Aspen’s 50 wealthiest homeowners
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Aspen’s 50 Wealthiest Residents

There are now more than 1,600 billionaires in the world, and at least fifty of them have stakes in the Aspen area—primarily through their ownership of real estate in Pitkin County.

Aspen’s billionaires came to their fortunes in many ways. They are tech wizards, oil and gas tycoons, real estate moguls, financiers, and producers of everyday stuff. Their collective net worth totals more than $335 billion, and the value of their real estate in the Aspen area is at least $750 million.

And many of them have grown substantially richer of late. Aspen’s wealthiest men and the world’s sixth richest, brothers Charles and David Koch, for example, are worth $6 billion more than they were a year ago—and a mind-boggling $17 billion more than in 2012. Each of their fortunes, at $41.6 billion, is greater than the GDP of more than half of the world’s countries.

Presented by Aspen Sojourner

While many fly well below the local radar, most of these billionaires do have an impact on Aspen, through their investments in luxury estates and their often-generous donations to local nonprofits.

On the other hand, the second-home industry and escalating property values have replaced once vibrant Aspen neighborhoods with blocks of large, lifeless houses; marred once-pristine landscapes; exacerbated traffic, congestion, and pollution; and driven many locals down or out of the valley.

Moneyed power is often blamed for Aspen’s growth struggles, and some locals feel that wealth culture has become the dominant culture in Aspen. But whether welcomed or shunned, at least fifty of the world’s überwealthy are indeed members of the Aspen community.

Presented by Aspen Sojourner

Here, then, are the Aspen 50: the fifty wealthiest people in the world with property in Pitkin County—and there are almost certainly more than those who appear on our list. All but three are on the 2014 Forbes World’s Billionaires list. Two are listed as billionaires by the Los Angeles Business Journal, but not by Forbes. And we’ve included the Crown family, owners of the Aspen Skiing Company and multiple local homes, who recently made Forbes’s inaugural list of America’s Richest Families.

Using those lists as a starting point, Aspen Journalism, an investigative journalism nonprofit that produced this story for Aspen Sojourner, then used public property records—and old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting—to verify the billionaires’ stakes in the Aspen community. (Links to public records are at

Property values listed are from the county assessor’s most recent valuation period, which reflects the market as of June 30, 2012, and formed the basis for property tax bills for 2013 and 2014. The billionaires’ net worths, which Forbes now tracks daily, are listed as estimated by Forbes on June 9, 2014, and in May 2014 by the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

0714 charles koch ho7h8g

Name: Charles Koch
Net worth: $41.6 billion
Age: 78
Primary residence: Wichita, Kansas
Forbes 400 ranking: 4
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 6
Source of wealth: Diversified, including energy, agricultural materials, and pulp and paper
Stake in Aspen: $5.9 million West End home
Notes: Liz Koch, Charles Koch’s wife, described skiing with her husband as “flying down mountains, staring at the back of his head, feeling terrified,” according to a 2012 Wichita Eagle article. 

THE POWER TRIO: The Koch Brothers

Although the Koch brothers are collectively known for their conservative politics, each has a somewhat different relationship to Aspen. Charles, who is CEO of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the country, with sales of $115 billion, was an avid skier until his knees gave out. David, who used to throw elaborate holiday parties at his Aspen home, is a trustee of the Aspen Institute, where a building bears his name. Bill is perhaps the most high profile locally. He has made headlines for being a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the city of Aspen over its desire to use Castle and Maroon Creek water for hydropower; for buying—and now trying to sell, for $90 million—the former Elk Mountain Lodge in the upper Castle Creek Valley, a 32,500-square-foot compound used for weddings and corporate events that he converted into a 15-bedroom single-family home; and for suing his interior designer for not properly decorating the home in a western theme. Perhaps Bill is retreating to his Paonia ranch, where he re-created an Old West town.

But Aspen is not simply a vacation retreat for the Kochs. Charles and David, who hold twice-yearly meetings for like-minded, ultra-wealthy investors who are politically active in the brothers’ conservative agenda, hosted one such gathering at the St. Regis in 2010. Attendees included fellow Aspen billionaires Ken Griffin and Richard DeVos. 

0714 david koch dc7ud0

Name: David Koch
Net worth: $41.6 billion
Age: 74
Primary residence: New York City, New York
Forbes 400 ranking: 4
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 6
Source of wealth: Diversified, including energy, agricultural materials, and pulp and paper
Stake in Aspen: Two West End homes together worth $12.8 million
Notes: Koch, with his brother Charles, has tried to reshape the political landscape of America by giving millions to conservative and libertarian causes and candidates through various business and political networks.

