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Savanah may be looking to sell

Sarah Chung

Some of Aspen’s most exclusive properties may soon be in new hands.

Savanah Limited Partnership, which owns properties at the base of Aspen Mountain, announced yesterday it has hired a marketing firm to review “recent inquiries for purchase.”

Savanah is best known as the developer of the Ritz-Carlton, now the St. Regis hotel. The company’s current holdings include the Grand Aspen Hotel, Top of Mill, Bavarian Inn, and the Barbee parcel, across from Lift 1A.

All except the Barbee land are currently being redeveloped as the Aspen Mountain PUD (Planned Unit Development.)

John Sarpa, representative for Savanah, said the extremely lengthy and sometimes contentious review process for the Aspen Mountain developments did not lead to the company’s decision to consider selling its Aspen holdings.

“Back in December when we got our first approvals there were a number of calls from people interested in our properties. Since then there’s been enough interest to have someone look into the possibilities,” Sarpa said.

Sarpa would not say how much the property is worth. “A lot of money,” he estimated. “I wouldn’t even venture a guess.”

The marketing firm CB Richard Ellis Inc. has been hired by Savanah to figure out what arrangement would most benefit the company. Sarpa said the company could consider becoming partners with another company, or selling all the property outright.

“It’s too early to say what direction we’re leaning in. That’s why a firm’s been hired, to determine what’s out there,” Sarpa said.

The Aspen Mountain PUD has received conceptual approvals and is now being reviewed by the City Council for its preliminary approvals.

“In order to facilitate the successful and timely development of the holdings, this is a perfect time to entertain such purchase offers and keep the process moving ahead,” said Tarek Ayoubi, investment manager for Savanah.

Given the magnitude of the application and changes made over time, the review process has been years in the making. But Sarpa asserts that the approval process and the public review boards have nothing to with Savanah’s decision to hire CB Richard Ellis.

“We’re quite pleased with the progress we’ve made and fully intend to push full speed ahead,” Sarpa said.


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