I am writing to express my concerns regarding the Chris Park-Glacier Club land swap.
It seems to me that Glacier Club already is making plans for the property before the exchange is even approved. In the Herald (Oct. 20), Adam Poe was quoted saying Glacier Club has plans to build 125 homes and another nine holes of golf. Those trophy homes probably will be priced at $1 million-plus. That makes the Chris Park property far more valuable than the properties it is offering to trade.
I believe the Chris Park area should not be developed because it is used by so many people. People from all over the world have ridden the trails there with Rapp Corral.
The Forest Service has expressed concerns that the properties they are being offered may be developed within the forest. I believe so many restrictions could be placed on those lands that it would not be financially feasible to develop them. Take Wolf Creek Village for example, a multi-billionaire has spent years trying to do it with no success yet.
I have 35 years experience in the real estate business in Durango, and I strongly believe if this swap does not get approved, the Forest Service could purchase those inholdings at fair market value instead of trading a prized property that on the open market could sell for as much as $30 million.
If the Forest Service is so adamant about trading Chris Park, it should get a qualified local appraisal to establish what the true values actually are. I think that would show the Chris Park property is worth millions of dollars more than the property Glacier Club is offering.
Chris Park is owned by Americans and should remain as is. The Forest Service is acting as our trustee and should act in our best behalf. If the Forest Service is so determined to get rid of Chris Park, it should be sold to the highest bidder and the proceeds should be wisely invested in purchasing other properties at fair market value.
Ernest J. "Butch" Keller, Durango