0714 jeff bezos b9dnq4

Name: Jeff Bezos
Net worth: $30.2 billion
Age: 50
Primary residence: Seattle, Washington
Forbes 400 ranking: 12
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 20
Source of wealth:
Stake in Aspen: His parents’ $16.5 million home in Pitkin Green
Notes: Bezos’s parents, Jackie and Miguel, own a 10,600-square-foot home where their close-knit family gathers. They also sponsor the Bezos Scholars Program at the Aspen Institute. 

0714 michael dell jbqsl3

Name: Michael Dell
Net worth: $18.5 billion
Age: 49
Primary residence: Austin, Texas
Forbes 400 ranking: 25
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 46
Source of wealth: Dell, Inc.
Stake in Aspen: His father’s $9.5 million Red Mountain home
Notes: Dell, like Jeff Bezos, doesn’t actually own an Aspen home; his father does. But his local stake includes, through his MSD Capital investment firm, an interest in the Related Companies, which has extensive holdings in Snowmass Village. 

0714 john paulson y9osyu

Name: John Paulson
Net worth: $13.5 billion
Age: 58
Primary residence: New York City, New York
Forbes 400 ranking: 36
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 84
Source of wealth: Hedge funds
Stake in Aspen: $52.6 million Starwood estate
Notes: Paulson vacationed in Aspen for 25 years before buying a home here, according to his spokesman, who added that Paulson plans to “reduce the scale of” the 56,000-square-foot main house on the Starwood estate he bought in 2012. 

0714 richard kinder lfrkvs

Name: Richard Kinder
Net worth: $9.8 billion
Age: 69
Primary residence: Houston, Texas
Forbes 400 ranking: 39
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 133
Source of wealth: Energy, pipelines
Stake in Aspen: $10.8 million riverfront home in Woody Creek
Notes: Kinder Morgan, which services the Roaring Fork Valley with natural gas, claims to be the fourth-largest North American energy company, with 82,000 miles of pipelines. Richard Kinder was once president of Enron, under the late Ken Lay, another prominent local homeowner. 

0714 roman abramovich ezkyq8

Name: Roman Abramovich
Net worth: $9.5 billion
Age: 47
Primary residence: Moscow
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 139
Source of wealth: Steel, investments
Stake in Aspen: Two Snowmass homes together worth $29.2 million
Notes: The once-wealthiest man in Russia (now 14th) also has homes in London, St. Barts, Sardinia, France, and New York (a $75 million Fifth Avenue mansion), plus the world’s largest yacht, a Boeing 767, the Chelsea soccer team—and seven children. 

0714 hasso plattner l6xyy6

Name: Hasso Plattner
Net worth: $8.5 billion
Age: 70
Primary residence: Heidelberg, Germany
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 162
Source of wealth: Software
Stake in Aspen: Two homes on Red Mountain valued at $19.3 million
Notes: Plattner is a sports enthusiast who, according to Forbes, likes to ski and snowboard. He’s also pledged to give away half his fortune to philanthropic causes. 

PURE CLASS: The Lauders

Aspen has long been a retreat for the heirs of cosmetics queen Estée Lauder—a stylish and well-liked family that has been part of Aspen society and philanthropic circles since the 1970s. Son Leonard Lauder, 81, has owned a family compound in the West End for years. After Leonard’s wife, Evelyn, died in November 2012, the family made a substantial gift to Aspen Valley Hospital, where the new Evelyn H. Lauder Patient Care Pavilion, with sixteen private patient rooms, is named for her. (Evelyn’s photos of the Aspen area are also on display at the hospital.) Leonard’s son Gary, a venture capitalist who also owns a home here, co-created the Aspen Institute’s Socrates Society, and Gary’s wife, Laura, sits on the Aspen Institute board, a role formerly occupied by Leonard (who was recently made a lifetime trustee). Leonard’s niece Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer—a newcomer to the Forbes World’s Billionaires list—bought her own Aspen pad in 2009, a 5,500-square-foot home in Mountain Valley, where, according to Vogue, she likes to lounge about in Sorel boots and men’s flannel shirts. “We love to grab pastries from the most amazing place called Paradise Bakery,” she told the magazine in 2011.

0714 leonard lauder zexcce

Name: Leonard Lauder
Net worth: $8.4 billion
Age: 81
Primary residence: New York City, New York
Forbes 400 ranking: 56
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 164
Source of wealth: Estée Lauder
Stake in Aspen: Four West End properties collectively worth $19.8 million
Notes: Lauder, who last year donated his $1 billion Cubism collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, also collects vintage skiing posters. In 2011, he lectured at the Aspen Institute (he is a trustee) on the art of the poster to launch his exhibit there.

