About Us

About Us

Salida , Colorado – Mountain Real Estate

Hayden Mellsop

I was born a city boy in Auckland, New Zealand in May 1960. In my early twenties, feeling that there was more to life than urban hustle and bustle, I moved to the Lake Taupo district in the central North Island of New Zealand. This is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, and home to some of the best fly fishing rivers in the world. After working for several years there as an outdoor guide, I looked to escape the New Zealand winter and ventured north to the US, eventually arriving in the Arkansas Valley for the first time in May 1990. Here I found myself guiding on many of the region’s beautiful rivers.

So struck was I by the area and the friendliness of the people that one summer soon turned in to three. That third summer I met Kym. We were married in 1996, and, taking careful stock of all the options open to us, chose Salida as our home. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here and feel we have chosen the perfect place to raise our family.

Since 1996 I guided fly fishing extensively on the Arkansas River, for several years as head float guide for Ark Anglers, the region’s premier guide service. I also established my own guide service, New Zealand Fly Fishing Adventures, specializing in guiding American fishermen to the pristine waters of New Zealand. As our family grew, uprooting ourselves each year to go Down Under became more complicated, and further confirmed our decision to live full time in Salida.

As cities grow and pressure mounts on our natural resources, it is more important than ever that small rural and mountain communities do what they can to preserve their character, environment and economic diversity. Part of this challenge is met by assisting like-minded people in realizing their dreams of living in such a wonderful place. Salida attracts people who place a high priority on community, lifestyle and natural surroundings. I currently serve as board president of the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas, assisting ranchers in keeping their ranches economically viable, and landowners to protect the valley’s wildlife corridors, scenic vistas and natural resources for the benefit of future generations.

Kym Mellsop

I was a self-professed City Girl from the San Francisco Bay Area when I arrived in Salida.

I quickly fell in love with the slower pace of life and extraordinary natural beauty of the area.

I also quickly fell in love with Hayden who was also working for my brother at the time. After traveling around the US and after multiple visits to New Zealand, I realized that Salida was home.

I worked for several years as a radio personality for several different radio stations in Salida and also served on the Board  and as president of the Ark Valley Humane Society. After staying home for a few years when our daughters were little, I decided that real estate was a long-standing interest that needed pursuing. When my friend, Jane Pinto, decided to start a values-based boutique real estate brokerage (Pinon Real Estate Group) I knew that we would be a good match. I feel so blessed to be involved with such a progressive, forward thinking company, working with truly wonderful and spirited people.

Salida, I feel, is the ideal place to raise our two daughters, Sophia and Beatrice. Safety, natural beauty, a strong sense of community, outdoor recreation, and proximity to Denver and other metropolitan areas are all reasons why I love this valley. I am a strong supporter of the Arts and love taking our girls to Salida galleries, dance performances and drama productions. Salida has a strong and vital art scene and with Denver being an easy 3-hour drive, we also frequent the Natural History Museum and enjoy the Colorado Ballet. The world class cultural resources, art galleries and summer opera of Santa Fe are only four hours away.

Salida is a precious, special town. It is growing in a very positive and exciting direction…and it is an exciting time to be involved in the real estate market in the Arkansas Valley. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for the community with you and helping you find your own special spot.