Roaring Fork Lodge wins city council’s approval, praise

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A proposal for one of the largest developments Glenwood Springs has ever seen took another step towards becoming reality.

The city council unanimously approved a major development permit for the Roaring Fork Lodge. The project can move forward but will be subject to further permitting and review. Manager of Roaring Fork Lodge, LLC, Terrence Claasen, said previously that he hopes to start construction this summer.

Plans for the five-story, 149,582-square-foot facility include a restaurant, a 9,000 square-foot conference room, a 300 square-foot deck overlooking the river, 171 underground parking spaces, retail space, a fitness center, 68 hotel rooms and 40 condo units for sale.

It would replace the unoccupied Racquet Club building at 2800 Midland Avenue that has been called an “eyesore” by some.

The condos would range from about 900 to 1,600 square feet, most being two-bedroom units. The smaller units would be under the $400,000 price range and the larger ones would be in the $450,000 price range, Claasen said.

The project has gotten positive recognition for being an amenity for the town, and criticism for its significantly larger size than surrounding structures. It’s proposed on one of the few places in town with a commercial resort zoning.

Claasen said the plan was changed from its original form to decrease the size overall by about 20,000 square-feet and reduce the overall mass by almost 20 percent. The plans also have adjusted some angles and architectural design to accommodate neighboring property owners.

Some property owners in adjacent condos had expressed concerns about the size of the project and its impact. But council members took the absence of any of the neighboring condo owners to mean Claasen has done a good job addressing their concerns.

Community planning director Andrew McGregor praised the conference center that would become the biggest in Glenwood Springs.

“They can accommodate events that previously Glenwood could never put under one roof,” he said.

He added that the lodge is going for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. It would be a “feather in the cap” of Glenwood Springs since the city doesn’t have any LEED certified facility in town yet, McGregor said.

“I would just like to give these guys credit in doing what I think is really a tremendous job,” he added.

He said the facility is an example of “high quality vertical in-fill development,” which may become a trend in Glenwood Springs’ future.

Council member Chris McGovern expressed some concern about possible parking conflicts between the lodge’s condos and people trying to park for events in the conference center. But she appreciated the work Claasen and his team had done on the architecture.

“It’s very attractive from every side,” she said.

The large conference center combined with only 68 hotel rooms at the lodge would likely require other hotels to work with the lodge for conventions to provide rooms and transportation, Claasen said.

“It will be a great addition to our community,” mayor Bruce Christensen said.


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