Colorado mountain resort projects on the rise

By Jason Blevins – Associated Press – Saturday, October 25, 2014

DENVER (AP) — Big high-country construction projects are emerging from a nearly six-year hibernation.

Investors are freeing the flow of cash. Buyers are stepping up. And in Breckenridge, Vail and the Roaring Fork Valley, large-scale condominium and hotel projects in limbo during the recession finally are sprouting.

From the wealthy enclaves of Aspen to the community-centric Basalt and middle-market affordability of Silverthorne, fractional residences and hotels are under construction for the first time since 2008.

“It feels like we have been asleep for a while, hasn’t it?” said Ed Mace, a hotel veteran whose Denver-based Silverwest Hotel Partners is backing an environmentally friendly, 113-room Westin Element hotel in the Willits neighborhood of Basalt and a Hampton Inn in Silverthorne.

The hotel industry is thriving nationwide, with climbing revenues and occupancies. A rush of new projects in Colorado mountain resort towns, which slid into the recession a bit later than most urban areas, are starting to make up for roughly six years of construction silence.

Development is more tempered this time around. Projects seem less glitzy, with the common theme of value evident in each development, whether targeted toward wealthy downtown Aspen buyers or budget-minded travelers.

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