Telluride Named #1 Ski Area in the US & Canada

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Condé Nast Traveler has named Telluride the #1 Ski area in all of US and Canada. 

In their annual Readers’ Choice Survey, they asked 20,000 Condé Nast Traveler skiiers to vote on the best ski areas in North America—and they came up with an impressive list of must-visit mountain towns. Telluride received a Readers’ Choice Rating  of 94.1%.

Here’s what they had to say:

Our readers consider Telluride “the most beautiful mountain town in Colorado with views reminiscent of the Alps,” rocketing it to the number one spot in our poll. Readers love the no-line lifts, the steep terrain, and the overall laid-back vibe, adding it’s “absolutely the world’s greatest ski area when it comes to variety of difficulty.” What’s more, Telluride is a “fun town to explore,” “a little slice of heaven in a gorgeous box canyon.”

Find out what other towns were named on this list!

Most Scenic Resorts of 2013

 

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SkiNet Magazine has named Telluride Ski Resort as one of the most scenic resorts of 2013! Find out who else made the list.

 

 

Telluride Named The Best Ski Resort and Hotels in North America 2012

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Conde Nast Traveler ranked Telluride as the #1 ski resort in North America! 9 Telluride hotels were also ranked in the top 50 Ski Hotels in North America.

Find out who else made the list!

National Geographic Features Telluride in Top 25 Ski Towns in the World

National Geographic Article - Telluride Affiliates BlogBest For: Big-lunged skiers and boarders with a taste for fine wine and the mountain high life

Remote and unrelentingly beautiful, Telluride may be the most picturesque ski town in North America, a Victorian-era silver-mining hamlet set deep in a box canyon in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. The steep runs of Telluride Ski Resort spill right into the edge of the town’s National Historic District, where a gondola whisks skiers back up into the area’s almost 4,000 vertical feet of absurdly scenic skiing. Only 12 blocks long and with no stoplights, neon signs, or billboards, this charming town of 2,325 people combines fine wine lists and funky bars with a spirited culture of diehard mountain lovers. The town sits at a gasping 8,793 feet above sea level, and lifts reach to over 12,500 feet, so come prepared to acclimatize.

To read the full Article from National Geographic click here

Top 5 Ski Resorts by Forbes!

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Forbes magazine has named the town of Telluride as one of the top 5 ski resorts!

Here’s what they had to say

If you’ve been to Telluride, you understand why it’s on this list.  Seeing this town’s main street framed against one of the more magnificent box canyons in the world, the spire of its old courthouse saluting a battalion of serrated San Juan peaks, pays for the plane ticket.  As for that plane ride, Telluride has a reputation for being hard to reach.  It’s a tag that gets Dave Riley, the CEO of the resort, bristling.  “It’s simply not true,” he says.  “It’s easier to get in here than a lot of other Colorado resorts, and the drive is better.”

To read full FORBES article click here

Peaks Resort and Spa Sporting a Cleaner, Brighter Interior

In the days just before the Christmas Holiday, the Peaks Resort Hotel and Spa, sporting a new “cleaner” interior, returned to a bustling tourist lodge with 140 guestrooms and all penthouses operational after a summer-long closure of all 176 rooms for renovation.

Although it remains uncertain if and when a deal will be reached from a prospective buyer to purchase the resort from current owner, The Blackstone Group, the Peaks opened Dec. 15 with a fresh look in its guestrooms and spa.

According to outgoing General Manager Eric Sather, renovation crews worked diligently until the Dec. 15 deadline to keep Blackstone’s promise to the town that the hotel would be open for the winter season. Sather recently took a hotel management job in Florida and will be leaving to fill that position this week.

“They worked around the clock,” Sather said in an interview last week. “Some of the furniture just came in before the opening. We really wanted to keep our commitment to the mayor and town council that we would open by Dec. 15.”

Last May, The Blackstone Group announced that was embarking on a $60 million renovation and refurbishment project that would change the look for the hotel-condo building that towers over Mountain Village. In June, construction on the renovation was halted when Blackstone put the hotel up for sale. Between the stop order on the renovation in June and Dec. 15, crews made do with what they had to make the five-star hotel acceptable for the region’s high-end business.

