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July 1, 2011
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A banner day for Snowmass sales

SNOWMASS VILLAGE - The financial struggles of Snowmass Village have been well chronicled over the last few years, but Thursday saw the sale of a hotel, lodge, conference center and single-family home for a combined $58 million. Most notably was the $38.75 million acquisition of the Silvertree Hotel and Wildwood Lodge by a limited liability company controlled by Starwood Capital Group Global, based in Greenwich, Conn. The LLC, called Silvertree Propco, also acquired the Snowmass Conference Center for $3.25 million, according to records at the Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder's Office. The seller of all three properties was Silvertree Hotel of Snowmass, controlled by Rod Burwell. The Burwell family, out of Minnesota, bought the Silvertree and Wildwood properties in 1985; the conference center was built in 1984-85 and bought by the Burwells in 2004.In an unrelated, third transaction, an 8,800-square-foot home in The Pines development sold for $16 million. The seller was Pines G. Inc.; the buyer was Farris Wilks. Snowmass real estate firm BJ Adams and Co., which represented the buyer, touted the deal as the most expensive sale of a ski-accessible, single-family home in the history of Snowmass. The 916 Pine Crest Drive home is located next to the Two Creeks chairlift. "We have seen an increasing number of high-profile and high-dollar sales in Aspen the past six months, but not in Snowmass," said Andrew Ernemann, who represented the buyer.Ernemann noted another significant sale in Snowmass that happened days earlier, on Monday: the $11 million sale of a single-family home at 83 East Fork Lane.The sales of the Silvertree, Wildwood and conference center appeared to be more complicated, but signal an uptick for a ski-village that's been marred by foreclosures and litigation over the last few years."My personal opinion is this will be good for the Town of Snowmass," said Aspen attorney Joe Krabacher, who did legal work for Silvertree Propco in regards to the sale. That's partly because the Silvertree won't be demolished by the new owner, Krabacher instead. While nothing is definite at the point, the new owners plan to, "in the near-term or mid-term," refurbish both the Silvertree and Wildwood lodges, Krabacher said. "The plan is to upgrade and have a major flag hotel come in," he said. Krabacher said that employees' jobs at the three properties are not threatened because of the new ownership. Starwood Capital Group, the parent company of the new buyer, is a private investment firm. It used to be part of Starwood Hotel & Resorts Inc., which owns and operates such brands as Westin and St. Regis, among others, before pulling out its investment in 2000.The three-pronged sale comes after Snowmass Acquisition LLC sued the then-owners of the Silvertree, Wildwood and conference center for backing out of a pending deal. That suit was dismissed in May, however, paving the way for Thursday's deal.Krabacher said Snowmass Acquisition is essentially the same buyer as Silvertree Propco; only the corporate names are different.The Silvertree Hotel and Snowmass Conference Center are located next to each other on Elbert Lane just above the old Snowmass Village mall, which sits above the newer Base Village. The ski-in, ski-out hotel has 260 guest rooms.The Wildwood Lodge, also on Elbert Lane, has 145 guest rooms.rcarroll@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Jul 1, 2011 07:59AM Published Jul 1, 2011 02:34AM Copyright 2011 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.