Going, going . most of W. Elk Creek Ranch gone | PostIndependent.com
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Going, going . most of W. Elk Creek Ranch gone

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Selling real estate can take months and sometimes years, but on Saturday, it took just one day for the majority of the 1,400-acre West Elk Creek Ranch to be auctioned off for a total of $2.4 million. Woltz & Associates, an auctioneering company out of Roanoke, Va., conducted the land auction at the Hotel Colorado’s Devereux Room. The company partnered with Bain, Hutzley and Leverich, a real estate company from Aspen, to conduct the sale.”Woltz did a phenomenal job with this sale,” said Chris Leverich, of Bain, Hutzley and Leverich. “There were some tremendous bargains here.”Although the ranch was advertised in a promotional brochure as “located between Aspen and Vail” the land is more accurately 25 miles northwest of Glenwood Springs. Much of the road is unpaved, and it takes about 45 minutes to drive to the ranch from either Rifle or New Castle. Currently, none of the parcels has access to utilities. Thirty-four parcels, ranging in size from 35 to 66 acres, went on the auction block. Ten tracts were sold “absolute,” which means that no minimum bid was required and the parcels were sold to the highest bidder. The top price paid for a tract was $96,000, for parcel number 10, a 37-acre tract of flat and sloping land. Out of the 24 remaining tracts, only four remained unsold because they never reached the minimum bid price. Leverich said the sellers aren’t yet certain what they’ll do with the remaining parcels.

A wide array of bidders filled the Devereux Room on Saturday, from weathered cowboys, to men in ball caps, to ladies in summer dresses. There were young families hoping to get a deal on their own piece of land, Aspen Skiing Co. employees and speculators from Georgia.At the beginning of the auction, which started at noon, Jim Woltz of Woltz & Associates explained the finer points of the land auction process to the crowd. As he spoke, a slide show projected images of the ranch: groves of aspen trees, wide-open meadows and expansive views of the Flat Tops. “You’re going to tell us how this property is going to sell today,” said Woltz. “There can be some great prices here. We’re very happy the sellers have chosen this method to sell their land.” All bidders had to register at the entrance of the room, and provide identification, such as a driver’s license, before receiving a bid number. Woltz explained any bidder who won a bid would need to pay a 10 percent deposit that same day, plus a 5 percent broker’s fee. All purchasers would also have to pay a $200 fee to Stewart Title. All financing will have to be completed by November, at the latest.

Eagle resident Joe Tierney sat in the back, with his wife and two young children. He bid $60,000 on a 66-acre parcel, but was outbid when the tract sold for $70,000. “If we got it, we would have liked to have used it as a cabin in the summer,” Tierney said. “And later, maybe we could give it to our kids as a starter.”Michael Kaiser was at the auction Saturday bidding on a 49-acre parcel that he purchased for $90,000. Kaiser, who’s originally from Utah and now lives in Newport Beach, Calif., said he’s tired of Southern California. He plans to move to Basalt, while he builds his permanent residence up on his West Elk Creek Ranch parcel.”If it’s got quakies (aspen trees) on it, that’s where I want to be,” he said of his tract, which he has yet to visit.Kaiser heard about the auction from his friends, Randy and Jen Tuggle, who own the Land Rover dealership in Glenwood Springs. They purchased a 51-acre parcel down the road from Kaiser.Bob Bruce has a home on West Buttermilk outside Aspen. He purchased two parcels Saturday – about 80 acres for $185,000. He visited the property in his four-wheel drive vehicle and says he understands exactly what he’s getting – and what the likely limits are.”I can’t imagine accessing the property in the winter,” he said. “I’m not sure how you could get a snowplow up there.”Still, Bruce is excited about his purchase. “I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it, but it’s absolutely beautiful land,” Bruce said. “Chris (Leverich) told me the ranch was originally owned by the Bruce family. It seems like there’s a bit of a full circle there.” Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518cclick@postindependent.com


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