Colorado History

El Rancho in Evergreen Is for Sale...Again

Courtesy Hilco Real Estate
"The process will move fairly quickly," says Steve Madura, SVP of Illinois-based Hilco Real Estate, which has been retained to run the sale of the 75-year-old El Rancho in Evergreen. News of the sale comes on the heels of a messy situation for the historic lodge-style building.

El Rancho became a major tourist destination — with its own highway exit off Interstate 70 — decades ago, when it was run by Donna and Paul McEncroe, the daughter and son-in-law of second owners Mildred and Ray Zipprich; the McEncroes ran it from 1953 to 1988. But after that 35-year-run, they retired and the place went through a series of owners — and a decline in reputation. After it sat vacant for two years, the Vincent family finally purchased it in 2015, added a brewery and reopened it as El Rancho Brewing Company in 2016.

But in late April, following the departure of manager Glen Fountain, who'd come on board in 2020, most of the staff resigned, forcing current owner Paul Vincent to shut down.

Both Vincent and Fountain point fingers regarding the mismanagment of money, including unpaid taxes and payroll. Last month, Vincent reopened El Rancho "in taproom mode," as he calls it, in an attempt to sell through the 20,000 pints of beer on hand. According to Madura, it will continue to be open, with limited hours for bar service, through the sale process.
click to enlarge
Courtesy Hilco Real Estate

Hilco, a global financial firm, has been tasked with "running a truncated process" so that "the property doesn't need to languish on the market for twelve months or more," Madura explains. It's now focused on marketing the 21,900-square-foot building to potential buyers interested in taking the furniture, fixtures and brewing equipment, too.

Citing recent growth in Evergreen as well as the area's high ratio of residents with annual incomes over $150,000, Madura is optimistic about finding a buyer. "This property could not be better located to take advantage of interstate access, vehicular visibility, proximity to Denver and some of the most spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains available," he says. "Whether continued use as a restaurant or event venue, or a total reimagining of this parcel, the sale represents an amazing opportunity to acquire prime land in an area that should see continued demand and desirability.”

Interested parties must submit bids to Hilco by September 6; an on-site inspection for all interested parties is scheduled for August 25. More information about the sale can be found on Hilco's website.
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin