Guest opinion: Spirit of giving epitomized by Granby Ranch land gifts
Ryan Summerlin December 20, 2010
The holiday season spirit of giving is alive and well at Granby Ranch.
I write this because of the more than $2.85 million in land donations made by Granby Realty Holdings LLC – Granby Ranch’s Marise Cipriani and partners – to help improve health care and recreation in Granby and Grand County.
Many may not be aware that Granby Ranch donated the 9-acre site for the new Middle Park Medical Center under construction in Granby.
Valued at $1.5 million, the gift from Granby Realty Holdings LLC (Granby Ranch’s Marise Cipriani and partners) to Kremmling Memorial Hospital District (KMHD), the medical center owner, highlights Granby Ranch’s partnership with local entities to improve the quality of life in Grand County.
I’m impressed enough by that donation. It’s a virtual giant present under the community’s virtual Christmas tree. But there’s another huge present Granby Ranch has given to the community. It also donated land near the medical center site to the town of Granby for a future recreation center and ball fields.
In total, the gifts to the community, valued at a little more than $2.85 million, will help anchor Granby Park, a new 156-acre retail and residential property in Granby on the east side of Highway 40 south of the Fraser River bridge.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance, both symbolic and real, of these gifts. I’m amazed at the generosity reflected in these actions, true indications that the Christmas spirit is alive and well at Granby Ranch.
“Granby is our town. Through donations of land for the medical center, recreation center and ball fields, Granby Ranch is helping to enhance the economic future and vitality of Granby,” said Kyle Harris, CEO of Granby Ranch.
“This medical center project is good for the residents of Grand County and Granby Ranch,” Harris said, adding that its location in Granby Park helps create a blueprint for the area’s future.
Located close to historic downtown Granby on Highway 40, the new Granby Park will soon represent an extension of the downtown Granby core. A traffic signal is envisioned for the center at Ten Mile Drive and Highway 40.
“Given the complexity of the transaction, a true spirit of cooperation between KMHD, the Town and Granby Ranch was crucial in making this happen,” Harris said.
Harris added that despite the current difficult economic climate, Granby Ranch was glad to be able to play a role in helping to get the new Middle Park Medical Center on track. The land donation was the best way to do so, he said.
I know that these gifts contain a benefit for Granby Ranch as well. The resort, an integral part of Granby, wants these gifts to help add value to its retail and residential property. Yet in adding value to its land, Granby Ranch is also adding greatly to the value of Granby in general and our quality of life.
Did I say these gifts aren’t costing the taxpayers of Granby or Grand County one cent?
Aside from the immediate economic boost to the community from construction jobs at the new facility, Harris sees a long-term economic benefit because of the added base of health care and related jobs that will be provided at the medical center.
“Granby Ranch was very instrumental in making this happen,” said Jeff Miller, vice president of the Board of Directors for KMHD. “By donating that land, without any hiccups, it has gotten the project in gear a lot sooner than it would have been. I tip my hat to those guys, especially Marise Cipriani and Kyle Harris.”
Granby Mayor Jynnifer Pierro said the town couldn’t have done its work to expedite the planning process for the new center without the land donations from Granby Ranch.
“To donate the land for the new medical center was a very generous gesture,” Pierro said. “And the added gifts of donated land for a rec center and ball fields, well, they were the icing on the cake.”
Pierro said that although there are no definitive plans for a new rec center, having the land secured marks a critical first step for any such facility in the Granby area.
“We’re delighted to be working with Granby Ranch for the betterment of the community,” she added. “This is good for the local economy now and in the future.”
Like I said before, the spirit of the season – the spirit of giving – is alive and well at Granby Ranch.
The holidays are truly brighter because of these impressive gifts. To Granby Ranch I’d like to think I’m speaking for the community when I say thanks, and Merry Christmas.
– Patrick Brower, the former publisher and managing editor of Grand County Newspapers, owns and operates a Granby consulting business.