Real Estate in the News and 2nd Quarter Reports

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Red Mountain Home Sells for Record-Breaking $72.5 Million

A Red Mountain home and guesthouse sold for $72.5 million, making it the most expensive real estate transaction in Pitkin County history, the Aspen Daily News reported. The property was purchased by Patrick Dovigi, a Canadian who was a former professional hockey player who is now founder, president and CEO of Green for Life Environmental, a North American waste management company worth an estimated $6.1 billion.

The home, at 419 Willoughby Way, encompasses 21,477 square feet with nine bedrooms and 13 bathrooms on 4.5 acres. It was built in 2006 and designed by Charles Cunniffe Architects. The home was remodeled in 2011. It also includes a 948-square-foot guesthouse. The property’s 2021 assessed value is $64,899,300.

Slate of Aspen Restaurants Closing or Changing Hands

Several Aspen restaurants announced their closings or sales in recent months, the Aspen Daily News reported. After nearly a quarter-century of cultivating and serving the community, Jimmy’s An American Restaurant and Bar will close for good this fall. An Austin, Texas-based hospitality group that owns Clark’s Oyster Bar will take over the restaurant and is planning a Mexican concept for the space.

Louis Swiss Pastry, a commercial and wholesale bakery shop at the Airport Business Center, is being purchased by a local executive chef and business partner. It has been owned and operated by Felix Tornare for almost 39 years. Plans for the new owners include building out a cafe and increasing retail business.

In other Aspen restaurant news, Tatanka Western Bistro recently changed hands, though what will occupy the downtown space remains to be seen. Over on the Hyman Mall, what’s been known for several years as Hops Culture rebranded and reopened as “Idylwilde,” in partnership with the Carbondale-based brewing company of the same name.

Snow Queen Lodge Sells

Two neighboring Victorian bed-and-breakfasts in Aspen are under the same ownership after the Snow Queen Lodge sold for $7.625 million to a buyer connected to a private equity firm in California, the Aspen Times reported. The new owner is a limited liability company corporation called Aspen Snow Queen Holdings, which public records link to the same Santa Monica address used by the LLC that acquired the Little Red Ski Haus for $8.9 million in January.

Both Victorians on the 100 block of East Cooper Avenue were originally built in the 1880s, and both come with development restrictions. Each property also has gone through rounds of remodels and refurbishing over the years. The Snow Queen property also includes a single-family home built in 1994, property records show. Broker Andrew Ernemann, who represented the buyer in the transaction, said the new owner wants to remain private.

Snowmass Village

GG’s Kitchen Opens with Boutique Items

The doors to GG’s Market are officially open for the season, with seven-days-a-week operations in full swing more than a year-and-a-half after the project was announced, the Aspen Times reported. It’s been a long time coming for optimistic shop owner Landon Goldstone, who co-owns GG’s Market and the Aspen and Snowmass Village locations of JUS with his sister Tamara Petit and her partner Mark d’Emden.

Picnic-friendly options will ramp up as operations get into full swing. Think sandwiches, picnic baskets and charcuterie boards (with options for humans and for their canine companions). Coffee and breakfast pastries will be available in the morning, and a cold brew coffee cart will be posted up right outside the market for quick access.


Coffee Shops Opens in Daytime Hours of Thai House

Basalt’s Thai House doesn’t open until 5 p.m., so the owners of a new coffee shop forged a creative space-sharing arrangement with them, the Aspen Times reported. Coffee Connections will operate out of the space at unit 103, near Breakfast in America, from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., seven days per week. Thai House will continue to operate from the same space starting at 5 p.m.

Shooting Range Shut Down Amid Fire Concerns

With wildfire concerns and risks increasing and Roaring Fork Valley residents on edge, the Basalt shooting range has been closed indefinitely, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife official told the Basalt town council in July, reported by the Aspen Times. With Stage 2 restrictions in effect for Eagle County, the CPW made the decision. The shooting range is the site of where the Lake Christine Fire started in 2018.


