Guthrie house guessing game |

Guthrie house guessing game

ASPEN Aspen’s annual fall homes tour is under way, and the city’s historic West End is bustling with real estate brokers and prospective buyers, which is nothing unusual in itself.But one house in particular is subject to a unique marketing ploy – a guessing game concerning the final selling price of the home that will net the winning guesser a crisp $100 bill on the date a sale closes.The house, at 920 W. Hallam Ave., is a small Victorian bought by David and Amy Guthrie in 1999 for $241,000, according to public records.The historic house, reportedly built in 1888, is now on the market for $3.4 million, according to a listing by Joshua & Co. real estate brokers.This is not the first time the house has been in the news.In 1998, Amy Guthrie, the city’s historic preservation officer, was the subject of allegations of a conflict of interest on her part involving the purchase of the house.Amy Guthrie, who still serves as the city’s historic preservation planner, was suspended from her job for three months without pay because she failed to disclose a business relationship that created the appearance of a conflict of interest.The relationship involved builder Steve Hanson, who sold the 920 W. Hallam house to the Guthries, and the owners of the historic Paepcke house, also in the West End, which was undergoing redevelopment review at City Hall and with which Hanson also was involved.In the end, then-City Manager Amy Margerum concluded that neither Guthrie nor anyone involved had done anything illegal or improper.The house has been on the market since Labor Day, according to broker assistant Stacey Kelly, who was at the house when a reporter dropped by on Tuesday, without much interest from buyers.And that lack of interest, she said, was the reason for the unusual marketing ploy, which is aimed primarily at brokers.”What we’re really looking for is feedback on what this house will sell for,” Kelly said. “It’s just another way to get more input.”She conceded that, as a marketing ploy, it is rather unusual, and explained that the idea came from an unnamed downvalley real estate agent who has used the technique in the past.She said that as of about 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, after the open-house had been under way for an hour and a half, no one had come in to sign the guest register or to enter the contest.Attempts to reach David Guthrie to ask about the marketing ploy were not successful.John Colson’s e-mail address is

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