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New owners of The Lodge look to reinvent, renovate longtime Santa Fe hotel

Apr. 29—When Jeff Burns’ Bullwhip Capital, a Texas-based actual property funding agency, bought The Lodge on St. Francis Drive in December, he had a imaginative and prescient for what he needed the longstanding Santa Fe hotel to be.

Burns and enterprise companion Matt Comfort have carried out that imaginative and prescient earlier than — one which focuses on constructing a neighborhood — at their different Santa Fe property, El Rey Court. There, Burns mentioned, they promote a swim membership cross, “which is very popular.” At The Lodge, they plan to do the identical but additionally rather more, which can embody within the coming months a rebrand and renovations.

“What ended up happening was in the conversations that we had with a lot of locals, everyone had a story [about The Lodge] much like El Rey,” mentioned Burns, whose agency bought The Lodge from Jim Long’s Heritage Hotels & Resorts. “If you grew up in Santa Fe or grew up in New Mexico, there was a prom there; they used to sneak into the pool, or they used to go to the bar. It was the community hub. … And we love that. That’s what we build our hotels around, which is a community.”

Burns, whose agency additionally owns or is partnered in hotel properties in different states corresponding to Tennessee and Texas, mentioned they plan to reopen some area at The Lodge shortly, together with a bar and venue area later this spring heading into the summer time.

“I think what people can expect in the interim is that kind of uniqueness we brought to El Rey,” he mentioned. “Our plan through the summer is to be a great value destination for guests.”

In the long run, Burns mentioned, the corporate plans to make investments greater than $8 million in renovations towards the hotel’s 120-plus visitor rooms, pool space, bar and restaurant, in addition to in areas you won’t see corresponding to infrastructure upgrades. That could take a number of months or longer, nevertheless, as the corporate remains to be within the planning part and may have to obtain correct approvals from town.

More notably, Burns mentioned, The Lodge will endure a rebrand — together with to the title of the hotel — “to really kind of create this destination.” He mentioned with The Lodge, which is a couple of five-minute drive from the Plaza, the plan is for it to be the “gateway to people who want to go experience the beauty of New Mexico beyond the Plaza.”

“We kind of like being Plaza-adjacent,” he mentioned. “One of the things that always kind of blew me away about Santa Fe is there’s so much more to that town than shopping and eating.”

While El Rey Court is a spot for “the aging hipsters,” Burns mentioned, The Lodge may very well be one thing totally different.

“We felt like The Lodge can really be independent, and can be different from any other hotel on the market,” he mentioned. “It can be for the explorer — the person who wants to go out and see other things. We’re the closest hotel to the opera … and we’ve got an abundance of nature and outdoors that surround us.”

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