Do you dream of getting married in a castle? Now you can in Aspen
After more than a year of public meetings, Pitkin County commissioners late Wednesday approved plans to make the Redstone Castle a boutique hotel and a site for weddings and other events.
“It was an adventure,” Commissioner George Newman said of the process. “I felt we did a good job addressing the concerns of the residents and understanding the importance the facility will add to the vitality of the town of Redstone.”
Redstone Castle owners April and Steve Carver, who also own the Hotel Denver in Glenwood Springs, received permission from the county board to hold 60 events at the castle during the first year the new zoning is in place, said Suzanne Wolff, Pitkin County Community Development assistant director.
Twenty of those events can include between 100 and 150 guests, she said. Between 20 and 99 people will be allowed to attend the remaining events, while an unlimited number of events with fewer than 20 people can be held, Wolff said.
The number of events will be reviewed on an annual basis and can be increased by commissioners to a maximum of 105 per year, with 35 featuring more than 100 guests, she said.
The events will be allowed to be held between May 1 and Oct. 1, and in the month of December.
The Carvers, who bought the castle at auction in November 2016 for $2.2 million, also were granted permission to hold events at six tent sites on the property, though amplified music will not be allowed at those gatherings. They also will be able to build four cabins and four cottages in the future on the property in exchange for designating the site to the Pitkin County Historic Register, Wolff said.
Finally, the castle itself will feature 10 hotel suites inside the historic main building and two “boutique units” with kitchens in the Carriage House, she said. Amplified music will only be allowed in the castle courtyard and in the Carriage House.
Nearby residents had been concerned about traffic volume on the dirt road that leads to the Castle, so commissioners Wednesday limited the number of cars allowed at the castle site during any event to be capped at 40, not including service vehicles, Wolff said. Shuttles likely will be used for large groups.
Certain improvements must be made to the road before events can begin, Wolff said. Also, commissioners reserved the right to reopen debate about the road and the number of cars allowed on it based on complaints or problems or other natural events such as mudslides that might arise in the future.
The approval late Wednesday — after another five-hour meeting — came nearly a year and a half after the Carvers first sought permission to increase use of the property. That required creating a new zoning district — called the Village Lodge Preservation District — and rezoning the three castle-related parcels to that district. Commissioners and the Carvers hammered out the agreement during five public meetings.
“It was very complicated,” Newman said, “so it took a lot of time in terms of going back and forth, which isn’t uncommon for a complicated land-use application.”
An email sent to April Carver on Thursday requesting comment was not returned.
The Redstone Castle was originally built in 1899 for coal and steel magnate John Cleveland Osgood. The main residence features 42 rooms and 23,000 square feet of living space that is much the same as it was when it was built.
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