The Hotel Colorado is Ungoing Major Renovations while Keeping its Historical Integrity
The Hotel Colorado is undergoing major renovations under its new owners, Aspen’s Melville Family. The Melvilles are also owners of the Mountain Chalet Aspen, Aspen’s only family-owned hotel and the 21-room Cristiana Guesthaus in Crested Butte. There are six Melville children; Julie, Frank, Nancy, Susan, Karen and family spokesperson Craig, along with two adopted children, Riley Pone and Kai Ginter.
Ralph Melville, Craig Melville’s father who passed away February 2016, opened the Mountain Chalet, located near the base of the west side of Aspen Mountain, in 1954 with three guest rooms. By 2003 the modestly priced lodge expanded with a fourth- and fifth-floor addition, and it currently has 55 rooms and four two-bedroom apartments located on Durant Street in Aspen. In April 2017, the Melville family bought the 21-room Christiana Guesthaus in Crested Butte and recently purchased the Hotel Colorado in May 2018.
“We realize and appreciate that the Hotel Colorado is a very integral part of the Glenwood Springs resort community and its history.” said Craig Melville. “We have pledged to continue to invest money into the hotel until its grand vision is complete.”
Staying true to the history of the Hotel Colorado while implementing state-of-the-art improvements takes a fine balance of creativity and ingenuity, which is important to the Melville family and the hotel’s management and staff. They are working hard to balance the two to offer a top-notch and unique guest experience at the Hotel Colorado.
“We want to ensure our guests have all the modern comforts while maintain the history and elegance of the 125-year-old hotel,” said Melville. “We will provide all the update amenities and comforts of a modern hotel while still keeping its original historic look and feel.”
Melville added that they are currently expanding and improving its meeting spaces and conference rooms which will help drive the off-season business for the hotel.
“The Hotel Colorado offers the most extensive conference services in Glenwood Springs and we want to make sure meeting planners have the best tech services for their attendees while still enjoying the unique historic feel of the conference rooms,” added Melville.
In fact, during recent renovations exciting discoveries have been made like the original fireplaces and gorgeous and preserved pine hardwood floors. In its past, the hotel had been used as a place of healing for the U.S. Navy during the World War II years, and a community focal point from its inception. “Unfortunately the Navy got rid of anything that wasn’t hospital related, but we plan to keep and restore everything true to form.”
The Melvilles intend to make steady improvements to the hotel over a three- to five-year period. A model guest room will be created as a test to help establish what the best guest experience should look like. The hotel will then implement the changes in all guest rooms.
“The Hotel Colorado is such a true iconic hotel and it’s truly a real privilege and honor to be able to take over this amazing property,” added Melville. “We want to bring back the look and feel from 1893 along with being good community stewards.”
For more information, upcoming events or to book lodging or meetings at the Hotel Colorado go to www.hotelcolorado.com or call 800-544-3998. The public is encouraged to stop by and see the renovation in progress.
The Hotel Colorado located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, was built in 1893 as a destination resort for the wealthy and well-to-do. For 125 years, Hotel Colorado has hosted the guests of Glenwood Hot Springs which is located less than 300 yards from our courtyard. Today guests enjoy a wide range of activities in Glenwood Springs, including the Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Yampah Spa, hiking to Hanging Lake, white water rafting in Glenwood Canyon, fly-fishing on the Roaring Fork River, plus much more. The Hotel Colorado is Glenwood Springs’ only full-service meetings hotel, and is recognized as Glenwood’s cultural icon for the last 125 years. The hotel is currently undergoing major renovations under its new owners the Melville family.
The Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs
Colorado’s newest hot springs features 16 thermal mineral water soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with a whirlpool spa on the bank of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs.
The much-anticipated opening of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs is almost here. Glenwood Springs’ newest geothermal attraction will open on the bank of the Colorado River on Saturday, July 18. A grand opening celebration will be held later this summer. Catering to all who appreciate relaxing with a warm soak surrounded by mountain views, the Iron Mountain Hot Springs offers 16 mineral hot springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with a jetted spa.
The family pool is filled with 86,000 gallons of fresh water that’s heated to a comfortable 90 degrees Fahrenheit by the geothermal exchange. A smaller, elevated whirlpool spa offers a perfect soaking temperature of just over 92°F, where parents can enjoy the warmer water while supervising their children below. A waterfall provides calming sounds as water cascades from the upper to the lower section.
Sixteen smaller, naturally shaped pools are filled with thermal mineral waters that range from 98 to 108°F. To provide a soothing environment where guests can relax, restore and rejuvenate in the soaking pools, there is a quiet zone surrounding the area; children ages 5 to 14 must be accompanied by an adult and those younger than 5 are not allowed. The views, which vary from pool to pool, include the Colorado River as it winds through the valley, Iron Mountain, Red Mountain, the Flat Tops and the twin peaks of majestic Mt. Sopris to the south.
We have really focused on the guests’ experience,” explained co-owner Mogli Cooper. “The location, shape and features of each of the pools, the materials and colors we used and the team we’ve built — it’s all been about providing a world-class hot springs destination where people can enjoy the therapeutic, natural mineral waters.”
Several springs emerge onto the Iron Mountain Hot Springs property with average water temperatures ranging from 105 to 108°F. There are at least 14 minerals found in the analysis of the water; the five most abundant are iron, sulfate, chloride, sodium and calcium. Iron and sulfate are known for their relaxing qualities. Thermal heat from the springs is also used to warm the pools and to heat the walkways and buildings.
