Early settlers reached the Snowmass Capital Valley through what is now called the Watson Divide. These settlers sought out the valley’s native hay meadows and began to produce feed for the horses and mules used to supply the many local mining operations. John R. Williams, one of these early ranchers, established his homestead in 1883. His ranch, the Williams Brother’s Ranch, included a part of what is now the Lazy O Ranch.The ranchers who staked their claims in the valley enjoyed a long record of stability. The Williams Brothers Ranch was passed down through family generations until it was purchased by Harold Pabst (of the Pabst Brewing Company family) in the 1950s. In 1980, Harold Pabst divided his ranch into three parcels, keeping the parcel to the east along Snowmass Creek, selling the center parcel to John Denver for the establishment of his Windstar Foundation and the westerly parcel to Jim Otis for the establishment of the Lazy O Ranch.Jim Otis, an architect and planner from Chicago, then originated and developed the Ranch with support from local professionals from the Aspen area. After careful study and consultation with environmental specialists and engineers and the Colorado Division of Wildlife and area authorities, they developed a special plan for the Lazy O Ranch that preserves the natural beauty of the land and perpetuates its rich ranching heritage.The Ranch preserves the 130 year-old agricultural and ranching operation of the land while protecting the native wildlife of the mountainous terrain. The Ranch provides for 22 homesites scattered around the base of the mountains on the land shelf several hundred feet above the meadowland. Individual parcels are tucked up into private and secluded niches of meadowland created by sage, pine and cedar covered ridges from the base of the mountain.Each Lazy O homesite has been thoughtfully positioned to provide a unique, unobstructed view overlooking the meadowland below and across the valley to the magnificent snow-capped mountains beyond. All sites are accessed by a perimeter ranch road that follows the contour of the mountain base and separates the meadowlands from the residential properties. Behind the homesites the mountains rise to dramatic peaks – an impressive backdrop providing hundreds of acres of wildlife refuge.