CAÑON CITY – Members of the Denver-based group that bought the historic Hotel St. Cloud at auction this summer spent Tuesday touring Cañon City’s tourist attractions to get a better idea of possible design elements in restoration of the nearly 140-year-old building. Employees with Unbridled Holdings did not speak to media during their visit to the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, as specific plans for the hotel have yet to be formulated.
“It’s going to take a couple of years for that project to be completed,” said Ryan Stevens, Cañon City’s Economic Development Director, one of several city leaders who gave the new owners the tour. “We’re really just trying to get them aware of the amenities.”
The new owners paid $80,000 for the building at a public auction in July. “They have some experience in historic restoration, and that’s a big plus,” Stevens said. “A property like that really needs somebody who has been through that process before.” The hotel, which was originally built in Silver Cliff in 1879 and then a decade later disassembled brick-by-brick, moved to Cañon City, and rebuilt, has sat idle and empty for a decade amid failed attempts at public fundraising for restoration costs.
“It’s an eyesore,” said Cañon City resident Pam Ashley. “I mean, people come into town and see that? It would be nice to have it looking like it did.” Stevens says, although specific plans for the restoration have not been formulated, the building will remain as a hotel and will retain its name. “For downtown Main Street, we don’t have any hotels that are kind of higher-end boutique-hotel type of feel, and that’s really what the vision is, is adding a boutique hotel to Main Street,” Stevens said.
Restoration of the Hotel St. Cloud would revive a Cañon City keystone in the heart of downtown. “It’s one of the first things that you see coming in from the east side on Main Street and we really want to make that strong first impression for visitors,” Stevens said. Stevens says a revived Hotel St. Cloud would draw tourists and locals to the downtown shopping district and would encourage regional entrepreneurs to fill other downtown vacancies. “The Hotel St. Cloud is one of those key pieces, it’s one of those key dominoes in Cañon City,” Stevens said.