Aspen, CO – December 2, 2021 – The Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization, today announced that it has selected Salamander Hotels & Resorts to manage and elevate its iconic Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, CO. Set in a prime mountain location just minutes from Aspen’s celebrated downtown, the 40-acre property was established by Walter Paepcke as the Aspen Institute’s original headquarters, and today welcomes guests from across the world.
The Institute selected Salamander, which was founded by renowned businesswoman Sheila C. Johnson, because of its proven track record for achieving high standards of service excellence and financial success for one-of-a-kind destination hotels and resorts. The collaboration between both groups is strengthened by shared core values, including a commitment to creating a just and equitable society.
“Aspen Meadows is a remarkable campus and a core component of the Aspen Institute’s mission and heritage. It was vital to find a management company committed to providing hospitality that matched the location and who understands and appreciates this property’s historic significance,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “We have found exactly that with the Salamander Hotels & Resorts team. Salamander has a well-earned reputation for overseeing an unmatched collection of hotels and resorts, and Sheila Johnson’s commitment to inclusion across business, sports, hospitality, and culture aligns perfectly with our values. We are excited to work with Salamander to welcome more visitors than ever to the newly renovated Aspen Meadows.”
With an extensive knowledge of resort repositioning, Salamander will work on a plan with Institute leadership over the next five months and assume management of the property on May 1, 2022. The company also has extensive experience curating special events, which complements the Institute’s famed array of programming, including the Aspen Ideas Festival. The Institute, which owns the property, gathers leaders and members of the public at the campus to address some of the world’s most complex problems.
“We are honored to have the rare opportunity to team with the Aspen Institute and help further elevate the guest experience at Aspen Meadows Resort,” said Johnson. “We enjoy shared visions and values, and we aim to pay tribute to the history, culture and mission of the Institute. I am particularly excited to introduce my business partners, colleagues and Salamander’s many loyal guests to the property.”
Aspen Meadows Resort sits within a sprawling campus with breathtaking views and is just minutes from Aspen’s world-class shopping, restaurants and skiing. As part of the resort’s evolution, a multi-million-dollar renovation project to upgrade all guestrooms and elevate the sense of arrival is underway with expected completion by early 2023, at which point the property will be branded as Aspen Meadows By Salamander.
Aspen Meadows is rich in art, architectural and cultural significance. In the early 1950s, Walter Paepcke, the founder of the Institute, commissioned the renowned Bauhaus architect and artist Herbert Bayer to transform farmland into a secluded destination where visitors could take a step back from their hurried lives and reflect upon a variety of important issues they faced. Describing the property as a “total work of art,” Bayer wove outdoor walkways through his landscape architecture to remind visitors of their relationship with nature, mind and body – which became known as the Aspen Idea. The grounds are rich with Bauhaus architecture and outdoor sculptures, and there is also an extensive collection of artwork found inside every building. In recent years, the Aspen Institute has committed to preserving and celebrating Aspen Meadows’ historic significance. In 2022, the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies will open on-site as a new cultural destination, and restoration work recently concluded on Bayer’s “Marble Garden” sculpture, which sits at the heart of the property.
Aspen Meadows Resort also features a variety of amenities, including spectacular mountain views at Plato’s restaurant, a fitness center and spa services, an outdoor pool and hot tub, five tennis courts, and 22,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and function space. Long a proponent of sustainable travel, the property switched in 2020 to using 100 percent clean electricity. Averaging 600 square feet, the resort’s 98 spacious all-suite accommodations are noted for their effortless functionality, elegant nature-inspired design, and abundant natural light, balconies and terraces.
Salamander Hotels & Resorts was founded by Sheila C. Johnson, who is also well known as a philanthropist and professional sports team owner. The company manages unique destination properties throughout the US and the Caribbean, including the renowned Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA; the legendary Half Moon in Montego Bay, Jamaica; the illustrious Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, which annually hosts the PGA TOUR; The Henderson, a grand beach resort in Destin, FL; and Hotel Bennett in Charleston, SC, recently named as the top luxury hotel in the country by readers of USA TODAY.
Salamander’s leadership team includes executives with an intimate understanding of the Aspen tourism community, including its Vice President of Operations John Speers, who previously served as the Managing Director for The Little Nell Hotel and The Aspen Mountain Club.