The ranch and resort market delivered quite a surprise this summer. The initial shutdown of everything real-estate-sales-related was ominous and fraught with uncertainty. As the restrictions were lifted and as the pandemic spread, interest in scenic and lightly populated areas grew. When unrest in densely populated areas dominated the headlines, the interest grew into a frenzy. The resort areas around the nation have experienced unprecedented real estate sales and northwest Colorado is no exception. Properties in every segment of the market are flying off of the shelves. Ranches have tremendous appeal right now: they are the original social distancing venue! Wide-open spaces, private recreation, solitude and safety have always been hallmarks of ranch properties. The cultural shift brought on by COVID-19 have pushed those amenities to the front burner for many buyers. A strong stock market plus historically low interest rates are tipping the scales in the favor of sellers. LJ Ranch, north of Hayden, Colorado sold for full asking price after just a year on the market. Steamboat Equestrian Estate sold after only a few months on the market with Ranch & Resort Realty and had multiple offers. Lack of inventory has been a challenge in the resort market for at least a year; pandemic-driven events have shoved ranches into the same category…..certainly an unexpected surprise.