Hala Ranch, the luxury Starwood spread of Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, sold Thursday for $49 million, marking one of the largest real estate transactions in Pitkin County history.
The buyer is identified in public records only as Starwood Mountain Ranch LLC, which was incorporated in March by a local law firm. The corporation purchased “lot 1” on the property for $8 million, and “lot 2” for $41 million.
Prince Bandar was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005. He listed his 95-acre ranch and the 56,000-square-foot home in 2006 for $135 million, but officially pulled it off the market 16 months later.
Bandar had taken a job as secretary general of the Middle Eastern kingdom’s National Security Council when the ambassadorship ended, which the prince figured would limit his ability to enjoy the Aspen property. But a statement released at the time the home was pulled back off the market said that the prince and his family “realized they enjoyed the ranch, and Aspen, too much to want to part with it.”
He later sold two of his other Starwood homes for a combined $49 million in 2007.
Starwood is a gated residential neighborhood on the slopes of Red Mountain, which commands beautiful views of the entire valley.
The Pitkin County Assessor values the Bandar property at $84.2 million, although assessor’s staff have conceded in the past that the holding is difficult to put a value on, as such numbers are calculated using comparable sales data. Little to none of that exists for a property like Hala Ranch.
Bandar bought the land in 1989, and built the main residence in 1991.
Starwood Mountain Ranch also purchased two interests in the Aspen Residence Club for $500,000.
Joshua Saslove, the broker on the deal, could not be reached for comment.