JACKSON, N.H. — Fritz Koeppel, who managed two Canadian Four Seasons properties as well as the Banff Springs Hotel, died March 3 at his home in Jackson, N.H., following an extended battle with cancer.
At the time of his death, Koeppel owned the Wentworth Inn, in Jackson Village, N.H. In 1990, Koeppel bought the inn — described at the time as “an absolute wreck” — and transformed it into the elegant country property it its today, featuring 61 guestrooms and boasting a TripAdvisor rating of 4.9 out of five stars.
Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Koeppel grew up working in his parents’ restaurant. In 1971, he earned a diploma from the Hotel Management School of Lausanne, and while participating in a management exchange program at the Boston Ritz-Carlton, he worked at The Eastern Slope Inn, in North Conway, N.H. According to his biography, Koeppel continued his hospitality career as resident manager of The Ritz-Carlton in Chicago and was soon promoted to general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel in Edmonton, which won its first AAA Five Diamond award under his management.
He then managed The Four Seasons Inn on the Park, in Toronto, and directed its renovation, before overseeing the Four Seasons’ acquisition of the Biltmore Hotel, in Santa Barbara, Calif. Rounding out two decades of working at some of the best resorts in the world, Koeppel next served as general manager at the Banff Springs Hotel, in Banff, Alta., before striking out on his own.
Koeppel is survived by his wife, Ellie, and his sons Alex and Erik.