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Sardy House to be renovated for private use

Janet Urquhart

Aspen’s historic Sardy House hotel will close in early April for renovations that will turn it back into a private residence for use by shareholders in a new limited liability company.

The guest rooms in the Carriage House, the separate building behind the Sardy House, will continue to operate as a nine-room inn when it reopens at Thanksgiving next fall.

And the traditional Christmas lighting of the giant spruce out front of the Sardy House will take place as usual next December.

Frank Peters and Daniel Delano, longtime owners of the Sardy House, will supervise the redevelopment and continue to manage the property, but both are looking forward to lightening their load as hotel operators.

They will, however, continue to own and operate the 19-room Hotel Lenado in Aspen.

Jack’s Restaurant at the Sardy House will close for business after serving up its final breakfast on Sunday, April 6. The restaurant’s popular “slash pricing” at dinner will continue until next month’s closing.

Peters and Delano purchased the Sardy House from Tom Sardy in 1985 and converted it into a hotel, constructing the Carriage House in back. They put the Main Street property up for sale last June for $9.95 million, plus another $50,000 for its wine collection.

“There was quite a bit of interest, but nobody bought it, bottom line,” Delano said.

It has now been taken off the market and Sardy House LLC is planning to file a registration statement with the Security and Exchange Commission for a proposed public offering of equity membership interests. Terms are expected to include the right to occupy the main house for a period of time each year.

Securities laws prevent the hotel owners from discussing details of the offering until the registration statement is filed, which they anticipate will occur in June.

To accommodate its planned use as a residence, the Sardy House will undergo an extensive interior renovation and be “elegantly refurnished” after it closes on April 6, according to its owners. No exterior changes are planned.

Central air conditioning will be installed and the main building, which includes the historic home, will be converted from nine guest rooms into a seven-bedroom residence. The work is slated for completion by Thanksgiving.

Harry Teague Architects, which designed the renovation of the home into a hotel after Peters and Delano bought it, will oversee the conversion of the Sardy House back into a residence.

The distinctive red-brick Victorian was built by Jack Atkinson in 1892. It functioned as both a residence and funeral home while Sardy owned it and became an upscale hotel after Peters and Delano purchased it.

The hotel and restaurant’s 18 employees have been kept abreast of the plans, which will leave most of them without jobs until next Thanksgiving.

“We expect a good part of our staff to be returning when we reopen in the fall,” Delano said. They’ll be needed to staff the private residence and the Carriage House, which is already taking reservations for next winter, he said.

Business at the Sardy House has been a challenge since the September 11 attacks, Peters conceded, but both owners said they put the hotel up for sale last summer to give themselves a break.

“I think the real reason, for me, is I want to do something else,” Peters said, though he declined to elaborate.

“I also would like to simplify my life a little bit,” Delano agreed.

“The only time Daniel and I are off duty is when we’re out of the country,” Peters said. “We’ve had a lot of fun doing this for a long time.

“I love having breakfast with people at the Sardy House, but I’m not going to miss being called in the middle of Easter Sunday brunch to fix the bed some honeymooners broke in the middle of the night.”


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