January 21, 2013
The Owner / Operator of our hotel, April Carver, gives us valuable insights in this edition of our blog!
Back in 1914 when the Hotel Denver was conceived, small rooms were the norm. The typical traveler at that time was a business man or a couple on holiday. Silver kings built the hotel across the river, but here on the south side was a real town with real, working class people and business travelers. As the hotel joined up with properties on both sides, remodels were done to include modern (as defined in the 40’s) bathrooms in each room, and eight larger rooms were added to accommodate the boom of post-war traveling families.
Fast forward to 1991. My husband, Steve, and I purchased the hotel with a lot of help from family and associates. We had zero hotel experience, which is a story for a different time. We did realize, however, that we needed fewer small rooms and more larger, double queen rooms to meet demands of the present-day traveler. This was an era when chain properties were springing up everywhere with suites, refrigerators, and family-size rooms.
The goal to transform our smaller rooms to larger rooms began in earnest in the last five years. During remodels in the seventies and eighties, much was covered up with drop ceilings, carpet, fluorescent lights and drywall. We were committed to embracing our early-1900 past and to restoring as many original elements as possible.
Among an extensive list of projects, Mike has completed eight double-queen room renovations thus far. Mike is our highly-skilled, professional in-house carpenter, who has been with us for many years. Each remodel has been very different, resulting in unique experiences for our visitors and unique headaches for Mike. Here is quick run-down of the eight:
190 – The only room off of the lobby in what was formally an office. Its attributes are a fireplace, a kitchenette, and a jetted tub. In this room or nearby, there was a 1920’s shooting involving gangster, Diamond Jack, which is also another story for later!
305 –This boasts huge arched windows along the Colorado River, which were partially covered with a drop-ceiling until the remodel. Because our hotel was once seven separate buildings, early brick exteriors have been uncovered which are now interiors. Very high up on an uncovered brick wall in this room is a promotional sign painted “Glenwood’s Modern Hotel”, probably from the 1930’s. Unfortunately, try as we might, the only way to see the sign now is with a very tall ladder in the hallway.
301 – This is my favorite room in the hotel, with original and imperfect wood floors, original brick walls, expansive windows and a view to the west.
309 and 210 – These were both pairs of rooms that were combined. They have views to the hotel atrium, and are the quietest rooms in the hotel. 309 has two bathrooms. 210 provides a French door (which was found buried in a wall) that separates the two beds.
203 – Also an original pair of small hotel rooms combined, this room has expansive windows viewing the west, a privacy door between the beds, and a full bathroom in addition to a powder room.
321 – Two bathrooms and stained glass windows are features of this room. There is a door separating the beds and a comfortable seating area.
216 – Opposite the train station and Colorado River on 7th Street, this room also has two bathrooms and the original wood floor.
In addition to these double queen rooms are the original eight. Wood floors have been uncovered here as well, and we are in the process of removing any of the remaining drop ceilings. These eight rooms have views of the atrium and provide adjoining capabilities. We feel strongly about our heritage and enjoy the results from the painstaking work it takes to adjoin history with modern convenience!
What is next? Our immediate plan is to remove any remaining false ceilings in all rooms. 204 is a corner room along the Colorado River currently getting a facelift. After that, probably 206, then 205, then 200…… I should probably tell Mike we’re not done yet.