Cancer center looks at Silver Lining | AspenTimes.com

Cancer center looks at Silver Lining

Charles Agar

Riggs Klika of the Cancer Survivor Center is putting a bid on the Silver Lining Ranch. (Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times)

Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN Cancer Survivor Center officials have offered $5.1 million for the 6.4-acre Silver Lining Ranch in Aspen, an amount the listing broker said was not reasonable.The property is listed at $25 million. From 1998 until August, the Silver Lining Ranch was home to Andrea Jaeger’s nonprofit Silver Lining Foundation. Jaeger, recently ordained as a nun, retired from professional tennis in 1990 and since has dedicated her efforts to children with cancer.Fritz and Fabi Benedict donated the land to Jaeger’s foundation in 1993. With an initial $1.7 million donation from Ted Forstman, Jaeger set up the property as a place where kids with cancer could escape a sterile hospital environment for outdoor pursuits in Aspen.When originally developed by Benedicts, the property was a single family lot. Jaeger’s foundation asked the city to annex the property, rezoning it for use by a nonprofit. According to listing agent Ed Zasacky of Carol Ann Jacobson Realty in Aspen, neighbors signed off on it.

Jaeger later established the Little Star Foundation in the town of Hesperus. Originally operated as a satellite to the Silver Lining Ranch, the Little Star Foundation moved all of its operations to their property near Durango, and Jaeger put the Aspen property on the market in August.The foundation plans to submit a rezoning of the property in coming weeks and sell the parcel as a single-family residence, Zasacky said.The $25 million asking price will fill Little Star Foundation coffers, Jaeger said in July.”The money goes to the kids. It doesn’t go to an individual,” Zasacky said, adding that there have been other offers and any decision is up to the board of the foundation.Jaeger was not available for comment.Riggs Klika, director of the Cancer Survivor Center, contacted The Aspen Times on Thursday to report his organization’s offer.

“We know that Andrea put the Silver Lining Ranch up for sale, and we knew this was an opportunity,” Klika said. But he added, the Cancer Survivor Center doesn’t have the kind of money Silver Lining Ranch is asking.The Cancer Survivor Center is a nonprofit Klika founded in 2005 to aid cancer patients in recovery with Olympic-inspired athletic training. The growing center now operates out of donated office space and uses the Aspen Club gym.”We submitted a genuine offer to Ed Zasacky today,” Klika said, and he hopes the fellow nonprofit will consider the offer so his Cancer Survivor Center can grow. He added that there is room to keep Jaeger’s Little Star Foundation as part of the new facility.”They want to sell this as a single-family home,” Klika said. “We are trying to buy this and preserve it as a retreat center.”The 6.4 acres along the Roaring Fork River east of Aspen is home to a large community hall, a large commercial kitchen, dining room, treatment rooms and pool.Klika hopes Jaeger’s foundation will respond to the offer and said the Cancer Survivor Center is actively looking for more donations.

“Our attitude is, ‘We want to continue on in your tradition,'” Klika said.”This doesn’t go into somebody’s pocket, it goes to kids with cancer,” Zasacky said.”Business in Aspen as a nonprofit is difficult,” Zasacky said, adding that the elevation proved difficult for the young clients. “And what business wants its sole office in Beverly Hills [Aspen]?”The operation near Durango is “a real ranch,” he said, and the nonprofit has moved there completely.Officials from the Little Star Foundation were not available for comment.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is cagar@aspentimes.com.