Aspen Equestrian Estates will soon become a little bit less equestrian |

Aspen Equestrian Estates will soon become a little bit less equestrian

Houses at Equestrian Estates subdivision behind Catherine's Store. Sallie Shatz photo.

A midvalley development that is famous – or perhaps infamous – for its cookie-cutter houses will try to spur real estate sales by eliminating outdoor boarding for horses.

Aspen Equestrian Estates, the former Preshana property by Catherine Store, will stop pasture boarding on Sept. 1.

Even though the property is famed and named for horses, some of them simply must go, said property owner and developer Jay Weinberg.

“We have made the decision based on the many complaints we have had from potential home buyers and their concerns for the continuing smell from the horses’ excretion outside,” said a letter from Weinberg to owners of horses being boarded outdoors.

He initially planned to stop outdoor boarding June 1 but backed off that date because he said it left boarders with too little time to find alternative arrangements.

Aspen Equestrian Estates will still board horses in its stables. It charges $300 per month for year-round pasture boarding and $675 per month for indoor boarding.

Currently it boards 64 horses. About half of them spend the entire day outdoors. The other half, those sleeping indoors, spend roughly 16 hours outside.

Weinberg contended that Aspen Equestrian Estates is still a horse ranch despite the move. In fact, he said, it will remain more of a horse property after Sept. 1 than when he bought it.

“When I took Preshana over there were only 14 horses on the property,” he said. “Preshana was a worn-out horse property.”

Weinberg’s Aspen Equestrian Estates Limited Liability Co. bought the ranch for $2.6 million about three years ago. He has invested more than $15 million in the land and has approvals from Garfield County for 47 house sites on 59 acres.

He has built 15 spec houses and plans a total of 26. He is also offering 20 lots for sale.

The spec homes have gained attention because from the exterior they look like Pizza Huts or game houses from Monopoly. The interiors are extremely well done.

Weinberg was confident last spring that his homes would move, but he’s only closed on two, with two others under contract. Fourteen vacant lots have sold or are under contract.

“We’re selling here,” he said. “It’s not like we’re not selling at all.”

One Aspen real estate expert said Weinberg will find a way to move his product because he has experience and he can be patient due to deep pockets. Weinberg built spec houses in Aspen before diving into the midvalley market.

Within the real estate industry, some sources believe his spec houses at Aspen Equestrian Estates were too highly priced for the location. The houses are priced starting at $950,000.

There are also questions about Weinberg’s concept of locating luxury homes next to horse pastures. Some people may like to live next to where their horses are boarded, but they don’t necessarily want to sleep in the barn, noted one real estate agent who didn’t want to be named.

Weinberg is confident that reducing the amount of horse waste outside will spark his sales this summer. That’s coming from the horse’s mouth, or in this case, from prospective buyers, he said.

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