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Case Study

The Little Nell meets aggressive renovation deadline, saves $7.5 million

As told by Don Schuster, Vice President, Hospitality Development, Aspen Skiing Company

JLL helped us with our biggest challenge: the 83-day schedule.

Because of changing demographics, The Little Nell needed an upgrade to reflect our guests’ evolving needs. We found that 70 percent of guests were repeat customers who were spending less time skiing—which meant more time in the rooms. Many were international who stayed long-term, and others were young, affluent families. All needed increased storage, increased functionality and space that was more compatible with their lifestyle.

The renovated rooms needed to reflect the aesthetic of our guests and the brand of The Little Nell. In order to do so, JLL helped us identify and manage the entire team—including the interior designer, consultants, the general contractor, custom millworkers and even local artists—to create the “Aspen modern” look we are known for.

Sustainability was part of the equation.This included using low VOC adhesives, finishes and paints throughout, a full energy management system, recycled content in carpets, all LED lighting and utilization of local contractors to reduce impact on the environment. The old furnishings and hardware were donated to Habitat for Humanity.

JLL helped us with our biggest challenge: the 83-day schedule. This was extraordinarily aggressive. We closed the resort after Labor Day and needed to reopen by December 1 because we have guests who have been celebrating the holidays with us for 20 years now. There was no wiggle room. JLL also managed the consultants, negotiated with the city on permits and took charge of the budget—ultimately saving us $7.5 million.

The end result was everything we had hoped for and more: A fresh, functional look that still reflected The Little Nell brand. The rooms are bigger, with offi ce and dining space in every room. They allow guests to do whatever they need to do better—work, take care of kids, spend time with family, stay for the long-term—in comfort and luxury. The response has been the same from the loyal guests and the new, younger demographic: Wow.

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