Nonprofits invited to get a piece of the Grand Aspen |

Nonprofits invited to get a piece of the Grand Aspen

Brent Gardner-Smith

The Grand Aspen Hotel is scheduled to be demolished April 16, although there are many who will only believe it when they see it.The demolition of the hotel, across the street from the Rubey Park bus station in downtown Aspen, has been put off at least four times in recent years. But the new owners of the hotel, Four Peaks Management, fully expect the hotel to come down next month.”The neighbors would like us to get it down and out of there as soon as possible,” said Scott Writer, a local partner in Four Peaks, which purchased the hotel in February as part of a $30 million deal.In anticipation of the demolition, Four Peaks is inviting nonprofit organizations to go into the hotel and take away whatever they might need beginning Friday, April 6.”There are 150 rooms full of beds, dressers, desks, toilets, sinks, doors and windows,” said Writer, who also said the hotel’s front desk and a bar are available for the taking. “All we ask is that they make a list of what they take.”Local nonprofits interested in materials from the Grand Aspen should contact Craig Van Orden of Four Peaks at 925-6777.After as much as possible has been given away, the demolition crews will move in. Four Peaks has not yet selected a general contractor to take down the hotel and build a proposed 150-room timeshare project in its place, but the group expects to have a contractor selected this week.Four Peaks is currently seeking amendments to a prior approval from the city of Aspen to build the project on the site.It’s not yet clear whether or not the group will go to the same lengths that the Aspen Skiing Co. did when it demolished the old Sundeck restaurant, for which the company won green building awards.”We want to be as environmentally conscious as we can,” said Writer. “But the community has informally said `wouldn’t it be great if it was down before the Food and Wine festival on June 13.'”The majority of the Food & Wine events occur across the street from the hotel in Wagner Park, and other events take place on the site of the Silver Circle Ice Rink directly in front of the hotel.Writer said it would take more time to dismantle the building in a way that keeps more of it out of the Pitkin County landfill. The owners currently have until July 31 to remove the building from the site based on prior city review of the project.The Grand Aspen started as the Continental Inn. The first 36 units of the hotel were in place by the early 1960s and were built by Hans Cantrup. Cantrup eventually added more units to the hotel until it was close to its present form. The hotel site was previously the home of a dairy farm.”It was a leaky wreck from the beginning,” said Betty Moore, who along with her husband, Ken, owned and operated lodging units across the street at the Tipple Inn in the ’60s.Return to The Aspen Times or

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