ASPEN REAL ESTATE – Representatives for a billionaire midvalley property owner who has proposed a public-private land swap will meet with the Pitkin County commissioners today about the deal. County staff last week released an amended proposal for the swap, which was endorsed unanimously by the county’s open space board, but the owners rejected it outright in a letter sent to the commissioners Monday morning.Last January, Leslie Wexner proposed to trade his 520-acre Sutey Ranch, in Garfield County, for 1,268 acres of federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property in Pitkin County, which lies next to his estate. Both the Sutey Ranch and the BLM land would be protected by conservation easements which would prohibit future development.Wexner is the founder of Limited Brands, which is the parent company to Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. He was listed 430th on the 2009 Forbes list of the world’s billionaires.Though the swap was endorsed by Garfield and Eagle counties, Pitkin County officials were not happy with giving up public land and privatizing it, possibly to the economic gain of the Wexners.
By Andrew Travers, Jan. 12, 2010 Aspen Daily News

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