Alex Calderwood

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Alex Calderwood | Unknown photographer | Liga studios | 14136

Hotelier Alex Calderwood, the co-founder of Ace Hotels, died in one of his hotel rooms in London and was found on November 21st, 2013. At the time of writing, the cause of death is unknown. Mr Calderwood was 47.

Mr Calderwood opened the first Ace Hotel in Seattle in 1999. The group opened a second hotel in 2007 in Portland, Oregon.

Alex Calderwood grew up in a suburb of Seattle and started his career as the manager of a clothing store in the city called International News. Using his eclectic taste for vintage objects, he bought material from a Boeing surplus store to create a unique atmosphere, Amit Shah, who hired Calderwood, told the Seattle Times.

“He saw what you could do with material that nobody else wanted,” Shah said. “He always had a desire to come up with something new that gave consumers value for their money. He was an entrepreneur and knew how to entertain, but more than that, he was always willing to talk about what the new thing was.”

In 1993 Mr Calderwood co-founded a Seattle chain of retro barbershops called Rudy’s. The successful venture grew to a chain of eight Seattle shops and nine others in Portland, New York and Los Angeles.

Mr Calderwood opened a nightclub in Seattle before opening the first Ace hotel. In 2011 he admitted to the New York Times that he had experienced addiction problems, but had put them behind him. “I am very proud of my sobriety … You get to a certain age, and you get to a certain point, where you realise this is just, like, dragging me down. It’s not fun anymore. I’m not enjoying it.”

He is survived by his parents, sisters, brother and partner.

Gay Activist sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

This post was updated on 12 November 2014 to add photograph.

SP

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