Aspen Club taps Auberge to develop luxury town homes

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenMarch 10, 2011
After a drawn-out approval process, The Aspen Club & Spa is moving forward with its expansion at a "rapid pace."

That's what club owner Michael Fox told his members in a letter yesterday that announced California-based Auberge Resorts has been brought on to assist in operational and management decisions for the project.

An illustration of The Aspen Club.

"The Aspen Club team will leverage the strengths and reputation of Auberge Resorts to create the very cool evolution of the Aspen Club we have so long been dreaming of," Fox wrote. "The unchanging aspect throughout the project is, of course, The Aspen Club! We will operate and manage the club as we have done for the past several years. From a member and guest perspective, not much will change except that we will be delivering better customer service, more consistently with a newer, cleaner club. Auberge Resorts will assist us in making key decisions on the residential side. They deliver a fantastic product and we will learn a great deal through this relationship. I expect we will rely on their hospitality expertise, with an Aspen Club flavor, in order to help make your experience at the Aspen Club continually better."

Auberge Resorts has an obvious Aspen connection in Eric Calderon, formerly of The Little Nell, who is its chief operating officer.

"I'm thrilled Auberge Resorts will be involved in such an innovative project and it's a personal pleasure for me to be part of the Aspen community once again," Calderon said.

The distinctive properties in Auberge Resorts' portfolio include Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley; Esperanza, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Calistoga Ranch, Napa Valley; The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina; Encantado, Santa Fe, N.M.; Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in San Diego; and Element 52 in Telluride.

The project here is to be called The Aspen Club and Auberge Residences featuring two-, three- and four-bedroom town homes "designed with the highest level of amenities in a stunning natural setting," Auberge Resorts said.

Last June, Aspen City Council approved a mix of residential united that can be sold in fractional interests, along with affordable housing and a remodeled state-of-the-art fitness facility that Fox has said will be energy efficient and LEEDs certified. The approval came after years of meetings and public scrutiny of the proposed project.

Originally built in 1976 as a tennis and racquet club, the Aspen Club & Spa has transformed into a world-renowned health center" that counts seven-time Tour de France champion and part-time Aspen resident Lance Armstrong and New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez among the world-class athletes who have trained there.

The Aspen Club has more than 1,900 members, over 200 employees, and thousands of monthly physical therapy, sports performance, spa, and salon clients.

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