Historic Gay family ranch in Pleasant Valley sells for $23 million | SteamboatToday.com

Historic Gay family ranch in Pleasant Valley sells for $23 million

The majority of the Gay family's Green Creek Ranch in Pleasant Valley was sold last week for $23 million to a buyer that plans to preserve the agricultural integrity of the property and does not plan to pursue development.

— A historic ranch owned by the Gay family in Pleasant Valley south of Steamboat Springs has sold to an entity called Trout123 LLC for $23 million.

Roughly 1,500 of the 2,000 acres comprising Green Creek Ranch, located off Routt County Road 18, was sold Thursday by Bill Gay and Roberta Moellenberg, two of the three children of Bob and Elaine Gay, who purchased the ranch in 1948.

The ranch was sold by the siblings in two 50-percent interest transactions for $11.5 million each.

A 500-acre portion of the ranch bordering either side of the Yampa River was deeded to Margaret Hagenbuch, the third of the Gays’ children, and remains owned by a member of the family.

The new owners plan to respect the historic significance of the ranch, which was added to the Routt County Register of Historic Places in 2004, and have no plans to develop on the property, according to new ranch manager Bruce Enever, who has worked as a ranch hand for Bill Gay for the past three years.

“Everything will pretty much stay the same,” said Enever, who grew up in Steamboat Springs. “There’s going to be no development in Pleasant Valley.”

Land conservation and the absence of development in Pleasant Valley were important to the Gay family, which was recognized numerous times with awards for riparian preservation and land stewardship.

In the 1980s, the family was pressured to sell the ranch to make way for a Catamount ski area but resisted the sale, and instead, led a movement to explore alternatives to resort development.

The family helped establish the Routt County Purchase of Development Rights program, which provides incentives for landowners willing to sell development rights, and placed more than 900 acres of the family ranch into a conservation easement with the Yampa Valley Land Trust. Those acres were part of last week’s sale, Enever said.

“The new owners definitely want to carry on the legacy of the Green Creek Ranch,” Enever said.

Real estate broker Susan Ross said she was asked by the family to locate a private buyer for the ranch and represented both buyer and seller in the transaction.

“Having enjoyed Pleasant Valley for many years, it was crucial to find someone who shared a similar vision to help conserve the beauty of this one-of-a-kind property,” Ross said. “The view of the Pleasant Valley that you see today represents the years of hard work, sacrifice and effort that created this great legacy ranch.”

The LLC that purchased the ranch is registered out of Omaha, Nebraska, but the buyer’s name was not disclosed as part of the sale.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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