Denver-based hotel developer and manager Sage Hospitality celebrated the grand opening of its 150-room SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at Metro State on Aug. 8.

Photo by Mark Woolcott/Mark Woolcott Photography
The Aug. 8 grand opening of the new SpringHill Suites hotel and HLC included, from left: Adam Sherer, SpringHill Suites by Marriott; Callette Nielsen, vice president and global brand manager, Springhill Suites by Marriott; Tye Turman, senior vice president of development for the Western Region, Marriott International; Janice Sinden, chief of staff, Denver Mayors Office;Dr. Stephen Jordan, president, Metropolitan State University of Denver; Walter Isenberg, co-founder, CEO and president, Sage Hospitality; Rachel Benedick, vice president, VISIT Denver; Beth Korsos, vice president, Marriott Franchise Services; Scott Perry, general manager, SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at Metro State; Monica Kennedy, membership account executive, Denver Chamber of Commerce; Anne Frye, director of sales and marketing, SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at Metro State.

The new $45-million hotel sits on the eastern edge of the Metropolitan State University of Denver campus at Speer Boulevard and the Auraria Parkway.

It is also home to MSU Denver’s new Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center (HLC), a 28,000-sq-ft educational facility that combines classrooms with interactive laboratories to provide an experiential curriculum for the university’s more than 600 hospitality, tourism and events students. State-of-the-art classrooms include a sensory analysis laboratory for wine and food tastings and a cellar management laboratory, with space for a 3,100-plus-bottle wine storage room.

Students will work in the hotel each semester, and both hotel general manager Scott Perry and director of sales and marketing Anne Frye will teach classes in the HLC. The hotel and HLC also feature more than 650 pieces of original artwork created by 21 students, faculty and alumni of MSU Denver.

“MSU Denver is taking a leadership role in providing Colorado with educated workers through our Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center,” said MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan. “This amazing facility will allow us to change our curriculum in a dynamic way that will provide hands-on learning for our students on a daily basis.”
Jordan added that there are only 10 other universities in the United States with an operating hotel attached to their hospitality program.

All of the hotel rooms were designed as suites and feature a flexible workspaces with ergonomic chairs, as well as a separate sleeping area. Each suite has a microwave, mini-fridge, a seating area with a pullout sofa bed and a spa-like bathroom.
Hotel amenities include a complimentary breakfast, a small market area, fitness center and complimentary wireless Internet.

It is a short walk from the Pepsi Center, the Colorado Convention Center and the popular Larimer Square, Lower Downtown and the 16th Street Mall.

“We are thrilled to have helped create not only a fantastic new lodging option for downtown Denver, but an amazing student laboratory where future hospitality leaders can get hands-on experience,” said Walter Isenberg, CEO of Sage Hospitality.

Sustainable Features

The project expects to receive LEED-Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Green features include the use of only high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and low-VOC paints and flooring, plus preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles. The hotel has secure bicycle storage plus lockers and changing rooms to encourage employees to use alternative transportation.