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Aspen Resort Tokenization Offers “A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity”

National  + Weekender  | 

What would have reportedly been the first U.S. REIT IPO for a single property is instead turning into a first of a different kind. Six months after shelving plans to begin trading Aspen REIT Inc.—backed solely by the St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen, CO–on the New York Stock Exchange, the property’s owners have begun to offer fractional ownership of the property via security tokens on a blockchain. The transaction marks crowdfunding site Indiegogo’s expansion into real estate.

The security tokens, being marketed as Aspen Coins, are cryptocurrency coins that serve as a replacement for paper certificates of equity in the property, in compliance with U.S. Regulation D Rule 506(c). Accredited investors, as defined under U.S. securities laws, are able to purchase Aspen Coins with U.S. dollars as well as with Bitcoin and Ether.

“We think we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a benchmark for what real estate tokenization looks like,” Stephane De Baets, founder and president of Elevated Returns, told Fortune magazine. Elevated Returns acquired the Aspen property in 2010.

“Security token offerings are the investment tool of the future, a mechanism designed to store wealth by utilizing income-producing digital assets,” De Baets said in a statement announcing the deal earlier this month.

“By opening access to investing in traditional assets like real estate, we are creating a new opportunity for investors to explore an ownership stake in something previously only accessible to private investors and high net worth individuals,” De Baets added. “Indiegogo is a well-known and trusted name in alternative funding and cryptocurrency, making them an incredible partner for us to leverage their influence, experience and global audience.”

At Indiegogo, co-founder Slava Rubin said, “We have always strived to foster innovation and provide our users access to some of the most novel and interesting products and ideas from around the world. With the blockchain revolution fully underway, we are excited about the world-changing impact and potential of security tokens.”

The goal with the Aspen Coins transaction, Rubin continued, is “to provide an access point to our growing network of millions of customers, and the opportunity to own a fragmented interest in the St. Regis Aspen Resort.”

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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