Longtime employee resigns from Skico | AspenTimes.com

Longtime employee resigns from Skico

Eric Calderon, Vice President/general Manager of The Little Nell relaxes in a lounge at the Nell. Sharokin Isayo photo

Only weeks after Aspen Skiing Co. President and CEO Pat O’Donnell announced he is leaving, another company stalwart announced his resignation – Eric Calderon, Skico vice president and longtime general manager of The Little Nell hotel in Aspen.Calderon will leave his office for the final time on Nov. 8, heading for a new job with a luxury hotel group headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif.Calderon, who left Tuesday for a vacation in Europe, said by telephone that he’s resigning “with a mixture of sadness and excitement” after nearly two decades here.But, he continued, “At the ripe old age of 55, I have one more good stint left in me,” after which he plans to “retire while I can still enjoy the outdoors.”

O’Donnell said Calderon told him at 9 a.m. Tuesday that he would be quitting.”I hate those calls,” O’Donnell said with quiet humor, referring to Calderon’s call at the end of the business day Monday asking for a 9 a.m. appointment the next day. “I always know what they want to talk about.”Calderon said the hotel group, Ty Warner Hotels & Resort, had been pursuing him since the summer. He will relocate to California, where he will manage a collection of upscale properties that includes the Four Seasons Santa Barbara Biltmore, San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, the Four Seasons New York, Las Ventanas in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the Kona Village Resort, Hawaii, as well as two private clubs and two public golf courses in the Santa Barbara area.Calderon has been hired to be the chief operating officer of the corporation, which he said will mean he’ll be traveling among the properties for part of what O’Donnell termed “a pretty plum job.” But Calderon said he will be the “owner’s asset manager” and so will be doing much of his job by telephone from an office in Santa Barbara.

The Skico will begin looking for Calderon’s successor immediately, O’Donnell said, noting that “I think we’re in pretty good shape” to hire a high-quality replacement because being the GM of The Little Nell is likewise “a pretty plum job in the hotel industry.” Calderon said he submitted a few names of potential replacements to the Skico management.O’Donnell noted that under Calderon’s leadership, which began 18 years ago when The Little Nell opened, the hotel has been “one of the few in the country that is consistently a five-star, five-diamond property.”As for the impact on the company, O’Donnell said of Calderon, “He’ll be missed … he’s just such a contributor overall to the Aspen Skiing Co.,” in areas beyond the running of the Nell. Calderon has been heading up the property management arm of the Skico and has been instrumental in the planning for the Base Village project in Snowmass Village, as well as in other policy deliberations by the company.”He’s going to leave a wide gap,” O’Donnell concluded.

Calderon “grew up on the slopes of Mount Tremblant, in Quebec, Canada, graduated from the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in 1971, and went on to a successful career with Four Season Hotels,” according to a statement from the Skico.In 1988, after managing the Lodge at Pebble Beach, he was brought in to open The Little Nell in Aspen.Calderon said he and his partner plan to sell the ranch property they own in Missouri Heights and buy “a much smaller home somewhere in the valley,” and maintain a connection to the area.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com

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