Development plans not revealed.
The Irwin Lodge has sold, and development plans for the local treasure remain unknown.
The private investment group, Scarp Ridge LLC, purchased the Lodge in September for $3 million. Development plans for the Lodge are still being decided, according to Missy Ochs, local representative and general manager for Scarp Ridge LLC. Ochs was the former general manager of the would-be Irwin Resort, which sits on three acres approximately 12 miles above Crested Butte at nearly 11,000 ft. Ochs says Scarp Ridge LLC is in the planning phase of development and has not determined the fate of the property. The purchase price of $3 million included not only the lodge property, but also 20 acres of vacant land in the Ruby Mining District, needed to locate a water source for the property and septic expansion. “We are just hoping to spend some time in the planning phase before decisions are made,” Ochs says. The former Irwin Lodge owner, Archie Cox of Brookway LLC, sold the property to Scarp Ridge LLC on September 12. Ochs said Scarp Ridge LLC is comprised of two private investors. Scarp Ridge LLC is listed with the Gunnison County assessor as located in Jacksonville, Florida. Ochs would not elaborate on the background of the investors, their business interests or their links to Crested Butte. Cox originally purchased the property in 2003 with the intent of developing the lodge into a five-star resort, offering a high-end exclusive Sno-cat backcountry experience. Cox proposed spending approximately $15 million remodeling the Lodge, including interior changes and exterior upgrades such as bringing power lines to the site, developing a water well, and improving the septic system. However, plans fell through last year, but not before the building was gutted of everything but the studs. The original Irwin Lodge first opened in 1974 and eventually built a reputation as a Sno-cat skiing and summer wedding destination, but fell into dire financial straits in the fall of 2002, and then closed. While Ochs would not disclose the identity of the new owners, she made clear that they do not have anything to do with the proposal to build a mine on Mt. Emmons. “I want to dispel any rumors in Town that the property is going to be mined,” Ochs says. “The investors have nothing to do with the mine or the mining companies.” Ochs is referring to U.S. Energy and Kobex and their proposal to build a mine on Mt. Emmons. “(The property) is not going to be mined or used for mining purposes” such as housing, Ochs stresses.