Koch property 
newly listed for $89 million


Former Elk Mountain Lodge features 15 bedrooms and sits on 55 acres

Billionaire William Koch has listed his 32,614-square-foot home and assorted other buildings on 55 acres in the Castle Creek Valley for $89.9 million — one of the highest real estate asking prices in recent years.

The price for the former Elk Mountain Lodge is nearly double the next highest listing for an Aspen-area home, a $45 million, seven-bedroom residence that encompasses 18,750 square feet on Ute Avenue, said Tim Estin, an Aspen real estate agent.

Koch bought the property for $26.4 million in 2007 and converted the lodge, which had been used for weddings and parties, into a vacation home.

“It’s pretty spectacular,” said Estin, author of a running narrative of local real estate news called the Estin Report and a broker with Aspen-Snowmass Sotheby’s.

A listing for the property, which went on the market June 3, says it is a “dream compound” 10 miles from Aspen.

“Enjoy fishing on two ponds plus 2,000 feet of Castle Creek, bicycling, motorcycling, hiking, 4-wheeling just outside your door,” the listing says.

There are nine other buildings on the property, including a state-of-the-art gym and guest houses.

Brian Pettet, Pitkin County’s public works director, has been inside the home. He attended a public safety meeting in 2012 that was hosted by Koch, who had sought guardrails for a stretch of Castle Creek Road.

“It’s tasteful and intimate, it’s not gaudy,” he said of the abode. “It wasn’t over the top.”

The home’s interior has some “pretty amazing” finishes, including a wrapped bannister made of leather near the main entrance, Pettet said. It’s a large house but it contains numerous intimate meeting spaces, he added.

There are 15 bedrooms, eight bathrooms, five half-baths and 11 three-quarter baths. Estin said he wasn’t sure what the latter category consists of but said those rooms likely have only a shower, toilet and sink.

The only comparable asking price in recent years is that of Hala Ranch, a Starwood property that Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, listed for $135 million in 2006. Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson purchased the main residence and another parcel from Bandar for $49 million in 2012.

Fortune magazine pegs Koch’s net worth at $4 billion, a fortune derived from energy investments such as a coal mine in Somerset near Paonia Reservoir. Koch made news in recent years for buying a Wild West town and relocating it to his ranch outside Somerset.

The entity that owns the Castle Creek property is Elk Mountain Lodge LLC, a company that shares a principal address with Koch’s Centurion Residence Services in Florida, according to Colorado secretary of state records.

Four entities controlled by Koch are part of a lawsuit by local property owners against the city of Aspen, an effort to block plans for a hydroelectric plant. The lawsuit remains open but is on hiatus amid settlement talks.

The listing agent for Koch’s property, Lorrie Winnerman, could not be reached for comment.

The 2013 tax bill on the land was $60,437, according to real estate records.