Real Estate 101


Exclusivity returns to Aspen's "Rocky Mountain High" neighborhood.

By Carolyn Sackariason June 4, 2018 Published in the Summer 2018 issue of Aspen Sojourner

Summer views from Starwood

If any part of the Roaring Fork Valley conjures up a feeling of “Rocky Mountain High,” it’s Starwood. Indeed, Aspen’s gated community that sits on a shelf above McLain Flats inspired musician John Denver, who called the neighborhood home.

He, like many Starwood residents, was attracted to the area’s sweeping 360-degree views, with all four ski areas and Pyramid Peak set squarely in front of many residents’ living room windows. “It’s the big, dramatic views that I love,” says Shane. “I also love its rural setting, and it’s just a 10-minute drive to town.”

And it’s a good value, too. There is still open land to be had, and lots of 2 to 7 acres sold for between $600 and $900 a square foot last year (inexpensive in this market). Every lot has approval for two structures, so a main house and a guesthouse are a given.

Exclusive amenities include a conference center for meetings, tennis courts, access to horse pastures, a postal station, snow removal, and security staff at the gatehouse who also act as personal concierges.

Starwood is also where you’ll find former Playboy model Barbi Benton and George Gradow’s famously eclectic Copper Palace, as well as the immense property that once belonged to Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, now owned and refurbished by hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson.

Founded in 1962 by Edgar Stern (who also started Deer Valley ski resort), Aspen’s first gated community had lost its popularity in recent years, but with demand driving prices up in town, farther-out areas like this one, and McLain Flats below it, are becoming desirable once again.

“Starwood was incredibly stagnant for the past four years, with sales mostly under $4 million,” says Ernemann. “Now sales are $8 million, $10 million, and $12 million, so it’s on its way back to being in favor.”


(includes McLain Flats)

Number of active listings at press time: 20

Active average home price:
$10.7 million

Number of homes sold in 2017: 9

Average price of homes sold in 2017:
$8.2 million

Average number of days on the market: 644

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