AWH Partners Purchases Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont

Main Photo: The Topnotch Resort and Spa

Date: January 2019

Location: Mount Mansfield in Stowe, Vermont, USA

Name: Topnotch Resort and Spa

No. of Keys: 68 rooms and 23 resort homes

Seller: MetWest Ventures based in Los Angeles, CA., managed by Benchmark Resorts & Hotels based in Woodlands, TX.

Established in 1992, Richard S. Hollander, Chairman and CEO of MetWest Ventures, has partnered with management teams who have managed assets for several of the largest U.S. pension plans, creating related investment strategies that have totalled more than $80 billion AUM (assets under management).

MetWest and Terra Resort Group formed MetWest Hospitality in 2010.

MetWest Terra Hospitality operates The Inn at Jackson Hole in Jackson Hole, Hotel Abri in San Francisco, Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa in Sausalito, The Lodge at Tiburon in Tiburon and the Toll House Hotel in Los Gatos.

Buyer: AWH Partners, LLC, announces the acquisition of the celebrated Topnotch Resort and Spa establishing the ownership group’s presence in the emerging ‘East Coast Capital of Skiing.’

AWH Partners is a privately held real estate investment firm formed by alumni of The Blackstone Group and The Related Companies.

Since 2010, AWH and its principals, Russ Flicker, Jon Rosenfeld and Chad Cooley, have amassed a sizeable portfolio of hotels across the country.

AWH owns Spire Hospitality, a top-tier, national hospitality platform and AWH Development, a full-service real estate development company, providing complete vertical integration in the hospitality investment space.

Spire Hospitality, led by newly appointed CEO Chris Russell, is a third-party operator of 6,000 room keys and 300,000 square feet of meeting space across 17 states.

The Spire portfolio, with a focus on large, full service hotels, includes unique independent properties and premier branded assets across Hilton, InterContinental and Marriott.

Spire Hospitality is now managing the resort and will immediately implement its re-positioning strategy, leveraging Spire’s experience at AWH’s similarly-situated High Peaks Resort (Lake Placid, NY) to drive stronger operating revenues and profit margins.

“With Vail Resorts now running the Stowe Mountain skiing operations and bringing both the industry-leading Epic Pass and Vail’s vast resources to the destination, we see great potential in this notable resort in a growing market,” says Chad Cooley, principal of AWH Partners.

“Topnotch Resort fits perfectly with the AWH strategy to purchase under-performing holdings situated on desirable land with multiple avenues for adding immediate and long-term value.”

Set within 120 acres of woodland at the foot of Mount Mansfield in Stowe, VT, Topnotch Resort and Spa blends the charm of a quintessential ski lodge with the luxurious amenities of a world-class resort.

A consistent Condé Nast Traveler ‘Readers’ Choice Award’ recipient and U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Hotel in Vermont of 2017,’ the property offers the acclaimed 35,000 square-foot Topnotch Spa; 9,000 square feet of meeting and event space; two full-service restaurants – The Roost and Flannel; a Tennis Centre with four indoor and six outdoor courts; a state-of-the-art Fitness Centre; and an indoor pool, a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and two outdoor pools with mountain views.

AWH Partners will begin exploring expansion and redevelopment opportunities of the AAA Four-Diamond property. “In addition to our immediate strategy of re-positioning Topnotch’s operations, in the long-term analysis of this acquisition, we see substantial opportunity in leveraging the property’s vast and dramatically underutilised acreage for sustainability and respectfully improving the resort’s renowned facilities.

Towards that end, we have brought on board local Vermont resident and experienced real estate executive Mark D’Angelo, and look forward to working collaboratively with our neighbours, the Town of Stowe, and the State of Vermont on any future plans,” says Jon Rosenfeld, principal, AWH Partners.

Price: Undisclosed

THPT Comment: Good move for AWH and Spire

First Seen: AWH website

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