‘Peak House’ atop Aspen’s Red Mountain changes ownership for $40 million

The legendary and showy “Peak House” atop Red Mountain — once owned by a fugitive dubbed “The Pirate of Prague” and most recently by the former CEO of Priceline and FreshDirect — sold last week for $40 million.

The buyer was Wes Rogers of Athens, Georgia, according to the deed of sale. Rogers is president and CEO of Landmark Properties, which builds student housing. The seller was another businessman, Richard Braddock, who also sits on the Aspen Institute’s board of trustees.

“They were really attracted to the beautiful old woodwork that’s timeless, with an old-world charm,” said Candice Girgis, a broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Aspen who represented the buyer in the sale. “And believe it or not, they thought it was a very good value.”

Braddock, who bought the Peak House for $22 million in November 2001, listed the property for $54.5 million in 2020 and lowered the asking price to $44.5 million in late November.

The Peak House, located at 2137 Red Mountain Rd., sold for $40 million earlier this month.
Pitkin County Assessor’s office

Prior to Braddock’s purchase of the 2137 Red Mountain Road mansion, the Peak House had been owned by Viktor Kozeny, known as the Pirate of Prague, until the FBI seized the property in 2001.

Kozeny’s purchase of the the Peak House for $19 million in June 1997 was the largest sum ever paid for a Colorado residence at the time.

“That year (1997), he threw a legendary Christmas party for more than 100 neighbors and guests, including Ivana Trump. … Natalie Cole performed, and servers passed beluga caviar and champagne,” according to a Wall Street Journal article last week reporting the sale.

That party, according to Aspen newspaper articles, was meant to attract interest and investments into Kozeny’s Azerbaijan state oil voucher venture in the post-Soviet business environment. Yet when the Azerbaijan government backed out of the privatization plans, Kozeny did not return a reported $182 million to investors, leading to criminal convictions in the U.S. and in Europe. Kozeny reportedly is living in exile in the Bahamas and faces 20 years of prison in the U.S. and 10 years in his native Czech Republic for the oil voucher scam.

“The home has an illustrious history and has hosted billionaires, fugitives and high-profile figures over the years at many lavish parties. Aside from its fascinating history, the estate is one of the most beautiful in all of Aspen,” Forbes reported in August.

The three-level Peak House has seven bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms and sits on 3 acres, according to property records. It has 17,839 square feet of inhabitable space. It also has a 5,841-square-foot outdoor deck and a 3,483-square-foot garage. The home comes with an elevator, hot tub/spa, sauna and other amenities, according to online marketing details about the property, which was listed by Heidi Houston of Compass real estate in Aspen.

“Never again could a manor of this magnitude be replicated on Red Mountain,” said the online description of the property. “It’s truly one-of-a-kind in its timeless beauty, quality construction, luxury amenities, and exceptional location.”

The sale of the Peak House is one of nine property sales exceeding $20 million so far this year in Pitkin County, according to property records. The Peak House sale last week was overshadowed by the $76.35 million sale of nearly 1 acre of land at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Pitkin County’s most expensive residential sale of 2022, through Friday, was a limited liability company’s $41 million acquisition of Four Peaks Ranch in the Old Snowmass area.