As an Aspenite prepares to auction off his $87 million home and ranch next week, a Denver bank is suing him for the $56 million and counting that it said he owes.
Dan Burrell, a wealthy entrepreneur with varied business interests, will begin taking bids Dec. 1 for his 8,400-square-foot house on Red Mountain in Aspen and 4,200-acre ranch in nearby Carbondale. Sotheby’s lists the package deal for $86.5 million, while saying starting bids may be in the $20 million to $50 million range.
First Western Trust Bank said both properties are collateral for Burrell’s unpaid loans.
In a 40-page lawsuit it filed in Aspen on Nov. 14, the Denver-based lender detailed negotiations, loans, delays and defaults between the bank and Burrell in the past four years.
“As of Nov. 3, First Western is owed $55,889,835, with interest continuing to accrue,” it said.
Requests for comment were sent to several of Burrell’s companies but not answered.
Burrell and his Burrell Diversified Investments first borrowed $5 million in March 2019 with plans to repay the full amount in a year, according to First Western. The loan was increased to $7.5 million and collateralized by 349,000 shares in Exagen, a diagnostics company. Its maturity date was pushed back to 2021 and then 2022 but it was not repaid, the bank said.
Burrell and Burrell Diversified Investments then borrowed another $10 million in August 2021, to be repaid by February 2023, according to First Western. That second loan was collateralized by 6800 Upper Cattle Creek Road in Carbondale, the 4,500-acre ranch that will soon go to auction. The loan’s maturity date was pushed back to May but it was not repaid, the bank said.
In February 2022, First Western loaned Burrell and his company $34 million, to be repaid Dec. 6. That was collateralized by 768 Hunter Creek Road in Aspen, the 8,400-square-foot house that will soon go to auction. This third loan also hasn’t been repaid, according to First Western.
Finally, Burrell and Burrell Diversified Investments borrowed $6.1 million in April 2022 to finance construction of a house at 1043 Willits Lane in Basalt. The loan was collateralized by that property as well as 969 Willits Lane, according to the bank. It has not been repaid.
Last year, the loans were collateralized and cross-collateralized to include properties in Eagle County, Florida and Nantucket, Mass. All four loans are now in default and carry default interest rates of 21 percent, according to First Western’s lawsuit last week.
The bank is suing Burrell, Burrell Diversified Investments and five other companies of his for breach of contract. It is seeking to foreclose on the Exagen stock and some water rights in Eagle County but not the Aspen or Carbondale properties at this time, it said.
First Western is represented by attorneys Trevor Bartel and Frances Scioscia Staadt with the Denver office of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, a Phoenix-based law firm.
The listed address of Burrell Diversified Investments is an office suite along Cooper Avenue in Aspen. But in October, its landlord asked a judge to let it evict Burrell Diversified Investments after it stopped paying rent. On Nov. 1, Judge Ashley Andrews ordered the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office to evict Burrell’s company and return the suite to its owner.
In recent years, the Burrell subsidiary Burrell Aviation has received government contracts around the country to expand air cargo operations. Burrell Aviation has a dozen airports in its portfolio, including Colorado Springs, according to its website.
Burrell started the for-profit Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. He also has mining, construction and real estate holdings.