Luxury operator tapped for Aspen Meadows Resort |

Luxury operator tapped for Aspen Meadows Resort

A luxury hotel operator will take over operations of the Aspen Meadows Resort on May 1.

In its announcement Thursday morning, the Aspen Institute shared that it has hired Salamander Hotels & Resorts to run the 98-guestroom property and also unveiled its intentions to finish in early 2023 a “multi-million-dollar renovation project to upgrade all guestrooms and elevate the sense of arrival.” The property will then be called Aspen Meadows By Salamander, according to a news release from the Institute.

The Institute is working with Florida-based Suomi Design on the project and anticipates filing its renovation plans with the city in early 2022, according to an Institute official. The Meadows Resort will not close during the renovation period.

Aspen Meadows Resort currently is operated by Dolce Hotels and Resorts, a brand of New Jersey-headquartered Wyndham Hotels. Dolce’s management contract expires April 30, the official said.

Approximately 100 full-time employees work currently at the Meadows Resort, “and the goal is to have everyone join Salamander next year,“ the official said.

The 40-acre Aspen Meadows campus includes the resort hotel, a fitness center, tennis courts and a restaurant, among other amenities. The campus also is home to the Benedict Music Tent and other performance and speaking venues as well as the Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute’s local administrative offices.

Salamander Hotels & Resorts was founded in 2005 and is based in Middleburg, Virginia — just outside of Washington — and is privately owned and operated. Its properties include Forbes Five-Star Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg; Half Moon luxury resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica; The Henderson, a 170-room grand beach resort in Destin, Florida; Hotel Bennett, a 179-room hotel in Charleston, South Carolina; and Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Salamander Hotel & Resorts was founded by Sheila Crump Johnson, the co-founder of BET and the first Black woman with a net worth to exceed $1 billion, according to reports.

“We are honored to have the rare opportunity to team with the Aspen Institute and help further elevate the guest experience at Aspen Meadows Resort,” said Johnson in a statement. “We enjoy shared visions and values, and we aim to pay tribute to the history, culture and mission of the Institute. I am particularly excited to introduce my business partners, colleagues and Salamander’s many loyal guests to the property.”

Aspen Institute CEO and President Dan Porterfield and Sheila Johnson, founder of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which will take over operations of the Aspen Meadows Resort on May 1. (Courtesy photo)

The Institute’s announcement said Salamander was selected “because of its proven track record for achieving high standards of service excellence and financial success for one-of-a-kind destination hotels and resorts. The collaboration between both groups is strengthened by shared core values, including a commitment to creating a just and equitable society.”

Aspen President and CEO Dan Porterfield said, “Aspen Meadows is a remarkable campus and a core component of the Aspen Institute’s mission and heritage. It was vital to find a management company committed to providing hospitality that matched the location and who understands and appreciates this property’s historic significance. We have found exactly that with the Salamander Hotels & Resorts team. Salamander has a well-earned reputation for overseeing an unmatched collection of hotels and resorts, and Sheila Johnson’s commitment to inclusion across business, sports, hospitality, and culture aligns perfectly with our values. We are excited to work with Salamander to welcome more visitors than ever to the newly renovated Aspen Meadows.”




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