Ace founder Alex Calderwood dies

November 15th, 2013 | by Skip Descant | Comments
Alex Calderwood, co-founder of the Ace Hotel brand. (Photo: Patrick McMullan

Alex Calderwood, co-founder of the Ace Hotel brand. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

Alex Calderwood, co-founder of the Ace Hotel who had a knack for transforming all but discarded buildings into hip and happening hotels, has died. He was 45. The cause of death is not known.

Calderwood’s most recent hotel project is the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch. There are four others.

The Ace Hotel Palm Springs is a 170-room hotel that moved into what was a former Howard Johnson’s motel in south Palm Springs. It has helped to spawn a collective energy making the city attractive to younger travelers in search of live music, pool parties and the kind of stylish sensibility that seems to be that perfect blend of both random and curated.

Calderwood grew up in Seattle, where in 1992 he opened Rudy’s, a barbershop where guys could get a fashionable haircut in setting that may have been more flea market than salon. There are now 14 Rudy’s scattered across Seattle, Portland, New York and Los Angeles.

In 1999 the first Ace Hotel opened in Seattle in a former halfway house. A room with a shared bath cost as little as $69 a night.

“What we do is haphazard and it’s not perfect,” Calderwood told Fantastic Man magazine this year. “I don’t think we do something that’s everything for all people. I don’t think we have a better model. We just do things our way and we’re successful”

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