Friday, August 15, 2014

Partner brings funding to luxury hotel project

Ownership group says construction on Ketchum site will start next spring

Express Staff Writer

This rendering shows the proposed Auberge Resorts: Sun Valley hotel, slated to open in 2017.
Photo courtesy of Hornberger + Worstell architects

    Following a decade of scheming and dreaming, developer Jack Bariteau’s goal to build a five-star hotel in central Ketchum has been set into motion.
    Bariteau has forged a partnership with Auberge Resorts Collection, an owner and operator of luxury resorts, hotels, residences and exclusive organizations throughout the western part of the United States, Mexico and the West Indies.
    The hotel—which has already been approved by the city for Bariteau’s property at the southeast corner of Main and River streets—will be called Auberge Resorts: Sun Valley. The project used to be called Hotel Ketchum.
    Craig Reid, CEO of Auberge Resort Collections, said in news release that the appeal of operating a hotel in the Sun Valley area stems from the “underserviced” luxury hotel market locally and the desirability and history of Ketchum as a tourist destination.
    Development firm Trail Creek Fund LLC, of which Bariteau is the project director and lead sponsor, announced in a news release that construction will begin in May 2015 and the hotel should open by late 2017. It will be the first five-star boutique hotel in the Sun Valley area, Bariteau said.
    The 155,000-square-foot project is estimated to cost just under $53 million, including the property and outfitting costs. Boasting between 80 and 90 hotel rooms, 14 residences on the upper floors, a restaurant and bar, spa, fitness gym, meeting facility for 300 people, heated outdoor swimming pool and other resort amenities, the hotel will meet several needs for guests and residents alike, Bariteau said.
    Residential condominiums will make up the top floors of the facility. Plans for 14 luxury condominiums, six of which will be top-floor penthouses, will be sold. There will be both two- and three-bedroom residences available from 1,250 to 2,400 square feet, all on a single-level floor and fully furnished, project leaders said. Residents will have access to a private elevator and two-car underground parking, as well as unrestricted access to resort amenities and services, the press release states.
    San Francisco architecture firm Hornberger + Worstell is designing the facility. The firm has a history of working in mountain resort towns, particularly for hospitality ventures, Bariteau said. Hornberger + Worstell designed the Colonnade and Christiania buildings in downtown Ketchum, other Trail Creek Fund projects.
    Bariteau’s vision for a luxury hotel in Ketchum began in November 2004, when his company purchased the site, currently a business complex called Trail Creek Village. He chose the location for its view of Bald Mountain, and proximity to the River Run base of the mountain and Ketchum’s commercial core, he said.
    When the city of Ketchum approved the project in November 2008, it came at the start of the recession, Bariteau said, and markets that provide capital were closing. However, Bariteau believes the economy is improving and the timing is good for a new hotel. The implementation of a new tax to support commercial air service and increased enplanements at Friedman Memorial Airport are signs that Ketchum is regaining its vitality, Bariteau said.
    All the project needs now are building permits, Bariteau said. The news release states that construction related to the hotel will employ 100 full-time workers and, once it opens, more than 80 hotel positions.
    “This is a game-changing development,” Bariteau said.

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