Jerome holds off on $20 million remodel
The Hotel Jerome is delaying a $20 million renovation until summer 2007, when the business will close for six months.The Oklahoma Publishing Co., the same company that has owned the historic Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs since 1988, bought the Jerome, which has been operating in Aspen since 1889, this spring. The renovation will involve closing the hotel from April 2007 just after ski season ends to the following November.”After they started talking about all of the things they wanted to do to renovate the hotel, the project grew and grew until they realized they didn’t have enough time to complete the project,” said Jennifer Barnhart, senior sales and public relations manager at the hotel. “[The owners] decided it would be better to wait to complete the renovations, and only close once instead of closing the hotel for a longer time period than anticipated or for two different time periods.”The large renovation will include adding a spa facility to the hotel, Barnhart said, and will combine the hotel’s restaurants, Jacob’s Corner and the Century Room, into one new restaurant. She said there will be “new and improved” bathrooms and guest rooms, and there are rumors in the hotel about flat-screen TVs.In late June, when the renovation plans were announced, Steve Bartolin, who will oversee the Hotel Jerome under its new ownership, said he anticipated replacing the building’s heating and cooling system and refurbishing all guest rooms, corridors and public spaces.Bartolin has said there will be no changes to the hotel’s J-Bar.The renovations in 2007 would coordinate with the Aspen airport’s springtime closing to repair runways, also originally scheduled for 2006. The runway project, expected to close the airport for two months, was delayed because of a lack of funds.”That may have had some kind of factor in their decision,” Barnhart said. “I can’t say just because of the airport they changed the closure time, but it doesn’t hurt … that it may coincide with the airport closure.”The hotel is already redirecting any guests who are inquiring about summer 2007 to other properties in Aspen.”We’d rather they come to Aspen than change their plans and go somewhere else,” Barnhart said. “We’re just trying to be a team player in spreading the love to other properties.”Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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RFTA has a bit of a paradox on its hands. The public bus agency doesn’t anticipate it will haul as many passengers this winter but it needs more buses and drivers than ever. Only 15 people are allowed per bus, so that saps resources.