Periphery sucking life out of city center

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A Renaissance hotel is expected to open next April in north Colorado Springs.

A Renaissance hotel is expected to open next April in north Colorado Springs.

We can become the city of three downtowns.

Maybe the price the land owners wanted for downtown dirt was a tad high. It is too bad a luxury hotel of the stature of John Q. Hammons’ Renaissance isn’t going to be downtown.

This new hotel is being positioned as a luxurious upscale corporate hotel. With 300 rooms, of which 41 are suites, 50,000 square feet of meeting space that can be divided into 23 meeting rooms or eight separate large ballrooms, this hotel will no doubt become a destination point for our city.

The revenue drain from the downtown Antlers Hilton Hotel and The Broadmoor is yet to be discerned, but it could be substantial.

So, once again, here we go sprawling our assets away from downtown.

Granted, Hammons made a good gamble by putting this hotel in the quickly growing area of expensive homes in the north part of Colorado Springs. Luke Travins and the folks at Concept Restaurants are looking at a chophouse similar to Mackenzie’s up there. A Cheddars restaurant is in the plans as well.

The Renaissance is planning to open during April 2010.

Maybe we could become the only city with three downtowns. One would be the First and Main development on Powers Boulevard.

The second would be the Interquest project, Colorado Crossing, the Hollywood theater and Renaissance hotel, combined with supporting businesses.

The third would be the old downtown of Tejon Street, Acacia Park and the Antlers.

I can see it now: Colorado Springs, the trifecta of downtowns.

According to Sharon Siedler, director of sales and marketing for the hotel, there have already been some “high-profile contacts such as Deloitte & Touche and KPMG,” two Big Four accounting firms that have shown interest in the new hotel for a convention.

In a down economy, convention bookings are quite competitive. Although the Renaissance isn’t sporting three 18-hole golf courses like The Broadmoor, it will have a full-service spa.

Then again, there are rumblings about an Embassy Suites hotel downtown near America the Beautiful Park. If that is the case, then our old-fashioned, good old downtown will get a deserved shot in the economic arm.

The downtown land owners should get out from under some of their overpriced dirt and give downtown a boost.

Building destination points such as the Renaissance hotel will give a healthy economic increase to northern Colorado Springs. We could develop a new logo for our city, it could be a triangle with each of our downtowns as a vector.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.

6 Responses to Periphery sucking life out of city center

  1. I just have to make a comment. There is no ” downtown”. Our city council has wasted millions of dollars
    re-juvenating down town, There is nothing there, but restaurants and honky tonks. No shopping, just offices and government workers. Bars and hotels do not a town make.

    Mary Gateley
    May 1, 2009 at 12:43 pm

  2. You need freaky people to have a good downtown. Look at any major city or prosperous city center. The have a large population of artists and musicians who make life interesting and fun. You ran all of the art people out of here years ago and think you can draw people downtown with shoe stores and farmers markets. The most successful draw you have is a multicolored fountain that you tried to kill with all your might. I know, How about converting America the Beautiful park into a RV Campsite? It’s about as exciting as all the non-offensive art you wasted our money on. Face it, You are squares and squares are boring.

    radboy
    May 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm

  3. The Renaissance Hotel Colorado Springs is going to have a major financial impact on the Colorado Springs Hotel market due to its 50,000 sq. ft of Meeting Space; it’s closeness to the USAFA and the Renaissance name. It will be a major competitor to the Marriott Hotel, The Antlers, Crown Plaza, Cheyenne Mountain Resort and even The Broadmoor’s catering business at time when these hotels are struggling with occupancy and average rate. The same company of John Q. Hammons is the one who is working on the Embassy Suites property downtown.

    Gibson Hazard
    May 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm

  4. Hmmm…. let’s think about it for a minute-

    1) Almost no parking.
    2) Expensive parking.

    Yup, plenty of reasons to stay away from Tejon Street and the surrounding areas – the City of Colo Spngs is gouging people everytime anyone ventures down into that area, so unless someone works there or is forced to head into that area on business – there is realy very little reasion to go there, and more than enough to stay away.

    If the city wants to attract more people from areas outside the zone of Tejon and Acacia Park they need to stop trying to make the maximum amount of money off of people coming into the area and start working on improving the volume, because as it is, there is little in the area that can not be better served by going someplace else.

    Greg H
    May 1, 2009 at 8:19 pm

  5. Hey Radboy, I think there are plenty of “freaky” people downtown. Just looking out our window here at the CSBJ into Acacia park proves it.

    Lon
    May 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm

  6. My goodness … competition for The Broadmoor … cry me a river. PAYBACK for blocking the downtown Convention Center so they could erect & market their own! The way that place treats locals is horrible………

    Love the fence around the place … so inviting!

    RJF
    May 6, 2009 at 11:25 am