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Approval of Ketchum workforce housing project could get 5-star hotel off the ground

A long-awaited five-star hotel in Downtown Ketchum moved ever closer to reality with the approval of a separate but related project.

A new three-story mixed-use housing and retail project is set to pop up at First Avenue and Fourth Street in Ketchum. Jack Bariteau will build the project to support the proposed Auberge Resort Hotel he hopes to build nearby. The City of Ketchum requires that project construct 18 workforce housing beds, which the First & Fourth project would provide.

It would also include six market-rate units and four penthouse condos. The ground floor designs show 6,456 square feet of commercial space. The Idaho Mountain Express reports the retail space is earmarked for a new culinary institute. Underground parking would round out the project.

The Ketchum Planning & Zoning Commission approved an alley vacation and other variances. The project next moves to Ketchum’s City Council.

Five-star hotel still planned

Auberge Sun Valley
Elevation rendering of a proposed Auberge Resort Collection Hotel proposed for River St. and Main St. in Ketchum.

Trail Creek Fund announced it would build a 90-room hotel at the corner of Main St. and River St. in Ketchum in 2014 – touted as the first new hotel in Ketchum in 20 years. An initial news release pegged opening date for 2017 – a time frame that proved unattainable. The initial release noted the hotel project would include penthouses, underground parking, a spa and restaurant and bar.

Prior to the 2014 announcement, in 2008, Trail Creek Fund applied for a conditional use permit with the City of Ketchum. The project stalled during the economic downturn before flickering back to life.

Since the original announcement, Aspen Resort’s Limelight Hotel opened in 2017 and took the title of first new hotel in 20 years.

Trail Creek announced Auberge Resort Collection would operate the hotel. The company runs a variety of resort facilities in Napa, Telluride, Park City and other resort areas.

The Idaho Mountain Express noted last fall a public record indicated Auberge may not operate the hotel once built. Auberge’s website still shows the Sun Valley hotel, with a 2022 opening date.

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