The news spread fast as Granby Ranch announced its intent to sell the property this week. After a discussion with Marise and Melissa Cipriani on Tuesday, the Winter Park Times learned some of the details behind the sale of the 5000 acre family resort community that includes skiing, golfing, mountain bike trail systems and fishing on the Fraser River.
After 22 years, the Ciprianis are putting the ranch up for sale to enjoy life and start anew. Melissa Cipriani, CEO of Granby Ranch, was recently married and wants to start a family. “Raising a family is my priority and running a Ski Resort takes a great deal of time and energy and I think it would be best to make a change before I pursue the next phase of my life.” Talking with the ladies you can immediately tell the decision to sell the property doesn’t come easily. There were several emotional moments in our conversation.
The Cipriani Family bought SilverCreek Ski Area on September 28th 1995, changed the name and embarked on a property development that was in need of some major overhauls. The previous owners were killed in a plane crash at Granby Airport and the property fell into receivership.
Marise Cipriani, Owner of Granby Ranch made these comments in my interview then summed it up in a letter to the community, “We have come a long way since 1995. We have faced many challenges, large and small. With lessons learned, we have accomplished a lot, beginning with vesting the entitlements and annexing into the Town of Granby. We continued to evolve as we built a golf course, ski area improvements, community trails, the Ranch Hall and other major backbone infrastructure. We also worked to secure water rights and completed a water augmentation plan. We assessed the needs of our growing population and elected to donate land for a medical center, recreational center, and affordable housing. We funded the Recreation, Open Space and Housing Foundation, and we established the Grand Enterprise Initiative, which supported existing companies and helped to create 66 new businesses in Grand County along with 120 new jobs. Most importantly, Granby Ranch has grown to over six hundred families in a community that will eventually have more than four thousand homes.” Marise added, “There is much to be proud of this has been my passion for a long time but I feel it is time to focus on family”
September 28th, 2017 was Marise Cipriani’s 60th birthday. I ask her how long the sale had been on her mind she said, “It is on occasions like this that we reflect on the story of our lives, where we have come to in life, and what is written in our next chapters. It was exactly 22 years ago on September 28, 1995, that my family purchased Granby Ranch. Most developers don’t last this long. We weathered a couple of crushing economic periods and I feel that the Granby Ranch community is poised for great growth and opportunity. I believe under new stewardship and guidance, the vision and full potential of Granby Ranch will be realized.
I spent time with Marise Cipriani over the years and her passion for what Granby Ranch had to offer was a vision that played out throughout the development. The vision was to provide an environment that would bring families and friends together and share in a great outdoor experience. The property was initially zoned for a extremely high density model and Maise Cipriani pushed those numbers back to what is believed to be one third less than the original owners plan of 12,000 homes. She pushed it back two times during the infrastructure phase so that they could have a true connection with the land.
“Our mission has been the same, We wanted to create a community where families, friends and teammates can connect, live, play and enjoy the natural environment of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.” Marise Cipriani
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.
The Ciprianis assured the Winter Park Times that they are planning on operating as usual throughout the process with a scheduled opening date of December 15th. Several new and exciting events are scheduled this season including a “Polar Plunge”. Melissa Cipriani said, “We have a new Chef at the Granby Ranch Grill and new Food and Beverage Director. We plan on hosting events throughout the season and our wedding business for next summer will move forward as scheduled.“
The Granby Ranch Grill will be open for dinner and the 8350 Bar & Bistro will host live music on Thursday and happy hour specials throughout the week. Night skiing will still be offered on special weekends and holidays and will open for large groups or parties.
Marise Cipriani stated that they were not rushing to sell and want to find the right partner for the transaction. “We hope to find someone that shares our vision for this beautiful community, someone who wants to pick up where we left off.” she added, “We own property here and will always have a connection to Grand County”
In her letter to the community Marise closed with, “It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank all those who have shared in this vision to make Granby Ranch their home. I will take forever the memories and experiences of this magnificent place with me, as I enter the next chapter of my life, a story, as of yet, unwritten, and continuing to reveal itself with each turn of a page.”