“The past nine months have been a whirlwind,” co-owner Steve Beckley said. “Building the bathhouse, restaurant and 18 pools takes an enormous amount of coordination and an impressive number of people. In addition to the structures and pools you can see, the infrastructure beneath the ground took just as much work. We have to get the water from three different mineral water sources into our facility and routed to the pools. The water in the smaller mineral pools continually flows through the pools and completes a total changeover every two hours.”
Richard Nash, of Nash Construction, was the general contractor for the project. Care was taken to use local sources throughout the process, including approximately 50 contractors, vendors and suppliers from the Western Slope.
Making sure that the therapeutic waters at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs are accessible to all was also a priority during planning and construction. A gently curving ramp with a handrail provides a gradual entrance into the family pool for those in wheelchairs or anyone who prefers to avoid steps. Two of the soaking pools have transfer walls and grab bars that allow a person to leave a mobility device and transfer onto the wall and then into the water. An aquatic wheelchair is available, and the family changing rooms are accessible as well.
“Accessibility was very important to all of us,” Cooper said. “The healing nature of the warm mineral waters can work wonders with everyday aches and pain. Imagine how significant that can be to those facing long-term healthcare issues and challenges. We want everyone to feel welcome.”
A lodge-style bathhouse greets guests upon arrival. Inside, they can buy passes, shop and prepare for their soak in well-appointed locker rooms. Separate changing rooms for families are available to make visits with the kids easier. If guests have forgotten something or would like to pick up a gift or souvenir, the retail shop offers swimwear, sunscreen and pool accessories; lotions, body wash and other personal care items; specialty soaps and candles; shirts; hats; ornaments and candies. Many of the items are made right here in Colorado.
When it’s time for a break, the on-site Sopris Café located next to the family pool is just the spot. The menu includes breakfast pastries and croissants, snacks, salads, wraps, sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs, frozen yogurt, soft-serve ice cream, smoothies, specialty coffees, soft drinks, beer, wine and mixed drinks. Free water and bottle-filling stations are available near the family changing rooms in the bathhouse to help guests stay hydrated.
The Iron Mountain Hot Springs will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Labor Day weekend, and then off-season hours will begin. Admission is $25 per adult, $15 for kids 3 to 12, and free for children younger than 3. An evening soak from 8 to 10 p.m. is available for $15 for adults and $9 for kids. Discounts are available for guests ages 65 and better, AAA members and military. Re-entry is not included with admission. To ensure a relaxing atmosphere, capacity will be maintained to make sure that the pools do not become overcrowded. Guests can check availability at www.IronMountainHotSprings.com. A pop-up screen will notify visitors when capacity has been reached, and they can check back regularly from mobile devices and tablets to find out when space has become available.
Soaking in the iron-rich waters while taking in the views from this spot is not a new idea. The history of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs property dates back to 1896, when the West Glenwood Health Spa opened. Over the next 100 years, it changed hands multiple times and also operated as the Wash Allen Bathhouse, the Gamba Mineral Springs, the Glenwood Health Spa, the Fort Defiance Bathhouse and the Iron Springs Spa. It was razed in 1996 to make way for a water park project that never came to fruition and sat vacant until construction of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs started in late 2014. A viewing tower reminiscent of one located on the site in the early 1900s is planned to reflect the site’s rich history.
Winter Fun in Glenwood Springs
You can’t afford to ski every day you are in Colorado
So how about taking a break from the slopes and heading to Glenwood Springs to explore this new adventure park on the Western Slope.
Featuring the state’s longest alpine coaster and only 4D motion theater, gondola rides, cave tours, laser tag and a cozy mountain-top restaurant with breathtaking views, a day at the Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs offers travelers a new take on Colorado winter vacations.
A day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs provides travelers another way to play in the Colorado mountains this winter. Featuring the state’s longest alpine coaster and only 4D motion theater, gondola rides, cave tours, laser tag and a cozy mountain-top restaurant with breathtaking views, the Adventure Park is a fun and affordable addition to family ski trips. At just $31 per person for a Winter Fun Pass, a family of four can spend a day at the Park — including lunch.
“As more and more people travel in multigenerational groups, it’s important for them to have choices that appeal to different age groups and interests,” said Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne. “With more than a dozen ski resorts in this part of the state, our central location makes the Adventure Park an easy day trip for members of the group who don’t ski, or skiers who want to give their legs a day off.”
The Adventure Park is nestled in the mountains above historic Glenwood Springs, and is surrounded by Colorado’s premier ski destinations. Vail, Aspen, Beaver Creek, Snowmass, Buttermilk and Sunlight are all located within an hour of the park, and Breckenridge, Winter Park, Powderhorn, Steamboat, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Ski Cooper, and SolVista are within two hours.
Starting on the floor of the Roaring Fork Valley near the Colorado River and I-70, the Adventure Park’s Iron Mountain Tramway carries visitors 4,300 feet up the side of Iron Mountain in fully enclosed gondolas, providing panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. At the top, guests can enjoy a 70-minute guided tour of Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves, recognized as one of the leading family cave tours in the country, and unlimited access to the alpine coaster, the Western-themed laser tag arena, and the only 4D motion theater in Colorado, with moving seats, special effects and surround sound that bring the 3D films to life. This is all included in the $31 Winter Fun Pass.
“The alpine coaster is a big hit because it allows you to race down the mountainside and through the trees, without the learning curve associated with skiing,” Beckley added.
The Lookout Grille serves lunch by a cozy fire with incredible views of the Roaring Fork Valley and Colorado River.
This winter, the Adventure Park is open Friday through Monday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. During the holidays, the Park will be open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Dec. 16 through Jan. 2. The Park will be closed Christmas Day. Group discounts are available. Visit http://www.glenwoodcaverns.com or call 800-530-1635, ext.0, for more information.