St. Regis Deer Crest should be ready by ski season | ParkRecord.com

St. Regis Deer Crest should be ready by ski season

by Andrew Kirk, OF THE RECORD STAFF

In many ways the new St. Regis Deer Crest Resort scheduled to open this fall resembles an amusement park for grown-ups with good taste.

It looks and almost feels like a fairy-tale castle, is jam-packed with restaurants, boutiques, wine rooms, a spa, a gym, a two-tiered pool open year-round and even has its own 90-second ride a European funicular transporting guests and visitors from the Deer Valley Resort parking lot to the hotel.

And yes, it’s ski-in/ski-out.

Developer Stan Castleton said the land in Deer Crest has long been master planned for a hotel of some sort. Many major hotel brands were interested in the site, but Castleton made the decision early on to go with St. Regis because of its reputation for luxury and exclusivity. The original St. Regis in New York City established in 1904 is still a top-performing hotel, he said.

"It’s been a long time coming, but it’s going to be worth it. I predict it’ll be everything we hoped it to be," he said.

One offering St. Regis believes it can offer to Deer Valley’s existing amenities is a world-class après-ski atmosphere.

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The signature St. Regis Bar will seat about 85 and will boast a mural similar to those found in the other dozen-plus locations. The hotel will be home to J&G Grill, celebrity-chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first restaurant in the Intermountain West. Both will be accessible from a patio connecting to Deer Hollow Run overlooking the pool to one side and Main Street in the distance on the other.

The suites are for sale as condos, and owners will have the option to add their units to the rental pool. This has become standard in luxury hotels because the market will no longer support top-rated hotels using the old model, Castleton explained.

For owners, the resort will function as an exclusive gated community accessible through the Deer Crest entrance. For hotel guests and resort visitors, the funicular building is the first thing they’ll see from Deer Valley resort. The ride is free, fast and drops them off outside the restaurant and bar, general manager Michael Hatzfeld explained.

Skiers at Deer Valley can access the patio, restaurant, bar and other public amenities from the ski run.

The resort is full of artistic elements as well. The side looking down toward Jordanelle has a man-made waterfall feature with other water features inside creating the impression of a stream. The patio will be encircled by aesthetic flames in the evening. A glass sculpture will greet guests near the front desks throwing light from the fireplace around the two-story atrium. The mural in the bar will reflect Park City’s location or heritage. Even the funicular machinery will be lit by a chandelier creating a visual display seen from the parking lot.

The rooms are decorated with a décor that reflects the West, but still maintains touches traditional to all St. Regis facilities, Hatzfeld explained.

The resort also contains a ballroom for receptions, banquets and business meetings. Other business amenities include a high-tech boardroom, 7,000-square-feet of available meeting space and an additional 7,000 on two outdoor terraces.

The entire resort sits on 12 acres, is 11 stories tall and has about 114 to 181 guest rooms including 67 suites with 26 private residences filling the top 4 floors the very top ones having a slight view of Jordanelle Reservoir.

Even though it’s a tall building, its location tucked into the mountain gives it privacy, Castleton said.

Interest in the hotel has already raised awareness of Deer Valley Resort and Park City among fans of the brand on the East Coast.

"It adds a different level of luxury to the area," he said.

There’s a good possibility that the St. Regis and the Montage still under development will join Stein Eriksen Lodge in earning a five-star rating. If that occurs, Deer Valley will be the only resort anywhere with three five-star hotels, he said.

Castleton said St. Regis chose Park City for the same reasons he did untapped potential. With this community’s summer offerings and proximity to the airport, brands like St. Regis are recognizing that Park City will only grow in popularity.

People with second homes in resorts want to get to them quickly and not spend their vacation time traveling, he said.

"I’ve always believed Park City will be seen by the world as a year-round attraction like Sun Valley," he said.

Hatzfeld said Aspen is 90 percent full in summer. That can happen to Deer Valley, he said.

The resort currently hosts about 450 construction workers every day, and will be hiring its own staff soon, Hatzfeld said.

The Park City location is part of the brand’s expansion that will see 35 new locations by the end of 2010.

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