Historic Hurd Creek Ranch land near Tabernash sells for $8.9M at auction
WINTER PARK — More than 920 acres of ranch land near Tabernash, commonly known as Hurd Creek Ranch, sold at auction earlier this month for a collective $8.9 million, marking the first time in more than 60 years the ranch has been sold.
The auction, held Oct. 13 at the Headwaters Center in Winter Park, attracted more than 200 people, with buyers coming in from multiple states.
Instead of listing the property — offered in 13 individual tracts that ranged between $8,000 and $15,000 per acre — for a set price, brokers decided to let the market decide its value, so an auction was the best bet.
“Land like this does not come up for sale very often, and putting a set price on the stunning views and senior water rights was not an option,” said Brett Gingery, listing broker with United Country Real Estate – Gingery & Associates located in Tabernash. “People in the county will be talking about this auction for a long time coming.”
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Gingery, along with Shawn Terrel, auctioneer and president of United Country Auction Services, conducted the auction.
The 13 tracts sold ranged from 36 to 215 acres and were purchased by buyers from Colorado, Florida and Texas, with three of the tracts placed under contract prior to the auction due to high demand in the days leading up to the event.
The land, parts of which border property owned by Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, included scenic mountain build sites, ranch and hay land and senior water rights with live water on multiple tracts.
Some acres of the property and its associated water rights were retained by the owners, the Paulk family.
Terrel said both the buyers and sellers of the land were all very happy with the auction’s outcome.
“It was an honor to work for the Paulk Family and thrilling to watch the auction process lead to a wildly successful event and sale,” Gingery said. “(The Paulks) wanted to sell, they tried to sell it traditionally and couldn’t, so we did something different with it.”
The land was previously listed with Cassidy Turley Commercial Real Estate Services for $5.5 million, but no sale was made at that time. Gingery said that was likely because of the difficulty in appraising something like Hurd Creek Ranch. A land auction, which is rare in Grand County, according to Gingery, put more pressure on people as they knew “it was going to sell today.”
According to Gingery, the Hurd Creek Ranch sale earned the designation of being more acres than the county has sold of that size in nearly five years.
Bob Fanch, local entrepreneur and owner of neighboring Devil’s Thumb Ranch, bought about half of the property and claimed water rights for the hay fields, according to Gingery.
As for the other land tracts that sold, Gingery suggested they aren’t likely to be developed.
“The other owners aren’t interested in developing it,” he explained. “They just want their death home, or grave home, somewhere they can live forever.”
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