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Sage Hospitality Spending $30 million to Remodel the Shuttered
336-room Executive Tower Inn; Will Reopen as a Pop
Culture-themed Hotel Called The Curtis
By  Julie Dunn, The Denver PostMcClatchy-Tribune Business News 

July 28, 2006 - Sage Hospitality Resources on Thursday unveiled detailed plans for downtown Denver's shuttered Executive Tower Inn: an independent, pop culture-themed hotel called The Curtis.

Sage Hospitality is spending $30 million to remodel the 336-room property at 1405 Curtis St.

It will reopen in December with a contemporary décor, high-speed wireless Internet throughout, a fitness center and two restaurants.

The Curtis will target business, group and leisure guests with nightly room rates that average below $150, said Sage Hospitality president Walter Isenberg.

"We saw a market niche that is totally unsatisfied in Denver today," he said. "We're going to appeal to that value-conscious traveler who wants a high-quality, fun experience."

The pet-friendly, 16-story hotel will also feature 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

While its proximity to the Colorado Convention Center will help The Curtis, many meeting planners are hesitant to book independent hotels, said Robert Benton, publisher of the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.

"It's a tougher sell because there is no franchise or chain affiliation," he said. "I think there is a place in this market for more moderately priced rooms, but the question is, how do they get that message across?"

Sitting atop The Curtis is the Inn at Auraria, 14 stories of affordable housing designed for nearby Auraria Campus students. The units, which rent for $595 to $724 per student per month, are scheduled to open Aug. 18.

Isenberg said he's not concerned about how the two entities will co-exist because they have been intentionally separated. Hotel guests will enter on Curtis Street, across from the Denver Performing Arts Complex, while the students will enter off Arapahoe Street.

"They have separate entrances and separate elevators, so there really is not a common area where students and guests will mix," Isenberg said.

Downtown Denver has 6,300 hotel rooms, with about 1,000 more planned. Other nearby hotels in the works include a Four Seasons and a W, a New York-based chain.

Denver-based Sage Hospitality operates 47 hotels in 21 states. It owns or manages 15 in Colorado, including the Courtyard by Marriott on the 16th Street Mall and the historic Oxford Hotel.

Staff writer Julie Dunn can be reached at 303-820-1592 or jdunn@denverpost.com. 

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Copyright (c) 2006, The Denver Post

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