GarCo Votes Down Ascendigo Camp

Garfield County Commissioners voted down Ascendigo Autism Services proposal to build a camp facility in Missouri Heights, citing water scarcity and access concerns as issues, the Aspen Daily News reported. Ascendigo Autism Services proposed building a 6,800-square-foot base-camp building for registration, meal service and educational trainings; two 8,500-square-foot lodges to accommodate up to 24 campers and nearly 50 staff members (combined); a 14,000-square-foot activity barn for training and therapy; a 3,500- square-foot residence for an on-site staff family; and a 1,700-square-foot cabin for rent. The Carbondale-based nonprofit would have developed roughly half of the rural-zoned property and would have left its remaining 63 acres as open space.

Affordable Housing Completed

A little-known nonprofit organization that built the Hunter Longhouse affordable-housing project in Aspen 40 years ago just completed its next project in Carbondale, the Aspen Times reported. Aspen Pitkin Employee Housing Inc. will provide relief for 30 lucky households in July with its Red Hill Lofts affordable housing project.

All selected tenants will have household incomes that are 50% or lower of the area median income. Rental assistance vouchers are available on 12 units that will go to households at 30% of area median income. There are 14 studios, 12 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units in the complex. The studios will rent starting at $706 per month; the one-bedrooms starting at $751; and the two-bedroom units starting at $892.

Glenwood Springs

CMC Plans $40 Million in Affordable Housing

The Colorado Mountain College board of trustees approved $40 million in certificates of participation to build approximately 150 total affordable housing units at four campuses, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. Between 35 to 40 units will be constructed on CMC-owned land in Steamboat Springs, Vail Valley at Edwards, Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs and Breckenridge & Dillon. The affordable housing projects will be modeled after the apartment-style housing units the college built in Breckenridge for upper division students. Housing scarcity throughout Colorado’s high country is compromising the college’s operations, exemplifying the housing crisis’ overall impact.

Pitkin County

Pitkin County Landfill Expansion to Begin

The long-awaited expansion of the Pitkin County Landfill began in June, and will provide about six more years of life to the rapidly filling facility, the Aspen Times reported. The nearly $2 million project will increase the size of the landfill by about 5 acres and the capacity by approximately 900,000 cubic yards, though the current construction boom in the upper Roaring Fork Valley could eat into that predicted six more years of space. Construction and demolition debris, which makes up the majority of the deposits in the landfill, is already up 3% over 2019, Not yet included in the totals is the complete demolition of two local hotels — the Molly Gibson Lodge and the Hotel Aspen — which has been approved and is almost guaranteed to significantly increase the debris deposited in the landfill.

Pandora’s Gets P&Z’s OK

Aspen Skiing Co.’s second attempt to win approval for expansion of Aspen Mountain Ski Area into the Pandora’s terrain sailed through the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission, the Aspen Times reported. The U.S. Forest Service also has approved Skico’s request to add 153 acres of standard trails and tree skiing and a high-speed quad chairlift on the upper east side of the ski area as well as a new patrol headquarters at the top terminal of the chairlift, south of the Silver Queen Gondola’s upper terminal. The expansion would add terrain to the south of the existing Walsh’s run. It also would allow trails such as Walsh’s, Hyrup’s and Kristi to extend further down the slope. It will next be reviewed by the Board of Pitkin County Commissioners.  

High Vaccination Rates in Pitkin County Help with Caseload

Despite an influx of summer tourists, the number of COVID-19 cases in Pitkin County remains low. As of early July, 75% of county residents had received a first dose of vaccine, while 56% were fully vaccinated. No one has been hospitalized at Aspen Valley Hospital with COVID-19 in the past two weeks, while cumulative incidence rates and positivity rates remain low.

Pitkin County has been averaging 1-to-2 positive cases of the virus per week over the past four weeks, the Aspen Times reported.  At the same time, the number of people in Aspen and the rest of the county has been increasing, which is a good sign the spread of the virus remains under control. More than 90% of people confirmed to have COVID-19 who needed to be hospitalized in Colorado during the second week of June had not been vaccinated at all.

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