St. Regis in Aspen wraps up $35 million remodel |

St. Regis in Aspen wraps up $35 million remodel

Scott CondonThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – The St. Regis Aspen finished the second phase of a major overhaul just in time for the holiday rush.The new owners of the hotel spent more than $35 million on renovations, which feature complete makeovers of the 179 rooms and suites, according to Senih Geray, general manager of the hotel. Work is yet to be done on a new restaurant space previously occupied by Whiskey Rocks. That will be tackled after ski season, Geray said.The renovations included the front office and concierge area, catering space and new equipment in the gym.The hotel closed after ski season to begin the renovations and reopened in mid-June. It closed again for the fall to accommodate the work. The contractor, McGuire Builders, scrambled to complete the entire job before the holiday rush, the most lucrative time of year for the hotel.The Roaring Fork Chapter of Habitat for Humanity also will benefit from the work. A second round of room furnishings will be delivered to Habitat’s ReStore downvalley for sale.”It’s everything from the rooms – beds, frames, mirrors, dressers, televisions,” Geray said. All of the furnishings date from 2005, so they aren’t new, but they are in good shape, he said.Representatives of the hotel owner, OptAsia Capital Co. of Bangkok, assessed what to do with the furnishings prior to the start of the project. They had the option of selling it on the open market and reaping anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000, Geray said. They preferred donating to a worthy cause within the Roaring Fork Valley, he said. Habitat for Humanity was selected.OptAsia purchased the hotel in October for $70 million from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Starwood signed a 50-year contract to operate the resort.The first half of the room furnishings were delivered to Habitat last spring.”It was massive. They sent three tractor-trailers down,” said Scott Gilbert, president of the board of directors of the local Habitat chapter. “It’s a high volume. It’s in really good shape.”If somebody spent 1,000 bucks to sleep on that bed last night, it’s got to be good.”He estimated the sale of furnishings from the St. Regis will raise anywhere from $75,000 to $90,000 in revenues for Habitat. Once word gets around that the room furnishings are being sold, it draws people that otherwise don’t shop at the ReStore, according to Gilbert. The ReStore is located in the Cattle Creek Center, near the intersection of Cattle Creek Road and Highway 82. It sells used building materials and home furnishings.Geray said the second round of furnishings will be delivered to Habitat for Humanity sometime soon after the holidays.Geray said he and his staff were relieved to have the bulk of the renovations finished for the holiday rush. Christmas week and the entire first quarter of 2012 “looks pretty busy,” Geray said. Leisure travel business is particularly strong, he said, both among domestic and international customers. That apparently reflects an improving world economy, Geray

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