ASPEN The executive of a Chicago luxury hotel brand will be the new owner of the Hotel Jerome, a source knowledgeable of the deal confirmed late Wednesday night.David C. Pisor, the managing partner and CEO of Elysian Development Group, is set to acquire the luxury hotel within 60 days for "north of $50 million," the source said.According to published reports and websites, Pisor's firm focuses on hotel-condo developments. Pisor has worked for 15 years in hospitality and real estate, according to reports, and lately has honed in on gateway cities and destination resorts.Pisor runs the Elysian Chicago hotel, which has 181 guest rooms as well as 51 private residences. The private residences range between $480,000 and $640,000, according to the Elysian website. A 2005 article in the Chicago Tribune quoted Pisor as saying: "Hotel-condos represent an evolution of time sharing and fractional ownership. With time sharing, you buy time, not property. Fractional ownership means you own just part of the property. But hotel-condos are whole ownership."A hotel-condo is the third or fourth home of many buyers. They can be used for both vacations and for business. Basically, it's a lifestyle decision because of all the hotel amenities, including restaurants, housekeeping and room service." Aspen broker Joshua Saslove, who already has confirmed he is the sole broker in the deal, said Wednesday that confidentiality agreements prohibit him from discussing any elements of the transaction."All I can say is things are moving along, and there's a lot of excitement," he said.It is unclear what Pisor's plans are for the Hotel Jerome, a 92-bedroom hotel that employs a staff of about 175. The hotel was built in 1889.Pisor was in Aspen on Monday to meet some of the staff at the Jerome, a source said. Should Pisor close on the acquisition, it would make him the seventh owner of the legendary Aspen hotel.The Oklahoma Publishing Co. bought the Hotel Jerome from Jim McManus in June 2005 for $33.7 million. Additionally, Andrew Hecht, an Aspen lawyer who has had a role in many of the biggest downtown deals of late, is said to be counsel for the buyer, sources said. Steve Bartolin, spokesman for the Oklahoma Publishing Co., also was mum Wednesday. He said he did not know what the new owners plans for the 92-bedroom Jerome are, adding that higher offers were rejected."We took their offers for two reasons," he said. "One, they have the ability to make a decision about the Jerome in a tighter time frame than the others, and two, they really had a commitment to the quality of the Hotel Jerome."Rick Carroll can be reached at email@example.com.
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