|By Julie Dunn, The Denver Post
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Mar. 3, 2006 - Summit County's Copper Mountain will be home to the first Hard Rock Hotel at a mountain resort, Hard Rock International and Intrawest Corp. announced Thursday.
Plans call for a four-star condo-hotel, with 320 residences and featuring a spa, a multilevel indoor/outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and multiple bars.
"We believe bringing Hard Rock to Copper will help in creating the most exciting destination in the U.S. ski market," said Trevor Horwell, chief hotels officer for Orlando, Fla.-based Hard Rock International.
The boutique hotel will be located where Copper Mountain's Chapel parking lot currently sits, pending approval.
Hard Rock International owns 11 hotels in cities such as Las Vegas, New York and Madrid. Copper Mountain will be its second condo-hotel; a 12-story project in San Diego is set to open in spring 2007.
The company also owns 121 Hard Rock Cafe restaurants, including one in downtown Denver, and two stand-alone casinos.
Intrawest-owned Copper Mountain has roughly 3,000 beds in its base village but no name-brand hotel.
"That's why this is a really exciting opportunity for us, because it gives us a product that we don't currently offer our guests," said Intrawest development spokeswoman Laura Goode. "And Hard Rock isn't your typical hotel. It has an edge to it; it's fun; it's adventurous -- all of things that Copper Market is targeting in terms of our core audience." Denver hotel consultant John Montgomery agreed that the hotel will fit Copper Mountain's needs.
"Copper is a ski area that is prestigious, but it has operated slightly below the radar," he said. "Adding the powerful Hard Rock brand will really help them establish something they didn't have before." The new hotel is part of a revised master plan Intrawest is seeking for Copper Mountain.
The hotel is the first project to be developed under an agreement announced last summer among Hard Rock, Lifestar Hotels and Intrawest to build Hard Rock Hotels at select Intrawest properties worldwide. Construction could begin in early 2007.
Intrawest, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, announced this week it has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore options that could include a sale, a merger or partnerships.
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