A changing of the guard at the Viceroy Snowmass

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenAugust 11, 2010
It is a formidable task to replace Jeff David, the wildly popular general manager of the Viceroy in Snowmass Village who recently moved on to warmer environs at the Viceroy Anguilla.
Hugh Templeman

“You can't step into his shoes, that's the bottom line,” said Hugh Templeman, the man who is doing just that. “One of the things Jeff did absolutely wonderfully is integrate this hotel, our organization, into the local community. … I think they're going to erect a statue or something for him in Snowmass.”

There isn't a statue of any of Viceroy's leaders in Snowmass yet — just a lot of unfinished construction — but the hotel group has made a name for itself in the Roaring Fork Valley. A recent review of upper valley properties currently under contract showed that more than three quarters of them are for interests in the hotel, which is operated but not owned by the Viceroy hotel and resort group. That's a testament to the success of the hotel's inaugural year as Viceroy brought parties, guests and energy to Snowmass.

Of course, things haven't exactly gone as planned.

New York developer Related Cos.' plan to dump $3 billion into the new village at the base of Snowmass ski area was turned on its head by the world's credit crisis and is in receivership while foreclosure proceedings and a lawsuit led by banks led by German lender Hypo Real Estate Corp. play out. Hypo is looking to recoup $200 million for loan guarantees and advances made for the village.

“We never imagined at the time I was arriving that there would be some of the nuances that have happened with Related and Hypo,” Templeman said. “So that's been a part of the process. Obviously we just have to ensure the transition is smooth, that the community recognizes Viceroy is here. We have a management agreement that has us here regardless of who the ownership is. And we want to work closely with the community and continue to develop potential business coming to the Aspen area.”
The Viceroy Snowmass

Templeman, who is officially the interim general manager, is in charge of as many as 240 employees during the hotel's peak season — and considerably less in the off-season when the Viceroy stayed open unlike some big hotels in Aspen that shut down for a few weeks when business wanes.

Born in Australia, Templeman started out working in Sydney and became director of sales and marketing for a 500-room hotel there at the age of 27. He then took the same position at the Mandarin Oriental in Jakarta, Indonesia. After that, he helped launch a Ritz Carlton in Bali, positioning it as one of the premiere hotels in all of Asia. His bosses at Ritz Carlton took notice and soon promoted Templeman.

“I must've done OK there because I was asked to transfer to America. So I made the most logical transfer of all time, I left Bali, Indonesia, to go to Dearborn, Michigan,” Templeman laughed. “It was a pretty radical change. That was really, really good. The reason it was such an important moment is Ritz Carlton had never imported anyone from Asia to America for a sales and marketing role.”

From there, he became executive assistant manager for Ritz Carlton in St. Louis, before joining the Four Seasons and becoming its hotel manager in Dublin, Ireland. Then he was off for a stint at the Viceroy Santa Monica, and then became the general manager of the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills.

And now here he is in Snowmass. It's been a whirlwind, but Templeman accepts the challenge.
Inside the Viceroy.

“In some ways I have a very simple job which is to continue the impetus that Jeff has done. My skill set means I can probably help out in the sales and marketing approach, too,” he said.

But most of all he and his team aim to “execute on the promises we make to customers."

Their newest promises include sushi at The Nest restaurant, which is poolside at the Viceroy. The hotel group is also offering sushi-making classes, a wine promotion, yoga, hiking, biking and kids programs.

comments: 1 Comment on "A changing of the guard at the Viceroy Snowmass "

inkwars – Sept. 18, 2010, at 3:13 p.m.

The Viceroy is beautiful. One of the areas locals would like to see, is a link to possibly a locals blog that would keep us up on how the booking percentages are doing, events the Viceroy is promoting and feedback from visitors staying with this newcomer to our tourism draws.

We have a deep need in the entire corridor to end the divisive rifts that run within tourism draws from Vail to Glenwood. Rifle to Aspen. Aspen to Vail. Aspen to Grand Junction. Every region of Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield and Mesa counties offers incredible potential for the widest diversity anywhere of outdoor recreation, cultural experiences, attraction draws and simply great Colorado hospitality.

Locals drive the politics that support tourism and construction throughout.

Tourism and construction walk hand in hand in our area.

We are those business people and the more informed we are with a pulse on what we have to work with, the better we can govern.

Welcome, Mr. Templeman. We'll be watching Viceroy and wish you much success.

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