ASPEN - All 94 rooms of the Hotel Jerome, as well as its restaurant and popular first-floor drinking spots the J-Bar and the Library, will be closed to the public from Thursday through noon Monday.
That's because a family has rented out the entire facility for their daughter's bat mitzvah, general manager Tony DiLucia said.
DiLucia would only say that the renter is "a nice family." But a source who asked to remain anonymous said that the person throwing the bat mitzvah for family and guests is Jeffrey Verschleiser, who ran mortgage-backed securities operations for Bear Stearns before the investment firm's Wall Street collapse. He is now an executive with Goldman Sachs.
The historic hotel's temporary closure coincides with Wintersköl, an annual event the city aims as much toward residents as visitors.
DiLucia said the hotel's former management company, RockResorts, booked the four-night event but that the new management firm appreciates the business. Auberge Resorts, of Mill Valley, Calif., replaced RockResorts, a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, as the Jerome's owner on Nov. 1.
DiLucia served as general manager at the hotel until the arrival of RockResorts in 2007. He came back to the property in November when Auberge began its management tenure.
"This was negotiated long before I got back to the Jerome," DiLucia said. "A family has taken over the entire hotel for a family event. They are part-time locals, a really nice family, and Aspen is a second home for them."
The hotel will remain fully staffed for the private renters and their guests, DiLucia said.
"The good news is that they could have done this elsewhere," he said. "From our end, it's a shame that locals can't have use of the hotel from Thursday to Monday at noon, but we're happy that the family decided to bring their business to all of Aspen, not just the Jerome."
The family has hired a local event planner, EKS Events, which is organizing the private celebration, DiLucia added.