0714 richard devos o65jti

Name: Richard DeVos
Net worth: $7.3 billion
Age: 88
Primary residence: Holland, Michigan
Forbes 400 ranking: 60
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 188
Source of wealth: Amway/Alticor
Stake in Aspen: Ski-in, ski-out home worth $4.4 million in Snowmass Village
Notes: DeVos, who cofounded Amway in high school, and his wife, Helen, are donors to the Aspen Music Festival and School, as well as conservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation. 

0714 crown family bxbfa6

Name: Crown family
Net worth: $7.3 billion
Age: N/A
Primary residence: Chicago, Illinois
Forbes 400 ranking: not currently ranked
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: not currently ranked
Source of wealth: Inherited, investments
Stake in Aspen: Aspen Skiing Company, multiple properties
Notes: Besides the four Aspen/Snowmass ski areas, the Crown family’s investments include defense contractor General Dynamics, the New York Yankees, Chicago Bulls, and Rockefeller Center. 


Chicago’s Lester Crown fell off Forbes’s rich lists because he spread his wealth among his seven children. Yet the Crown family recently made Forbes’s inaugural list of America’s Richest Families, placing 35th with a fortune of $7.3 billion. The owners of the Aspen Skiing Company have a huge local impact—employing 3,600 people at the height of the ski season, running the Little Nell and Limelight hotels, and providing support to many nonprofits. Henry Crown (1886–1990), Lester’s father and the son of a sweatshop worker, built the family fortune with a sand and gravel company and is the namesake of the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship, a leadership-building program. Several Crown family members own homes in the Aspen area, including Lester and his wife, Renee, Jim (Aspen SkiCo managing partner and Aspen Institute vice chairman), his wife, Paula, and Steve and Susan. But their politics sometimes differ sharply. Lester was an early Obama supporter, and Jim and Paula were big fundraisers for the presidential candidate in 2008 and have also hosted Michelle Obama at their slopeside Buttermilk home. Susan Crown, on the other hand, supported Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid, heading up his Illinois finance committee.

0714 graeme hart kxpclh

 Graeme Hart
Net worth: $7 billion
Age: 58
Primary residence: Auckland, New Zealand
Forbes 400 ranking:
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 197
Source of wealth: Packaging (including Reynolds Wrap)
Stake in Aspen: McLain Flats mansion worth $16.4 million
Notes: The richest New Zealander, who dropped out of school at 16 and once drove a tow truck, “snaffled” (got a great deal on) his Aspen home, according to New Zealand’s National Business Review. He bought it in February 2011 for $16 million; it was once listed for $32 million. 

0714 jeffery hildebrand 13 ar0jvc

Name: Jeffery Hildebrand
Net worth: $6.3 billion
Age: 55
Primary residence: Houston, Texas
Forbes 400 ranking: 77
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 233
Source of wealth: Oil and gas
Stake in Aspen: Multiple properties in downtown Aspen and Old Snowmass collectively worth $20.6 million
Notes: Hildebrand built a polo field on his Snowmass Creek estate, telling Pitkin County it was a just very level hay field. He bought the late John Denver’s Windstar property for $8.5 million in 2013, which some Denver fans saw as the final nail in the coffin for the environment-loving crooner’s legacy.

0714 leslie wexner 14 ndpiu0

Name:  Leslie Wexner
Net worth: $5.8 billion
Age: 76
Primary residence: New Albany, Ohio
Forbes 400 ranking: 73
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 256
Source of wealth: Retail (including Victoria’s Secret)
Stake in Aspen: $28.5 million Red Mountain estate
Notes: The “bra billionaire” stirred up heated debate around a federal land swap to privatize land around his 3,900-acre estate near Mount Sopris in exchange for making public other holdings that have recreational value. The BLM approved the deal in June.

0714 stanley kroenke 15 x2gwvg

 Stanley Kroenke
Net worth: $5.7 billion
Age: 66
Primary residence: Columbia, Missouri
Forbes 400 ranking: 84
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 265
Source of wealth: Sports, real estate
Stake in Aspen: Adjoining Red Mountain properties, an Aspen Mountain townhome, and a commercial building on Galena Street—total value of $28.7 million
Notes: Kroenke, who made the most expensive Aspen real estate purchase of 2011, got rich partially by developing shopping centers anchored by Walmarts—after marrying Walmart heiress Ann Walton. He’s also America’s eighth-largest private landowner, according to Forbes.


Aspen has been home to some big moments in digital history, including Bill Joy (who is noticeably absent from Forbes’s rich lists) working on the Java programming language in Aspen and talking about it in the gondola with John Doerr, a venture capitalist investor in internet companies who also has a home here. One of Joy’s partners at Sun Microsystems, Andreas von Bechtolsheim, bought Joy’s home on Red Mountain in 1999. Also on Red Mountain is Germany’s Hasso Plattner, cofounder of the third-largest software company in the world, SAP.

