Battle Mountain hilltop land near Minturn now on the market for $19.5M | VailDaily.com

Battle Mountain hilltop land near Minturn now on the market for $19.5M

EAGLE COUNTY — Big tracts of private land are rare in the upper Vail Valley. The top of Battle Mountain may be the biggest, and it's now for sale.

Almost 4,700 acres at the top of Battle Mountain hit the open market this week, with an asking price of $19.5 million. The property has been co-listed by Onie Bolduc and Kyle Denton, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties.

Only the mountaintop property is for sale. Battle Mountain Development Co. will retain property at and around Bolts Lake, which is envisioned for housing. Developers and town of Minturn officials continue to negotiate a development for that valley-floor property.

The mountaintop parcel was once proposed for a large, private ski resort with as many as 10 lifts and more than 1,000 housing units. Minturn voters in 2008 approved the rough outline of a plan for that project. But then-developer Bobby Ginn ultimately abandoned the project in the wake of the national economic slump that hit full force in 2008. The property then reverted to what became Battle Mountain Development Co.

Blank Canvas

While there are agreements in place with Minturn, the ranch is being marketed as essentially a blank canvas for its next buyer. A buyer, or buyers, could keep the land private and build little more than a home or compound. The property could also be split into parcels of 35 acres or larger. Or a buyer could develop the property into something more ambitious.

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Somewhere between 60 percent and 70 percent of the land atop Battle Mountain has been annexed into the town of Minturn. Agreements with the town include a couple of options.

Minturn Town Council member Earle Bidez said if a developer decides to go the private ski area route, then Minturn and the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District will provide water and sewer services — paid for by the developer.

Development would also trigger requirements to pay for roads and other municipal services.

If the property is split into large parcels, then water and sewer services won't be needed, nor will most of the other municipal services — or developer obligations — a bigger project would require. But Minturn Town Manager Willy Powell said any roads would have to meet current county standards.

Whether a property is a ski-in, ski-out home or a mountaintop, it can take some time to find a buyer for land with an eight-figure price tag. A home on Vail's Rockledge Road that sold in late 2016 for about $23 million was on the market for roughly three years. But, Bolduc said, he thinks the Battle Mountain property will be a little different in terms of timing.

A Thursday property tour for brokers drew about 50 people, Bolduc said, and private showings have already been scheduled.

"Because it's so unique, I really believe there's a buyer out there within the next couple of months," Bolduc said.

Denton, who grew up in Vail, said the property's use is limited only by the buyer's imagination, noting there are perfect bowls and slopes.

"You could have a private ski paradise, with or without lifts," Denton said.

And, Denton said, if the mountaintop ends up with a single mountaintop home, then that home would have unequaled views.

"You could stare at (Vail's) Back Bowls and at Mount of the Holy Cross," Denton said. "It's the only property in the Vail Valley where you can do that."

And, Denton added, whoever buys the Battle Mountain property will likely already be someone with a deep knowledge of, and love for, the Vail Valley.

Minturn Mayor Matt Scherr said putting the top of Battle Mountain into a new owner's hands could be good for the community. But that remains to be seen.

"I just hope somebody good gets it," Scherr said.

What’s the parcel?

• 4,676 acres atop Battle Mountain.

• Between Minturn and Red Cliff.

• Only the mountain top property is for sale.

• Between 60 percent and 70 percent of the property has been annexed into the town of Minturn.

• The listing price is $19.5 million.

Source: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado properties, listing agent Onie Bolduc

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