round rock riverbed. The balance flows through a stunning canyon, which offers an entirely different habitat with big rapids, long deep runs and large pools up to 20 feet deep. These deep water features are not common in the North Fork of the South Platte; not only do these unique (and uncommon) features provide safe harbor for trout during lower flows and through the winter, they also hold very big fish.

The river flows out of the deeded ground and into the Pike National Forest about 2/3 of a mile downriver from the Lodge. World-class fishing doesn’t end there however, as the National Forest offers many miles of fishing opportunities through public land which is walk-in only and very difficult to access. The nearest public access point is a 5+ mile walk away from the north end of the property, safeguarding the river and surrounding public lands from heavy use.

The property also enjoys ¼ mile outstanding small stream of private trout water along Craig Creek, as well as a stocked, aerated pond.

Hunting

The Lodge at Rivercliffe offers private access into thousands of acres of Pike National Forest in Colorado Parks and Wildlife Game Management Unit 501, which is known as a high quality unit for elk and deer. The portion of the National Forest that is adjacent to the property is very difficult to access for public hunters, so there is generally little or no public hunting pressure.

Recreation

In addition to fishing and hunting, Rivercliffe offers plenty of opportunities for four-season general mountain recreation in a private, secluded setting. Activities enjoyed include kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and ice-skating in winter on the trout pond.

Ranch Attributes
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Ownership

The Lodge at Rivercliffe offering includes a 20% undivided tenant-in-common (TIC) ownership interest in 142.7 acres, and a 2.34 acre fee-simple lot on which the home sits. There are five total interests in the property, each with a 20% TIC ownership. Fishing and land use rights are strictly covenanted to protect the privacy and interests of the owners.

Investment Value

Properties such as Rivercliffe, with outstanding private, high mountain river fishing, are practically non-existent within two hours of Denver. In other words, there are very, very few substitutes for this asset, creating a unique, low-supply imbedded value for any investor.

Conservation Value

The entire property is protected by a conservation easement held by Colorado Open Lands. The easement strictly limits future development at Rivercliffe. The total number of ownership interests shall never exceed five. This, along with the conservation easement limiting further development, ensures for each owner privacy and seclusion at Rivercliffe in perpetuity.

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