Fans of mountain getaway Devil’s Thumb Ranch now can book a permanent stay in Tabernash.
After nearly 20 years of ownership, Bob and Suzanne Fanch are adding home lots to the offerings at the 6,500-acre mountain ranch they built outside Winter Park.
Twenty-four parcels ranging from 11 to 35 acres hit the market at the end of 2018. They start at $750,000 and reach $1.8 million. Four have sold.
The plots are on a piece of property that had some of the nicest views and didn’t impact the other part of the ranch, Bob Fanch said.
“In 2001, we bought Devil’s Thumb, which was a 340-acre ranch,” he said. “Now we have five ranches with 6,500 acres, so we’ve acquired a substantial amount of land over the years to primarily preserve the land and protect the amazing views.”
“Part of the benefit of building houses within Devil’s Thumb’s footprint is that they can share the amenities with the resort just by walking out their door,” Fanch said. An optional annual membership includes access to a private fishing cabin to be constructed along Ranch Creek. The Nordic ski trail system also passes through the lots for easy ski in/ski out access.
Called “The Ranches,” the homesites are located on a ridge just northwest of the base area of the luxury resort. They have 360-degree views.
“The ranch is down below this land that we’re developing and you can’t see any of the houses that would be built from the ranch base area,” Fanch said. “We set the building envelopes back from the ridgeline so the rooftops wouldn’t show from the base area of the ranch. We decided given all we had acquired, these views were just too stunning not to share.”
Devil’s Thumb, which shut down all operations on March 16 but plans on reopening May 22 for Memorial Day weekend, has advertised the home lots in The Wall Street Journal, 5280, Mountain Living and Farm & Ranch Living magazine.
“We have seen a cross-section of interest from retirees who want to have a legacy home for their extended family to visit to people who want to live there full time, and of course, in between there’s people who want to use it as a vacation home on the weekends and holidays,” Fanch said.
The maximum sizes for houses are dependent upon the location and terrain. Most sites allow 8,000 square feet and the remainder are 10,000 square feet. The minimum for all sites is 3,000 square feet. There are design standards and guidelines.
Two families have started constructing their new properties, with one slated to be complete by the end of the year, according to Rob Cyman, president of The Ranches.
“I think families who appreciate what the ranch is about and what it offers, as well as preservation, solitude and also conveniences easily in reach, will find a home here,” Cyman said. “It’s a place where you can feel removed but easily connected.”
In addition to upgrades at Devil’s Thumb, the Fanches also are working on a massive residential development in Winter Park known as Roam. They plan to bring in more than 1,000 housing units and 70,000 square feet of commercial space on 170 acres between the ski area and the town along Highway 40. Phase one of the project began last year, and the overall build out is slated to take 20 years.