Twenty minutes south of San Luis, Colo., large road signs tell you Wild Horse Mesa is nearby. Evan Melby is the owner of 25,000 acres here; his billboards announce you can buy a five-acre lot for $4,990, or $750 down and monthly payments of $75. Melby and his one-room office are not easy to find. His platted development winds through a maze of dead ends and miles of roads made of crushed volcanic rock.
Evan Melby: "It is
so fulfilling giving people their dream. I have 3,000 21'2-acre
lots and 99 percent are already sold. I have over 300 miles of
roads up here, and my latest plan is to put in a two-story
restaurant and five-unit hotel up by my runway for "fly-ins."
"The runway is two miles long and I have 75 lots
surrounding it. Pilots will be able to fly their planes right to
their front door. I don't know of any other place you can do
"I have a 30,000-gallon water tank up here
that I fill using pumps and then it will gravity-feed the lots. But
right now I don't know what I will do with the water system. I
don't promote it yet - clients are responsible for their own
"This is the best elk hunting in Colorado:
Everybody gets an elk that owns land. I love animals here. I feed
the elk grain and salt to keep them around. The customers love
"I have probably 50 percent-to-60 percent
absentee owners, but some day all these five-acre lots will have
homes, and the utilities will come. You know, California was just
as empty at some point.
"The county is going to
grow. People are going to move. Ninety-five percent of the Hispanic
community is all for these new people coming to the
"This is the last undiscovered place in
Colorado. Isn't it incredible?"