Aspen Skiing Co.’s Limelight Hotel at Sun Valley starts phased opening

Staff report
Constructionremains at a frantic pace on the Limelight Hotel in Ketchum, Idaho. The Aspen Skiing Co., the owner and developer, started a phased opening this week.
Aspen Skiing Co./courtesy image |

Aspen Skiing Co.’s first foray into another resort with its hotel brand officially kicks off Friday in Ketchum, Idaho.

The Limelight Hotel Ketchum will start opening in phases this week. The first 44 hotel rooms, the lobby lounge and the bar and restaurant are opening.

The remaining rooms in the 99-room hotel as well as 14 residences in the upper floors will open in coming weeks. The project is on schedule. Skico officials said in July that the Limelight will start taking reservations for arrivals on and after Jan. 15, but will open sooner if it can.

The Limelight is offering a “construction special” on its website. Rooms on the second floor were going from $150 per night starting Friday while construction remains underway on the third floor. The rates increase starting Jan. 13, with rooms from $256, according to the website.

The project also includes 14 luxury, for-sale residences on the fourth and fifth floors. They range from two to five bedrooms.

Skico bought vacant land at Sun Valley ski area’s River Run base area in December 2014. The site was approved for a hotel, but Skico tweaked the plan. Construction got underway in July 2015.

“Everyone has been working around the clock to get to this day,” Don Schuster, Skico vice president of hospitality, said in a prepared statement. “We owe a huge thank-you to the entire team who worked on the project from Day One — the project managers, the architects and designers, the contractors and sub-contractors, the city staff and elected officials and more. This would have been impossible without everyone’s hard work and dedication.”

Ironically, Skico was able to progress quicker with the project in Ketchum than it was in its own backyard. The company wanted to expand the Limelight brand from Aspen to Snowmass Base Village, but uncertainties delayed the Snowmass project.

Skico and two partners purchased the Base Village land this month. The 102-room Limelight Hotel will be the first project they undertake in Snowmass Base Village in spring 2017. It is expected to open for the 2018-19 season.

Meanwhile, the flagship Limelight in Aspen continues to draw accolades. The Aspen hotel is the model for the new project, but the Ketchum property will have its own distinct identity, according to Skico officials. Skico also drew on its experiences in Aspen to create the plan in Ketchum. For example, the bar, lounge and lobby are all larger in Ketchum based on the popularity of the facilities in Aspen.