Lower the drawbridge! Redstone Castle tours are on for this summer

Lynn Burton
Post Independent Staff

Redstone Castle tours will take place this summer, while the federal government decides how to dispose of the historic property, said U.S. Internal Revenue Service spokesperson John Harrison.

The FBI seized the 42-room castle in March, alleging former Redstone resident Leon Harte and partners purchased the property with $6 million in proceeds from a securities scam that defrauded investors out of $20 million since 1999, according to court documents.

Harrison said the Castle will be open for tours by Memorial Day weekend, and stay open on a limited basis through Oct. 15.

“The U.S. attorney’s office recognizes the castle’s importance to the Redstone community,” Harrison said.

The Redstone Inn will act as Castle booking agent for tours, and a limited number of other functions.

Government agencies, nonprofits and Redstone residents are also working together to research ways to keep the Castle open to the public through new ownership.

“There are a lot of alternatives,” said Dave Roberts of Montrose, who chairs the West Elk Loop Scenic Byways Steering Committee.

The steering committee met in Redstone last Friday with representatives from the National Parks Service, the Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, the Aspen Valley Land Trust, the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Committee and Redstone business owners and residents.

Roberts said Pitkin County Open Space Director Dale Will is coordinating the effort to find a buyer for the property.

Roberts stressed that the federal government wants to sell the property and use the proceeds to pay victims of the alleged securities scheme.

“They can’t give the Castle away,” Roberts said.

Harrison said a federal judge will ultimately decide how and when to sell the Redstone Castle and its surrounding property. Several parties have approached the government, asking about the property.

“I told the people at the meeting, `Don’t stop trying to put together a proposal,'” Harrison said.

The Redstone Castle, also known as Cleveholm Manor, was built by industrialist John C. Osgood in 1903. Castle tours are a popular Redstone attraction, and the facility has also been used for weddings, family reunions and other events.

Harrison said the federal government’s investigation of Harte and his partners continues, and no charges have been brought. In late April, the government seized eight NASCAR race cars it believes were purchased with proceeds from the scheme.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

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