Historic Tybar Ranch outside of Carbondale sells for $12.55 million

Ranch abuts portion of the popular Prince Creek mountain bike trail network on BLM lands

A high profile ranch outside of Carbondale that has been in the same family for four decades sold June 30 for $12.55 million.

The Tybar Ranch, formerly renowned for its research on Angus cattle in partnership with Colorado State University, was sold by owner Emma Danciger and the DKD 2004 Trust to Turnabout Ranch LLC, with a mailing address in Chappaqua, New York.

Tybar is one of the largest remaining ranches along Prince Creek Road, an area that is getting converted from agricultural lands to small subdivisions. Representatives of the Tybar previously said the water rights for the ranch date back to 1892 and it appears a portion of the ranch was homesteaded even earlier.

“The sale is a reinforcement of the phenomenon of what’s happened in the Rocky Mountain West since the lockdown was lifted,” said realtor Scott Bayens of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented the buyers.

The Aspen area experienced a record year for real estate sales dollar volume in 2020 as buyers flocked to the valley from urban areas to flee unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic. This year is shaping up to be another strong year, although a depleted inventory will likely prevent another record.

Bayens said his research indicates the Tybar sale was the highest priced ranch sale in the Carbondale-area since 2006, when the Bob and Ruth Perry ranch sold for $27.25 million. That sale involved 1,180 acres.

The Tybar is located about 1.5 miles up Prince Creek Road from Highway 133. Emma Danciger and her late husband, David, purchased the ranch in 1979. The Tybar worked with Colorado State University to test their Angus for brisket disease, which affects the heart of cattle at elevations greater than about 5,000 feet in elevation. The cattle were selectively bred to reduce the risk of the disease. The ranch’s bulls and heifers were highly sought by ranchers around the country to increase their herds.

Part of the ranch is highly visible to cyclists riding the road to access the mountain bike trail network on The Crown. Earlier this decade, Emma Danciger sold 20 acres of her spread to Pitkin County Open Space and Trails for development of a parking lot and trailhead along Prince Creek Road and a singletrack access trail to the network on The Crown.

Rocky Whitworth of Coldwell Banker Mason Morse, the listing broker for the Tybar, said it is one of the most stunning ranches in the area. It is in the shadow of Mount Sopris and provides stunning views of the Elk Mountains. It abuts Bureau of Land Management holdings but also is located close to Carbondale.

The sale included 450 acres that has a planned unit development approved by Pitkin County. The approval established two open space parcels totaling about 400 acres. Ten building sites and an existing residence are located on the other 50 acres. The ranch also came with a 27,000-square-foot barn and riding arena.

The sale excluded a small parcel and house where Danciger will continue to reside, Whitworth said. He said the property also has an active agriculture lease to the Nieslanik family. They graze hundreds of cattle on the land.

Bayens said the buyers didn’t want to be identified, but they provided a statement through him.

“We’re excited to continue the legacy of this extraordinary, historic property,” the buyers said. “We aim to benefit the land as well as the local community, with sustainable agriculture and property restoration guiding our vision. It’s an honor to be the next stewards of this ranch.”

While the future of the ranch is somewhat uncertain, it’s doubtful the new owners will capture Carbondale’s attention in the same way as the recent buyer of a neighboring ranch. Tom Bailey, the new owner of ranchland sandwiched between Prince Creek Road and Highway 133, has nearly completed leveling a prominent rock formation that was adjacent to Prince Creek Road. Heavy machinery is excavating the rock formation and burying it in a large pit dug a couple hundred yards away. Topsoil from the pit was stacked nearby and will apparently be used to cover the rock that was dismantled.

Bayens said he believes ranch sales in the midvalley will continue in this super-heated real estate market. He said he is aware of six ranches that are at or close to the same caliber as the Tybar that are being “quietly marketed.”

“That’s a special kind of buyer, but those types of buyers have always existed around here,” Bayens said.


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