Aspen’s Hotel Lenado unveils scrape and replace project |

Aspen’s Hotel Lenado unveils scrape and replace project

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times
The owner of Hotel Lenado, a Dallas-based company that bought the property for $11.88 million in May, plans to replace the 17-room lodge with a new structure consisting of nine lodge units, three free-market residential units and two affordable-housing units.
Courtesy image |

Hotel Lenado representatives unveiled plans Thursday that would see the 19-room lodge torn down and replaced with a structure consisting of nine lodge units, three free-market residential units and two affordable-housing units.

As proposed, the 32-foot-tall, 14,800-square-foot structure conforms to the underlying mixed-use zone district, and the owners are not requesting any variances or fee waivers, according to Stan Clauson & Associates planner Patrick Rawley. The three free-market units would range in size from 1,750 square feet to 2,000 square feet.

The owner, a Dallas-based limited liability company, is expecting to submit plans to the city soon. The application would be subject to Planning and Zoning Commission review, and the Aspen City Council would have the option to call it up.

The 9,425-square-foot boutique hotel, located at 200 S. Aspen St., was opened in 1983 by Woody Creek resident Daniel Delano and partner Frank Peters. Delano sold the property in May to DCBD2 LLC for $11.88 million, but the new owners leased the property from June through Labor Day to Delano, who maintained the hotel with a staff of 10 workers before closing for good.

Representing the owner, architectural firm Forum Phi and Stan Clauson & Associates are pitching the new concept as a community-based lodge. Designer Jamie Matz said various public areas, including a rooftop patio, a game room, bar areas and storage space, will be available to building residents and guests.

“It’s this idea of an open, community-based lodge experience, kind of going back to the feeling of the early days of Aspen,” Rawley said.

The hotel rooms are expected to increase in average size from 300 square feet to 570 square feet, with the goal of providing a lodging option that meets the “expectations of Aspen’s visitor today,” Rawley said.

The Lenado’s two existing Category 2 affordable-housing units will be relocated from the basement to street level. Rawley said the owner expects to build beyond the affordable-housing requirement for the lodging component, which will result in housing certificates. Rawley said the owner plans to put the certificates toward mitigation for the free-market units, which will generate between three-and-a-half and four full-time employees. Any excess mitigation not covered by the certificates would be purchased through additional certificates, Rawley said.

Rawley contended that after 30 years, the current structure is beginning to look tired.

“Just the way things were done in the ’80s — it doesn’t stay current to what people are expecting today,” Rawley said. “And I think the community has spoken about that. They’ve really thrown support to the need to revitalize our lodging opportunities.”

As proposed, the new structure would consist of 6,000 square feet of lodging, 5,500 square feet of free-market and 1,440 of affordable housing. While the lodge will not contain a commercial restaurant, residents and guests will have access to a component providing breakfast and apres offerings. At this point, Rawley said there is no definitive timeline for construction.