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GSCO announces partnership with DU, sale of Magic Sky Ranch

Girl Scouts will retain use of property for six weeks each summer

Girl Scouts of Colorado is excited to announce a partnership with the University of Denver that includes the sale of Magic Sky Ranch to DU, as well as significant collaboration opportunities between these two, like-minded organizations.

After six years of listing Magic Sky Ranch on the market, GSCO was approached by DU with an interest to purchase the property and evolve it into a mountain location to complement its urban campus. With nearly 12,000 graduate and undergraduate students, DU wants to provide outdoor opportunities and curriculum to enhance the student experience. The funds from the sale allow Girl Scouts of Colorado to invest in a sustainable future and increase its ability to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls across the state.

In addition, DU appreciates the importance of the outdoors and camp traditions within Girl Scouting and has agreed to enable GSCO and its statewide girl membership to continue to access the property outside of Red Feather Lakes for up to six weeks each summer for at least the next seven years.

Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Board of Directors and DU’s Board of Trustees have agreed to the deal, which transfers ownership of Magic Sky Ranch to DU for $11.25 million. The transfer of land will be complemented by significant partnership opportunities between the two organizations, including:

  1. collaborating on outdoor equity and education curriculum as well as programing related to the advancement of women and girls;

  2. mentorship and leadership opportunities for our girls with DU students;

  3. access to DU’s Denver campus facilities for programing and other opportunities;

  4. the ability to partner with relevant academic programs;

  5. internships, fieldwork, and research opportunities for DU students that Girl Scouts can participate in and learn from.

“We are overjoyed to be entrusting Magic Sky Ranch to an organization that shares our passion for youth development and education,” said Leanna Clark, CEO of Girl Scouts of Colorado.  “The fact that our girls can continue to have access to Magic Sky, coupled with the extensive partnership opportunities we are exploring with DU, means we are jointly creating a legacy the benefits of which will be felt by our girls and DU’s students for decades to come.”

The Magic Sky Ranch property was purchased in the 1960s by the Girl Scouts Mile High Council. It was operated as a resident camp from 2007 to 2013, during which time it incurred losses of about $750,000 annually; in recent years, Magic Sky Ranch has been used on average only 68 days out of each year. In 2014, the Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors voted to put the property on the market based on the recommendation of the council’s Outdoor Property Task Force. Since then, Newmark Knight Frank and Deloitte Consulting have both conducted additional property studies for GSCO that corroborate the benefits of a sale of Magic Sky Ranch.

Funds from the proceeds of the sale will be held in a separate Girl Scouts of Colorado financial account. A committee of key stakeholders, including members, volunteers, board, and staff, will have input into how the funds will be reinvested in Girl Scout properties and to support delivery of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. About $3 million from the sale has been approved for expenditure on deferred maintenance projects at GSCO’s other properties. These projects, which will be determined through a property strategic planning process, will take place over several years and include technology and security upgrades, winterizing to ensure year-round access, and upgrades to accommodations.

GSCO will work closely with the Membership Connection Committee to solicit input from members and volunteers on the potential of adding other amenities to our properties as well as exploring ways in which the sale can enable us to reach and serve more girls across the state.


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