Town turns down Spann offer to sell 23 acres in corridor

“We don’t have the money…”

With little discussion in public, the Crested Butte Town Council has turned down an offer by the Spann family to sell 23 acres of land in the corridor between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte to the town. The council met in a closed-door executive session on Monday evening, October 5.



When the Town Council came out of the session, councilperson Skip Berkshire asked the staff to write a letter to the Spanns “politely declining” their latest offer.
“It is beyond our means,” said councilmember Leah Williams.
“We don’t have the money,” added councilmember Dan Escalante to end the discussion.
Last August, Ken Spann of the Spann Family Ranches approached the council, offering “an exclusive opportunity” to purchase for $6.5 million the 23 acres of land a mile north of town that abuts Moon Ridge Lane and Highway 135.
“Our offer to the town is the right to buy that land for $6.5 million, together with a one-third interest in Moon Ridge Lane and associated water spring rights. The offer is open for 60 days until Friday, October 16 at 5 p.m. You now have a clean, clear opportunity to control those 23 acres,” Spann said at the time.
In several executive sessions since then, the council apparently negotiated with the Spanns. The town made a counter-offer of $2.8 million. The Spanns came back with a letter to the town dated October 1 containing a counter to the counter-offer of $5,750,000.
“While we have no doubt whatsoever that you are sincere in your offer to us, it nonetheless represents about a 62 percent reduction from what we previously had the property under contract for, and nearly a 59 percent reduction from our asking price,” the Spanns’ letter states. “While the real estate market regionally has declined, we do not believe the decline has reached those levels… particularly on a longer term basis with similarly strategically positioned properties.
Town Manager Susan Parker said the staff had looked at different ways to try to make the transaction work. “We ran several models to try to figure out a way to make it work,” she said Tuesday morning. “Nothing came close, given the town finances. We tried looking at everything and we couldn’t go much more than the $2.8 million we offered.”
Ken Spann couldn’t be reached for comment.

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