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June 8, 2014
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Downtown Basalt hotel completes thorough remodel

A downtown Basalt hotel has undergone a renovation so thorough that even its name has changed.

The old Green Drake in the heart of the commercial core on Midland Avenue is now Basalt Mountain Inn.

“We figured it was worth changing everything,” said Mike Tierney, a partner in the property along with Aspen architect Charles Cunniffe and Aspen businessman Josh Mondry.

The renovation started in December and was completed recently. Tierney declined to say exactly how much the partners invested in the project.

“We spent a substantial amount of money,” he said.

The footprint of the hotel’s two buildings and outer walls remained the same. Virtually everything else was changed. The guest rooms were gutted and received new insulation, windows, doors, bathroom fixtures, granite wet bars, flat-screen TVs, kitchenette appliances and mechanical systems. The lobby was opened up to provide a sitting area where guests can have continental breakfasts. Part of the roof in one building was replaced, new plumbing was installed, a yard was added, and landscaping was replaced.

The rooms and building exteriors have new paint and have a fresh, clean appearance. The remodel enabled the hotel to add a suite within the existing footprint, boosting the total to 25 rooms with 51 beds, according to manager Zach Fischer.

The hotel was built in bits and pieces starting in 1951. Tierney and his partners purchased it for redevelopment but were unable to get an application approved before the recession hit. They decided to keep it as a hotel but upgrade. Tierney previously acknowledged it was a “tired” property. Now, he said, it is more befitting of a mountain tourist town in Colorado.

Basalt currently has a community-wide, downtown-planning effort underway. It is designed to provide a blueprint on what type of development is wanted in years to come.

A majority of Basalt residents and concerned visitors who participated in the “Our Town” planning effort have lobbied for a new hotel somewhere in the commercial core. Tierney said the Basalt Mountain Inn partners hope people will reconsider and check out what the remodeled accommodations can offer.

“Maybe they don’t know that we went through such a major renovation,” he said. In addition to Basalt Mountain Inn, there is the Aspenalt in downtown Basalt as well as a refurbished fishing cabin under construction by the owner of Frying Pan Anglers. In addition, the developers of Willits Town Center have applied for a building permit for a 113-room limited-service hotel 3½ miles from downtown.

Adding a hotel to downtown “seems like it would be overkill,” Tierney said.

The Green Drake hosted a lot of long-term renters, such as when a construction crew would roll into town and need a temporary place to stay, according to Tierney. Basalt Mountain Inn will target short-term anglers, sightseers, wedding parties and winter skiers. The room rates were raised by about 10 to 20 percent, Tierney said.

Fischer said room prices for high season range from $129 to $249 for a suite that sleeps six. A typical room with a fold-out couch in the sitting room and a separate bedroom with a double bed goes for $152 per night during a busy weekend in June, according to the hotel’s website, www.basaltmountain inn.com.

“Now that we’re done (remodeling), we want to have a slow rollout in the coming months,” Tierney said.

Local residents who want to check out the property to see if they would recommend it to visiting friends and family are urged to stop by, Fischer said.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Jun 8, 2014 09:36PM Published Jun 10, 2014 09:53AM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.