0714 stephen ross 16 l7riwg

Name: Stephen Ross
Net worth: $5.7 billion
Age: 74
Primary residence: New York City, New York
Forbes 400 ranking: 94
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 267
Source of wealth: Real estate
Stake in Aspen: Base Village and other Snowmass properties
Notes: Ross, founder and head of New York’s Related Companies, got his start as a tax attorney. His knowledge of tax law helped him build his fortune by developing federally subsidized affordable housing.

0714 ken griffin 17 udo9nl

Name: Ken Griffin
Net worth: $5.2 billion
Age: 45
Primary residence: Chicago, Illinois
Forbes 400 ranking: 103
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 295
Source of wealth: Citadel hedge funds
Stake in Aspen: Home at base of Tiehack worth $8.5 million
Notes: Griffin, who gets invited to the Crown family’s Aspen parties, is politically fickle. In 2008, he raised an estimated $200,000 for Obama’s presidential campaign; four years later, he backed a Karl Rove super PAC.


While Stephen Ross doesn’t appear to have any personal holdings here, his $15 billion Related Companies, which most notably developed the Time Warner Center, came to town in 2007 to develop Base Village and other Snowmass Village properties. Just as Related lost control of Base Village through foreclosure during the economic downtown, Ross became 95 percent owner of the Miami Dolphins in 2009 in a $1.1 billion deal. A subsidiary of Related bought back Base Village in 2012 and is expected to soon begin the land-use process to determine how to complete it. Other billionaires with Aspen ties who made it rich through real estate include John Sobrato, Mortimer Zuckerman, Herbert Simon, and Neil Bluhm.

0714 ann walton kroenke 18 wiauv3

Name: Ann Walton Kroenke
Net worth: $5 billion
Age: 65
Primary residence: Columbia, Missouri
Forbes 400 ranking: 95
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 307
Source of wealth: Walmart
Stake in Aspen: Four properties worth $28.7 million (see Stanley Kroenke, no. 15)
Notes: In a perfect billionaire love story, Ann Walton met her husband, Stan Kroenke, on a ski trip to Aspen. Sometimes she’s worth more than he is; currently, Ann’s net worth is $700 million less.

0714 bruce halle 19 pvrjix

Name: Bruce Halle
Net worth: $4.9 billion
Age: 84
Primary residence: Paradise Valley, Arizona
Forbes 400 ranking: 103
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 315
Source of wealth: Discount Tire
Stake in Aspen: 600-acre Wildcat ranch valued at $31.6 million
Notes: Bruce and Diane Halle have supported local nonprofits, including the Aspen Institute (endowing the Halle Scholarship program with $400,000), the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and the now defunct Aspen Valley (Medical) Foundation. 

0714 daniel ziff 20 k4bkgh

Name: Daniel Ziff
Net worth: $4.8 billion
Age: 42
Primary residence: New York City, New York
Forbes 400 ranking: 98
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 330
Source of wealth: Investments, inheritance (Ziff-Davis publishing)
Stake in Aspen: A $44 million collection of local property, including four homes in Starwood
Notes: Daniel is the youngest of the three Ziff brothers, heirs of a family publishing empire and investors with ties to fellow Aspen residents and hedge funders Daniel Och and Edward Lampert.


As the hedge fund industry has grown, so has that sector’s stake in Aspen. One of the highest-profile of the lot, John Paulson is a former Bear Stearns executive who struck out on his own and became a billionaire by betting against the subprime mortgage sector in 2007. During the downturn, even as his net worth took a $3 billion hit, Paulson made a splash when he bought a $24.5 million house on McLain Flats—but then he doubled down and bought Prince Bandar’s massive estate for $49 million, making worldwide news. Others who have invested in Aspen have made less of a splash: Ken Griffin, Paul Singer, the Ziff brothers, Daniel Och, and Edward Lampert.

0714 dirk ziff 20 zbv4y2

Name: Dirk Ziff
Net worth: $4.8 billion
Age: 50
Primary residence: North Palm Beach, Florida
Forbes 400 ranking: 98
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 330
Source of wealth: Investments, inheritance (Ziff-Davis publishing)
Stake in Aspen: A $44 million collection of local property, including four homes in Starwood
Notes: The eldest Ziff brother, Dirk is married to a former Forbes reporter. In striking out on his own (the brothers split up their hedge fund), he is reportedly backing a sports agency founded by Roger Federer.

0714 robert ziff 20 tqnctl

Name: Robert Ziff
Net worth: $4.8 billion
Age: 47
Primary residence: New York City, New York
Forbes 400 ranking: 98
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 330
Source of wealth: Investments, inheritance (Ziff-Davis publishing)
Stake in Aspen: A $44 million collection of local property, including four homes in Starwood
Notes: Robert Ziff, the middle brother, has contributed to Republican legislators supportive of gay marriage.

