Hyatt sales outpace expectations |

Hyatt sales outpace expectations

Janet Urquhart

The Hyatt Grand Aspen, still a year away from opening its doors, has already sold about one-third of the nearly 1,000 shares available in what developers envisioned as an affordable fractional-ownership opportunity near the base of Aspen Mountain.When the sale of shares in the hotel began last spring, the Hyatt was hoping to have half of the shares sold by the time the first guests/owners arrive next Christmas. So far, sales are outpacing that expectation, said Larry Shulman, vice president of Hyatt Vacation Ownership.”I think right now, having completed our first nine months of sales and marketing, we are way beyond our expectations,” he said. “We’ve greatly exceeded our projected forecast for calendar year 2004.”What had been a 51-unit timeshare hotel, now under construction where the old Grand Aspen Hotel on Dean Street once stood, is now 50 units. Three suites have been combined to create two “super units” in response to buyer demand for something larger than the one-, two- and three-bedroom units in the hotel, Shulman said.”There was quite a bit of demand for a four-bedroom unit,” he said. “In fact, there was quite a bit of demand for a five-bedroom unit. I just couldn’t figure out how to get it done.”The midconstruction redesign has created one larger three-bedroom unit and one split-level, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath residence that boasts a grand staircase and private elevator between the two floors.There are 20 fractional shares available in each of the new “super units” and about half of them are already spoken for, Shulman said.Shares at the Hyatt include one set week in a unit during peak periods – the Christmas holidays, February, March, July and August – plus 10 floating days that can vary from year to year.The purchase of a unit with a set week during Christmas/New Year’s commands the highest price. The new four-bedroom unit has already been snapped up for the holidays for $997,000, Shulman said. A share in that unit starts at roughly $245,000 with the set week during July and August, and is priced in the $400,000 range during the ski season, he said.When Hyatt sales began last spring, prices per share ranged from less than $85,000 to $145,000 for one-bedroom units to just under $200,000 for the two-bedrooms; and $170,000 to $270,000 for the three-bedrooms. Christmas/New Year’s packages sell for more.There has been demand for all of the unit sizes, according to Shulman.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is