Granby Ranch ski area will be up for sale in January, owners say
Granby Ranch owner Marise Cipriani and CEO Melissa Cipriani confirmed with Sky-Hi News on Tuesday morning that they will list the Granby ski resort for sale in January.
The entirety of Granby Ranch’s property and its operations will be listed with Eric and Martin Roth of CBRE Land Services in Denver along with Jeff Woolson of CBRE’s Golf and Resort Group. A listing price has yet to be determined, according to Marise Cipriani.
“I just turned 60. It’s been 22 years that we’ve owned this,” said a tearful Marise Cipriani.
She explained that “it was time” to turn the resort over to new owners.
The Ciprianis, who have owned the resort — originally named SilverCreek — since purchasing it Sept. 28, 1995 out of receivership after the previous owners died in a plane crash at the Granby airport, are now turning their focus to family.
Marise Cipriani has been making a regular 6,000-mile commute over the last two decades to see her husband who lives in Brazil. Melissa Cipriani said she wants to start a family and doesn’t want the stress of her job as a distraction.
“It’s been a lot,” Melissa Cipriani said.
Granby Ranch has recently made headlines after failing to pay delinquent property taxes to the county this fall, in addition to the tragic death of Kelly Huber last December after she fell to the ground from the QuickDraw Express, one of the resort’s ski lifts.
“We have had hard times,” admitted Marise Cipriani.
That’s on top of financial hardships the resort has encountered. Marise Cipriani acknowledged the two national recessions, in 2001 and 2008, took a hard hit on the resort.
Despite a tumultuous period for the ranch, Marise Cipriani stuck to the fact that some soul searching once she turned 60 years old on Sept. 28 led the family to officially decide to list Granby Ranch for sale.
Granby Ranch has expanded under the Cipriani’s ownership with the creation of a golf course, the addition of new chair lifts, renovations to buildings on the property and the construction of many home developments that now house over 600 families.
The Ciprianis said, while they wouldn’t seek to recruit a buyer, such as Aspen Skiing Co., which recently took over operations at Winter Park Resort, their goal is to sell Granby Ranch as one piece. Though a lengthy stay on the market could potentially lead the family-owned business to sell off individual pieces.
Operations will continue throughout the sale, the Ciprianis confirmed. During that time, however, no development, such as expansions or new projects, would take place.
Melissa Cipriani also confirmed that a new mechanical drive on the QuickDraw Express, which the Colorado tramway board singled out in its investigative report earlier this summer as a cause for Huber’s fall, will be programmed for operation by the resort’s winter season opening day, Dec. 15.
The 5,000-plus-acre resort is owned and operated under two parallel companies, Granby Realty Holdings and Granby Ranch Amenities. Those companies are owned by a trust, which is owned by the Cipriani family.
“It’s been a privilege being part of this community,” Marise Cipriani said. “But this could be our last winter here.”
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