$45 million Aspen ranch is subject of a unique marketing approach | PostIndependent.com

$45 million Aspen ranch is subject of a unique marketing approach

John Colson
Aspen Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” A local real estate broker took what she admitted was a “unique” approach to her work this week ” capping an expensive marketing campaign with a presentation and luncheon for local media at the Woody Creek Community Center, all to publicize putting a 600-acre piece of land on the market.

Lynn Kirchner, the Carbondale agent for the Aspen Sotheby’s real estate giant, announced Thursday that a portion of what used to be known as the Craig Ranch in Woody Creek is now on the market for $45 million.

But there’s a catch, she told a crowd of reporters, real estate agents and curious onlookers.

All but a 1-acre section of the 600 acres now known as Bear Dance Ranch has been sterilized from future development by a conservation easement, per the wishes of the land’s sellers ” Carol Craig and her son, Michael, in partnership with Michael’s ex-wife, Lisa Tasker. The building site is intended for one main house and one caretaker’s unit. The easement prohibits construction of other structures.

Acreage belonging to Carol and her daughter, Jennifer, along the Woody Creek valley floor is not being sold, while parcels belonging to another Craig daughter are on the market.

The 600 acres are part of an original parcel of nearly 1,100 acres that Carol and her ex-husband, Bob Craig, bought from the Vagneur family in the 1960s.

It is spread over five mesas that stretch like fingers reaching toward Woody Creek from the base of Vagneur Mountain. It is located a little more than two miles up Woody Creek Road, next to George Stranahan’s Flying Dog Ranch.

Michael Craig said the family has been working on the plan to divide up the ranch since the 1980s. He said the land potentially could have been carved into 35-acre parcels and sold for more money, but “we [Michael, Carol and Tasker] just felt maybe there’s enough development in the valley.”

Tasker said she hopes the buyer will look at the land as “a wildlife sanctuary,” and Michael said the proposal won the apparent approval of the contentious Woody Creek Caucus when it was considered last year.

“I’m not doing it for humans,” Craig said, “I’m doing it for wildlife.”

He described the mesas and the deep gullies that separate them as “corridors” for wildlife to travel from the high-altitude public lands behind the ranch, down to the precious water in Woody Creek.

Kirchner, who billed the presentation as “an announcement that affects all generations,” said the phrase refers to support for the plan from old-timers, middle-agers and 20-somethings.

And in preserving the land for the wildlife, and for the public’s viewing enjoyment at the least, she said it is important even for generations to come.

“We’re selling an over-the-top property,” she said, with the implication that the sale justified an over-the-top approach.

She said the marketing campaign leading up to Thursday’s presentation cost “probably about $25,000″ ” a “unique” approach she justified by the “unique” nature of the property.

Contact John Colson: jcolson@aspentimes.com


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