Comparing it to the Elk Mountain Lodge, Richards said, “It’s like a golden apple for someone to put in their fruit basket … It’s a little dicey and I want to sleep well knowing that if I approve this, it’s not going to become something entirely different over time.”

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – If the Pitkin County commissioners approve a proposed seven-cabin overnight lodging expansion of the Ashcroft Ski Touring operation, they want to assure the property won’t become a private enclave for a wealthy family that could buy out the business. Concerns from the commissioners, raised in a meeting on the proposal Wednesday, largely stemmed from the 2007 conversion of the 17,000-square-foot Elk Mountain Lodge from a luxury party hall to a vacation home for billionaire Bill Koch.“The threat is the privatization of the Ashcroft area,” Commissioner Rachel Richards said.
By Andrew Travers, November 17, 11 ADN

Link to ADN article

Link to AT article, "Ashcroft Hut Plan Rests on Housing, Preserving Nordic Ski Area", By Janet Urquhart, November 17, 2011,

Photo credit: : Elk Mountain Lodge: Until the late 1980’s, Elk Mountain Lodge was a mountain resort at 9400 ft. elevation ten miles south of Aspen near the ghost town of Ashcroft. In more recent times, the modest resort was replaced by a very large, 28,000 square foot log lodge, part of which is seen in this photo. The building was never divided into rooms inside, so it became a place for wedding receptions and other special events. Three years ago, the property was purchased by energy magnate Bill Koch for $26 million and it has been refurbished into his private home. Ashcroft Ski Touring is approx.1 mile further up the dead end road"