Lumière Hotel in Telluride has announced the sale today of the hotel’s commercial units, hotel operation and restaurant operation to members of the current executive management team, Susie Schaefer-Russell and Clare Evans-Afman.
Susie Schaefer was first hired in 2010 as the Asset Manager and Finance Director, and subsequently brought Clare Afman on board in 2012 as General Manager. Together, along with their core management team they have taken Lumière Hotel to the highest level of service and operation.
Under their helm Lumière has been rated as a AAA Four Diamond hotel and Forbes Travel Guide 4-Star hotel. In 2015, Lumière Hotel in Telluride was most recently awarded #1 Hotel in the West and #20 Best Hotel in the USA Condé Nast Traveler and #30 in the top 100 Hotels in the USA by US News Travel. Lumière consistently ranks as #1 hotel in Telluride on Trip Advisor.
In 2003, the concept of Lumière was conceived by the development group comprised of Kevin Kiernan, Don Bourn, and local real estate broker, J.J. Ossola. Ossola was instrumental in the design of the property and the development of the hotel operation. He was passionate about providing luxury service to owners and guests and committed to hiring the key management team to make this possible. As the listing agent for real estate sales he has been extremely successful. At this time only one large penthouse remains available for sale, along with Le Valet, the unique opportunity to purchase deeded parking that provides owners full access to Lumière Hotel’s ski-in/ski-out location along with the services and amenities of the property. Le Valet is your dedicated key to all things Telluride.
The original vision of Lumière, an intimate collection of 18 ski-in/ski-out residences run as a full-service boutique hotel, was to be regarded as the “Little Nell” of Telluride. In line with this vision, the hotel features upscale finishes and very unique, high-end personalized service unmatched in the Telluride market. Looking back on the last 7 years since the hotel was completed, anyone who has followed this amazing project would have to admit the vision has been fulfilled. To date, Lumière has been the most successful condominium hotel project in Telluride.
“I am so pleased that the transition of the hotel operations ownership is to Susie and Clare. They have elevated the Lumière experience to a very high tangible level that all of the Owners deeply appreciate” said developer Kevin Kiernan
In September 2015, Susie and Clare acquired Lumière Hotel Group Management Company from the original developers. This entity will continue to manage the hotel and restaurant operation as well as the Home Owners Association.
“It has been a great pleasure to work with Clare, Bas and Susie. They have certainly fulfilled the original vision for Lumière and have continued to raise the bar in all aspects of the operation. I am confident that with their ownership, they will continue to raise that bar even further” said developer Don Bourn.
This week, the real estate transaction closed handing the keys over to the new owners. The sale ensures that the current local management team will remain intact. Susie and Clare will continue to manage the property and operations along with Bas Afman, Kim Murdoch and Andy Kondracki who are an integral part of the senior management team.
“Susie, Clare and Bas have run this operation and taken Lumière to the highest level of service and operation. As a result the hotel has been recognized over and over as top in the field” added K L Spear, prior hotel company owner
Clare Afman, an award winning General Manager, PR, Sales & Marketing executive with extensive expertise gained across four continents, brings eighteen years of luxury hospitality experience to her new ownership role. Prior to Lumière Hotel she has held the roles of Vice President Americas at Unusual and Unique Hotels, PR & Marketing Consultant for Six Senses, General Manager of 21c Museum Hotels, General Manager Director of Sales and Marketing of Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado, to name but a few.
Susie Schaefer-Russell has lived in Telluride since 1996. She has been in the hospitality business for sixteen years. By working for the various owners of The Peaks Resort Telluride throughout the years, she became a consultant specializing in finance and asset management of condominium hotels. She has been involved with many local projects as well as consulting for properties throughout Colorado and nationwide. Susie also has a background in non-profit finance. She has been the Director of Finance for the Telluride Foundation since June 2000. She will remain in this challenging and rewarding position with the Telluride Foundation.
“I am incredibly excited to own and operate a local business in Telluride. Lumière has been a very special place for me the last five years. We were given the opportunity to apply our management style and make decisions that have resulted in the success of the hotel. I truly appreciate the individuals that I have worked for here who have made this all possible. We will continue the success and maintain the family environment here at Lumière.” said Schaefer-Russell
“We couldn’t be happier to be given this incredible opportunity. It’s a dream come true! We owe enormous thanks to all the people that have made this possible, and are passionately committed to Lumière’s continued success. We have a brilliant team who have embraced our company culture and take pride in delivering exceptional customer service, resulting in the many accolades & awards we have received. We are very excited to see Lumière grow even further and continue to promote Telluride as a destination.” said Afman.