If walls could talk, Peak House would have quite the story to tell.
The highest residence on Red Mountain in Aspen, Colorado is officially back on the market for $48.5 million. The renowned residence, called Peak House and located at 2137 Red Mountain Road, is a stunning mountaintop estate that is newly listed by current owner Richard Braddock, former CEO of Priceline.com.
First built in 1995, the home was purchased by Czech-born financier and international fugitive Viktor Kozeny in 1997 for $19.7 million and became the center of scandal. In 2001, it was seized by the FBI after Kozeny, dubbed the “Pirate of Prague,” swindled investors out of $180 million. Braddock purchased the property in 2001 for $22 million and at the time, it broke a record as one of the most expensive single-family homes in Colorado ever sold. He has since put millions of dollars into updating the property, and is currently listing the estate for $48.5 million.
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.
“When we, not only myself and my wife, Susan, but also our rather massive family, first saw the Peak House, it was love at first sight,” Richard Braddock exclusively tells Forbes. “We had rented it over the millennium after the “Pirate of Prague” had vacated the house and fled the country two years before. [It was] an empty house at the top of Red Mountain, where a major fraud had been perpetrated. In spite of all the exciting press, we were quite taken by this extraordinary home.”
Situated on 2.91 acres, the home itself has more than 20,000 square feet of living space. The European-style home has seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and three half baths. A veritable manor, the home was built by Aspen’s premier builder Joe Zanin and is at the apex of Red Mountain. It boasts south-facing views over Aspen and is an ultra-private residence that promises security and exclusivity.
The home, which took more than five years to build, was made with redstone, sandstone and granite sourced on-site. The terraces, exterior walls and flooring feature these natural stones that provide a sense of place.
“There are fossils in the sandstone that date back 80 million years to when the Rocky Mountains were formed,” Braddock says. “The quality of the house and its timeless construction is immediately evident.”
Braddock enlisted interior designer David Easton to help the family update the home after they purchased it. It has a warm and welcoming ambience, made even more special by beautiful vaulted ceilings, warm wood and a unique rustic-meets-European style.
“Despite the grand size of the home, it literally disappears into the Red Mountain setting,” Braddock says. “The custom, old-world pine paneling and heart pine floors made the home timeless. We were sold on both the significant structure and the quality of materials.”
Amenities include both an indoor and outdoor pool; hot tub; wine cave with seating for 12 guests; elevator; guest or staff quarters; media room; sauna; steam shower; security system; garage with room for 12 vehicles; chef-grade kitchen appliances; landscaping; a snow-melting driveway; a secret passageway; and a stone terrace spanning 4,000 square feet. Outdoor space was incredibly important to Braddock and his family when they were renovating the property.
“The first task was to bring alive our enthusiasm for outdoor living,” he says. “The terraces add another 20% to the livable dimensions of the house and are where the majestic views come into play. We put in a large new terrace, using local stone, whitened the bottom of the pool, and added a pergola and outdoor dining table for some of the most intimate and scenic entertaining you can find in these parts.”
Another huge draw to the house is the indoor lap pool and hot tub in the conservatory, which features massive skylights that bring the outdoors in. The conservatory can comfortably entertain 60-80 people at a time.
“Our family continues to grow; four of our 13 grandchildren have already graduated from college and are out working,” Braddock says. “Our great grandchildren are not far behind. The lore of the house has become a fixture in family conversation, everything from the secret passageway to the castle-like quality. None of them really want us to sell the Peak House, but, for us, it is time. I only hope we can sell it to someone who will get as much satisfaction as we have.”
The home is listed by Compass agent Heidi Houston, who brokered the sale of the home when Braddock first purchased it in 2001.