Prospector to mine perks from Aspen lodge program
A city program geared toward helping Aspen’s small lodges stay in business has a new member.
City Council voted 3-0 at its Monday meeting to allow entrance of The Prospector condominiums into the Small Lodge Preservation Program. The Prospector will be entitled to such city-sponsored benefits as planning assistance, development-fee reductions, free building-code assessments, energy-efficiency rebates, a fast track for land-use and building permit reviews.
Located at 301 E. Hyman Ave. across from the old Crystal Palace building, The Prospector is the second fractional-ownership inn to join the program. In March, Shadow Mountain Lodge, 232 W. Hyman Ave., became the first.
“It’s good for The Prospector, it’s good for our program and it’s good for the city of Aspen,” Mayor Steve Skadron said. Councilmen Art Daily and Adam Frisch were out of town and did not participate in the vote.
Fractionals originally weren’t considered for the Small Lodge Preservation Program when it launched last year.
But the operators of both Shadow Mountain Lodge and The Prospector persuaded the city to allow them membership since they function like a lodge — their units are placed in a rental pool when the fractional owners aren’t using them.
Of The Prospector’s 19 condo units — each are divided into 15 fractions — 16 of the fractions are owned by its homeowners association and put into a rental pool, Reilly Thimons, a planner tech for the city, told council members.
“And whenever (the other) fractionals are not being used by owners,” she said, “they are also in rental pool.”
The Prospector applied for membership in April.
“On average, our owner occupancy is 45 percent and the remaining time is put in our rental pool,” wrote Pete Lusich, treasurer of The Prospector’s homeowners association, to the city.
The program limits its membership to inns with 50 rooms or fewer. Participating lodges can choose which benefits of the program they wish to use.
Eligible lodges include Annabelle Inn, Aspen Mountain Lodge, Chalet Lisl, Boomerang Lodge, Hearthstone House, Hotel Durant, Molly Gibson Hotel, Aspen Mountain Chalet, Snow Queen Lodge, St. Moritz Lodge and Tyrolean Lodge.
Not all of them are participating in the program, while some use a few but not all of the perks.
“Given this fact, the addition of Prospector condos is not anticipated to add to the estimated cost of the program,” Thimons wrote in a memo to the council. “Shadow Mountain Lodge is most interested in participating in the Energy Efficiency Program in order to update their windows. The energy efficiency program provides up to $100,000 in grant money to all small lodges over the course of a calendar year. The money is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is not increased when a lodge is added to the Small Lodge Preservation Program.”
Because The Prospector is located in the commercial core zone district, any upgrades it wishes to do are placed on hold until the city’s freeze on land-use applications expires. The moratorium, passed by City Council in March, is set to expire Feb. 28, 2017.
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