Renovation to shut down St. Regis Aspen for 10 weeks |

Renovation to shut down St. Regis Aspen for 10 weeks

Rick CarrollThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado
Ryan Slabaugh/The Aspen TimesKris Altman, marketing and finance coordinator for the St. Regis Aspen, shows off one of the rooms that will undergo renovation this year.

ASPEN – One of Aspen’s top-tier hotels will close for more than two months starting in the spring to make way for a $30 million renovation. Officials with St. Regis Aspen resort hotel unveiled plans Thursday for an ambitious interior remodel they hope will “represent a new standard of five-star luxury design in Aspen,” said Lauren Rottet, principal with Houston-based Rottet Studio, the architectural and design firm overseeing the project. To do so, the four-star property’s 179 guest rooms will be closed from April 4 until the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, which is scheduled June 17-19. When the hotel re-opens, approximately 90 guest rooms will be available, said Kristi Kavanaugh-Bradley, director of sales and marketing for St. Regis Aspen. It’s anticipated that all of the guest rooms will be open by December.The 25 fractional-ownership suites will be available for use during the renovation period, officials said. The remodel comes after 315 East Dean Associates Inc., controlled by Bangkok-based OptAsia Capital Co., acquired the Aspen resort in October for $70 million from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Starwood, as part of a 50-year management agreement, continues to operate the resort. The St. Regis, which has a staff of 250, opened in 1992 as the Ritz-Carlton. The rooms haven’t undergone a major renovation since the hotel opened; the last remodel at the hotel came in 2004 when the spa and residences were built, and rooms were added to the building over Aspen Sports. “The goal is to make this the best hotel in the Western Hemisphere, that’s the driving force,” Kavanaugh-Bradley said. “This hotel has had many, many glory days.”General Manager Senih Geray noted that while the St. Regis Aspen has a number of return guests, it’s important to keep pace with other lodges. One of its prime competitors, the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Little Nell hotel, spent $18 million to renovate its 92 rooms prior to the 2009-10 season. The Hotel Jerome has approvals for between $45 million and $50 million in renovations, but no project has been started.Part of the renovation, Geray noted, is to elevate the aprs-ski scene at the downtown hotel, located on East Dean Street.”We want this to be the social mecca for aprs ski,” he said.Among the highlights of the renovation project include:• A complete physical renovation of the front office and concierge arrival area;• A full guest-room overhaul that includes removing existing bathrooms and inserting a separate shower/tub; new lighting, flooring and walls will be the focal point of the room, which will include a free-standing bed wrapped in leather;• A new catering space to replace the existing restaurant space;• A new restaurant in the space once occupied by Whiskey Rocks, which will provide al fresco dining in the summer, a fireplace, a Mill Street entrance and valet parking;• Installation of new Technogym equipment in the fitness center.More details be forthcoming as the renovation progresses, officials said.

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