< UNITED STATES | ASPEN: Hotel Jerome
Located in the heart of town, the Hotel Jerome has been a landmark in Aspen since 1889. From a once bursting mining town, to a virtual ghost town, to a hideaway of the rich
and famous, Aspen has transcended the decades and this iconic hotel has been there every step of the way. Today, the Aspen's icon continues to retain its identity as one of the great hotels of
the American West.
Established in 1880, the town of Aspen was populated with silver prospectors. The largest nugget in history was pulled from the local Smuggler Mine. In 1889, the Hotel Jerome was built by Jerome B. Wheeler, at the time co-owner of Macy's and a major investor in Aspen during its early boom years. Rooms were sold at $3 per night.
The decline of the value for silver in 1893 resulted in the "Quiet Years" - period during which the Aspen's population steadily declined as the silver mines began to close. Many eminent couples moved into the hotel for $10 a month including meals. Between 1937 and 1945, the first ski run was cut on Aspen Mountain and first downhill ski race was established in Aspen. The 10th Mountain Division trained soldiers on Aspen’s slopes and were known to frequent the J-Bar.
The hotel was completely remodeled between 1946–50. The Jerome becomes the center of the town’s social life, a popular watering hole for writers, screen stars and artists. During the 1960’s, the Hotel was the founding site of the Aspen Institute, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the International Design Conference, the Aspen Center For Physics and the Aspen Skiing Company.
1970’s: Enter Aspen's counter culture. The J-Bar became Hunter S. Thompson’s de facto office when he ran for sheriff. Liberals, hippies and musicians like the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett and John Denver came to Aspen to get away from main stream America.
In 1985, the hotel was renovated to re-enforce its infrastructure. A grand re-opening party introduced the addition of the North Wing and the Grand Ballroom. In 2000, the J-Bar underwent a month-long face lift to bring to bar back to it’s original luster. The storied bar remains beloved by local and visitors alike.
As a part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, the hotel receives a multimillion dollar renovation in 2012. The renowned designer Todd Avery Lenahan keeps the historic integrity of the hotel while enhancing its relevance in today’s luxury market.
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