Ho-hum ... Two real estate sales eclipse $25 million in same week

Ho-hum ... Two real estate sales eclipse $25 million in same week

Rick Carroll, The Aspen Times

PITKIN COUNTY — Last week's sale of the Elk Mountain Lodge wasn't the only real estate transaction in Pitkin County to hover in the $26 million range.

A Wildcat Ridge estate was acquired for $26 million, just undercutting the $26.5 million that the 17-bedroom, 28,000-square-foot Elk Mountain Lodge, near the ghost town of Ashcroft, fetched.

Selling the Wildcat Ranch property, known as Popish Valley Ranch, was Sandra Lloyd, a movie producer and philanthropist. Clear W Ranch, a Nevada-based limited liability company controlled by Harvey Armstrong of California, was the buyer. The Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder's Office recorded the deal last week.

Aspen broker Gary Feldman, who represented Lloyd in the transaction, said she sold it simply because "she couldn't keep coming to altitude. The last thing she wanted to do was sell the property."

Even so, Lloyd turned a profit. In 1989 she bought the same property for $1.2 million, according to public records. And 18 years later, she sold it for nearly 22 times as much.

"It's a one-of-a-kind estate," Feldman said, "just a very special property."

Sitting on a 54-acre parcel of land, the property includes a ranch house built in 1898, as well as a barn that dates to 1910. It was originally listed last fall and went under contract before the deal fell through, Feldman said. The property was listed again in January, with an asking price of $30 million.

Armstrong, a former partner with the Big Four accounting firm KPMG, is a co-founder of Harris myCFO, a California-based online financial services firm. Aspen broker Brian Hazen represented Armstrong.

The sale of the Elk Mountain Lodge, meanwhile, was a deal that had been public for months, but it didn't close until last week. And like the Popish Valley Ranch, a handsome profit was made on the sale.

The Elk Mountain Lodge sold for $3.2 million in 1992, meaning the current sellers - the David Macon Middleton and the Ellen Randall Revocable Management Trust - sold it for more than eight times what they paid for it.

The buyer was Bill Koch, a majority owner of the energy firm Oxbow Corp.