Friday, August 6, 2010

Western US Travel Profiles: Mountain Lodge at Telluride

Mountain Lodge at Telluride in Colorado
by Angele Sionna, Phoenix Western US Travel Examiner
August 6th, 2010 9:59 am MT

Phoenix Examiner INTERVIEW with Neil Hastings, Director of Sales and Marketing
Open 10 years, 457 Mountain Village Boulevard, Telluride, CO, 81435

Mountain Lodge at Telluride is an exclusive, slopeside, upscale resort featuring an eclectic blend of rustic elegance and western charm. At 9,500 feet in the San Juan Mountains, the resort offers private luxury cabins, condominiums, and lodge rooms as well as executive conference rooms offer space for small meetings and retreats, reception space and full catering service.

Examiner: What makes your establishment unique?
Neil: Many things!  To start with, the setting: Mountain Lodge at Telluride is set apart from the main core of Mountain Village, yet is a few minutes’ walk to everything, and in winter, is ski-in/ski-out. Nowhere else in the area is there a property that is at once in the heart of all things Telluride, yet private and secluded.
Our architecture also is unique. With rustic, but elegant, interiors and exteriors, the log cabin style of architecture is western, mountain and very much Telluride. Inside, the Tavern – our bar and lounge area – is the most spectacular room in the Telluride area. A huge fireplace, high ceilings and tall windows frame views of the San Sophia Mountains.

What’s also unique about Mountain Lodge is the variety of accommodations. With lodge rooms, small and large condo units, and cabins with up to six bedrooms, there’s more variety and flexibility here than anywhere in Telluride.  

Examiner:  What is a little known factoid about your place?
Neil: I can think of two. First, most people (even local residents) don’t know that Mountain Lodge at Telluride is one of only a couple lodging properties in the area with an outdoor heated pool and hot tub. In the summer, it’s a hub of activity for guests. In the winter, it’s a wonderful experience to sit out in the hot tub when it’s snowing.

Second, Mountain Lodge has quietly become the number-one lodging site for wedding parties in and around Telluride. I believe it’s because of the value, and the variety of accommodations; we can take care of all types of needs, whether it’s a single person in a lodge room or cabin. The pool’s a popular gathering spot, and we have more and more catered rehearsal dinners, brunches and receptions.

Examiner: What is your patrons' favorite thing about your establishment?
Neil: Guests come here, and keep coming back, for the value. It’s not the most expensive property in Telluride, and it’s not the least expensive. But it’s the best value for the dollar, with the variety of accommodations, setting, location, pool and amenities that range from gourmet kitchens to luxurious robes to free wi-fi.

Examiner: What's your favorite?
Neil: The views of the mountains that completely surround Telluride, hands down. I’ve lived in several mountain towns in the western United States, and for someone who is a passionate lover of mountains, this is the best place to live, and specifically to work. I got into resort management not because it can make me rich, but because it’s a vital, interesting career that allows me to live here. I wake up and come to work every morning looking at the most spectacular mountain backdrop in the country.

Examiner: Anything new on the horizon that people can look forward to trying?
Neil: We started partnering with an adventure trip company, Further Adventures, this summer, to offer guests guided white-water rafting, fly fishing, hiking and mountain biking adventures through the local mountains. Experienced guides leads participants on half-day, full-day and multi-day trips. And the best part is that guests doing an activity will receive substantial discounts on both the activity and lodging here at Mountain Lodge at Telluride.

Examiner: What is the top thing you recommend visitors to your city do/see - besides your business, of course?
Neil: For those visiting in the spring, summer or fall, my number-one suggestion is to take a four-wheel-drive tour of the backcountry. Guides will take you to elevations of 12,000 feet and higher on trails in the national forests around Telluride. Some trips go over our beautiful high mountain passes (Imogene, Ophir, Black Bear); others visit mining ghost towns; and some skirt back roads for extraordinary views of the Wilson mountain range, Lizard Head and Sneffels Wilderness Area. You’ll travel through open meadows filled with wildflowers, cross clear mountain streams, see waterfalls and probably spot some wildlife.


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