Glenwood Hot Springs pulls plug on buying Hotel Colorado | VailDaily.com

Glenwood Hot Springs pulls plug on buying Hotel Colorado

Owners of the Hot Springs Pool, shown in the foreground, have abandoned plans to buy the historic Hotel Colorado that looms in the background.

Glenwood Hot Springs has decided it will not buy the historic Hotel Colorado, which will now remain open instead of closing Jan. 31 for a major renovation that had been planned.

"After extensive investigation and evaluation, the cost to fully renovate Hotel Colorado is simply prohibitive," Kjell Mitchell, president and CEO for the Hot Springs, said in a terse statement released Monday morning.

"We were very excited about the prospect to rejoin the two companies, but due to substantial increases in some very late-breaking cost estimates, our conclusion is the acquisition is not possible for us," he said.

Mitchell declined to comment further other than to say it came down to two words, "cost prohibitive."

The Hot Springs ownership had been set to close this week on the purchase of the Hotel Colorado, located just to the north on Sixth Street overlooking the historic Hot Springs Pool site. The deal would have reunited the two properties, which had been jointly owned during the middle part of the 20th century.

Employees at the Hotel Colorado had been preparing to find other work in the meantime, and severance deals had been offered. That all changes now, according to Bob Pote, interim general manager at the hotel.

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"We are open for business, and will continue to be," Pote said. "A lot of things we thought were in place are no longer, and we have told the team that we are back to normal with regards to business."

That includes reopening scheduling for catering and events. Any of the 50 or so employees who had planned to leave have been told they can remain if they would like, Pote added.

"We would like for them to stay, and I think most of them will," he said. "We had not hired a number of positions in anticipation of closing, so we will now look to fully staff the property."

A purchase price for the hotel had not been announced when the Hot Springs made it known in November that they were under contract to buy the 123-year-old property.

Both landmark properties were developed by Walter Devereux in the late 19th century, the Glenwood Hot Springs and its iconic bathhouse in 1888, followed by the Hotel Colorado in 1893.

The properties were sold off individually but then they rejoined under one umbrella from 1937-1946. The nearby vapor caves were also part of that ownership group. Since 1946, the Hotel Colorado has operated independently with numerous proprietors.

The hotel is currently owned by the Bastian family partnership out of Kansas, going by the name Glenwood Properties Inc. They purchased the property in 1989 for $1.3 million, and the hotel is managed by the hotel management group Providence Hospitality Partners.