RLN sales surpass half-way mark | AspenTimes.com

RLN sales surpass half-way mark

Janet Urquhart
A rendering of The Residences at The Little Nell, now under construction. (Courtesy Poss Architecture and Planning.)

It won’t open for more than a year and a piece of it costs more than anything else on Aspen’s fractional/timeshare market, but the luxury residence club going up at the base of Aspen Mountain is more than half sold.

Fifty-nine percent of the 208 shares available in the three- and four-bedroom residences at The Residences at The Little Nell are under contract, though the $380 million ski-in, ski-out project under construction alongside the Little Nell ski run won’t open until the 2007-08 ski season.

The project, dubbed RLN for short, set something of an industry benchmark when it began selling fractions of its four-bedroom residences for $1.35 million last summer. Prices have since jumped several times to the current $2.25 million, with nine of the four-bedroom shares remaining. There were 56 available interests in the four-bedroom units; 84 percent have been sold.

The three-bedroom residences, which started at $1 million, are currently fetching $1.375 million and 49 percent of the 152 interests have been sold. The Residences is the world’s most expensive private residence club, according to its representatives.

“It’s a pretty rarefied location and market ” I think the market has proven that’s the case,” said R.J. Gallagher, managing director of marketing and sales for the project and president of Gallagher Sharp West.

Still, sales have outpaced expectations since they began last July. In 9 months, they total $159 million.

“We were hoping we’d average around seven [sales] a month, give or take,” Gallagher said. That goal would have put about a third of the fractional shares under contract at this point.

The four-bedroom residences, a hot enough commodity to drive the price to $2.25 million for a one-eighth interest ” or four guaranteed weeks of use ” forced a change in plans for the project, which is in the beginning stages of construction.

Two penthouses that were to be sold as wholly-owned residences were converted to fractional units to meet the demand, according to Gallagher.

“In essence, we would have been sold out of the four-bedroom product had we not converted the penthouses to fractionals,” he said.

As for the price of a four-bedroom, “We’re really astounded by that,” Gallagher said.

Ownership in The Residences at Little Nell guarantees buyers a minimum of four “planned vacation weeks” each year ” two in the winter and two in the summer. In addition, owners may reserve two “vacation weeks” on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Residences will also include eight lodging rooms and provide hotel-style services for residence owners. The public amenities include a restaurant/bar and lounge area, to be located at approximately the same level of the existing gondola plaza. An apres ski deck, also open to the public, will be built in generally the same location of the old Tippler deck.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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