Probably the most notable difference to the basic guestrooms is the increased brightness with the new paint job each room received. Currently, the most basic guestroom costs somewhere between $199.00 $249.00 a night. Sather couldn’t elaborate on how much money went into the shortened version of the renovation but was in “the millions” of dollars.

“We wanted to clean everything up,” Sather said. “You can see that we whitewashed everything to brighten the rooms up rather than leaving the tan color.”

Guestrooms have new mattresses, bed-skirting, 400-thread count sheets and all new refrigerators. Most of the carpets in the guestrooms were deep-cleaned, as was bathroom grout, with many of the bathroom faucet fixtures in guestrooms being replaced as well.

The hallways leading through the arteries of the building were also repainted, with new logos attached to each guestroom door. Sather went on to say that the Great Room, which was bustling with après ski festivities during the interview, didn’t change much and that the bar and restaurant are now fully open.

Currently, the Peaks employs over 300 people full- and part-time. Bookings since the hotel’s reopening have been good, Sather said.

“This year, advance bookings are up, even with the fewer number of rooms we have available and the uncertainty people had about us,” he said.

The Golden Door Spa at the Peaks also received a face-lift with over $2 million in construction. Greeting guests at the entrance of the spa is a new desk with a newly installed shield made of horizontal bamboo. Treatment rooms were reduced from 40 to 32 to accommodate couple-treatment rooms.

The lap pool received a thorough cleaning and paint job while the fitness room received a new audio system and cardio machines are now sporting new individual television monitors. The spa no longer has racquetball courts as they were turned into yoga/Pilates studio.

“And rest assured,” Sather added. “We didn’t take away the waterslide. Parents are always coming here and telling me, “don’t take away that slide.'”

Sather expects the rest of the hotel to be renovated and completed sometime next summer. But for now, the hotel is fully operational with Legends open for breakfast and dinner and après ski in the Great Room available for weary skiers coming off the slopes.

Sather said it is too soon to quantify any feedback on the renovations from return visitors.

“We just opened so it is hard to tell what people think,” he said. “The people who were here last year are going to see some changes. With the uncertainty, people always think the worst. We worked six-days-a-week to get it up and running and it is fully functional.”

Sather will be replaced by interim general manager Daniel Mann, who is coming from a resort in Boca Raton, Fla.

Clark’s Expansion Approved by HARC, After Several Months

Clark's Market - Telluride Affiliates

The Telluride Historic Architectural Review Commission only had a little ammunition left to resist the Clark’s Market Expansion project, which has endured numerous challenges over the past several months.

And Wednesday, March 21, HARC approved the Clark’s project by a 4-1 vote.

The plan is for a three-story building, with an expanded grocery store that will include 20,000 square feet, four units of employee housing and six new free-market condominiums at the current Clark’s Market property and parking lot at 666 W. Colorado Avenue. The project would add 13,000 square feet to the grocery store, and the building total will be 58,000 square feet.

HARC Boardmember Sonchia Jilek, standing in as chairman over the Clark’s proposal with the regular chairman, Chance Leoff, recusing himself due to his home’s proximity to the project, registered the dissenting vote.

“Every time I look at this project, I still have issues which I certainly feel like we are disregarding,” she said. “I think there have been a lot of improvements, but I still think we are disregarding certain guidelines.”

The project’s parking plan, she said, was “first and foremost on my mind.” The expansion will include 88 parking spaces, most of them in front of the building, but also including 24 spaces beneath the building.

Yet, with the exception of a new requirement for exterior lighting to minimize upward luminescence tacked onto the approval by HARC Boardmember Brian Werner, the rest of the board gave its approval with relatively little criticism.

The project, once it had reached HARC, had endured just about everything, including a denial by the board, mostly concerning the issue of “mass and scale.” Then, two Telluride Town Councilmembers, Stu Fraser and Andrea Benda, called the matter back up to the council, which sent it back to HARC for another try.

After one previous HARC work session last month, the “mass and scale” issues were resolved, as well as other items that had been required, according to Mike Davenport, the town’s historical planner.

“It appears to be in compliance with various matters with the Land Use Code,” he told the board. “It appears the project does comply “¦”

Only one member of the community appeared before the panel to comment on the project Wednesday night, and that comment was a rave review of the changes that had been made since Clark’s had originally submitted the proposal three years ago.

