Shadow Mountain Lodge joins Aspen’s Small Lodge Preservation Program |

Shadow Mountain Lodge joins Aspen’s Small Lodge Preservation Program

Shadow Mountain Lodge became the first fractional property to join the city’s Small Lodge Preservation Program, which aims to give mom-and-pop lodges breaks to keep them in business.
Jeremy Wallace |

Shadow Mountain Lodge is the first fractional-ownership property to join the city’s Small Lodge Preservation Program, which is intended to aid Aspen’s small, independent inns.

At its Monday meeting, Aspen City Council voted 4-0 to make Shadow Mountain Lodge, at 232 W. Hyman Ave., eligible for the program, which was launched in May 2015.

The lodge’s membership means it can enjoy such perks as development-fee reductions, energy-efficiency rebates, free building code assessments, a fast track for land-use and building permit reviews and planning assistance.

The city created the program as way to help Aspen’s mom-and-pop lodges, which have become an endangered species of sorts.

Allowing Shadow Mountain Lodge into the program gave Mayor Steve Skadron some pause because its 10 condominium units are split into 15 fractional-ownership units.

“My concern is the precedent we’re establishing,” he said. “What’s unique about this project is that these are fractionals. This will be the first lodge that’s part of the program that’s fractional.”

Skadron asked for assurance that such fractional-ownership hotels as the Hyatt Grand Aspen and Residences at The Little Nell won’t be admitted.

Community Development Director Jessica Garrow noted that the program only accepts lodges that have 50 or fewer rooms, rendering the Hyatt and Residences at The Little Nell ineligible.

“Each application needs to be judged on its merits,” Garrow said. “This lodge is very similar to Snow Queen, Tyrolean, St. Mortiz.”

Those three lodges, along with nine others, became eligible for the program at its inception.

“Probably, when we were going through the original program, we should have included (Shadow Mountain),” Garrow said. “We think it makes sense for this lodge to be included.”

In a letter to Community Development seeking acceptance to the program, Walter Wilson, the treasurer for Shadow Mountain’s fractional-owners’ association, wrote that its “rents are pretty low for Aspen.” Last year, 539 of 782 nights that were offered for rent were used, he wrote.

Participating lodges can pick and choose which benefits of the program they wish to use, Garrow said. “As was anticipated during the public hearings on the Small Lodge Preservation Ordinance, every lodge is not planning on participating in the program,” wrote planner tech Reilly Thimons in a memo to the City Council. “A number are, but many do not intend to participate at all or only plan on participating in a single program aspect.”

Shadow Mountain Lodge’s incentive to seek admission was to participate in the energy-efficient program when it installs new windows.

That program, funded by the city and the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, provides as much as $100,000 in grant money a year to the participating lodges, the memo said.

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