0714 john a sobrato 23 lq7ae1

Name: John A. Sobrato
Net worth: $4.7 billion
Age: 75
Primary residence: Atherton, California
Forbes 400 ranking: 110
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 336
Source of wealth: Real estate
Stake in Aspen: Seven Timbers Club units worth $11.6 million
Notes: Sobrato’s Silicon Valley real estate firm owns 7.5 million square feet of commercial space, with tenants including Apple and Yahoo.  The Sobrato family recently took the Giving Pledge—currently signed by more than 120 billionaires—promising to give most of their fortunes to charity.

0714 william koch 24 uvzyud

Name: William Koch
Net worth: $4 billion
Age: 74
Primary residence: Palm Beach, Florida
Forbes 400 ranking: 122
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 386
Source of wealth: Oil, investments
Stake in Aspen: Four properties in upper Castle Creek Valley, including former Elk Mountain Lodge, worth $36.6 million
Notes: David Koch’s less wealthy twin owns a coal mine near Paonia, two hours from Aspen, as well as an energy company that is a significant player in the region’s natural gas industry. While a major employer in Paonia, he has angered some there by proposing a federal land swap that locals claim will block access to public lands.


It’s only logical that the Sports Leadership Institute has held its Global Sports Summit in Aspen for the past four years, as several major sports franchise owners have homes here. Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, whose refusal to change the name of the team continues to stir up controversy, spends a lot of his summers in Aspen, as do his mother and sister, according to a 2006 Washingtonian magazine profile. Stanley Kroenke oversees a diverse sports empire—St. Louis Rams (football), Colorado Avalanche (hockey), Denver Nuggets (basketball), and Colorado Rapids (soccer), and is majority shareholder of the Arsenal Football Club (soccer) in England. Other Aspen-homeowning billionaire sports team owners/investors include Richard DeVos (Orlando Magic), Stephen Ross (Miami Dolphins), Herbert Simon (Indiana Pacers), Hasso Plattner (San Jose Sharks), Roman Abramovich (Chelsea Football Club), the Crown family (New York Yankees and Chicago Bulls), and Gustavo Cisneros (Leones del Caracas baseball team).

0714 gustavo cisneros 25 mgqzjl

Name: Gustavo Cisneros and family
Net worth: $4 billion
Age: 69
Primary residence: La Romana, Dominican Republic
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 402
Source of wealth: Media
Stake in Aspen: $13.7 million compound at base of Shadow Mountain
Notes: One of Latin America’s most powerful businessmen, Cisneros sold Univision—a small portion of his media and entertainment empire—to a private equity consortium led by Haim Saban, a fellow Aspen 50 homeowner (see no. 30), for $13.7 billion in 1997.

0714 andreas von bechtolsheim 26 j7ebvw

Name: Andreas Von Bechtolsheim
Net worth: $4 billion
Age: 58
Primary residence: Germany
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 406
Source of wealth: Google
Stake in Aspen: Two homes on Red Mountain together worth $14.5 million
Notes: An early Google investor whose shares are now worth $2 billion, von Bechtolsheim developed the SUN Workstation and cofounded Sun Microsystems with Bill Joy, whose Aspen home he bought in 1999.

0714 daniel och 27 flhbe5

Name: Daniel Och
Net worth: $3.8 billion
Age: 53
Primary residence: Scarsdale, New York
Forbes 400 ranking: 157
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 435
Source of wealth: Hedge funds
Stake in Aspen: $16 million home on lower Red Mountain
Notes: The CEO of Och-Ziff Capital Management, one of the world’s only publicly traded hedge fund firms, with assets of over $41 billion, got his start at Goldman Sachs with fellow Aspen homeowner Edward Lampert, then struck out on his own with a reported $100 million in seed money from the Ziff brothers (see nos. 20).

0714 j christopher reyes 28 eewtxo

Name: J. Christopher Reyes
Net worth: $3.8 billion
Age: 60
Primary residence: Lake Forest, Illinois
Forbes 400 ranking: 134
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 439
Source of wealth: Food and beer distribution
Stake in Aspen: $21.6 million home near Buttermilk
Notes: Reyes’s $22 billion distribution company moves more beer than any other distributor in the country. A Chicagoan, he attended Lester Crown’s Fourth of July party on Aspen Mountain last year.

