Cheap stay in Vail? Yep, for now | AspenTimes.com

Cheap stay in Vail? Yep, for now

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

Manager Juan Fregoso stands in front of the Roost Lodge shortly before it was supposed to be demolished last spring. The hotel will re-open, and it now set to be torn down after ski season. (Kristin Anderson/Vail Daily file)

VAIL ” The Roost Lodge, perhaps Vail’s most inexpensive hotel, has found new life ” if only for six more months.

The aging West Vail lodge, originally slated to be demolished last spring, will reopen as soon as this weekend and stay open throughout the winter.

“It’s fighting to stay alive,” said Manager Juan Fregoso, who has been staying in the empty hotel during the summer.

A hotel-condo complex is planned to replace the Roost Lodge, which dates back to the early 1970s. The planned hotel, a Marriott Residence Inn, is supposed to remain one of the less expensive hotels in Vail.

The Roost was set to be demolished following last ski season, but it has stayed standing, and empty, since then.

“There were too many large projects all breaking ground at the same time, and we were having a difficult time getting subcontractors to give us favorable pricing on projects,” said Greg Gastineau, a member of the development company, Timberline Roost Lodge LLC.

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The hotel is now scheduled to be demolished in April after the ski season is over.

The Roost has long been an inexpensive option for Vail visitors, from Front Rangers up for the weekend to college students on spring break.

“We’re still going to be the affordable place,” Fregoso said.

Gastineau said the company tried to negotiate with large employers around town to house employees at the Roost during the winter, but no deal could be reached.

All of the furniture and supplies remains in the hotel, Fregoso said. All he has to do is hire housekeepers and other employees that are needed to run the lodge, he said.

“The rooms are ready to go,” he said.

Through last season, the Roost offered wintertime hotel rooms at less than $100, while other hotels charged hundreds, or even thousands, for rooms.

Rising property values in Vail have upped the incentive to redevelop. That has pushed out some low-budget hotels. The Chateau at Vail was torn down to make way for the ritzy Four Seasons. Meanwhile, Park Meadows Lodge, near the Cascade, remains an inexpensive place to get a room in Vail.

As for the Roost, Lester Warpecha, a former owner who will operate it this season, said it’s a “special place,” but it needs to be torn down.

“It’s old, and it needs to go,” he said.

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