CANON CITY — What is shaping up to be the largest tiny-home community in existence is taking shape on an 805-acre property 8 miles west of here where lots with views of the Royal Gorge Bridge and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains should be up for sale within two months.
The site that once housed the Old West movie set and tourist attraction Buckskin Joe, now dubbed the Royal Gorge Ranch & Resort, will be home to 339 1-acre “tiny mansion” sites, according to owner and developer Ty Seufer. Buckskin Joe sold in 2010 to Billionaire Bill Koch, who dismantled the Old West town building by building and moved it to his Western Slope property.
For a couple of years after that, the town’s former owner Greg Tabuteau continued to operate a scenic railway, but that too closed and the property sat vacant and unused until Seufer and his wife Anna bought it last October. The Seufers own the Royal Gorge Rafting and Zipline Tours as well as the Whitewater Bar and Grill, all located in close proximity to the resort property on Fremont County Road 3A near the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.
The Seufers also operate the Valley Ranch Vacation Home rental which features three different vacation homes near Canon City capable of housing 20, 16 and 12 guests and a zipline business in Castle Rock, which they started in 2015.
“Our vision is that every one of the 339 lots has to be special, peaceful and serene with beautiful sunrise and sunset views, epic views of the Sangre de Cristos and plenty of open space access to trails and climbing spots. It is not my vision to have 700 to 800 tiny homes crammed in out here — there will be close to 50% open space,” he said.
Each lot sells for $100,000. By next spring, four model homes will be up on-site for potential buyers to view.
Seufer’s vision is to create a middle-class retreat where families can spend time together communing with nature. The area is bustling with new trail building activity thanks to Seufer, as well as the city of Canon City and Fremont Adventure Recreation’s efforts to tie trails in with the Royal Gorge park and offer a mountain bike route all the way into Canon City via the Tunnel Drive Trail.
Seufer also is developing two rock climbing ridges on the back side of the property where all sorts of climbing adventures will await resort members.
“Our motto is ride in, climb on and hike out. At your back door, every lot is connected to a mountain biking trail,” Seufer said.
Sprout Tiny Homes in Pueblo will sell the net-zero tiny mansions for the resort. Each energy-efficient tiny mansion will be 400 square feet in size.
“If you get solar, you have no electric bill,” Seufer explained. “The retreat is for minimalists.”
Add-on amenities available can range from a roof-top deck to a patio, a hot tub area with cabana, a 200-square-foot bike garage, an outdoor kitchen, a pergola, gazebo and fire pit. In keeping with the natural theme, the 16 miles of roads are tucked back out of view as much as possible and modes of transportation will be limited to bicycle, electric bike or electric golf cart, so don’t expect to see motorcycles zooming around.
The gated community will have four gated entrances accessible with a remote control.
The only building left of Buckskin Joe was the former gunfighters quarters. Seufer revamped the residence and turned it into the “Gunslingers Club House” complete with a pergola-covered patio and propane fire pits ideal for residents to use for birthday parties, anniversaries or other gatherings.
A former gravel pit site has been turned into an amphitheater ideal for bands and dances.
As Seufer awaits final approval on water issues through the city of Canon City and the state, he and his workers are clearing off and marking building sites and revamping the former railroad trestles, which will provide mountain biking and hiking access to the public to reach the city-owned Point Alta Vista where the views of the Royal Gorge Bridge are stunning.
Seufer said the resort is not intended for year-round living as snowplow service will not be available during the winter. The public can view the new railroad-bed turned trail and restored trestles during the Royal 50 Mountain Bike Race set for Sept. 2.
To find out more, email seufer at email@example.com, log on to RoyalGorgeRanch&Resort.com or call 303-419-6782.