Good morning, Montrose.
The golf course and clubhouse at Cobble Creek has been sold to its members, some 280 of them, the deal effective Jan. 1. The golf course and clubhouse will be guided by a five-member board. Not to put too fine a legal pencil on it, those two entities are separate from the Cobble Creek homeowners association, according to two board members. No cash was exchanged in the agreement.
Not much has changed, said Randy Griffin, the general manager/broker of Cobble Creek real estate. He’s also a member of the aforementioned board. If you want to play golf, come by and tee it up. If you want to have a beer at the Cobble bar, come by and imbibe. Both are open to the public. Desirous of a lot or a home? He’ll sell you one. The restaurant, Creekside, closed Dec. 28. More on that shortly.
Cobble was on the market in 2019, its status caused uncertainty among residents. Griffin says the WestStar partners believed the maturity of the Cobble community — not the gray hair or the waistlines, but rather the 20-plus years since the groundbreaking — was the primary factor in getting the deal made. “We had focus groups and a lot of meetings on where to go with this,” said Griffin.
Cobble Creek was front page news in 1997, the first major subdivision since English Gardens opened in the 1950s. It was a dairy farm owned by the Collins family. Marshall Collins lives nearby and his timing, like his humor and storytelling, with developer Tif Hayden, was ideal. Montrose was ripe to boom. The development was not without controversy. When it was announced, letters to the editor were published in protest about lot size, access (just one road in and out) and how it was changing the character of the community. From cattle to golfers, from natives to newcomers. (It does appear, on some days, that cows can move faster.)
It opened in 1998 with nine holes, Cobble’s pro shop inside a trailer. A second nine came along five years later. Five years after that, a clubhouse designed by Montrose architect Patrik Davis was built. It featured a banquet facility, a 19th hole bar, a full-size pro shop, fitness center, and other amenities. Upscale restaurants followed. Frank and Renee Cork first opened Lorenzo’s. Then came Ted Nelson — his food is always good. Drake’s, and later, Creekside. A restauranteur is being sought, says one of the board members, John Fox. They hope to have an operator come spring when the course opens.
The Cobble Creek development created jobs, new home building, new residents and the experiences they brought with them. It also expanded tax revenues for the city, the county, the local schools. All boats were lifted, so goes the term. In all, there are 330 homes with a Cobble Creek address. I would bet the poke not a lot of people know that number.
Griffin and his wife, Libby, moved to Cobble in 2016. He’s been a real estate developer and entrepreneur, growing up in Plano, Texas. Western Colorado first got into his blood in the late 1970s on a hunting trip. “We always knew we wanted to come back here to live.” The migration to Montrose will continue, Griffin asserts. Time was, those people came from Texas, Arizona, California. Nowadays, most of his clientele are weary of the grind of the Front Range. “A lot of people bought years ago in Castle Rock. They look around and say, ‘what happened?’” He adds, “Over here, their real estate has more value. Life is pleasant and they can always visit the Front Range.” Griffin says 80 percent of the residents play the game with some sort of regularity; the others who live there appreciate how property values will rise given the amenities and history of the neighborhood.
There’s a steadiness to Cobble Creek since the first shovel of dirt was turned. Even in the lean years, there were a few homes under construction; today, it seems like there’s 10 or more. There was always someone at the front counter, someone to answer the phone, and Paul Heide, the golf course manager, was around in a golf cart, making sure the course was neat and trim. In other words, there wasn’t overpromising and underdelivering in its development. It’s how a community is built. Piece by piece. And today, there’s another road in.