Pete Fowler
pfowler@postindependent.com
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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January 14, 2009
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Upscale hotel coming to Glenwood Springs

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado " The Roaring Fork Lodge's developer announced it's partnering with a national hotel operator, and the lodge should open in spring 2010.

The lodge, planned at the former site of the Sunlight Racquet Club near Midland Avenue and 27th Street, is thought to be one of the largest buildings ever built in Glenwood Springs. Plans include 40 luxury condominium units, 106 hotel rooms and 4,500 square feet of meeting space including a ballroom. There will also be an upscale restaurant, heated underground parking and an "ecofriendly" spa and fitness center.

"The Roaring Fork Lodge will be the premier place to stay in the lower Roaring Fork Valley," the hotel operator, Magnolia Hotels of Denver, said in a news release.

The lodge will feature a riverfront location and a large deck by the Roaring Fork River. The developer expects to start 10 to 12 months of construction in May.

Changes from previously reported plans include an increase in hotel rooms from 68 to 106, a reduction of the size of indoor public meeting space from 9,000 to 4,500 square feet, and an expansion of the riverside deck to 4,500 square feet. The lodge is still planned to be a five-story, 150,000-square-foot building. The revisions must win city approvals.

Terry Claassen, Roaring Fork Lodge LLC manager, and his team will develop the property and Magnolia will oversee hotel operations. Magnolia operates four high-end hotels in Denver, Dallas, Houston and Omaha, Neb. In a news release, Claassen said the upscale property will be "remarkable."

"We selected Magnolia Hotels to manage this property based on their wealth of upscale hotel experience and profitable operating efficiencies," he said. "They have carved a unique niche of urban hotels in downtown markets that represent the quality we envision."

Claassen originally announced that the lodge was expected to open in the fall of 2008, raising questions about whether the recession and frozen credit markets caused problems for the development. Claassen said in an e-mail the delay was caused by a 25 percent increase in building and labor costs between initial pricing in fall 2006 and when the work was bid in January 2008.

The two- and three-bedroom condos are now priced in the $380,000 to $500,000 range. About 25 percent of them have already been reserved. Claassen said at a July 2007 City Council meeting he hoped to have the units stay in the $350,000 to $450,000 price range.

The condos feature mountain and river views, nine-foot ceilings, balconies, fireplaces, lock-off suites, decorator finishes and an "owners-only" common area by the river with barbecue, fire pits and a Jacuzzi. The property will also incorporate green building principles and obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

"We are thrilled to partner with Roaring Fork Lodge LLC to bring this concept to reality and open a sophisticated and modern mountain lodge in the beautiful resort town of Glenwood Springs," said Leigh Hitz, president of Magnolia Hotels, in the news release.

The condos are listed with Aspen Sotheby's International Realty. Call 963-3536 for more information or visit www.roaringforklodge.net or www.aspensothebysrealty.com.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121or pfowler@postindependent.com


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The Post Independent Updated Jan 14, 2009 11:34AM Published Jan 14, 2009 11:34AM Copyright 2009 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.