History

Sculptor Lou Wille arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley in 1950.  He came from the New York art scene and decided to go west after hearing tales of marble strewn along the banks of the Crystal River from the Yule Marble Quarry.  He founded an art school where he met his future wife, Lynne.  After they were married, they both taught art in the old miner’s house they were turning into apartments.  Next-door was a vacant lot on Main Street.  They bought the land, built the Tyrolean Lodge, and started up business in 1970.  They decided to name the hotel after the Tyrol region of Austria in the Alps, where some of the first ski resorts began.  Lou, being a sculptor, added the finishing touch to the lodge with a colossal eagle sculpture made entirely of chrome car bumpers atop the chimney.

They had four children who were all avid ski racers, mountain adventurers and artists.  Andre and Pierre Wille still make skiing a high priority. Whether its first tracks on a powder morning, steep backcountry lines in the surrounding Elk Mountains in the spring or Nordic racing in the town series. The Wille brothers still compete in the epic Elk Mountain Grand Traverse, a 40-mile, all night backcountry ski race from Crested Butte to Aspen every spring and the demanding Power of Four ski mountaineering race that climbs, descends and links all four Aspen ski mountains. The eldest son, Raoul, was a cross-country ski coach and operated the lodge from the 1980’s till his untimely death while climbing Mt. Baruntse near Mt. Everest in Nepal in 1998. The second son Andre is a science teacher at Aspen High School.  I am Pierre, Lynne and Lou’s youngest son, and now I am the Hotel proprietor.  I have considerably upgraded the condition and quality of the Lodge and integrated a comfortable, inviting vintage ski decor.  The Lodge has made a commitment to the environment thru extensive energy efficient upgrades, housing employees and contributes to preserving wild places and local community.   On behalf of the Wille family, I would like to welcome you to the Tyrolean Lodge.  We have a long tradition of clean, spacious rooms for reasonable rates in a great downtown location. I look forward to your visit.

— Pierre Wille

history-foot
history-grid