Since 2002, the family of Leslie Wexner, a billionaire who founded Limited Brands and Victoria’s Secret, has spent $84.5 million on their county land holdings beside Mount Sopris, according to public records. That’s $2.5 million more than the county’s open space program has spent in total since it was authorized by local voters in 1990. The county has acquired about 18,700 acres with taxpayer dollars.
APEN PITKIN COUNTY REAL ESTATE – The Wexner family currently owns nearly 4,800 acres of land on the flanks of Mount Sopris, and is lobbying the federal government for 1,280 more in a proposed land swap. Since withdrawing a bid to Pitkin County seeking support for a congressional land swap to privatize the federal land adjoining the Wexner ranch in 2010, the family has spent $18.5 million to acquire just under 600 acres of nearby land. Those came in eight separate purchases from private sellers. In at least one case, the Wexners out-bid Pitkin County Open Space and Trails officials to keep a parcel private.
By Andrew Travers, Jan 3, 2011 ADN