The Brands at The Ranch development in Loveland will be focused on tourism rather than retail. Courtesy Loveland city documents.

Brands at the Ranch shift focus from retail to tourism

LOVELAND — The Brands at the Ranch, a 200-acre mega-development in Loveland that will take up both the eastern and western sides of Interstate 25 at Crossroads Boulevard, will no longer be a retail-central project. Rather, local developer Martin Lind has a new vision for The Brands, one that emphasizes tourism and experiential attractions.

The Brands at The Ranch development in Loveland will be focused on tourism rather than retail. Courtesy Loveland city documents.

Moving away from a retail focus allows The Brands to differentiate itself from other nearby retail districts such as Centerra, Lind told members of the Loveland City Council earlier this week.

“There is a retail tug-of-war between Fort Collins, Timnath, Windsor, Loveland, Johnstown, and all the way down to Longmont,” he said. “Every single exit is part of the competition in the retail wars.”

What those other retail areas don’t have is a giant indoor theme park. That’s precisely what Lind and his company Water Valley Land Co. are proposing.

The new plan for The Brands calls for the construction of a theme park called The Great Colorado Experience in the center of the development.

“We’re focusing more on tourism — we call it ‘happynomics,’” Lind said.

Attractions within The Great Colorado Experience, which is expected to be built by late 2020, will include a 4-D motion flight ride, a 5-D theater experience, virtual reality pods and a 120-foot peaked structure with digital video art projected on all sides.

The attractions will highlight the best Colorado has to offer, from aspen forests to mountain thunderstorms, said Ed Goodman, who is working with Water Valley on the theme park design and has served as a consultant for Walt Disney Co.

The project “will create something very special not only for Loveland but for the region and beyond,” he said.

By focusing on tourism, The Brands could avoid downturns common in the retail industry.

“Amazon has just changed the entire industry,” Lind said. “But you can’t get what we’re bringing to Loveland delivered to your house in a cardboard box.”

The new plan for The Brands calls for the construction of a theme park called The Great Colorado Experience in the center of the development. Courtesy Loveland city documents.

Plans for The Ranch, a county-owned development, also call for the construction of youth sports facilities and a new sporting venue to replace the Budweiser Events Center. A 300-room hotel and convention center will be built to accommodate visitors.

All of the attractions within The Ranch will be connected by a gondola system with cables stretching from the Northern Colorado Regional Airport all the way to the eastern side of I-25.

“A lot of people think I drink 24/7 when I mention this,” Lind joked. “… It’s not a crazy idea. It actually creates all kinds of value for us.”

The gondola will be able to transport 4,000 passengers per hour along its 2-mile route.

LOVELAND — The Brands at the Ranch, a 200-acre mega-development in Loveland that will take up both the eastern and western sides of Interstate 25 at Crossroads Boulevard, will no longer be a retail-central project. Rather, local developer Martin Lind has a new vision for The Brands, one that emphasizes tourism and experiential attractions.

The Brands at The Ranch development in Loveland will be focused on tourism rather than retail. Courtesy Loveland city documents.

Moving away from a retail focus allows The Brands to differentiate itself from other nearby retail districts such as Centerra, Lind told members of the Loveland City Council earlier this week.

“There is a retail tug-of-war between Fort Collins, Timnath, Windsor, Loveland, Johnstown, and all the way down to Longmont,” he said. “Every single exit is part of the competition in the retail wars.”

What those other retail areas don’t have is a giant indoor theme park. That’s precisely what Lind and his company Water Valley Land Co. are proposing.

The new plan for The Brands calls for the construction of a theme park called The Great Colorado Experience in the center of the development.

“We’re focusing more on tourism — we call it ‘happynomics,’” Lind said.

Attractions within The Great Colorado Experience, which is expected to be built by late 2020, will include a 4-D motion flight ride, a 5-D theater experience, virtual reality pods…