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Sally Spaulding, public relations director , 970-544-6259


Aspen, Colorado (March 8, 2013) – The Little Nell and parent company Aspen Skiing Company today announced the departure of Managing Director John Speers, who will be joining the Faena Group’s Hospitality Branch as general manager. Speers has been at the helm of The Little Nell for the past six years, building upon the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond property’s position as the definitive hub of Aspen’s hospitality scene. 
During Speers’ tenure, The Little Nell underwent a major renovation with an extensive guest room makeover in 2009, an update to the property’s Living room in 2011 and the opening of the hotel’s remodeled restaurant element 47 in December of 2012. Speers also brought the hotel’s Adventure Program to fruition, adding unique offerings such as fly fishing trips in a hand-crafted wooden boat as well as a comprehensive cycling program, among other activities. Additionally, operations and rentals of The Residences at The Little Nell were added under Speers’ purview.  
“John has been an innovative and bold leader during a time of great change, both at the property itself and within the global economy,” said Aspen Skiing Company C.E.O. Mike Kaplan. “He managed to not only expand our offerings to our guests but also increase employee satisfaction levels while building an incredible team.”
In addition to hotel operations and capital improvements, Speers worked to make sure the hotel was instrumental in the Aspen community. In the last fiscal year alone, the property has supported more than 60 local charities including the Buddy Program, Jazz Aspen/Snowmass, the Community Foundation, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Aspen Valley Land Trust and the Children’s Health Foundation.
Speers also worked to foster a sense of community as a gathering place and to promote the town of Aspen as a world-class destination. He partnered with Jazz Aspen/Snowmass to create the JAS Café Downstairs at The Nell, an intimate jazz club that brings award-winning musicians to Aspen during the winter months with affordable performances open to locals and guests. Speers also introduced the Big Aspen BBQ Block Party, a non-profit event that brought pit-masters from around the country to Aspen for a community celebration of food and music. 
“As we look to our future without John, we remain more committed than ever to the highest quality, most personalized service and experiences for our Nell guests and to providing the most rewarding workplace in the industry,” Kaplan said. “John will remain in his role until April 5, and we are posting the position to begin the hiring process.” 
About The Faena Group
The Faena Group, founded by Alan Faena, is a pioneering business which specializes in the development of new urban environments and socially responsible projects, anchored by arts and culture. In 2014, Miami Beach will see the launch of the Faena District, the first phase of the Faena Group’s global expansion. More at www.Faena.com.  
About The Little Nell
In addition to the hotel’s 92 guest rooms, the property also involves Ajax Tavern, the new Element 47 restaurant, the Terrace Bar, the Oasis (a pop-up champagne bar on Aspen Mountain), the Sundeck (including all weddings on top of Aspen Mountain on the Wedding Deck), the Aspen Mountain Club and The Residences at The Little Nell. Visit www.thelittlenell.com.

©2012 The Little Nell