Longtime Aspenite and founder of the Mountain Chalet Ralph Melville passed away Feb. 15 at 90 years old. He has been remembered by the community as a dedicated hotelier and host to his guests at the historic Mountain Chalet, which opened in 1954. Even as the town changed around him, most obviously with the development of the St. Regis between his property and Aspen Mountain, Melville stayed true to the casual, family-style lodge.
Melville had eight children, two of who were foster children, 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His family will continue to run the lodge with the same business model they have maintained for years.
The Aspen Historical Society had the privilege of recording an oral history with Ralph Melville in 1994. You can listen to a portion of that interview here or make an appointment with the Archives department to listen to the entire interview. For more information, please call (970)925-3721 ext. 103.
“Swiss-style architecture. I suppose doesn’t fit that well into Colorado but with the large overhangs and the Swiss style of design, those building were designed for areas that had a lot of snow.” – Ralph Melville, on the Mountain Chalet