0714 stewart lynda resnick 29 bskz3p

Name: Stewart and Lynda Resnick
Net worth: $3.5 billion
Age: Both over 70
Primary residence: Beverly Hills, California
Forbes 400 ranking: 134
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 482
Source of wealth: Agriculture, Pom, Fiji water
Stake in Aspen: $15.5 million home east of Aspen
Notes: The Resnicks made headlines when the Aspen Institute proposed—but public outcry quashed—putting their name on Paepcke Auditorium after the family’s donation to renovate the landmark building. Aspen Valley Hospital will name a new emergency department for the Resnicks after a recent gift.

0714 haim saban 30 kwy5bx

Name: Haim Saban
Net worth: $3.4 billion
Age: 69
Primary residence: Beverly Hills, California
Forbes 400 ranking: 143
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 500
Source of wealth: Television
Stake in Aspen: $6.4 million home near the Aspen Club
Notes: Owner of the fifth largest U.S. television network—Univision—Saban’s first hit was the children’s show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He also has the Paul Frank brand, whose cartoon Julius the Monkey adorns clothing, accessories, and other products.

0714 john doerr 31 fzv27x

Name: John Doerr
Net worth: $3.3 billion
Age: 62
Primary residence: Woodside, California
Forbes 400 ranking: 184
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 513
Source of wealth: Venture capital
Stake in Aspen: $11.6 million home on Hunter Creek
Notes: An investor in Google, Facebook, and others, the Aspen Institute trustee was a founding funder of Aspen nonprofit For the Forest, which targeted beetle-infested lodgepole pines on Smuggler Mountain—Doerr’s backyard.

0714 edward lampert 32 vrrids

Name: Edward Lampert
Net worth: $3.2 billion
Age: 51
Primary residence: Miami Beach, Florida
Forbes 400 ranking: 184
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 524
Source of wealth: Hedge funds
Stake in Aspen: $14.5 million Starwood home
Notes: Chummy with fellow Aspen homeowners and finance men Daniel Och and the Ziff brothers, Lampert’s highest-profile investments were Kmart and Sears (He is CEO of the latter, which used to have an outlet in Aspen.)


Aspen has a fair share of billionaire homeowners who have struck it rich from energy interests. Richard Kinder’s baby, Kinder Morgan, is the fourth-largest energy company in North America, worth nearly $34 billion. It’s made multi-billion-dollar acquisitions in recent years, banking on future shale development to create massive demand for its pipelines. Houston oil magnate Jeffrey Hildebrand struck it big in 2011 with a $100 million investment into Texas oil shale that resulted in a $3.5 billion sale to Marathon Oil. His company, Hilcorp, one of the world’s biggest privately owned oil companies, has been investing big in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, the Utica shale of Ohio, and the Gulf Coast region. The Wilks brothers, Farris and Dan, founded Frac Tech, which provides hydraulic fracturing services for large oil and gas companies. They hit it big when they sold the firm for $3.5 billion in 2011, showing up on the Forbes 400 list and buying their Aspen-area homes around the same time. Other Aspen homeowners in the oil and gas business include Fort Worth resident Ed Bass, who with his four brothers turned a modest inheritance into a major oil fortune, and the Koch brothers, whose rise to mega-wealth all started with oil refining.

0714 thomas pritzker 33 way2wt

Name: Thomas Pritzker
Net worth: $3.1 billion
Age: 64
Primary residence: Chicago, Illinois
Forbes 400 ranking: 201
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 552
Source of wealth: Hyatt hotels, investments
Stake in Aspen: $11.4 million Maroon Creek home
Notes: One of 11 members of the Pritzker family on the Forbes billionaires list, the cousin of Penny Pritzker (see no. 38) is in an ongoing feud with a neighbor who wants to build a home squarely in an avalanche path—and blocking Pritzker’s views. His wife, Margot, is an Aspen Institute trustee.

0714 david bonderman 34 v8xdix

Name: David Bonderman
Net worth: $2.7 billion
Age: 71
Primary residence: Fort Worth, Texas
Forbes 400 ranking: 209
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 679
Source of wealth: Private equity
Stake in Aspen: Wildcat estate and nearby land together worth $30.4 million
Notes: “Bondo,” a major Democratic donor, flies his Aspen pals to Las Vegas for milestone birthdays—he hired the Rolling Stones to play his 60th birthday party there and Paul McCartney for his 70th.

0714 neil bluhm 35 ff9b51

Name: Neil Bluhm
Net worth: $2.6 billion
Age: 76
Primary residence: Chicago, Illinois
Forbes 400 ranking: 222
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 694
Source of wealth: Real estate, casinos
Stake in Aspen: $21.5 million Red Mountain mansion
Notes: The Chicago lawyer turned real estate investor and casino owner hosted President Obama’s 49th birthday and has funded several Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton.

