76 year-old Mead Metcalf of Aspen’s Crystal Palace fame has retired from an illustrious career entertaining Aspen’s wealthy locals and visitors since 1957. The Crystal Palace has always been an Aspen favorite. At its height in the late ’60s and ’70s, the dinner theater hosted two shows a night. His success encouraged him to make a real estate deal for the Crystal Palace’s current home in downtown Aspen.
Metcalf bought that property for $28,000 in 1960 and in 1979 he bought the building and lot next door for $400,000 to house the smaller Grand Finale to offer even more musical entertainment.
The foresight to buy and the sweat equity to improve has paid off as Metcalf prepares to close June 1 on the building’s sale for $13 million, an Aspen-esque appreciation. That’s a big deal even in Aspen’s overheated real estate market, where in 2007 the average home sold for $5.9 million.
Interestingly, his retirement plan includes living in his new home at the Crested Butte Country Club in Crested Butte. If you ask Metcalf why he’s leaving for Crested Butte, the answer is more about what his new home doesn’t have as opposed to what it does have.
"I like Crested Butte because there are no traffic lights and no parking meters, and what does that tell you about Aspen?"
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