When a local owners group purchased the nearly twenty-year-old Peaks Resort almost exactly a year ago, they promised to restore the property to the glory it enjoyed in its early years, when it successfully drew visitors to Telluride and primed the local economy.
Now they are investing $13 million in the property to make good on that promise.
New decks outside the hotel’s Great Room and its adjoining Palmyra restaurant are nearing completion. A 1,600 square-foot game room is being installed to keep the next generation enthralled. A state-of-the-art fiber optic internet system, the first system of its kind in the United States, will ensure that both the business (remote conferencing) and entertainment (live streaming) interests of guests can be supported without the slightest blip.
All this and a new general manager, too, whose credentials appear spot on. Simon Chen most recently comes from running the Beaver Creek Lodge and El Monte Sagrado (in Taos); before that he helped open the Ritz Carlton at Bachelor Gulch, outside Beaver Creek, and worked at the Little Nell in Aspen.
“I’m in my 11th year in ski country,” Chen said this week.
The new decks can’t help but dramatically change how The Peaks functions. Guests will be invited to sit outdoors around six fire pits, woolen blankets on hand for those who ask for a little more warmth, presented with what is surely one of the most spectacular views in the region, and thus in the world. Double doors will open onto the deck directly from the Great Room, where cocktails are served, essentially expanding the bar’s seating capacity by 34 persons. At the same time, an adjoining deck will expand the seating at Palmyra where lunch will now be served from 11 a.m. and closing at sunset, notably taking advantage of the hotel’s ski-in, ski-out access.
Chen vows that service and food will be fully up to the standard set by the word-class view, noting that customer surveys already reveal dramatically improved satisfaction in the last few months – even before the new amenities are online. A bistro menu will be supported by “an amazing wine-by-the-glass list,” Chen said.
The Peaks will implement the latest in room key technology, issuing a digital key to every guest -- either carried in a wallet or worn like a wristwatch – automatically opening doors and calculating charges for amenities. Those kids in the game room can be outfitted by their guardians with a set value they can spend on the machines, silently and effortlessly charged to their room.
As if to prove that beauty at The Peaks is not skin deep, the hotel is also working on its LEEDS certification, assuring guests that the heat from the fire pits is more than offset and that luxury at a hotel can be had guilt-free.
All this, plus a new North Face Store, the relocated headquarters for Telluride Helitrax, a remodeled ballroom, and fully refurbished rooms, will be ready for prime time in time for the World Cup, the week before Christmas.