Billionaire Prince Bandar bin Sultan's properties in Aspen have just been sold to the billionaire hedge funder John Paulson for $49M. The sale included the 90-acre Hala Ranch and the nearby 38-acre Bear Ranch, which had never been previously offered for sale. The wiley Prince from Saudia Arabia, who was once his country's ambassador to the United States, bought the land for Hala Ranch in 1989 for $3.5M and built the main house in 1991. He then tried to sell the thing for a completely bonkers $135M in 2006 without success. Located just northwest of Aspen proper, the 56,000-sq-ft main Hala Ranch house requires a full-time staff to maintain the 15 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, barber shop and beauty salon, a master suite (big enough "for a party for 450 people"), stained glass windows, reflecting pool, waterfall, and all those shiny 24-karat gold fixtures. The rest of the acreage has a smattering of other buildings, including a heated hay barn and stables, scattered between the wide vistas and forests of aspens and pines. As for Paulson, this isn't his first time to the Aspen real estate rodeo, either: He last bought a $24.5M home in the area back in 2010 (and it's not yet clear if he's going to be trading in that property now that he has this new one).
The new buyer is rumored to now have some grand plans for his new kingdom. For starters, he's going to change the name from Hala (which means "Welcome" in arabic) to Star Ranch (after the exclusive Starwood area of Aspen, the gated neighborhood on the slopes of Red Mountain where the property is located) and then he's thinking of "scaling down the main house" and turning all those extra acres back into a working ranch.
· Saudi Arabian prince sells Aspen ranch for $49 million [Denver Post]