McHugh completes ultra-lux Capella Telluride hotel in Colorado

July 15, 2009 |



James McHugh Construction Co. has completed the new Capella Telluride hotel and condominium resort in Telluride, Colo., the first U.S. property for the new ultra-luxury Capella Hotels brand.

Positioned to compete with the elite levels of luxury brands, the Capella Telluride features complex stone, stucco and wood exterior, heavy timber construction, and an abundance of high-level finishes and amenities.

The resort was developed by New York-based RAL Development Services, with Denver-based Ivins Design Group the architects and Shaw Construction as Chicago-based McHugh’s joint venture partner.

McHugh’s team overcame a number of daunting challenges constructing the property, located in the ski resort area of Telluride Mountain Village. The hotel is wedged into a small site in a town with narrow, winding roads, making materials deliveries extremely difficult. An active ski tram abutted the property, and ski slopes ran virtually up to the construction site.





What’s more, McHugh finished the hotel on time despite two years of record-breaking snowfall: while Telluride typically gets 300 inches of snow per year, it posted more than 900 inches of snow in the 2007-2008 season.

To complete its complex mountain stone, heavy timber and stucco exterior, McHugh had to track down skilled masons and other tradespeople from across the mountain region, said Robert Mortimer, McHugh vice president who oversaw construction. Capella Telluride’s remote location, with the nearest large town 70 miles away, meant even routine deliveries were at least one day away and subcontractors were spread all the way to Canada.

“We persevered despite some interesting conditions,” Mortimer said. Mountain soil and water conditions also dictated complex engineering and construction solutions, from the design of the earth retention system to the redirection of underground water sources.





The eight-story hotel includes 100 hotel rooms and 60 condominium residences with an average size of 2,200 square feet, along with 5,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants, both public and guests-only lounges, spa and fitness center, indoor pool, and 220 spaces of underground parking.

Inside, the Capella Telluride’s finishes reflect its ultra-luxury positioning. Public areas include hand-scraped hardwood and local stone on floors, stone arches and columns, and heavy timber throughout. Guest rooms feature hardwood entry areas, leather tiles on walls, and arched openings, separate showers and soaking tubs, and stone floors in guest baths.

The Capella is the latest in a string of high-profile hospitality projects for McHugh.  Earlier this year, McHugh completed theWit, a popular new property in Chicago’s Loop, and in 2008, finished the award-winning, $128 million revamp of the historic Blackstone Hotel in Chicago.  McHugh has completed more than 1.1 million square feet in work for some of the hospitality industry’s leading names, including the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Renaissance, The Kimpton Group, and Westin Hotels.

Founded in 1897, McHugh is one of Chicago’s oldest and largest general contracting, construction management and consulting firms. More information:



















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