The transformation of the Mining Exchange Building into a luxury boutique hotel will be complete this year, and its proprietors say the city’s support of the deal is helping to make it a reality.
“We’re planning to open in October or November,” said building co-owner Perry Sanders, “and the city’s strong support at this juncture is the reason that we decided to totally commit and go all the way with the hotel. And it’s not just the direct support — it’s the absolute cooperation with things like parking, valet, entrances and lots of details.”
Work on the hotel has accelerated substantially in recent weeks. A comprehensive building permit was issued on Monday.
Initially, the hotel will contain 57 luxury rooms and suites.
The renovated building will be the first new hotel to open in the downtown core since the 1960s, when the Antlers moved into its present building.
“We’re preserving as many original building details as possible, and we’re recreating others,” Sanders said.
The Mining Exchange Building was built during 1902 by William S. Stratton, a Colorado Springs carpenter who made his fortune in the gold fields of Cripple Creek.
The hotel will include all of the amenities one would expect in a luxury hotel, Sanders said.
Those amenities will include a restaurant to be developed by Sanders’ partner, veteran Colorado Springs restaurateur Raphael Sassower. The restaurant will occupy the grand space that was once the floor of the Colorado Springs Stock Exchange
During the early 1900s, the Colorado Springs Stock Exchange was the busiest stock exchange in America. The building provided offices for brokers and mining companies.
When the Cripple Creek boom ended, most of the companies listed on the exchange went out of business.
The building remained unchanged until an extensive modernization in the 1960s.
A “modern” façade covered the pink granite columns and arches that Italian stone carvers had crafted decades earlier, while the offices on the upper floors also received makeovers.
During the next half-century, the building slowly deteriorated.
Three years ago, a partnership headed by LandCo and Ray Marshall acquired the building and divided it into office condominiums. While a few units were sold, the scheme was eventually dropped. Gutted and largely vacant, the building’s fate was uncertain.
After a series of transactions, Sanders and Sassower acquired full ownership of the Mining Exchange Building a year ago. They announced plans to convert the building to a luxury hotel last June.
Since then, the project has proceeded slowly, as the partners sought acceptable financing and city support for the project and attempted to negotiate sales tax givebacks with the city.
Last year, Sanders said that said he planned to ask the city to “allow the Mining Exchange Hotel Complex to keep 75 percent of new sales and lodging tax revenue that will be generated if this becomes a hotel complex, until $4 million is generated to the hotel.”
A 2009 report by HVS hotel consultants says the hotel could employ 100 people.
While negotiations with the city over proposed givebacks are not yet finalized, the partners are heavily invested in the project. Sprinklers have been installed throughout the building, and new HVAC systems are in place. Along Pikes Peak and Nevada, avenues floor to ceiling windows have been installed.
As well as the Mining Exchange Building, Sanders and Sassower now own or control three neighboring buildings, including the Independence building, the Freeman Telegraph Building, and the former Municipal Utilities Building.
Sanders said that all three buildings will eventually be part of the hotel, and will include a spa, a comedy club, a live entertainment venue, a rooftop bar and additional rooms.