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St. Regis outbreak shows need for business-backed testing, owner says

Earlier this week, 25 interns were in isolation because they’d either tested positive (22) or were presumed positive (three); another 35 were under quarantine.
Credit: Aspen Times
St. Regis hotel in downtown Aspen.

ASPEN, Colo. — Stephane de Baets is among the affluent people who have uprooted their families and relocated to Aspen in 2020 because of the global pandemic.

“The pandemic has forced everyone to look back, to do an inventory of your life, to decide what’s important to you, and I was living in New York and New York has been hit badly,” de Baets said Friday.

De Baets also is the founder and president of the investment firm Elevated Returns, which has controlling ownership of the St. Regis Aspen Resort, the most recent establishment in Pitkin County to be investigated for an outbreak in COVID-19 cases.

Pitkin County health officials did not have updated information readily available Friday on the number or St. Regis interns under quarantine or in isolation. Earlier this week, 25 interns were in isolation because they’d either tested positive (22) or were presumed positive (three); another 35 were under quarantine.

The collegiate interns came to Aspen in November to gain experience in the luxury hospitality industry, and went through orientation from Nov. 16-19 in the hotel’s 9,146-square-feet ballroom.

Elevated Returns does not run the St. Regis Aspen. That’s the job of Marriott International, sponsor of the internship program.

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