“It’s come a long way,” said Matthew Hintermeister. “At first I was really concerned, but I’m really happy with where it is now. I think we have gotten to the mass and such that’s certainly acceptable.

“Considering the other benefits to the town, I think it’s a great project.”

Clark’s project architect Dan Hunter successfully negotiated a gauntlet of requests for changes from HARC. For example, he was finally able to reduce the “mass and scale” quandary by creating a step-back design on the west side of the building, and by reducing the size of the windows on the upper two floors.

Davenport said with the minor refinements, the building is actually 900 square feet smaller than it was before the project was originally denied. Nevertheless, the revised plan “still complies with the minimum requirements for (affordable) housing,” he said.

Boardmember Harley Brooke-Hitchings before making the motion to approve the project said, “I’m so glad to see the old Clark’s tower going away.”

Rosewood Named to Manage Mountain Village Hotel Project

Five Stars

“Ultra luxury” is coming to Mountain Village in 2009 by way of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts. Rosewood CEO John Scott emphasized his company’s exclusivity it currently operates only 15 hotels worldwide, and is adding only one or two a year at a reception Monday at which the project developer, Aaron Honigman, made the announcement that Rosewood would be their operator.

Rosewood, Scott said, specializes in unique luxury properties, each with its own strong sense of place.

“This is a different scenario than Telluride has seen before,” Honigman elaborated in an interview on Wednesday. “There has never been a five-star hotel operator in Telluride.” Another distinction, Honigman added, is that the Telluride Rosewood will be a “straight hotel,” and not a condominium hotel, although there will be condominiums in the product mix. Guests who want to stay in a five-star resort often feel more comfortable in straight hotel rooms, Honigman explained. Given that guests who want five stars have not had that option in Telluride before, Rosewood is likely to generate significant new business to the area, he said.

“Rosewood is the best we could possibly do,” Honigman added. “There are several other operators that were interested in the site.”

Rosewood’s hotels, “a collection, not a chain,” Scott said, include some of the most famous in the world, including The Carlyle in New York, the Mansion at Turtle Creek in Dallas, the Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, and Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico.

“We are an art, not a cookie-cutter science,” Scott told the large group of local real estate brokers and business people who attended Monday’s reception. “If we do one to three new hotels a year, we are successful.”

Scott listed a small number of projects Rosewood is developing, and emphasized that the new Telluride Rosewood is the only ski resort in the mix. Telluride’s name recognition and beauty, the spectacular site, and the commitment and credentials of Honigman’s development team, were factors in Rosewood’s decision to join the project, Scott said. The team includes Hill Glazier Architects of Palo Alto as the design architect, Brayton+Hughes Design Studio of San Francisco as the interior designer, and T.D. Smith of Telluride Real Estate Brokers to handle residence sales.

Rosewood was established in 1979 by Carolyn Rose Hunt, with an express mission to create luxury resorts. Rosewood hotels are small in size, Scott said, and earn extraordinarily high revenues per available room.

The Telluride Rosewood is currently going through the Mountain Village approvals process. It has already won conceptual approval from both the Mountain Village Design Review Board and the Mountain Village Town Council and goes for Sketch Plan approval from DRB this week. It is seeking minimal variances, usually an indication that a project is unlikely to encounter much resistance on the path to final approval.

The property, located on Country Club Drive just north and west of The Peaks, is zoned for 70 hotel rooms and some 80 to 90 condominiums, but will have somewhat more than 70 hotel rooms and fewer than 80 condominiums, Honigman said, although the precise mix has yet to be determined. It will have two restaurants, two or three bars, a spa, a pool, a fitness center and small meeting facilities.

Rosewood will also manage the Corcheval townhouses, a six-unit project located across Mountain Village Boulevard from the site of another major new mixed use development slated to house a luxury hotel in the Mountain Village Core. That $200 million project began construction in the spring.

“More investment helps everyone,” Honigman said. “I am committed to the success of Telluride.”

Honigman lived in Telluride full-time for five years in the late 1990s, and still spends several months a year here, he said. He has developed real estate in other mountain resorts and across the country.

Pending final approval by Mountain Village officials, groundbreaking for the Telluride Rosewood is set for the spring of 2007 with completion tentatively set for 2009.

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