Rosewood CEO John Scott emphasized his company's exclusivity it currently operates only 15 hotels worldwide, and is adding only one or two a year at a reception Monday at which the project developer, Aaron Honigman, made the announcement that Rosewood would be their operator.
Rosewood, Scott said, specializes in unique luxury properties, each with its own strong sense of place.
"This is a different scenario than Telluride has seen before," Honigman elaborated in an interview on Wednesday. "There has never been a five-star hotel operator in Telluride." Another distinction, Honigman added, is that the Telluride Rosewood will be a "straight hotel," and not a condominium hotel, although there will be condominiums in the product mix. Guests who want to stay in a five-star resort often feel more comfortable in straight hotel rooms, Honigman explained. Given that guests who want five stars have not had that option in Telluride before, Rosewood is likely to generate significant new business to the area, he said.
"Rosewood is the best we could possibly do," Honigman added. "There are several other operators that were interested in the site."
Rosewood's hotels, "a collection, not a chain," Scott said, include some of the most famous in the world, including The Carlyle in New York, the Mansion at Turtle Creek in Dallas, the Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, and Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico.
"We are an art, not a cookie-cutter science," Scott told the large group of local real estate brokers and business people who attended Monday's reception. "If we do one to three new hotels a year, we are successful."
Scott listed a small number of projects Rosewood is developing, and emphasized that the new Telluride Rosewood is the only ski resort in the mix. Telluride's name recognition and beauty, the spectacular site, and the commitment and credentials of Honigman's development team, were factors in Rosewood's decision to join the project, Scott said. The team includes Hill Glazier Architects of Palo Alto as the design architect, Brayton+Hughes Design Studio of San Francisco as the interior designer, and T.D. Smith of Telluride Real Estate Brokers to handle residence sales.
Rosewood was established in 1979 by Carolyn Rose Hunt, with an express mission to create luxury resorts. Rosewood hotels are small in size, Scott said, and earn extraordinarily high revenues per available room.
The Telluride Rosewood is currently going through the Mountain Village approvals process. It has already won conceptual approval from both the Mountain Village Design Review Board and the Mountain Village Town Council and goes for Sketch Plan approval from DRB this week. It is seeking minimal variances, usually an indication that a project is unlikely to encounter much resistance on the path to final approval.
The property, located on Country Club Drive just north and west of The Peaks, is zoned for 70 hotel rooms and some 80 to 90 condominiums, but will have somewhat more than 70 hotel rooms and fewer than 80 condominiums, Honigman said, although the precise mix has yet to be determined. It will have two restaurants, two or three bars, a spa, a pool, a fitness center and small meeting facilities.
Rosewood will also manage the Corcheval townhouses, a six-unit project located across Mountain Village Boulevard from the site of another major new mixed use development slated to house a luxury hotel in the Mountain Village Core. That $200 million project began construction in the spring.
"More investment helps everyone," Honigman said. "I am committed to the success of Telluride."
Honigman lived in Telluride full-time for five years in the late 1990s, and still spends several months a year here, he said. He has developed real estate in other mountain resorts and across the country.
Pending final approval by Mountain Village officials, groundbreaking for the Telluride Rosewood is set for the spring of 2007 with completion tentatively set for 2009.