Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort announced it will break ground on 25 creek-view units on the east side of the resort along Chalk Creek.
The units are in an advanced stage of planning, and resort spokesperson Gil Engles said construction will begin immediately.
The new units continue expansion of the resort at 15870 CR 162 in Nathrop.
“This has been an interesting property,” said Tom Warren, general manager, who worked at the resort during college, returned to manage it in 2006 and is marking 20 years of association with the resort.
“We began to get busy years before the county did, and after 2008 we stayed busy even during the recession. Chaffee County has always been a hard model to get a handle on because, other than Monarch, there wasn’t a business draw. It was the river, hiking or skiing. But we’ve kept improving the resort, and we think it’s time now to invest in the future.”
Warren said design and construction of the new units has been kept local. Salida architect Sarah Whittington designed the structure, and Diesslin Structures Inc. will build the units.
“The creek-view units will be consistent with the newer architecture present at Mount Princeton,” said Whittington. “We’re planning a design with a mixture of log, stone and metal – like you see in the new spa building, the cabins and the pavilion design.”
The resort currently has 50 hotel rooms and 27 cabins, including home-sized 1,500- to 1,800-square-foot accommodations. Warren said the additional 25 units, which he described as “not quite a condo unit, but extra-large hotel rooms,” are needed because the resort is continually at or near capacity.
Begun in 1864, the historic property now covers 400 acres and includes a lodge, cliffside, creekside and hillside cabins, several swimming pools and natural creek pools, a historic bath house and a water slide, a luxury spa, conference center and conference cabin, as well as employee housing.
The resort has been owned since 2006 by Princeton Resort & Spa Investment Group.
One of the resort’s secret ingredients to maintaining its quality, says Warren said staff tenure has helped maintain the resort’s quality.
“So many of my senior staff have five or more years here, in an industry where the normal turnover is 24 months or so,” said Warren. “People who come here, like I did – I never forgot this place, it grabs onto you – they return after college or with families and find a niche and stay. It’s part of what makes Mount Princeton what it is.”
Warren said additional improvements are planned. “The resort is in an advanced stage of planning for a significant expansion of the hotel and swimming facilities,” he said.
Warren said the business’s continued growth is tied to the county. “We love the county. We’re so happy to see Buena Vista and Salida so robust, and we think this is an exciting time to be here contributing to the economics of Chaffee County.”