Herb Krumsick’s 2014 Annual Real Estate Review
Forecast & Hunt
About four miles east of Fall River, Kansas, population: 152, is the location of the Flint Oak Ranch, one of the top 5 shooting preserves in the U.S. So what does a shooting preserve have to do with a wine blog, you may wonder? In this case, a lot and I will explain after a little history on the event I just attended at Flint Oak.
Since 1988 Flint Oak Ranch has been the home of Herb “Bwana” Krumsick’s annual Real Estate Review and Forecast Conference and Hunt. This annual event, now in its 26th year (there was a short break in 2011-2013 due to the recession), is generally held near the last weekend in January (it is adjusted for the Super Bowl). It is a gathering of some of the top real estate folks from around the county. At Herb’s invitation, you gather to listen to various experts on the economy, (Dr. Gary Shilling, renown economist; Dr. Mark Dotzour, Chief Economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M; William C. Wheaton, MIT Center for Real Estate, to name just a few) finance and real estate. There is also plenty of conversation on real estate deals, past, present and future, on family, friends and just about anything else one can imagine. Let me digress just a little and tell you about my good friend Herb Krumsick.
I first met Herb Krumsick in about 1988 at a SIOR Conference (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors) a real estate organization we both are long-standing members of. Our 18-year friendship began around 1996 when my construction company did some work for Herb and his partners in a local building they owned. It was a building we continued to work in and managed for Herb throughout his ownership. Since then, our friendship has endured through one real estate deal or another and life’s ups and downs.
This year’s event started on a Thursday, as is the normal routine. Everyone is instructed to arrive in Wichita, KS, where Herb lives, by 5:00 p.m. (don’t be late or you’ll miss the wine and cigars). If you fly into Wichita as I do, you are picked up at the airport and transported to Herb’s home where everyone congregates in Herb’s beautiful wine cellar.
Herb is gracious enough to open his cellar doors and lets us all sample some of the 4,000 bottles of wine in his collection. After a short reunion of old friends and the making of new ones, everyone is off to the Flint Oak Ranch for dinner.
Flint Oak Ranch
Let me begin by saying alcohol and guns do not mix. Flint Oak has very unwavering and rigid safety rules and regulations. A serious violation of any of the safety rules could result in you being asked to leave Flint Oak and a forfeiture of your fees, etc. Needless to say there is no drinking of any liquor, beer or wine permitted until after all activities of the day involving firearms have been completed.
If you are a sportsman, Flint Oak is your dream come true. Started in 1978 with an original 699 acres, Flint Oak has grown to some 5,500 acres nestled in Elk County about an hour and thirty minutes southeast of Wichita, KS.
Jeff Oaks is the general manager at Flint Oak and runs its daily operations. Over my years of going to Flint Oak, I have come to know Jeff and appreciate his commitment to Flint Oak and its guests. For information on Flint Oak, you can contact Jeff at email@example.com. Or contact the ranch directly at:
Flint Oak Ranch
2639 Quail Road
Fall River, KS 67047
Flint Oak is a “5-star” National Association of Shooting Ranges membership style facility (similar to a country club). The very first designation awarded by the National Association of Shooting Ranges was to Flint Oak. Flint Oak is a year-round operation offering a wide variety of hunting options including field hunts for upland game, European-driven style pheasant hunts, mallard duck hunting, and also deer and turkey hunting. Guided bass fishing is also available as well as a variety of shooting sports including a 10-station sporting clay course, 5-stand course, and a trap, skeet and knockout course.
The world-class sporting clay course is great fun and challenging to shoot with each of the 10 stations features a Bruce Killen bronze. The course is designed for National Championship shooting events. Many of which are held there annually.
Let me provide a couple more facts about Flint Oak before we move on.
- Largest private employer in Elk County
- Employs 65 individuals full and part time year round
- Flint Oak hosts over 7,000 hunters a season, over 10,000 annually
- Over 100,000 various game birds are purchased annually for release on the ranch
- Flint Oak has 125 dogs in its kennels and has 20 guides and handlers
- Has a staff of 23 in the accommodations department which covers hotel, food, and beverages
- Executive Chief Steve Muncy heads the kitchen with 4 line cooks
Finally, Flint Oak features an outstanding pro shop headed by Brenda Edwards. I will readily admit I have been the recipient of more than one new shotgun over the years due to Brenda’s knowledge and salesmanship.
