By Mike Wiggins
A proposal to renovate and expand the Twin Peaks Lodge and Spa has cleared another hurdle, leaving it one big step away from the start of a major reshaping of Ouray's lodging landscape.
In a special meeting Monday night that lasted nearly 2 1/2 hours, the Ouray City Council voted 3-1 to approve a preliminary planned unit development for the property, overcoming concerns that the project will create additional traffic, further shrink an already limited supply of parking and place more stress on the city's maxed-out sewer system.
Councilor Dee Hilton cast the dissenting vote. Mayor Pam Larson recused herself, citing a conflict of interest.
Twin Peaks co-owner Craig Hinkson told council members before they deliberated and voted that the ambitious project is intended to satisfy visitors' changing and growing cravings and boost Ouray's profile among resort communities.
"All of this is derived from what the guests want," Hinkson said. "We're going to try to make a hotel that is a four star-type property. People want amenities. People want room service. They want a restaurant on scene. They want hot springs. We're currently losing business to other communities like Telluride because Ouray doesn't have the amenities guests want. We want to be a resort. That's the goal."
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