Aspen’s Hotel Jerome to get interior facelift
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
ASPEN – The Hotel Jerome is planning to close for more than four months – from Aug. 2 until at least Dec. 15 – to accommodate a massive renovation project.
Even the J-Bar, a popular watering hole for Aspen residents, will be closed throughout the refurbishment.
“The hotel hasn’t seen a remodel like this since 1985,” general manager Tony DiLucia said Thursday. “We hope to have everything ready to reopen by Christmas.”
The hotel closed Monday for spring cleaning and the offseason.
“Thank you for a great winter season and we’ll see you on May 17,” reads a sign taped to the Jerome’s front windows.
According to DiLucia, the late-summer and autumn project involves, but is not limited to, the following:
• A new look for all 94 rooms that combines the 123-year-old hotel’s historic feel with new wallpaper, curtains, carpet and molding.
• Improved technology in each room with desks that offer computer connections to flat-screen TVs and the ability to recharge iPhones and iPads.
• A new heating and air-conditioning system that will allow guests to heat or cool their rooms irrespective of the time of year. The current system heats the building only during certain months and cools it during the remaining months.
• Plumbing repairs.
• An expansion of the Wheeler Room for private dining and banquet-style events.
• Transformation of the Century Room, a dining area, to its historic use as a living room with a bar.
• New lobby furniture that runs a gamut of styles from the 1920s to the 1950s.
• Changes to the Jacob’s Corner dining area that include moving tables closer to the windows in place of the hallway.
• Bathroom wallpaper with more of a 1920s and 1930s design.
• A spa, with three rooms, at the lowest level of the building.
• New mountings and frames for the hotel’s wall art.
• A freshening of the Library area, with new paint, carpet and curtains.
“There are modern features that we need in the rooms to compete in today’s marketplace,” DiLucia said. “We will still have the Jerome look. Though we will be updating a lot of things, we will still have the feel of a historic hotel. The Jerome will still be the Jerome. This is not going to be a sleek, modern, minimal-style hotel.”
DiLucia said interior designer Todd Avery Lenahan, of Washington, D.C., and Henderson, Nev., came up with plans for the hotel’s freshening.
“He was selected because he has a tremendous eye and appreciation for the property,” DiLucia said.
The Hotel Jerome is owned by Don Wilson and DRW Trading, of Chicago. It is managed by Auberge Resorts, which brought DiLucia back to the property last year. He ran the lodging facility from 1992 to 2007 before a hiatus to work in real estate.
He said he couldn’t provide an estimate of the project’s cost because the details haven’t been finalized.
Employees have several options for the summer and fall hiatus. Some are interested in working at other Auberge properties in California, South Carolina and Mexico for a spell. Some will take a break to continue their education. Others will draw unemployment while waiting for the hotel to reopen in December.
No changes are planned for the J-Bar.
DiLucia said he understands that some locals won’t be happy about the temporary loss of one of their favorite drinking establishments.
“It’s unfortunate. We’ll miss everybody,” he added.
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