Your Evening News - February 10th, 2015

Feb 10, 2015

Hotel Jerome Sold for $69.1 Million to Auberge Board Member

The historic Hotel Jerome sold for $69.1 Million on Monday according to Pitkin County assessor records. The sale makes it one of the largest commercial real estate transactions for a single property in downtown Aspen in recent years.

The new owner is Houston businessman Dan Friedkin. He also bought an adjacent property for $3.35 Million that was once the Aspen Times office. Friedkin is the majority shareholder of Auberge Resorts Collection – the company that manages the Jerome, along with other high-end hotels.

The seller was Chicago-based Don Wilson, the managing partner of DRW Real Estate. He bought the 93-room hotel on Main Street out of foreclosure in 2009 for between $25 to $36 Million, according to conflicting media reports. DRW then invested over $20 Million on a major renovation of the 113,000 square foot building in 2012.

Tony DiLucia is the hotel’s general manager. He says he couldn’t more pleased to have Friedkin as the new owner.

“So, here is a guy that truly wants to be in the hospitality, hotel business. Again, it’s handing over stewardship. Don did his magic with his team and re-did this whole hotel which we are so grateful for. They are into the whole what this hotel means to our community.”

All operations and staff will remain the same at the Hotel Jerome.

Aspen Development Proposal to Go to Ballot

The Aspen City Clerk says a proposed charter amendment about development in Aspen will be on the ballot this Spring. That follows the collection of enough signatures by Aspen residents. Ballots for the mail-in election will go out in the spring. Election Day is May Fifth.

Providing Pot to Teens Gets Silt Man Arrested

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man, last week, for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The marijuana Hector Ruiz purchased from two dispensaries in Silt ended up in the hands of teenagers. Law enforcement found out about the marijuana after school officials at Coal Ridge High School in New Castle reported a student getting sick from a cookie infused with marijuana. Another student had brought the cookie to school. Over the next few days, school officials and law enforcement discovered nine students were involved in distributing, purchasing or consuming edible marijuana products. The adult arrested, Hector Ruiz, had purchased the products from the Silt dispensaries High Q Dispensary and Green Cross Dispensary. Ruiz faces an additional charge of possessing marijuana or marijuana concentrate in excess of the legal limit.

Pitkin Co. Seeks Guidance from Residents on Airport Plans

The Pitkin County Board of Commissions has confirmed nearly 40 locals can help guide how to redevelop Aspen’s airport. Commissioner Steve Child.

“I think it’s the sense of the board to go ahead with, like we’ve discussed, having all the people be on the committee at the start. And possibly some other citizens who show up at the meeting and be really interested and knowledgeable, and they might possibly end up on this committee also.”

That big pool will actually divide into two committees. One will focus on the big picture for the plan to redo the terminal, possibly add a public transit center, and other changes. The other committee would cover the more technical aspects of the project. The overall group will meet in two weeks to decide committee member placements. They’re expected to meet regularly over the next 18 to 24 months.

The airport committees will not review with the effort to expand the runway. That’s expected to begin later.