Vista Verde Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch is a long-established luxury ranch in one of Colorado’s most scenic areas; it is among the West’s most recognized and exclusive guest ranches. Shadowed by the snow-capped peaks of the Zirkel Range at the headwaters of the Elk River, Vista Verde Ranch consists of 587 acres with top quality improvements. The impressive lodge, large indoor riding arena and posh western cabins provide a solid foundation for the customized experience that attracts guests from all over the globe. Adjacent to the ranch and bordering Coulton Creek is an elegant 8,800 sq. ft. owner’s home; it overlooks the mare barn below and the ranch headquarters in the distance. Public land permits provide commercial access to thousands of acres on the surrounding Routt National Forest. World-class downhill skiing, boutique shopping and fine dining is a half hour drive in Steamboat Springs.
The current owner, with a shorter-than-intended tenure, closely followed his predecessors’ footsteps; he added his own long list of improvements and efficiencies to the ranch and they have enhanced both the business and the guest experience. The long-term management team has expertly pulled the best qualities of each previous owner and woven those qualities into their relationships with guests and staff. What has evolved is a culture and guest experience like no other.
Vista Verde Ranch is located six miles east of Clark and 23 miles from Steamboat Springs. Steamboat Springs is a friendly resort town in northern Colorado and is about 160 miles northwest of Denver. Steamboat has a population of about 12,000 with a long list of amenities often only found in larger towns. Colorado, geographically located for easy access around the nation, is one of the fastest growing states in the nation. High quality of life fueled by abundant outdoor recreation, a well-educated work force and healthy lifestyles are among the many reasons people and companies call Colorado home.
Routt National Forest nearly surrounds the ranch. It is a one-million-acre playground stretching from Wyoming to Steamboat Springs. The ranch is nestled in a park-like setting at 7,700 feet in elevation. Just a few miles east of the ranch are the distinct rugged peaks of the Zirkel Range and the Continental Divide. The improvements on the ranch are clustered near the northeast corner and horse pastures extend south toward the tree-lined river corridor. The owner’s home is situated on a gently sloping hillside along the ranch’s western border. The bulk of the land has a commercial-friendly conservation easement; three additional parcels allow for typical area residential development. The fenced pastures in the valley floor provide excellent native forage for horses and wildlife and the aspen covered hillsides rise to the spruce and fir forests at the higher elevations overlooking the ranch.
Up to 60 guests per week enjoy a stay in one of twelve private, well-appointed log cabins or three comfy lodge rooms. Guest accommodations are outfitted with fine linens, attractive artwork and décor, a stocked fridge and hot tubs at each cabin. The lodge, constructed in 2008, skillfully invites intimate conversation or curling up with a good book on one of the oversized chairs by the huge fireplace. A state-of-the-art indoor riding arena expands the equestrian activities to a year-round opportunity and attracts some of the best horse clinicians in the industry. The nordic center is the launching point for the wide array of outdoor adventures guests enjoy on the ranch. Every mountain activity imaginable starts here: a seemingly unlimited supply of quality snowshoes, bicycles, cross-country skis and fishing rods, to name just a few, are matched to guests so they can safely experience mountain recreation. The kids’ cabin is similarly outfitted with everything-fun for the younger Vista Verde Ranch guests. The improvements on the ranch lend themselves not only to an outstanding guest experience, but to excellent employee attraction and retention. The comfort and variety of the on-site housing enables the ranch to attract and retain excellent staff; the quality accommodations range from dorm-style rooms with bunks to apartments, cabins and homes. The newly constructed manager home is on site and secluded from the rest of the ranch; it was built to incorporate flexibility for future employee or owner uses. The 8,800 sq. ft. owner’s home overlooks the classic-style barn and Coulton Creek. Custom design and attention to detail are evident throughout particularly in the great room, main level master wing and chef’s kitchen. The upper level has 4 en-suite bedrooms, a gym area and a den. The improvements and updates increase efficiency and predictability for future maintenance costs at the ranch while setting the bar high for an exceptional guest, owner and staff experience.
Vista Verde Ranch is operated as a luxury guest ranch on 587 private acres and by permit on thousands of acres on the adjoining public land. The majority of bookings come from returning guests and word of mouth and the staff turnover is extremely low. The evolution of the ownership and management has resulted in a driving mission to develop leaders at the ranch in the young staff members. The personal investment in the staff ripples out to each and every guest; staff members who are respected, empowered and mentored are naturally inspired to serve each other and the guests. The ranch business generates a positive cash flow; the larger return comes in the form of service to others -- doing something bigger and being able to impact people in a deeply meaningful way. The ranch’s standing as a highly rated, globally recognized destination resort together with top quality improvements, infrastructure and highly talented staff in a pristine alpine setting, position the next owner for continued success.
Vista Verde Ranch is an opportunity to host guests in an intimate setting with an impressive variety of activities, outstanding cuisine and ultra-comfortable accommodations. The ranch is one of three ranches in the nation awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond rating, North America’s premier hotel rating program and is recognized among the most exclusive luxury guest ranches in the world. With a strong expectation of quality and an eye toward ease of ownership in the future, every improvement on the ranch has been diligently and thoroughly upgraded. New improvements have recently been added, expanding opportunities available to guests and management. The federal and county permits that accompany the current ranch operation (and convey upon satisfaction of simple requirements) are exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to obtain in today’s regulatory climate. Vista Verde Ranch, with a long history of outstanding service and quality, combined with its location and irreplaceable entitlements, is being offered turnkey.