Hotel Jerome work to last until next March |

Hotel Jerome work to last until next March

Rick Carroll | The Aspen Times
The construction zone between the Hotel Jerome and the old Aspen Times' building on Main Street in Aspen Tuesday.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times |

Construction activity on the 300 block of East Main Street, home to three of Aspen’s most recognizable buildings, is being done in the name of two of Aspen’s favorite pastimes — drinking and relaxing outdoors.

The Hotel Jerome began its expansion April 11, which includes removing the old pool, replacing it with a new one, and gutting the old Aspen Times building, where a subterranean speakeasy-style lounge is slated.

The entire project is projected to cost $11 million, according to a building permit application with the city.

The work is the latest improvement underway at the Hotel Jerome, which was bought by Dan Friedkin and Iconic Properties-Jerome LLC in February 2015. The deal also included the old Times building and the two-story Cortina Lodge, which houses Jerome employees and is about a block away on Main Street. The seller was Chicago-based DRW Real Estate. The deal was worth $72.5 million.

The hotel is scheduled to re-open May 25, but its pool and courtyard will be closed for the duration of the construction, said Tony DiLucia, general manager of the Jerome. The Jerome will, however, provide outdoor-dining space on its ballroom terrace, he said. The project is scheduled for completion March 1.

“We’re enhancing the entire courtyard,” DiLucia said Tuesday. That also includes the new pool going from east to west instead of north-south like the previous version.

As part of the project, the old Times structure will be temporarily stationed in the courtyard to allow a foundation to be dug under the building site, DiLucia said.

The speakeasy bar will offer about 50 seats, DiLucia said, adding that its name has yet to be determined.

Underpinning of the corner building, Carl’s Pharmacy, also is planned “to protect the building from significant movement and distress” during the excavation work, according to construction documents on file at the city’s Building Department.

After the foundation is complete, the old Times building will return to its former space. Only portions of the 5,500-square-foot Times building, those not deemed historic, will be demolished, including one-fourth of the building that is located in the rear.

The new lodge structure that is part of the Times development will mean vacating 56 feet of the alley, but leaving the alley behind the Carl’s Pharmacy building intact. Five guest rooms with nine keys will be built as a result. The maximum unit size will be 1,864 square feet.

“Most of the historic wood-frame portion of the Aspen Times building will be preserved,” according to city records.

The above-ground, street-facing level of the Times building will serve as a function room, DiLucia said.

The Hotel Jerome is 47,735 square feet and has 93 lodge units and 93 rooms. The upgrade increases its guest capacity to 98 lodge units and 102 rooms. The City Council approved the expansion in May 2016.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.