Aspen Club members continue to lose reciprocal privileges at other clubs |

Aspen Club members continue to lose reciprocal privileges at other clubs

In this January 216 file photos, construction was in progress to some areas of The Aspen Club.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times

The Aspen Club’s future now hangs in the balance of foreclosure proceedings playing out in both the local court system and Treasurer’s Office, while members are running out of places to work out.

The Aspen Recreation Center was among the fitness establishments that provided reciprocal benefits for members of the Aspen Club while it closed for major renovations in April 2016. The ARC, as it’s known, received $1,500 monthly from the Aspen Club for its members to use the facilities, with the club paying $6.50 for each visit that exceeded a total of 220 for the month.

The city-owned ARC terminated that agreement at the end of 2017, however.

“I’m not sure where I can go anymore,” said Carl Heck, one of the Aspen Club’s charter members from 1977.

Around the time of its closure, the Aspen Club gave its members the choice to pay $90 a month, roughly half of their normal membership fee, to enjoy the benefits of other facilities. Members who chose to drop out also faced a potential initiation fee of $10,000 to rejoin the Aspen Club when it reopened.

Heck took the offer, as did part-time Aspen resident Chris Lemelle, a member since 2012. But recently Lemelle learned that the reciprocal benefits he had at the Jewish Community Center had been drastically reduced without any notice.

“It’s been radio silence for many, many months,” he said of The Aspen Club’s communications with its members. “I understand that they’re trying to figure out a lot now, but it would help if they would communicate with us.”

The city’s director of Parks and Recreation, Cory Vander Veen, said the decision for ARC’s split with the Aspen Club was mutual.

“It was in the best interest of both parties,” he said, noting that some Aspen Club members have bought ARC passes in the meantime.

The yoga studio O2 Aspen also withdrew its agreement last May.

“We still have some people from the Aspen Club, but definitely not the same amount” when the agreement was in place, O2 manager Bruna Velloso said.

Meanwhile, the date for The Aspen Club to file its intent to cure a loan balance of $30 million to lender GPIF Aspen Club LLC has been extended to Tuesday, and the foreclosure sale date has been postponed from March 7 to April 11, according Chief Deputy Treasurer Sydney Tofany.

And in Pitkin County District Court, where general GPIF Aspen also has taken foreclosure action, a sale is set for Wednesday, according to court records.

Aspen Club President Michael Fox has maintained during the ordeal that lenders are being lined up and the club project will eventually be done and it will reopen.

Fox said they are “constantly evaluating and updating our membership options.” He added they bought one-year memberships to the ARC for those members who are using it the most.

The Aspen Club project, located at 1450 Ute Ave., includes plans to remodel the 40,000-square-foot Aspen Club and Spa building and the construction of a 54,000-square-foot lodge with 20 timeshares, while 13,600 square feet of development would account for 12 multi-family affordable-housing units.

Editor’s note: This story was updated after it originally posted with comments from Michael Fox.

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