Hotel Telluride strives for personal service

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TELLURIDE, Colo. -- Trisha Conrad loves talking to travel agents. Conrad, general manager of the new Hotel Telluride, said she welcomes e-mails and faxes -- but likes it best when retailers give her a call.

The 59-room property, which debuted in September, is striving to offer agents and their clients that kind of personal touch. Conrad describes the resort, which caters to families and couples, as richly appointed with a residential feel.

The lobby at the Hotel Telluride.To create a home-away-from-home environment, rooms at the Hotel Telluride boast oversized chairs, CD players, Starbucks coffee, bottled water, terry-cloth robes and slippers, Aveda bath products and down comforters. Rooms also feature patios or balconies with an almost even split between double and king-size beds.

The hotel offers four suites containing large-screen televisions, stone fireplaces and one, two or three bedrooms. On-site features include a lobby with picture windows and a stone fireplace and a full-service spa.

The Hotel Telluride Bistro serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Room service also is available. Conrad said the hotel does not offer airport transfers but can arrange them for guests. The property is within walking distance of the ski lifts and downtown area. For guests who do not feel like walking, the hotel offers daily shuttle service.

Bookings, which Conrad said had been "slow coming out of the gate," are picking up, especially for Christmas. She also said the property has groups on the books for January through March. Like many other domestic resorts, the Hotel Telluride's current business is being generated by the drive-in market. Many of the travelers staying at the resort hail from nearby regions, including Denver and Arizona.

The property is gearing up for the start of the ski season. Telluride's mountain officially opened Dec. 1, and the arrival of snow around Thanksgiving was a bonus. However, the big news in Telluride is the opening of Prospect Bowl, which will add 733 acres of ski terrain. The bowl will officially open Dec. 20, with grand opening festivities slated for Jan. 10

Hotel Telluride will offer specials in conjunction with the January celebration. The resort set an introductory rate of $179 through Dec. 15. Depending on the season, regular rates will range from $229 to $679. Rates are commissionable at 10%. To speak to Trisha Conrad, agents should call (866) 468-3501 or (970) 369-1188. The resort can be booked on line at www.thehoteltelluride.com.

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