Innsbruck plans run into snag
Plans to convert the Innsbruck Inn into a timeshare lodge hit a snag Tuesday, when the Aspen City Council resisted the proposed reduction of the 33-room lodge to 22 fractional suites.”I see that as a decrease in our bed base,” said Mayor Helen Klanderud.She voiced support for an old, abandoned plan to add four rooms to the Main Street property and maintain it as a traditional lodge.The council sent the lodge’s new owners back to the drawing board with instructions to boost the room count if possible. The Innsbruck was purchased late last year by a group of investors who brought forward plans to convert it to a timeshare property.”Are we really losing bedrooms? We’re losing bedrooms that no one’s renting,” said planning consultant Mitch Haas, representing the owners.The fate of the Innsbruck could be 22 units sold in 1/12th fractions or no lodging at all, he warned.The lodge has averaged 43 percent occupancy for the past five years. It’s not making it, Haas said.”What we’re talking about here is a lodge that was in danger of going out of business,” he said.Council members, however, decried the loss of overall units. They voted to continue last night’s proceedings to Nov. 8, directing Haas to rework the plans to recapture some units if possible.To add units, it may make sense to demolish the existing lodge, rather than renovate it and add a wing on the west side, Haas said. The lnnsbruck, built in 1967, is not designated as a historic structure and could be razed.As a timeshare lodge, the Innsbruck would fill a niche in the fractional market that no Aspen project currently addresses, according to Haas. The price range per fraction would range from $69,700 to $177,000 for four weeks of use annually.Two one-bedroom suites and 10 two-bedroom suites are proposed. Lock-off rooms on the 10 two-bedrooms would create the potential for 22 separate rooms that could be rented. The units are to be rented out on a nightly basis when owners aren’t using them.Though Haas pitched the fractional prices as accessible to buyers who are otherwise priced out of Aspen, Councilwoman Rachel Richards complained about the loss of $99 lodge rooms, echoing concerns that a class of visitor is being priced out of Aspen. The two-bedroom suites would go for a projected $268 per night when they’re rented out.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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