Economics, the Review and Forecast
Saturday afternoon is always set aside for the various speakers and discussions. This year’s lineup of speakers was first rate as usual. The agenda of speakers included Randall Scott, President and Counsel of First American Title Insurance Company and Gabriel Silverstein, President of Angelic Real Estate, an investment banking firm. Angelic acts as an investment principal/capital provider. Gabe’s presentation possibly ranks as one of the best we have had in many years. I have provided a link to his slides: Gabriel Silverstein’s Presentation Slides. We also heard from Don S. Peters, Vice President of Investment Strategy for Freestate Advisors.
In addition to these speakers, we had a panel discussion made up of my esteemed colleagues:
- Dan Smith, SIOR, Principal of Big Industrial
- Stuart Pratt, SIOR, CCIM, Chairman of NAI Hunneman
- Henry Morgan, Co-Chairman of Boyle Investment Company
- Kevin Jones, President of Jones Development Co.
- Dan Wilkinson, Chairman of Colliers International
The discussion centered on the investment and real estate activities these gentlemen participate in as well as their view on the various markets they work in.
After all these years, a distinct pattern has seemed to emerge as to when we do our sporting or shooting events. Friday seems to be the day for Sporting Clays and this year was no different. Friday morning the temperature was hovering around 1 degree at breakfast time with a wind chill factor at below zero. Now I am an avid fan of shooting sporting clays, but at these temperatures, I will admit I really wanted to stay by the fireplace. However, I dressed for the occasion and headed to the safety talk (always held before any shooting event) near the first shooting station. It had warmed to nearly 12 degrees by this time. I will save you the details and tell you that, as much as I love to shoot, I made it through the first five stands and my shooting pal Henry Morgan and I headed for the warmth of the lodge. I also knew that the afternoon program would be held outside as well, so I needed to warm up and get myself ready for the next event. Which by the way we were all told was “top secret” and we would be briefed on it later.
After lunch, we were all hustled off to the Lodge’s Conference Center for a briefing on the upcoming afternoon activities. After we were all seated, four fellows from the Oklahoma Falconry Association came on the stage and were introduced along with four different breeds of falcons.
After a brief explanation of each of the various types of falcons, we were driven to the western part of the ranch for a demonstration of the falcon’s hunting skills. Let me give you a Friday afternoon weather update. It had now warmed up to about 17 degrees, with a wind chill of about 9 degrees. We all thought that this was going to be a very interesting and exciting event to watch, (at least it seemed so at the time). We assembled on a hilltop and waited for the handlers to get in place with their falcons and then release their birds.
Let me set the stage for this falcon hunt for you: There are 30 guys standing on a hilltop in the middle of 5,500 acres, in a wind chill of 9 degrees, staring down the side of a hill waiting for the action to begin. Well as luck would have it, sometime things just do not go as planned. The first handler released the falcon so it could begin circling overhead, gaining altitude as it circled. The second handler released a partridge for the falcon to hunt. Now the partridge was to fly down hill away from us so we could see the falcon hunt the partridge right in front of us. Well the partridge had plans of its own. It flew in the opposite direction, over the top of the crowd and to the other side of the hill, not downhill in front of us. By this point in the demonstration, the falcon had found a marsh hawk to dive for and completely missed the partridge. All of this left us out in the cold cheering on the marsh hawk.
After some time the falcon returned to the arm of the handler and we assembled, back on the hilltop, to see the falcon and a have a photo with it. Yes, we are all allegedly educated adults, but to see us standing in the freezing cold on a hilltop getting our picture taken with a bird, one might wonder about that statement. I made it through one more attempted demonstration and headed for the heat of the van. Looking at the accompanying pictures is a lot warmer.
On Saturday and Sunday morning, we had several more hunting events, including an early morning duck hunt. I will share some of the photos with you to show you how rough this hunting stuff really is!
Early on in the planning cycle of this year’s event, I had volunteered to be in charge of assembling the wine list. Not an easy job considering there are some sophisticated wine drinkers in our group.
