The eco-friendly transformation of Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
Bob and Suzanne Fanch, long-time Winter Park second-home owners and Denver residents, became interested in Devil’s Thumb Ranch, which sat along the west side of the Diamond Bar T Ranch they had purchased in 1999. After a year of negotiations, the Gordons decided Bob and Suzanne were ideally suited for the Ranch and sold to them in 2001.
Over several years of capital improvements and forest maintenance, The Bunkhouse and historic cross-country center transformed into a year-round, eco-luxe ranch resort and spa. From 3,500 acres in 2001, the property grew to over 6,500 acres encompassing four ranches: Devil’s Thumb Ranch, the Diamond Bar T Ranch, Ram’s Curl Ranch, and the Black Ranch. Bob and Suzanne invested in sustainable initiatives including solar panels, ground-source heating, and a state-of-the-art water filtration system, earning numerous honors including being recognized for historic preservation and environmentally sensitive building by the Environmental Protection Agency.
With a commitment to considering the land first, less than two percent of the total acreage would be developed into facilities while preserving and restoring the remaining land and its history for future generations to enjoy. The vision that began over 20 years ago continues today—to create a special place where visitors can have a truly authentic, environmentally sensitive, rustically elegant ranch experience that celebrates the spirit of Colorado.
Visitors that have been captivated and transformed by their experiences at the Ranch were later given the opportunity to call it home. In 2017, the Fanch family announced homesites for sale for those that wanted to be a part of the sustainable legacy of Devil’s Thumb Ranch. The sites range from 11- to 35-acres to preserve open space, natural mountain terrain, and views of protected national forest. Learn more about The Ranches.
Transformation Highlights & Background
- Bob and Suzanne Fanch purchase Diamond Bar T Ranch in 1999
- Neighboring Devil’s Thumb Ranch is purchased in 2001, encompassing 3,500 acres of protected and managed wilderness area
- Additional land purchases in 2006, 2009, and 2010 bring the total to more than 6,500 acres
- 52-room Main Lodge and 35-room High Lonesome Lodge are modeled after the “parkitecture” of national park lodges. Located at the base area and adjoining hill close to the Activities Center, features include:
- Combined 87 guest rooms and suites and a mixture of fireplaces, balconies, and mountain views
- Beetle-kill pine is featured in the buildings’ framework
- Locally-commissioned artwork, as well as Scandinavian, Native American, and Western antique furnishings and accents throughout
- Three-story hexagonal stone fireplace constructed with rock from a nearby rockslide, a focal point of Heck’s Tavern
- Hallowed Grounds Coffee House
- Common lounge and living room-style community areas
- 37-seat movie theater
- Game room with table games, pool tables, shuffleboard, foosball, bubble hockey, and bowling alley
- Additional Eco-luxe lodging options include 15 ridgetop log cabins with radiant floor heating and EPA-certified wood-burning fireplaces
- Broad Axe Barn, a multi-use meeting, activities, and special events center that includes a reclaimed 1850s circa barn as the framework
- High Lonesome Barn (opened Spring 2014), the second reclaimed barn for special events, weddings, and meetings for up to 350 people
- “From the Earth & Sea” sustainable farming-based dining at Ranch House Restaurant featuring American Cuisine with classical techniques
- Private dining in John Ls’ Wine Cellar and Uncorking Room, and Grotto Suraboza
- Ranch Creek Spa, encompassing 18,000 sq. ft., offers seasonally varied, nature-based treatments designed to restore and rejuvenate. Yoga room with complimentary classes for overnight guests features floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the Continental Divide providing inspiration to continually connect guests with the outdoors
- Heated year-round, indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub
- Activity Center offering a retail store, professional guide service, instructors, and equipment for Nordic skiing, fly fishing, mountain biking, stand-up paddleboarding, zip lining, snowshoeing, ice skating, archery, hatchet throwing, and more
- Fitness Center also offers indoor options and top of the line equipment
- Cabin Creek Stables offers on-site horsemanship training, from trail rides to arena skills, wagon rides and sleigh rides for kids and adults
- The Ranches homesites announced in 2017 for visitors to own acreage at Devil’s Thumb Ranch
- Peak-to-Peak Ranch guest house (introduced in 2020) for a private vacation home experience staying with 4 beds, 2.5 bathrooms
Environmental & Notable Features of the Ranch
- The state’s largest privately-owned Solar Panel system servicing the Main Lodge, High Lonesome Lodge, and Maintenance Building
- Ground-source heating system and water sand filtration system
- EPA-approved wood-burning fireplaces with low emissions chimneys (Heck’s Tavern & cabins)
- On-site rock-slide stone featured in the Lodges and Spa fireplaces identical to the fireplace stone in the original Homestead that is now Ranch House Restaurant
- Recycled asphalt used on all Ranch roads and paved parking areas
- Beetle-kill pine interior walls and beams in the Lodges and Spa, recycled Spruce flooring
- Commissioned art and metalwork, as well as antiques and saddles from local artists, antique stores, and flea markets
- Sustainable and locally farmed (as seasonally available) produce, fish, meat, and game (85% from Colorado sources), including its own Ranch-raised, full-blood wagyu beef
- Eco-friendly cleaning products, in-room recycling, and water conservation programs
- Responsible building practices that include relocating the Day Lodge for day guests and the Bunkhouse for overnight guests, respectively
- Vegetable-based soaps and accessories are also packaged in recycled paper cartons printed with soy-based inks
- Sustainable forest management including annual plantings of new Aspen, Spruce and Douglas Fir, including more than 10,000 plantings since 2008
- Low energy-use, fluorescent lighting
We hope our unique property becomes a part of your history, as well.