The Hotel Aspen on Main Street is looking to add eight rooms, as well as four free- market condos in a redevelopment and remodel proposal submitted this fall.
The proposed redevelopment would add a partial third story on what are existing two-story buildings. While the hotel’s main section on Main Street would be remodeled, the back portion of the property would be torn down and rebuilt, and would include an underground parking garage.
The redevelopment will take the hotel’s total rooms from 45 to 53. Under the new plan, the average room size will be 292 square feet, which the application notes is in line with a community goal of encouraging smaller, more affordable hotel rooms. Current room sizes in the hotel average around 400 square feet.
“Historically, this has been a more affordable lodge and it wants to stay that way,” said Stan Clauson, a planning consultant working on the Hotel Aspen project.
On its website, the hotel shows the rate for a five-night stay in mid-December as $149.25 for a deluxe king room.
The project, proposed by Garmisch Lodging LLC, would expand the Hotel Aspen’s size from the current 24,148 square feet to 37,743, according to the final application submitted in October. The building’s highest point would go from the current 25 feet to 38 feet, 10 inches.
Both the height and the mass will require a zoning waiver from Aspen City Council, because the redevelopment’s maximum allowed size, according to underlying land-use rules, is 33,750 square feet, while the maximum height is 38 feet, according to application materials.
The four free market condos would be on the back portion of the site, along Bleeker Street. There also would be a total of two on-site affordable housing units, up from one currently.
The developers plan to hold a neighborhood meeting about the proposal on Jan. 3, and have their first public meeting on the project Jan. 9 before the Historic Preservation Commission.
Michael Brown, who along with his brother, owns the Hotel Aspen and the across-the-street Molly Gibson Lodge, said the current Hotel Aspen land is under utilized, and the new plans will take better advantage of the large lot.
“Most people don’t realize how deep the property goes,” Brown said.
The “substantial” redevelopment will see about 33 brand new hotel rooms added to the property, and a remodel on 20 of the existing rooms, Brown said. He touted plans to reduce the average room size by about 100 square feet as following the explicit suggestions of the Aspen Area Community Plan’s lodging section.
“[Reducing room size] is truly how you make an affordable lodge,” Brown said.
In turn, the four townhomes planned for the development are the “economic engine” driving the project, Brown said.
The hotel’s pool area was recently redone, so it will be left more or less as-is under the new plans, although new food service facilities could be added, Brown said.