Sundeck private club’s fees jump to $60,000 |

Sundeck private club’s fees jump to $60,000

Memberships to the new private club on Aspen Mountain have sold so fast that the price has climbed from $50,000 to $60,000, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.

About one-third of the 325 memberships available for purchase at the Aspen Mountain Club have been sold, according to Eric Calderon, Skico vice president and general manager of the company’s Little Nell hotel.

Calderon will oversee operations of the new mountaintop Sundeck Restaurant, which will include a public cafeteria and a public sit-down restaurant in addition to the exclusive club.

Among the club sales were 20 special “founder” memberships which were offered for $100,000. They were twice as expensive because they include parking in The Little Nell hotel basement.

They proved immensely popular – so popular that Calderon wishes he would have created more.

“We told people we were only selling 20, so we’re only selling 20,” he lamented. Crowns reserve 50 spots “Charter” memberships started at $50,000. They didn’t include parking, but offered such perks as two lifetime ski passes, single-day lift tickets for use by friends and family, a ski locker at The Little Nell and access to the private dining room and bar that will open late next ski season.

The Crown family, majority owners of the Skico, are reserving 50 memberships for their use, according to Calderon. That boosts the membership limit to 375.

Calderon said sales “are going better than anticipated” after starting in mid-March. “I still think it will take two years to sell out,” he added, noting that initial memberships are easiest to sell.

The Skico has relied primarily on word-of-mouth advertising. Second-home owners and wealthy locals were invited to one of four private receptions that have been held. One or two more receptions will be held this summer.

Aspenites who have received invitations to join have been crunching numbers to see whether or not acquiring two lifetime, four-mountain, full-season passes justified the expense. Probably not – in addition to the initial fee, members must pay a $3,000 annual fee. Not just private club The new Sundeck will be about 22,000 square feet, or almost twice the size of the old restaurant.

Of the 22,000 square feet, about 14,000 is on the main level. Of that 14,000 square feet, about 35 percent will be affiliated with the private club and 65 percent will be devoted to the public cafeteria and public sit-down dining room.

Skico officials have been quick to point out all benefits of the new restaurant to battle the perception that the new Sundeck will exclude the public.

The public cafeteria will seat 230 skiers with a deck for 125 and snow-melted patio for 100. The public sit-down restaurant will seat 70 with a deck for 40.

The Aspen Mountain Club’s private facilities will include a restaurant that seats 75 and a deck that seats 40.

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