Bill moved to Aspen in 1972 on a two -year self -styled sabbatical from his teaching in NYC street schools, and is still on sabbatical 47 years later. He felt lucky to have found Aspen, a little bit of NYC at 8,000 feet in the Rockies. During the first two winters, he tended the outside bar at the Center at the base of Ajax. By the end of that first winter he knew virtually everyone in town. He was a carpenter’s apprentice for two summers. Learning first- hand how a building is put together from the foundation to the roof top has done him in good stead in the world of real estate.
In 1978 he started Stirling Homes, Inc., a real estate sales, rentals and property management company, and led this firm for 34 years, merging with another company to form Stirling Peak Properties in 2012. In 2016 Stirling Peak Properties joined forces with Douglas Elliman. The national Douglas Elliman Company in 2017 honored him as the fifth most productive Douglas Elliman Colorado broker of that year.
He served as Mayor of Aspen from 1983- 1991. A Realtor had never been on the City Council, let alone been the Mayor. He pushed for stronger environmental standards, introduced long lasting measures for historic preservation, and helped to start and expand the RFTA bus system. This experience gave him a profound understanding of Aspen’s complicated land use process, which has been an enormous help in advising his real estate clients.
He is the co-founder of the Community Office of Energy Efficiency (CORE). He has served on the boards of CORE, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and the Independence Pass Foundation.
With his current partner, Barbara Bussell, he hikes all over Aspen and the world. He is an enthusiastic skier, tennis player, golfer and adventure traveler. He is a fierce competitor, and that trait does him in good stead in assisting his clients in the rarefied air of Aspen real estate.