Warm Springs

The city of Ketchum is working to raise $9 million to purchase approximately 65 acres of the Warm Springs Ranch property, plus an additional $1 million to improve and maintain the land. The park is a popular destination for dog owners.

The city of Ketchum’s campaign to purchase and preserve approximately 65 acres of open space at Warm Springs Ranch got a boost this week, when a member of the campaign committee offered to match up to $1 million for new donations received by Dec. 31.

If $1 million is raised the rest of this month and the match is provided, the campaign would hit a mark that then triggers a $1 million price reduction offered by the landowner.

Earlier this year, landowner Bob Brennan offered the city the opportunity to purchase the land northwest of downtown Ketchum at the below-market price of $9 million. The terms included raising at least $4.5 million by Dec. 31 and the remainder by April 28, 2022.

The city set a fundraising goal of $10 million, with $9 million earmarked for the land purchase and $1 million to install an irrigation system and conduct environmental restoration on the site.

Earlier this month, Brennan offered to reduce the sales price of the property by $1 million if $6.5 million is raised in gifts and pledges by Dec. 31. The total fundraising goal would then be $9 million instead of $10 million.

So far, donations from the community total approximately $4.6 million from 357 donors, which surpasses the first threshold of the purchase agreement, the city stated in a news release.

“I am so thankful for this generous pledge for a matching donation,” Mayor Neil Bradshaw said. “I hope it inspires those making year-end gifts to help us reach this new goal. With the $1 million match from the committee member and the $1 million challenge goal from the property owner, any new donations before the end of the year will effectively be worth three times as much.”

If the funds are raised to purchase the property, the land—which would be called Warm Springs Preserve—will be kept in perpetuity as open space as a public park and natural area.

The 78-acre Warm Springs Ranch property—which for many years featured a golf course, tennis courts and a popular restaurant—for the last decade has been used by many people as a park and dog-walking area. It includes Warm Springs Creek, grassy areas and some natural, forested areas near the flanks of Bald Mountain.

Brennan is developing an approximately 14-acre area of the site near Warm Springs Road with lots for single-family homes.

The city’s option agreement to purchase the remainder of the property from Brennan states that the land must be preserved and maintained as a passive park and natural area for the public. It cannot be converted to other uses.

The city has stated that priorities for the preserve would include off-leash dog access, creek and habitat restoration, a new water-efficient irrigation system, walking trails, informal gatherings and activities, Nordic ski and snowshoe trails, and public restrooms. Restrictions on the property would include development, organized sports and reserved private or commercial events.

If the sale of the 65 acres to the city is not completed, the zoning of the land would allow Brennan—or potentially another developer—to submit applications to develop the multiple parcels there. 

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