Vail Mountain Home Sells for $57.25 Million, Setting New Record for Colorado Town


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By Katherine Clarke : Link to actual Wall Street Journal Article
Aug. 7, 2020 4:55 pm ET

A biotech entrepreneur has paid $57.25 million for a home in Vail, Colo., setting a record sales price for the affluent mountain town.

Kevin Ness, the chief executive of the Colorado-based biotech company Inscripta, said he bought the property as a “generational” family home.

The seller was a limited company tied to Mexican investor Alejandro Rojas, records show.

The deal is the highest priced home sale in Vail since 2017, when a house owned by philanthropist Ann Smead sold for $28.7 million, according to Tye Stockton of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, Mr. Ness’s agent.

A Record-Setting Mansion in the Mountains

This Colorado home has 11 bedrooms, two pools, two hot tubs, two elevators, a movie theater and numerous terraces

99 Vail Road Vail ColoradoSerial biotech entrepreneur Kevin Ness bought this six-story Vail, Colo., home for $57.25 million.

Mr. Ness’s new home is a six-story, Modern Mountain-style house spanning about 15,000 square feet, on less than an acre near the center of Vail. The previous owner, Mr. Rojas, bought the property for $14.5 million in 2014, records show. Mr. Rojas said he had completely reconstructed the home over three years and divided it into two large apartments with the help of his daughter, Sandy Rojas, who spearheaded the concept and design.

Together, the two units have 11 bedrooms, two pools, two hot tubs, two elevators, a movie theater and numerous terraces overlooking Vail’s Gore Range. The property has modern interiors with maple ceilings and wall paneling. Mr. Ness said he plans to partially connect the two units.

Mr. Ness said he and his wife, Stephanie Ness, began looking for a home in the mountains earlier this year; they had cabin fever after months in their Boulder, Colo., home with their four young children. They scoured the area for the perfect property, he said, looking outside central Vail at properties with much more acreage. They ultimately decided it was better to be in town, where their children, as they get older, can roam freely around the area with friends while remaining close to home. When they saw this property, he said, they liked that it was divided into two units, so guests can have more privacy.

Kevin Ness, chief executive of the biotech company Inscripta, purchased this Colorado home for $57.25 million.

Mr. Ness said he hadn’t intended to spend so much on a mountain home, but when he and his wife saw the property, they fell in love. He said Mr. Rojas had only been planning to sell one of the two units, but they convinced him to sell both.

“I come from pretty humble beginnings,” said Mr. Ness, who grew up in California but moved to Boulder a few years ago, “so the opportunity to be able to touch something like this is pretty special.”

Mr. Stockton said the Vail market has been strong in recent months, following the coronavirus-related shutdown. “It has been unprecedented,” he said. “The chase to buy real estate here at all price points is like nothing I’ve ever seen in my career. We’ve done over a year’s worth of business in the last 70 days.”

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