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When it comes to Steamboat real estate, people often talk about how it’s not just about choosing the right property but buying into a lifestyle—the skiing, world-class fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking, and Steamboat’s unique blend of ski town culture and ranching history.

But there is only one property that neatly packages that lifestyle with a unique “rustic meets refined” offering of homesites on a working horse and cattle ranch with luxury amenities and services that include everything from a ranch house pool and spa and state-of-the-art 20-seat theater to master guides that offer their expertise in fly fishing, mountain biking, skiing, hunting, horseback riding, and ranching.

Marabou at Steamboat is located only 5 miles from downtown Steamboat just outside the city limits, but the 1,700-acre property is a working ranch with 2 miles of Elk River frontage and a long list of luxury amenities that make it the all-inclusive experience for owners who want that unique combination of mountain living and total luxury. With 77 percent of the land dedicated to shared open space, it’s a true ranch preservation community. That might be why only 9 out of 64 lots remain and demand is at an all-time high.

Master Guide and Ranch Manager Chad Bedell has been there since the project began over 17 years ago. A bona fide cowboy, Bedell spent years competing on the rodeo circuit as a World Title holder and 12-year professional steer wrestler. “I grew up in Clark and have competed in rodeo around the country,” he says. His family has been ranching along the Elk River and its tributaries for almost 90 years. “The whole clan came into the Hahn’s Peak area in about 1919 and began ranching in the Willow Creek drainage,” Bedell says. Some of the Bedells were in the dairy business. Bedell rode his horsemanship all the way to a World Championship belt buckle in steer wrestling in 1996.

Bedell was there when the original infrastructure went in and has watched the vision for a working ranch with luxury amenities come to fruition. Owners can enjoy the Riverhouse Lodge, spa, fitness center, pool, and a 20 seat, state-of-the-art theater with access to over 450 films. There are six luxury cabins along the Elk River available to owners to use or host guests throughout the year. There’s even a Marabou at the Mountain, an owner facility located at the base of Steamboat Ski Area with a fully stocked bar and storage for skis, bikes, and other toys just steps away from the gondola and open all year round.

The most unique piece of Marabou’s lifestyle equation is its Master Guides, experts like Bedell who have a lifetime of experience leading owners in all kinds of outdoor activities and providing instruction and expertise. “If an owner has interest in the equine program, I can teach them how to catch their horse, groom it, tack it up, and ride it—basically anything involved with teaching them how to ride a horse,” Bedell says.

The property has its own private fishery with over 2 miles of the Elk River and ten still water fisheries. Master Guide Pat Stefanek ties it all together (literally, tying many flies) as a licensed outfitter in the state of Colorado who has guided hunting and fishing all over North America. There are also hunting, mountain biking, and snow sports guides available, in addition to over 20 miles of multi-use trails right on the property.

Bedell oversees all things ranching related including an active cattle operation with an onsite herd of grass feed Angus cattle. Each owner is entitled to a quarter of beef annually, and the balance of the hormone-free beef is marketed locally and served at special events.

“We raise 16 steers so that each owner can get a quarter of beef every year. The owners like to see the animals out utilizing the forage and grass on the property. It’s been fun,” he says. Residents with an adventurous spirit have the opportunity to assist in the care of the animals and participate in cattle drives. In addition to Marabou’s 16 in-resident steers, the land is leased to other ranchers for cattle to graze, bringing the total headcount to close to 100. Over 200 acres of irrigated hay meadows and dry land hay fields are being farmed and harvested for feeding the ranch’s horses, with the surplus sold to local ranchers. Residents can take part in the cutting and the baling of hay if they choose.

The equestrian program at Marabou is one of the top amenities. Everything you need is here: a rodeo arena, rope and barrel racing, cattle drives, well-trained horses, custom saddles, and 20 miles of equestrian trails. There are 32 horses on site including a pair of draft horses with a horse barn and arena. “We have a main string of about 20 horses that the owners use for horse rides,” Bedell says. “We have guides in the summer and have staff on hand to take care of the horses and get them ready to go out on trail rides around the property.” If there’s enough interest, Bedell will offer an arena day for owners who want to learn some rodeo skills but trail rides are the most popular. Still, children from non-ranching backgrounds visit Marabou and learn to ride and rope while they are here. Some have even gone on to the pro rodeo circuit.

Bedell is particularly proud of the developer’s efforts for wildlife conservation, including a grouse lek site and elk calving area. “The owners worked with the Colorado Division of Park and Wildlife and looked at different areas of the ranch that should remain untouched to protect the wildlife,” Bedell says. Part of his ranching program includes remediation to restore native grasses, shrubs and habitat once construction is complete. “It’s a tough climate to work in, but I enjoy trying to keep things native and in production,” he says.

The best part of Marabou, according to Bedell, is its tight-knit community. “We’re a close-knit staff, and many of the owners that are here full-time are all very close, which makes it feel even more like home,” he says. Whether you want to learn to lasso a horse, learn the perfect cast to fly fish, or want to experience all the outdoor activities and adventure Colorado has to offer right in your backyard, Marabou gives a whole new meaning to home on the range. //marabouranch.com