A 780-acre ranch just south of Steamboat Springs sold Friday for $7 million to a Texas auto dealership owner.
Emerald Ridge Ranch, located about 3.5 miles south of Mount Werner Road, was purchased by Reed Sanctuary LLC, a Texas company registered to Randall Reed, the Dallas-based owner of World Class Automotive Group.
According to the Routt County Assessor’s Office, Reed and his wife are already the owners of a home south of the newly purchased property on Emerald Meadows Drive off Routt County Road 14 and parcels in the Alpine Mountain Ranch subdivision and at Lake Catamount.
The Emerald Ridge Ranch property was offered for sale for the first time in its history in April 2015. The original listing price of $9.4 million was later reduced to $8.95 million.
The property was originally owned by the Lufkin family, who once owned most of the land in the South Valley, according to Ren Martyn, a broker with Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented the sellers on the transaction.
The property was established by Herbert C. Lufkin in 1919 and later sold to his son Don Lufkin in the 1950s, who in turn sold it to his nephew, Doug Scott. In 1994. Scott, who owned the property with his sons through an LLC, was the seller.
Martyn said it was the property’s proximity to Steamboat Springs and the character of the land that made it attractive to the buyer.
“It’s 780 acres, and it’s only 3 1/2 miles from the city limits. Obviously that’s very desirable to many people,” Martyn said. “And the topography is very gentle with rolling hills. That’s attractive to a lot of people.”
Currently, only a small, 576-square-foot, two-bedroom cabin is developed on the property, which was historically used as summer grazing lands.
Nearly 500 acres of the property is under conservation easements through the Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, but the property does have development potential for up to 12 homes.
The buyer doesn’t currently have any intention to develop multiple homes on the property but will instead use it as a private family recreation compound, according to Pam Vanatta, a broker with Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented the Reed family on the sale.
“It’s more of a legacy property for their family for years to come,” Vanatta said.
Vanatta said the sale is proof of the fact that more people are showing interest in large pieces of land in Routt County.