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Downtown Denver's 367 room Embassy Suites Hotel
 May Get a New Brand or a New Use
By Margaret Jackson, The Denver Post
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Oct. 2, 2005 - Downtown Denver's Embassy Suites Hotel may get a new brand or a new use, the hotel's new owner said Friday, declining to comment on published reports that a Ritz-Carlton is a possibility.

Developer and hotel operator Charlie Biederman will determine what to do with the 367-room hotel, 1881 Curtis St., by the end of the year, and plans may not include a hotel, he said. The Embassy Suites franchise agreement on the property expires next year.

Biederman, developer of the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek, said he's considering a number of options.

"We're talking to a lot of people and evaluating various programs," he said. He declined to specify the options he's considering.

In addition to the hotel, Biederman and his partners -- Jim Cobb and Steve Roitman -- last month acquired the 193-unit Apartments at Denver Place above the hotel and the 50,000-square-foot Athletic Club at Denver Place.

While Denver is a city the Ritz-Carlton is interested in, the luxury hotel chain owned by Marriott International Inc. does not have an agreement to open a new property here, said Vivian Deuschl, Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman.

"There's no announcement to be made because I'm not aware of any signed contract," she said. "That doesn't mean it's not going to happen. We talk to developers all the time." Downtown Denver is a strong hotel market and a desirable destination that is ready for an upscale hotel such as the Ritz, said Bob Benton of the hotel consulting firm Robert S. Benton & Associates.

As for the Embassy Suites location near the Greyhound bus station at 1055 19th St.?

"Sometimes you've got to go where there's land," Benton said. "The Ritz will be able to work with that site. Downtown becomes the whole attraction. It's not a fantastic neighborhood, but it's close enough to everything else that it should work."


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