|By Macario Juarez Jr., The Denver Post|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Nov. 18, 2004 - BOULDER, Colo. -- The city's first full-service hotel and spa will open early next year, but its general manager promises it won't be "stuffy." The St. Julien Hotel & Spa is nearly finished at the northeast corner of Ninth Street and Canyon Boulevard in downtown Boulder. It will open Jan. 31.
"We want it to be a part of Boulder," said the manager, David Lurie. "If someone comes in wearing shorts and T-shirt, I will let them in."
The 201-room hotel -- with 190 standard guest rooms and 11 suites -- cost nearly $25 million to build. An underground parking garage with 650 spaces cost $12 million. St. Julien Partners LLC, a local investment group, is developing it.
"It is going to be very inviting -- with a high level of standards and personality to it," Lurie said of the hotel, on the site of a former parking lot.
Lurie relocated to Boulder from San Antonio, where he served as director of hotel operations at La Mansion del Rio Hotel and the Watermark Hotel & Spa.
He believes a lot of people in the metro area will make the St. Julien "their little playground on the weekends."
He also stressed that both the restaurant and spa will be open to the public and have their own street-front entrances.
The University of Colorado community is welcoming the new hotel.
"The St. Julien will fill the niche in the upper-end market," said Byron Koste, director of the CU Real Estate Center. "Many of our guests have not chosen to stay in Boulder, and now they will."
The hotel also is partnering with area businesses for supplies, including pillow chocolates, bottled water, wine and breads.
"They have taken great pains to support local businesses," said Chris Toomey, who with his wife, Maryfrances, owns the Belvedere Belgian Chocolate Shop in Boulder. "They want to be an economic benefit, rather than a bane."
Even some competitors view the new hotel as an asset to Boulder.
"If it does well, all of us will do well," said Dan Pirrallo, general manager of the 269-room Millennium Harvest House Boulder.
The hotel is across the street from Boulder Creek and the Boulder Creek Path -- where guests can kayak, hike, bike or jog. It is also a block from the popular Pearl Street Mall.
Nightly room rates will range from $245 to $600, but Lurie said they will fluctuate depending on the season and occupancy.
The St. Julien's amenities will include a spa and fitness center, indoor and outdoor meeting space and a restaurant.
Ilene Kamsler, president of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, said that having a spa will largely contribute to the St. Julien's success.
"Business travelers now feel as though they are road warriors. They have been on the road all day, and they are entitled to a massage," Kamsler said.
The only other Boulder hotel that offers a spa is a Marriott. But it is independently operated, the Millennium's Pirrallo said.
GE Johnson Construction Co. of Colorado Springs is the project contractor. The hotel was designed by Denver's 4240 Architecture.
St. Julien Hotel & Spa amenities
--10,000-square-foot spa and fitness center
--11,000 square feet of indoor meeting space
--12,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space
--Restaurant seating 125
--Lap pool, Jacuzzi
--4,800-square-foot ballroom, accommodating 300
--Salon with manicurists, pedicurists, hair stylists
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