Sardy House is up for sale | AspenTimes.com

Sardy House is up for sale

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

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The 110-year-old Sardy House, one of Aspen’s oldest and most well-tended Victorian homes, is for sale, its owners announced Friday.

Invitations for a property presentation and garden party were circulated last week to drum up interest in the bed and breakfast, which was recently listed with local real estate agents by co-owners Daniel Delano and Frank Peters. The sellers are asking $9.95 million for the property.

Bill Stirling, the owners’ representative, said Delano and Peters debated selling the Sardy House for nearly six months before seeking a real estate agent.

“What they’re trying to do, as I understand it, is to simplify their lives. They’ve been at this for 18 years,” Stirling said.

Delano and Peters have enjoyed a long run with the Sardy House, which has been a local landmark since its construction in 1892. Aspen’s “Grand Lady” was built by local industrialist J.W. Atkinson – often called “Three-Fingered Jack” in local history books, though the reason is unclear.

It was one of the first homes in the country to be outfitted for electricity, central heating and indoor plumbing. The Victorian was reserved as a private residence until 1945, when local resident Tom Sardy, already the owner of the local hardware store and the driving force behind the construction of the Aspen airport, bought the property and added a wing for use as the city’s sole mortuary.

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In 1986, the house was sold again – Stirling reported that it was his first “million-dollar sale” – and completely renovated, eventually reopening as a bed and breakfast. Brochures and online advertisements for the building describe the 100-year-old maple floors, oak doorways and fireplaces that were saved in the restoration. Among the additions was the construction of Jack’s, the Sardy House’s high-profile restaurant.

A recent renovation of the home’s carriage house has expanded the bed and breakfast to a 20-room inn. The improvements helped the Sardy House earn its reputation as one of the nation’s top ski hotels – Ski magazine named it to its list of Top 10 small hotels in the country in its January 2002 issue.

Despite its national reputation, the Sardy House is known locally as a herald of the holiday season. The annual lighting of the hotel’s 85-foot Christmas tree, believed to be the tallest lighted tree in the nation, never fails to draw crowds to Main Street each December. Nearly 2,000 Christmas cookies are doled out at the event each year as residents and tourists gather for an evening of Christmas carols and hot chocolate.

The property review and garden party, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, will include tours of the Sardy House’s numerous perks. The hotel boasts 15 rooms, five suites, two affordable housing units, a swimming pool and a sauna, Stirling said, as well as 117,400 square feet of land.

Options for the property are endless, Stirling said, but the sellers hope to see the Sardy House change hands and remain one of Aspen’s most recognized hotels.

“Ideally, we hope someone might come forward and operate it as the Sardy House hotel as it has been, but that might not be a possibility,” he said.

Another option, Stirling said, would be the city’s fractional ownership ordinance.

“It could still operate as a hotel available for guests and available for people who buy fractions of it,” he said.

The Sardy House had already attracted “strong interest,” Stirling said, including an offer that fell below the owners’ asking price. However, Delano and Peters are holding out for the right situation to come along.

“They want it to be sold to the right group, and they want a price that makes sense to them,” Stirling said.

[Jennifer Davoren’s e-mail address is jenniferd@aspentimes.com]