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New Chico owner says he intends to make the hot springs resort “a better version of itself”

Lynn Donaldson

After decades of local ownership, Chico Hot Springs Resort in Paradise Valley was bought by a Maryland-based real estate investment trust.

DiamondRock Hospitality Company on Tuesday acquired Chico and the adjacent ranch for $33 million. The Davis family were the most recent owners, having bought it in 2013.

DiamondRock CEO Mark Brugger says the Davis family will stay involved with operations and now work with a hospitality management company hired by his firm.

“Probably you won’t see very many changes, frankly. We think the hotel, Chico, is terrific the way it is. We understand it’s an institution; we understand it’s a real member of the community. We share the vision with the Davis family of kind of keeping it that way. So our plan is only to make it a better version of itself, really,” he said.

Brugger says immediate capital improvements include resurfacing the hot springs. He says guests shouldn’t be worried about soaking in the hot spring pools becoming unaffordable.

In terms of overnight stays, future plans may include adding more cabins, but in the near-term, he says updates to some of the rooms could include things like new carpet, mattresses and furniture.

“The rates are set for probably the next year… certainly for the rooms with the shared bathrooms I think they are fairly priced. Yes, rates may go up over time at some of the cabins, but I think for a lot of the historic rooms are relatively fairly priced today, and I wouldn’t anticipate those going up significantly,” he said.

While Brugger says there are no immediate plans for the nearly 600-acre adjacent ranch, a release detailing the transaction says it has “potential for future expansion of the resort or residential lot sales.”

YPR reached out to Chico’s former owner Colin Davis but did not hear back by deadline.

Brugger says Chico is looking to partner with the nearby Yellowstone Film Ranch on experiences for guests, events, and ways that film crews can stay on the Chico property.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.