Pitkin County open space director Dale Will suggested it would be more appropriate for the Wexners to appraise the BLM parcel by finding how much value privatizing it would add to their existing holdings.“They were not willing to use appraisal instructions that would take into account their own economic benefit,” Will said yesterday.
ASPEN PITKIN COUNTY REAL ESTATE – Land swap negotiations broke down this week between Pitkin County commissioners and a wealthy part-time midvalley couple because officials were unhappy with the level of public benefit the exchange would provide for county residents, and concerned about an outsized potential financial windfall for owners Leslie and Abigail Wexner owners of national chains Victoria’s Secret and the Body Shop.The Wexners had been petitioning the county to endorse the exchange since January of 2009. They want to trade their undeveloped 520-acre Sutey Ranch, in Garfield County, for 1,268 acres of federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property in Pitkin County.The swap would make the trophy ranch one contiguous area, a fact that snared negotiations with Pitkin County officials who believed connecting Two Shoes was worth a lot more than the $6.5 million Sutey Ranch the Wexners were offering in exchange. To counter that claim, earlier this year, the Wexners hired two appraisers who concluded the proposal “adds little, if any, additional value” to the existing Two Shoes properties, which were purchased separately for a total of more than $67 million, and on which the Wexners have rights to develop 27 homesites.
By Andrew Travers, May 19, 2010 Aspen Daily News
See also May 19, 2010 Aspen Times article, …"The county asked that language be included in the congressional bill proposing the exchange that would require appraising the value of Two Shoes Ranch without the BLM land, and then determining the ranch’s value with the BLM acreage included. The approach would get at what Will called the “trophy ranch valuation” of the consolidated lands — about 5,600 acres in all.“They said ‘no’ to that,” Will said. "
05/19/10 Aspen Times – The Wexners’ Two Shoes Ranch is shaded in purple. The strip between the two large pieces of
the ranch is the bulk of the BLM land the Wexners sought to acquire. Yellow dots represent development sites; striped
areas are already placed under conservation easement. The summit of Mount Sopris is to the south (off the map).