Then it’s back to Colorado, where Wells trades water-
front concerns for the mud rooms and heated foors of ski-
resort townhouses in Breckenridge. A lifelong skier (and
lapsed dentist), Wells knows this territory particularly well.
Wherever he’s dispatched, Wells is used to being Arsenault’s
eyes, the one who actually checks on the things they’re
building together. “I’m the partner on the ground,” he says.
That’s in part because Arsenault isn’t all that interested
in real estate, which is a bit weird for a guy who makes a
living—a fortune, actually—in the business. Sure, he’ll travel
to meet with investors and bankers, but as for the buildings
themselves, “I usually don’t look at them anymore,” says
the founder and CEO of Real Capital Solutions, a Louisville,
Colorado–based independent real estate company that
invested $250 million in housing last year.
In the past 20 years, Arsenault has built an entrepreneurial
empire fnancing, developing, and building houses, apartments,
and ofce towers. The ponytailed mogul, an aging hippie by
appearance and a scientist by training, runs his company from
a charmless low-rise outside Boulder. He does so by relying
on Wells, his primary development partner, who doesn’t have
a job title at RCS—but who knows what kind of kitchen you
need to build in a Dallas condo versus one in San Francisco.
What’s more unusual is that they survived the Great
Recession, which wiped out the majority of local builders
in some areas, and now are thriving in a much tougher envi-
ronment. That’s especially impressive given the company’s
relatively small size. Residential real estate construction is a
massive sector, generating about $466 billion annually, accord-
ing to the Census Bureau’s most recent fgures. More telling
THE LONG VIE W Arsenault and Wells have built a 20-year partnership investing in and constructing apartments,
townhouses, and resorts like the Corriente Condos in Scottsdale, Arizona (below). Completed in 2015, it boasts
eight buildings with a total of 192 luxury units and, crucially for the area, proximity to two major golf courses.