Holland House under contract | AspenTimes.com

Holland House under contract

Janet Urquhart

Another of Aspen’s venerable ski lodges appears destined for dramatic change: The Holland House is under contract to be sold and is being eyed for redevelopment, one of its owners confirmed Tuesday.The sale of the South Aspen Street lodge won’t be definite until the scheduled closing on Sept. 1, according to Yasmine dePagter, who runs the Holland House with her husband, Jack Simmons. But one thing is certain, she said: The lodge is due for redevelopment whether it changes hands or not.”It was either us who was going to start redeveloping it within the next year, or someone else,” said dePagter, who’s vacationing on the East Coast. “Whoever owns it, it doesn’t really matter. It was going to be rebuilt.”The pending closure of the Holland House, which houses guests during the ski season and music students during the summer months, was leaked Monday during a City Council public hearing on the proposed redevelopment of another lodge, the Limelite.The Holland House was founded by Yasmine’s father, Dutchman Jack dePagter, when he began renting rooms in the house he purchased on South Aspen Street shortly after his arrival in Aspen in 1949. That structure now sits along Castle Creek, home to Jack and his wife, Anneke. All four family members share ownership of the Holland House and selling it was a family decision, according to Yasmine.Part of the current lodge was built in 1956 and ’57; it was expanded in 1963-64. Many of the 24 rooms don’t have individual bathrooms and none of the structure meets current building codes, she said.It’s simply time for the building to be replaced, and the family had its own set of plans drawn up to do just that, according to dePagter. She and Simmons successfully appealed to the City Council in 2003 to have the city’s historic designation removed from the lodge, so it is not protected from demolition.”There are all these things behind the scenes that people don’t understand,” dePagter said. “|t’s been hard for us the last few years just to get insurance. Insurers don’t want to insure wood-frame hotels.”The prospective buyers are interested in developing a fractional-ownership project that will replace the Holland House, according to dePagter. Her family, too, had concluded the redevelopment of a standard lodge would not be possible, given the cost of building such a project, and was eyeing the fractional route, she said.”We have guests who come back for the same week every year. They’re just like fractional owners,” dePagter added.Simmons and dePagter, both avid skiers, have no plans to leave Aspen. Simmons is also a volunteer firefighter.”They’re going to have to take us out of Aspen feet-first,” dePagter joked.The South Aspen neighborhood, at the base of Aspen Mountain and Lift 1-A, is poised for change that goes beyond whatever develops at the Holland House. Developer Greg Hills is pursuing plans to redevelop one of two buildings that comprise the Skier’s Chalet and developers of a proposed large, new hotel across the street, the Lodge at Aspen Mountain, are seeking council approval of their conceptual plans.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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