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Hospitality and Community are Top Priorities for Hotel Colorado Owners

Renovating a historic hotel is no task for the faint of heart. With a successful track record in the hospitality business, the Melville family, who purchased the Hotel Colorado in 2018, is wasting no time making improvements to the 126-year-old property, while simultaneously preserving its historic integrity.

A stately presence, the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs is a landmark and legacy property. Built in 1893 by mining engineer and silver tycoon Walter Devereux, the Hotel Colorado is an integral part of the hot spring town’s identity. It overlooks the world-famous Glenwood Hot Springs Pool—also built by Devereux, has hosted presidents and dignitaries, was a US Navy rehabilitation hospital during the WWII and, to date, boasts one of best holiday lighting displays in Western Colorado.

A Family History of Welcoming Guests
The years, however, had taken a toll. “We knew when we purchased the hotel that it needed a lot of work,” family spokesperson Craig Melville said. “Breathing new life into an ailing property was part of the appeal. We’ve already completed a number of projects and we plan to continue forward with renovations for the next three to five years.”

While the Hotel Colorado may be their most ambitious undertaking, the Melville family is well acquainted with what it takes to refurbish and operate lodging properties in Colorado resort towns. Family patriarch Ralph Melville opened the Mountain Chalet in Aspen in 1954 with just three guest rooms. By 2003, the lodge expanded with fourth and fifth-floor additions. Currently, it has 55 rooms and four two-bedroom apartments. In April 2017, the Melville family added the 21-room Cristiana Guesthaus in Crested Butte to their roster. Marion Melville, Ralph’s widow, is lovingly referred to as the “grande dame of the Grande Dame,” a reference to the splendor of the Hotel Colorado during its Victorian-age hey-day. The Melville children include Julie, Frank, Nancy, Susan, Karen, Craig, as well as Riley Pond and Kai Ginter.

Refurbishing the Historic Hotel Colorado
After purchasing the hotel, the Melvilles wasted no time getting started on their punch list of renovations. One of their first tasks was replacing the aging roof. Next up came overhauling the Hotel’s meeting rooms. “The Hotel Colorado offers the most extensive conference services in Glenwood Springs and we want to make sure meeting planners have the best tech services for their attendees while still enjoying the historic feel of the conference rooms,” Melville said. The hotel’s six meeting rooms have all been completely refurbished and feature modern-retro décor and are wired for up-to-the-minute AV technology.

For guests staying at the Hotel Colorado, the most notable improvement has been the addition of window air conditioning units in every guest room. “Though this is a temporary fix until the full four-pipe HVAC system is added down the road, it allows our guests to be comfortable on even the warmest summer days,” Director of Sales Jeremy Gilley said.

Building Community Through Events & Stewardship
In addition to making capital improvements, the family is reviving the community spirit surrounding the Hotel Colorado. “Since the Melvilles took the helm, there has been a resurgence of events and activities,” Gilley said. “The family wants the Hotel Colorado to be the place in Glenwood Springs where people gather with family and friends.” Highlights include live music every weekend and events that celebrate special occasions, such as Mother’s Day, Independence Day and Christmas, as well as the annual Hotel Colorado Holiday Lighting Ceremony. “The Hotel Colorado is truly an iconic hotel and it’s a privilege and honor to be able to refurbish this amazing property,” Melville said. “We want to bring back the look and feel from 1893, along with being good community stewards.”

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