0714 william wrigley jr 36 slynom

Name: William Wrigley Jr.
Net worth: $2.5 billion
Age: 50
Primary residence: North Palm Beach, Florida
Forbes 400 ranking: 235
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 740
Source of wealth: Chewing gum
Stake in Aspen: Luxury compound overlooking Rio Grande Trail worth $34.2 million
Notes: The fourth-generation gum manufacturer, who left the family firm in 2011 “to pursue philanthropic interests,” according to Forbes, got married in Aspen in 2007 to his second wife, Heather Ann Rosbeck.

0714 mortimer zuckerman 37 tft15v

Name: Mortimer Zuckerman
Net worth: $2.5 billion
Age: 77
Primary residence: New York City
Forbes 400 ranking: 243
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 745
Source of wealth: Real estate, media
Stake in Aspen: Red Mountain home worth $5.6 million
Notes: The owner and publisher of New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report (and editor of the latter), Zuckerman is one of several Aspen residents who was ripped off by Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. He also, according to Wikipedia, enjoys spelunking and hunting for buried treasure.


Best friends and business partners from Russia, Roman Abramovich and Evgeny Shvidler are also both Snowmass Village residents. Abramovich paid $36.3 million for his Wildcat estate in 2008, the second-highest amount ever paid for an Aspen-
area home. A few months later, Shvidler paid $14.5 million for a home that caught his eye in Two Creeks—it wasn’t for sale, but the homeowner was persuaded to sell for double what he had paid for it. Abramovich and Shvidler have been in business together since the early 1990s. They founded an oil-trading firm and then took over major Russian oil producer Sibneft during the era of privatization of Soviet state assets, later selling their stakes for billions. It eventually came to light that Abramovich had secured the business through bribes, according to the Times of London. Abramovich, who owns multiple homes and toys, gave Shvidler—who has a chateau and vineyard in France, among other properties—a 370-foot yacht. In Aspen, they’ve been low-key, but recently attended the groundbreaking of Chabad Jewish Community Center on Main Street. 

0714 penny pritzker 38 lftbly

Name: Penny Pritzker
Net worth: $2.4 billion
Age: 55
Primary residence: Chicago, Illinois
Forbes 400 ranking: 252
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 761
Source of wealth: Hotels, investments
Stake in Aspen: Paid $9.5 million for a Castle Creek property
Notes: Commerce Secretary Pritzker, currently the highest-ranked political appointee on our list, is finishing a new home on her Castle Creek property. She was national finance chairwoman for Obama’s 2008 campaign and a key fundraiser in his reelection.

0714 edward bass 39 u3ftqk

Name: Edward Bass
Net worth: $2.2 billion
Age: 69
Primary residence: Fort Worth, Texas
Forbes 400 ranking: 260
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 835
Source of wealth: Oil and gas, investments
Stake in Aspen: A home east of Aspen and an Aspen Club condo, together worth $5.7 million
Notes: Bass backed the self-contained living experiment Biosphere 2 with $200 million and is devoted to using native grasses on his ranches. In Aspen, he won approval to dredge a portion of the Roaring Fork River fronting his home in order to improve trout habitat and help stem erosion.

0714 herbert simon 40 dprtep

Name: Herbert Simon
Net worth: $2.1 billion
Age: 79
Primary residence: Indianapolis, Indiana
Forbes 400 ranking: 293
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 850
Source of wealth: Real estate
Stake in Aspen: $5.9 million Mountain Queen condo
Notes: The owner of Simon Property Group, the largest publicly traded real estate investment trust in the country, owns a relatively modest home—by Aspen standards: a 3,000-square-foot condo that he bought for $1 million in 1997.

0714 howard schultz 41 ourkb4

Name: Howard Schultz
Net worth: $2.1 billion
Age: 60
Primary residence: Seattle, Washington
Forbes 400 ranking: 273
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 865
Source of wealth: Starbucks
Stake in Aspen: $17.2 million home on lower Smuggler Mountain
Notes: Raised in Brooklyn housing projects, the man who took Starbucks public paid $20 million for his Aspen house in 2011. The progressive executive also has investments in Lululemon, eBay, and Groupon.  

0714 dan wilks 42 nofjpx

Name: Dan Wilks
Net worth: $1.5 billion
Age: 58
Primary residence: Cisco, Texas
Forbes 400 ranking: 352
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 1,171
Source of wealth: Natural gas
Stake in Aspen: Two Aspen homes, total value of $11.1 million
Notes: The son of a man who once housed the family in a goat shed, Dan and his brother Farris (see no. 44) did well with the family masonry business before turning to fracking. He bought his two Aspen homes around the time the brothers set off on a real estate buying spree that includes massive ranches across the west.

