Telski CEO Dave Riley sent a letter to Telski club members Tuesday stating the company’s intention to find local investors to buy the Peaks. Riley said Telski had been contacted by several members of the community to “take a leadership role in stabilizing the hotel and spa.
“Obviously, there are many synergies that the ski company could bring to the table in order to turn the Peaks around and once again make it a great community asset,” he said.
In one way, the ski company has already invested in the hotel. Because of the need for an “anchor hotel,” Telski donated five acres for the hotel, which was built in 1992, Riley said. If Riley is successful in attracting investors, more land would be added for potential expansion.
The importance of the Peaks is inestimable, Riley said, since it is the largest hotel property in Mountain Village, with more than 170 rooms and 15 penthouse condos, many owned by individuals.
“The Peaks is credited with making Mountain Village what it is today in terms of providing economic vitality, only to gradually lose its pre-eminence,” Riley stated in the letter. “Over the years, the property has gone through foreclosure, litigation, several owners, and instability.”
The Peaks had its share of troubles, no doubt, including a lawsuit filed by the penthouse owners against the hotel’s majority owner, the Blackstone Group. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Peak Homeowners Association charged that the Peaks had fallen into disrepair, including problems with the roof, malfunctioning heating systems and other physical problems. Renovations underway the hotel came to a standstill in the summer of 2007 after Blackstone became the majority owner. After its purchase, Blackstone put the property up for sale at $50 million. Riley said the price has since come down.
The lawsuit was settled in June, Solomon said, and a major part of the settlement was an agreement by the owner to put $5 million into repairs to the roof, heating and ventilation system and make final improvements to the resort’s Golden Door Spa, which last year saw $3 million in improvements.
Solomon said the settlement, which will be finalized Oct. 21, also stipulates also using outside consultants for determining future improvements. The settlement also waives homeowner association dues for 2006 and 2007, which Solomon said come to about $450,000.
The Peaks also began $11 million in renovations in May, and work is almost complete on improvements to the lobby and entrance as well as the exterior and individual guest rooms, which will have new lighting, artwork and furnishings. Additional work includes upgrades to mechanical, electric and plumbing systems and updating the hotel’s fire and life safety system. Only minor work remains, said hotel manager Mike Hess.
“Most of the renovation is completed,” he said. “We’re just waiting for new furniture for the Great Room and the parking lot is about to be repaved. We’re in great shape.”
Hess is enthusiastic about the Peaks’ future, but he declined to comment on the possible sale of the hotel, where bookings for the winter are way up.
“On the books, the number of groups (booked) have doubled over last year,” he said. “That’s the best indicator and we’re really excited.”
Riley said he hopes investors will come forward so a deal could be struck soon.
“We’ve had a very positive response since the letter went out yesterday,” he said Wednesday. “I’ve been talking to a number of potential partners, and it seems to be coming together.”
An investment framework has been set up to aid investors, and a Boulder hospitality services company will help with “strategic planning and operational tactics,” Riley said, but with local control.
“Our ideal scenario would be to partner with a handful of people who already have an ownership interest in the community, such as full or part-time residents,” he said.
Anyone interested in learning more about the proposed purchase of the Peaks can call Riley at 728-7334 or email him at email@example.com.
Looking to the future, Riley said in his letter that Telski wants to keep the Peaks viable for a long time to come.
“We are now at the point where it appears prudent to actively seek a way to acquire the hotel, in a partnership involving the ski company, in order to bring the property back to its former glory,” he said. “Our plan is to put a group of people together who have a long-term interest in being a part of making the Peaks a great place once again.”