Knob Hill Inn gets approval
to add timeshares, spa
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
Ketchum Planning and Zoning commissioners
Monday, Nov. 10, unanimously approved the design of a proposed addition to the
Knob Hill Inn, the luxury hotel located at 960 Main St.
In a 5-0 vote, the panel endorsed a plan
to add to the existing inn six timeshare units and a full-service spa facility.
The project would expand the floor area of the hotel and restaurant operation by
approximately 25,000 square feet.
No members of the public spoke against or
in favor of the proposed addition on Monday. At two earlier meetings, Brian
Barsotti—the Ketchum developer who on Sept. 2 gained city approval of the
proposed 80-room Bald Mountain Lodge—contended that the proposed addition and
its fractional-ownership units might not comply with the city’s Tourist-district
However, city staff on Monday said the
project would indeed comply with the intent of the city’s regulations for hotel
development. City Attorney Margaret Simms noted that the city’s definition of
what composes a "hotel" should be clarified, but said ambiguities in the
definition "clearly" should not hinder the proposed project.
After the votes were cast Monday, inn
owner Joe Koenig appeared visibly relieved that the project was permitted
without significant delay. "Thank you," he said, smiling.
The proposed addition to the Knob Hill Inn
includes plans to demolish an existing garage and swimming pool immediately
south of the existing hotel to make room for six new fractional-ownership
condominiums, a new swimming pool and a new spa facility. The planned addition
is designed to closely match the existing 26-room hotel, which has approximately
32,000 square feet of developed space.
The proposed structure would at its
highest point reach a height of 35 feet, the maximum allowed on the
The review of the proposed plans Monday
marked the third time the P&Z had considered the project. Commissioners first
reviewed the application in September, before asking Koenig and project
architect Richard Meyer to return on Oct. 27 with a more detailed set of plans.
The P&Z was unable to vote on the project at the October meeting because project
representatives had submitted their plans too late for city staff to thoroughly
review the material.
Koenig told commissioners in September
that he wants to build the timeshare units and spa to cater to a growing number
of discriminating travelers who demand luxury accommodations and services.
As is, the Knob Hill Inn is the only hotel
in the region that belongs to the prestigious "Relais & Chateaux" association of
luxury hotels and restaurants, based in Europe.