Bring your ski boots and bathing suit to the new W Aspen rooftop deck, which is scheduled to open in spring 2019 with an après-ski party scene that promises to rival the now-defunct Sky Hotel, demolished last year.
Speaking Wednesday to the Aspen Business Luncheon at the Mountain Chalet, developer John Sarpa said the W Aspen hotel at the base of Aspen Mountain between The Little Nell hotel and residential condominium buildings will have three public spaces where beverage and food will be available.
At nearly 122,000 feet of construction, with a disturbed area of about 42,000 square feet, the building is double the size of its predecessor.
“The old Sky Hotel we’re replacing was one hell of a local hangout. We need this place to be the same,” Sarpa said. He later added, “We expect people in ski boots everywhere.”
W Aspen will have a “modern chalet” design and was inspired by a similar luxury hotel in Verbier, Switzerland. Colors will pay homage to architect and graphic designer Herbert Bayer, with “Bayer blue” hues prominent in the interior.
Access to the hotel’s pinnacle, the approximately 8,000-square-foot public rooftop bar, will be via elevator. There will be a place to stash equipment, Sarpa said. On the second floor is a living-room-style space that can accommodate hundreds and host live music and DJ entertainment. The deck will include a 30-foot fire pit.
The hotel’s first floor will have flex space that could accommodate “late-night entertainment in the lobby,” he said.
W Aspen will have 88 hotel rooms for rent and 11 fractional-ownership residences sold in one-tenth shares. Prices are forthcoming but should be comparable to the Dancing Bear Aspen, he told attendees at the Wednesday business luncheon.
Sarpa said W Aspen’s fractional-ownership pricing will be made public soon but the property, since the 1960s, has included some kind of après-ski bar.
“We want to maintain what the Sky was so good at, a place that was open and fun for both locals and guests to hang out,” he said. Sarpa said he expects this venture to be at least as successful as its predecessor.
“This is going to be a fun place, even by Aspen standards.”
The vibrancy of this new scene will be contained with sound barriers.
Sarpa said part of the city approval involved creating a sound system designed to be “as compatible as possible, given the conflicting interests of a hotel in a residential area.”
The project received land-use approval in early 2015 from the city of Aspen, but hotel construction and demolition were delayed by one year in order to give the principals time “to finish the drawings,” he said.
In 2017, the developers settled a lawsuit with neighbors over construction access through the alley.
The hotel construction led by Haselden has benefitted from this winter’s mild weather.
“To date we haven’t had to use one weather day or stop, which is fantastic. We’re still very much on track to open in spring 2019,” Sarpa said.