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Snow King Resort undergoes major remodel

Apr 2, 2013 - By Richard Anderson, For The Associated Press

The building has not had many changes since it was built in 1976.

JACKSON -- Stepping off the elevator on the fifth floor of the east wing of Snow King Resort, a damp mustiness creeps up on you.

While leading a tour of the lodge recently, Jim Goslin, its director of sales and marketing for the past six years, said that in some parts of the hotel the carpets, wall treatments and ceiling tiles haven't been touched since the place was built in 1976.

The $16 million the resort's new owner, JMI Realty, is sinking into a wall-to-wall remodel is, therefore, kind of overdue.

"It was always the intention to purchase and renovate the hotel and to bring it back to its glory days," said Craig Waterman, for the past eight months the hotel's general manager under JMI and the group that is running the property, Benchmark Hospitality International.

While some new owners might have scrapped part or all of Snow King and started over, JMI decided not to.

"It's an iconic part of town," Waterman said. "This hotel for a lot of reasons is the town hotel for business, tourists, conferences."

Countless residents have stayed there or worked there, have some personal connection to Snow King, he said.

"There's a lot of value in it as it is," Waterman said. "The building is spectacular, the structure is fantastic -- it has great bones, as we say."

Besides, under today's building codes, height regulations and the like, no one would be able to build a hotel in downtown Jackson anything like Snow King.

Originally designed by New York architects Al DeVido and John McFadyen and former Jackson Hole architect Bob Corbett -- who also designed the Grand Teton Music Festival's Walk Festival Hall at about the same time -- the 204-room hotel has seen some piecemeal renovation over the years. In 2000, for example, the front desk and lobby got makeovers.

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