With sale, Treasure Mountain Inn enters new era
Club Lespri purchases company that operates the property
April 21, 2017
One of the most prominent businesses near the top of Park City's Main Street is embarking on a new era.
Club Lespri, a property management firm that runs a handful of businesses in Park City, has purchased Lodgings@TMI, which operates the Treasure Mountain Inn, the companies announced recently. Club Lespri was slated on May 1 to take over operations of the inn, whose presence has been critical in bringing visitors to the south end of Main Street for years.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Parkites Andy Beerman and his wife Thea Leonard established Lodgings@TMI in 2003. They were among the first in town to harness the power of the internet, enabling them to turn the inn into one of Park City's most recognizable lodging properties. They announced their intention to sell the company last summer, though, after finding it increasingly difficult to prosper in the competitive industry without the backing of a national brand.
In an interview, Beerman said the sale will also give them time to pursue other activities, such as traveling and his work as a Park City councilor.
Beerman and Leonard had spent the previous six months in discussions with several companies, both local and national, about purchasing Lodgings@TMI, he said. Club Lespri came to the table late in the process, but it was clear the company — which is the Park City arm of an equity investment firm called WesternTrust — would be a good fit to take over the inn's operations because it has the resources to ensure a successful future for the property.
He added that Club Lespri has indicated it does not plan to significantly alter the business model that has helped the inn prosper, nor will it make major changes to the staff.
"We liked the fact they were locally based," Beerman said. "I've known their general manager for a long time and some of their staff. And yet, they have the size and scale to be competitive. The way our market is headed, you need to be a larger operator to have the marketing power and ability to remain competitive, as well as to attract employees. And we weren't excited about the idea of going with a national chain, which seems to be the trend."
Pat Quigley, general manager and managing partner of Club Lespri, said acquiring Lodgings@TMI is a boon because of the Treasure Mountain Inn's notable status on Main Street.
"We like the idea of being able to manage and market a hotel-type inventory on Main Street," he said. "We see a big demand for it, and we don't have any other inventory like that in Park City."
The deal also includes a small portion of the roughly 30 percent stake Beerman and Leonard hold in the inn's real estate property, he said. They have explored selling the rest of their property, but are likely to unload their holdings over time instead of all at once. The rest of the property is controlled by a collection of owners.
"We do plan to continue to divest, but we're in no hurry," he said. "… We're going to take our time and find the right fit."
Beerman in the past has indicated that a buyer — or buyers — who purchase his and Leonard's holdings could form a coalition with the other owners to drastically redevelop the inn. He said Wednesday that's still a possibility, even after the deal with Club Lespri.
"The property is still ripe for some level of redevelopment, whether that's a radical redevelopment or just a nice makeover," he said. "I think under Club Lespri, it's likely to be a gradual makeover. Over the last 15 years, we've done a lot of work and identified a next series of projects."
From Club Lespri's perspective, the property will continue to operate as an inn for years to come.
"It's my thought that it will be the Treasure Mountain Inn forever," Quigley said. "I can't say exactly what the future holds for the ownership of the real estate — it's a pretty varied group of owners. … But I would imagine it will always be the Treasure Mountain Inn."