0714 paul singer 43 zsal9o

Name: Paul Singer
Net worth: $1.5 billion
Age: 69
Primary residence: New York City
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 1,172
Source of wealth: Hedge funds/distressed debt investing
Stake in Aspen: Two homes in Two Creeks, Snowmass Village, together worth $12.7 million
Notes: A major Republican donor, Singer backed Mitt Romney to the tune of at least $1 million in 2011 and hosted a meeting of Republican funders in Aspen this past winter. He was also a major sponsor of the 2011 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village.


Women make up approximately 10 percent of the Forbes 400 and Forbes World’s Billionaires lists, but Aspen billionaire women are even fewer. Just four of the fifty billionaires on this list—8 percent—are women. And all either inherited their wealth or built it with a husband. It’s a small but interesting group: a highly ranked government official—Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker—marketing innovator Lynda Resnick, Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke, and style maven Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, who is literally making a name for herself with her Aerin brand of beauty products, fashion accessories, and home décor.

0714 farris wilks 44 e1rfad

Name: Farris Wilks
Net worth: $1.5 billion
Age: 62
Primary residence: Cisco, Texas
Forbes 400 ranking: 352
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 1,178
Source of wealth: Natural gas
Stake in Aspen: $12.2 million home in The Pines, Snowmass Village
Notes: Wilks bought the priciest ski-accessible home in Snowmass Village just one month after he and brother Dan sold their combined interest in their fracking company, Frac Tech, for $3.5 billion. Still the pastor of his hometown church, Wilks needs a big home—he has 11 children.

0714 michael eisner 45 jrnmaj

Name: Michael Eisner
Net Worth: $1.5 billion
Age: 72
Primary residence: Beverly Hills, California
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Source of wealth: Entertainment
Stake in Aspen: Owns a $10 million estate on Snowmass Creek
Notes: The former chief of Disney had a lengthy, high-profile entertainment career before founding his investment company, Tornante, in 2005. The name, inspired by a cycling trip in the Italian mountains, means hairpin turn. An Aspen Institute trustee, Eisner is, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal, one of the 50 wealthiest Angelenos. Oddly, he isn’t ranked on the Forbes rich lists.

0714 christopher goldsbury 46 mtami4

Name: Christopher “Kit” Goldsbury
Net worth: $1.4 billion
Age: 71
Primary residence: San Antonio, Texas
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 1,271
Source of wealth: Salsa
Stake in Aspen: $14.9 million lower Castle Creek property
Notes: The Pace salsa king was a plaintiff in a lawsuit aimed at blocking a City of Aspen hydropower plant that would have diverted water from the creek that runs past his property, where Goldsbury has water rights. He once spent $20 million to tear down just-built condos overlooking his property.

0714 aerin lauder zinterhofer 47 b11ijt

Name: Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer
Net worth: $1.3 billion
Age: 44
Primary residence: New York
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 1,388
Source of wealth: Inherited, cosmetics
Stake in Aspen: $4.36 million Mountain Valley home
Notes: The niece of Leonard Lauder (see no. 9), Zinterhofer, who launched her own eponymous lifestyle brand in 2012, apparently wanted a simple Aspen home. “She chose to avoid the billionaire neighborhoods like Red Mountain and go for something more local and low-key,” her interior designer told Vogue.

0714 dan snyder 48 phpqml

Name: Dan Snyder
Net worth: $1.2 billion
Age: 49
Primary residence: Potomac, Maryland
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 1,444
Source of wealth: Marketing, private equity, Washington Redskins
Stake in Aspen: $14.42 million home near Buttermilk
Notes: A college dropout who made his first million at age 20 marketing to college students, Snyder’s private jet can be easily identified at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport—it sports the controversial logo of the Washington Redskins, the third most valuable NFL team, which Snyder bought in 1999.

0714 marc nathanson 49 qhw7zx

Name: Marc Nathanson
Net worth: $1.18 billion
Age: 69
Primary residence: Holmby Hills, California
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: N/A
Source of wealth: Communications, real estate, art
Stake in Aspen: Owns a $7.6 million home in Aspen
Notes: Nathanson, like Michael Eisner, doesn’t appear on Forbes’ s rich lists, but is one of L.A.’s wealthiest citizens, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. The former cable company executive is an Aspen Institute trustee and his board bio notes that “he and his wife, Jane, reside in Los Angeles and Aspen.”

0714 evgeny shvidler 50 ruqsx5

Name: Evgeny (Eugene) Shvidler
Net worth: $1.1 billion
Age: 50
Primary residence: London
Forbes 400 ranking: N/A
Forbes World’s Billionaires ranking: 1,493
Source of wealth: Oil and gas, investments
Stake in Aspen: $6.8 million Two Creeks home
Notes: Russian-born Shvidler became a U.S. citizen in 1994 before returning to Russia to go into business with best buddy Roman Abramovich (see no. 7). Both bought homes in Snowmass in 2008, but Shvidler’s primary residence is now in England.