Wanting to share the fun, I enlisted the help of my friend Kevin Geenty who has an extensive collection of French wines in his wine cellar. I asked Kevin to help by selecting a variety of French wines for the event’s wine list. He didn’t let us down either, as several of his selections were outstanding and were contenders for some of the best wines of the weekend – more on that in a minute.
My original plan was to have Old World wines on Thursday (Spanish) and Friday (French) evening, and New World, particularly California wine, on Saturday.
As luck would have it, the wines I had selected and shipped to Flint Oak didn’t arrive a week in advance of our arrival as planned. The arctic weather during that period prevented the wines from being delivered. They finally arrived on Friday morning, a number of days late. Needless to say, we adapted to the change in plans and enjoyed some excellent wines. Here is what we tasted over the course of three days:
- 2010 Twenty Rows Chardonnay
- 2011 Finca la Estacada Blanco
- 2010 Finca la Estacada 6 month
- 2007 Finca la Estacada 18 month
- 2008 Secua Tinto
- 2012 Glenwood Cellars Chardonnay
- 2012 Glenwood Cellars Sauvignon Blanc
- 2010 Glenwood Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2009 Tiedemann Signature Series Red Wine
- 2012 Casteggio Moscato d’Asti
- Non Vintage Carpene Malvolti, Prosecco
- 2011 Domaine des Chazelles, Vire-Clesse
- 2011 Saint-Aubin, Premier Cru, “Sur Gamay”
- 2005 Bosquet des Papes, Chateauneuf du Pape
- 2005 Chateau, Cap de Mourlin, Saint Emilion, Grand Cru Classe
- 2009 Gevrey-Chambertin, Premier Cru, “Cazitieres”
If we were to select the best wines of the weekend by most consumed, the winners would be as follows:
2011 Domaine des Chazelles, Vire-Clesse:
This wine is from the Macon Region in Southern Burgundy. It is 100% Chardonnay from old vines, which yield less but provide richer fruit.
2008 Finca La Estacada Secua:
A Spanish wine blend of 80% Cabernet and 20% Syrah, aged 20 months in French and American Oak. This is a full-bodied wine with great tannin content and is very well balanced.
2009 Tiedemann Signature Series Red Wine:
A Bordeaux style red wine, blended of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah. This wine is intensely aromatic, while full on the palate and manages great purity and finesse with a soft velvety mouth feel and a long harmonious finish.
2010 Glenwood Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon:
A Cabernet blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, with concentrated aromas and flavors. On the palate the wine offers dark cherries and black currants with hints of cedar and coffee and produces a memorable and long finish.
2005 Bosquet des Papes, Chateauneuf du Papes:
Chateauneuf du Pape takes its name from when the Papal seat was in Avignon in the 14th century. The Pope wanted a summer home in the best vineyard area. The vines, primarily Grenache, are unique growing out of fields of stones, which are the size of a softball or larger. You don’t see the dirt; the stones are so prevalent. The stones reflect heat, making the grapes riper and the wines fuller bodied. The vineyards are in the sunny south of France.
2012 Glenwood Cellars Sauvignon Blanc:
This wine has amazing depth and complexity of flavors offering melon, ripe pear and fresh lemongrass with an outstanding texture and superb long finish. A very enjoyable wine.
All of the French wines are available to purchase by contacting Robert Fenn at Mt. Carmel Wine & Spirits. Here is his contact information.
Mt. Carmel Wine & Spirits Co.
2977 Whitney Avenue
Handen, CT 06518
I can tell you that Bob and his team are easy to work with. I ordered some bottles of the 2005 Chataeuneuf des Papes and the 2011 Domaine des Chazelles. After an email to Bob and a follow-up call from the wine shop, my wine arrived in less than a week via UPS. The process was quite painless…but then I haven’t received my credit card bill yet.
I am sorry to say the other wines are not yet available outside Indiana due to several quirks in the laws. I hope that is changing.
This always shapes up to be a great event. Over the years we have all made some wonderful friendships, received a little education that hopefully helps us be more successful in our business life, and we have tasted some great wine as well. Not a “bad gig” as they say.
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