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  • Dylan Anderson

90% of Stagecoach Mountain Ranch will be second homes, documents show

Water demand report produced for the exclusive development suggests homes will be occupied about 25 days a year.

The developers behind Stagecoach Mountain Ranch expect 90% of the nearly 700 units planned to be second homes occupied for approximately 25 days a year, according to documents obtained in a public records request.

An analysis of the development at full build-out showed that 17% of homes would be occupied on any given day, meaning that more than 80% of homes are expected to be empty at any given time.  

The occupancy figures — included in a water demand analysis submitted to the Morrison Creek Water and Sanitation District — are informed by data from Montana’s Yellowstone Club, though it is referred to as “the Big Sky development” in documents. The Yellowstone Club is said to boast members like Tom Brady and Bill Gates.

“The Development is anticipated to be comprised predominantly of secondary homeowners (~90%) with only a small portion of lots being utilized as primary residences (~10%),” the water demand report reads. “The Development’s Economic Impact Analysis describes that on average secondary homeowners will reside at the Development 25 days per year, approximately a 5-7% residential occupancy rate.”

Stagecoach Mountain Ranch, a private ski and golf community targeting the ultra-wealthy, is expected to submit a formal planning application to the Routt County Planning Department sometime this summer — potentially as soon as next month. The nearly 6,500-acre project is on land that was once the Stagecoach Ski Area, which had a short run in the 1970s.

Single-family homes will have a maximum size of 12,500 square feet and be positioned all the way up the mountain. According to the demand report, there is no set phasing plan for Stagecoach Mountain Ranch, rather development will “be driven by market success and individual lot sales.”

“An early activation period will occur as the first stage of the development and will include the construction of workforce housing, ski runs/operations, a base village lodge and parking,” the report reads. “A detailed phasing analysis will be included during the design phase of this development.”

The project’s owner, Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, is working to obtain a commitment from the Morrison Creek district that it will provide water and sewer service for Stagecoach Mountain Ranch. This will require the district to get an increased outflow permit from the state of Colorado and eventually spur developer-funded infrastructure upgrades.

Developers will also need to have part of the land proposed for Stagecoach Mountain Ranch annexed into the Morrison Creek district. Areas the project calls Mid-Mountain, Top Mountain and Cat Creek are largely outside of the district’s current boundaries.

At its meeting last week, Morrison Creek General Manager Geovanny Romero recommended against the board giving the developer any guarantees for service until an increased permit was obtained and the needed property was annexed.

In addition to water and sewer service, emails obtained by The Yampa Valley Bugle show Discovery wants to explore using effluent — water discharged from the wastewater treatment plant — to be used to irrigate the proposed golf course.

The water demand report largely focuses on water needs for development and how those needs were estimated. The report estimates it will produce 503 acre-feet of water demand and 379 acre-feet of sewer demand each year.

The report also includes a breakdown of what types of housing are anticipated to be built and where each will be roughly constructed.

The report includes a map of the area identifying seven different areas for housing. Of the 697 units, 291 are expected to be single-family homes, 191 would be “cabins,” 112 would be ski villas or duplexes and another 103 would be condos. Documents also identify 50 units of “employee/workforce housing” planned as part of the project that would also be served by the Morrison Creek district.

The Bugle obtained the demand report and other documents through a Colorado Open Records Act request made to the district last week. Other documents released to The Bugle were already made public in early 2023 as part of an optional planning stage conducted the developers of Stagecoach Mountain Ranch.

Top Photo Caption: The base area of the old Stagecoach Ski Area is a central area in the plan for Stagecoach Mountain Ranch. (Dylan Anderson/The Yampa Valley Bugle)

Caption: This map included with the water demand analysis shows where housing is anticipated at Stagecoach Mountain Ranch. (Kimley-Horn/Courtesy)

Read the Water Demand Report for Stagecoach Mountain Ranch:

2024-0417_Stagecoach Mountain Ranch - Demand Analysis for MCMWSD
Download PDF • 10.80MB




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