Boutique hotel in Carbondale an option in Overlook plan | AspenTimes.com

Boutique hotel in Carbondale an option in Overlook plan

John StroudGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

Rendering by Wolff Lyon ArchitectsAn architect's rendering showing how a boutique-style hotel might look as a center feature in Carbondale's proposed Overlook Neighborhood development proposal. A public hearing before the town's Board of Trustees continues Wednesday evening.

CARBONDALE – An idea for a downtown, boutique-style hotel that was borne out of Carbondale’s post big-box debate “economic roadmap” process a few years ago might find a place in the proposed Overlook Neighborhood development.But if no one comes forward with a desire and the means to develop a hotel as the mixed-use development is built out over the next several years, that parcel could be converted to additional residential units.”I have had a couple of people who have talked to me and said they might be interested,” John Foulkrod, managing partner for C’dale LLC, the developer of the Overlook project, said of the hotel idea.”We’ve always felt that the hotel should be an allowed use,” he said. “I just don’t know how interested someone might be … it’s all premature until we get our approvals.”Carbondale trustees continue their public hearing on the Overlook at a special meeting Wednesday beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is to be devoted solely to working through the details of the project and getting closer to a final decision.A revised plan submitted last month calls for 145 residential units, a 50-room hotel and 45,000 square feet of commercial space on the approximately 13-acre site, with a 1.2-acre park.At earlier meetings, the board had asked for details as to what the developers would build on the hotel parcel if a hotel turned out not to be feasible. Suggestions included another 25 multi-family residential units, more mixed use commercial/residential, or possibly dedicated senior housing of some sort.”What we came up with as the solution, is that we be allowed to hold out and do the hotel as the last [development phase],” Foulkrod said. “If, after however long that is, we don’t have a hotel developer – and that could be 10 years down the road – then we would be allowed to consider something else.”Boutique hotels typically draw a higher-end customer who is looking at a weekend get-away or longer-term stay, similar to a bed and breakfast.Foulkrod said he envisions larger suites with multiple rooms and a kitchen that could be lived in long term, or rented out on a nightly or weekly basis to guests.”One of the things we talked about is creating apartment-like hotel rooms that someone could buy and put into the hotel pool when they’re not there,” he said. “That way it acts as a hotel, but it creates funding by selling the units to get it built.”A boutique hotel for downtown Carbondale was suggested three years ago when the former Thunder River Lodge, one of only three motels in the town at the time, was sold to the Aspen Skiing Co. for employee housing.”I think Carbondale could handle another medium-level hotel and a boutique hotel,” former Carbondale Chamber director Randi Lowenthal said at the time. “We don’t have a lot of choices right now.”Carbondale now has two motels, the Comfort Inn & Suites and the Day’s Inn, located near the Highway 82/133 intersection, and several bed and breakfast inns.jstroud@postindependent.com