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Remembering longtime Colorado Springs businessman and philanthropist Sam Guadagnoli

Sam Guadagnoli
Posted at 8:28 PM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-13 22:57:29-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Longtime downtown Colorado Springs businessman Sam Guadagnoli has died.

"When you talk about Sam you have to talk about Kathy,” said family friend and Colorado Springs Conservatory Founder, Linda Weise.

When Weise moved the conservatory to downtown Colorado Springs she quickly learned the Guadagnoli’s dedication to downtown beyond their own business investments.

"They were the first people to come over to the conservatory and say welcome and let us know, what we can do for you?”

Guadagnoli was a successful businessman. He owned most of the business along Tejon Street on the block north of Pikes Peak Avenue. There are multiple night clubs, eateries and some speciality shops. He also developed housing and had businesses in other parts of the city.

Michael League a long time friend and sometimes business partner said Guadagnoli was always proud of his Italian roots and ties to Colorado. "Between his heritage and his family and the community that's the three things he lived for.”

"Sam could talk to a biker and then he could talk to a banker then he could talk to a military guy and he could talk to a business woman,” said Jen Furda who first met Guadagnoli some 20 years back when she was working for the Chamber of Commerce and went to ask about donations. The interaction turned into a decades long friendship.

I’m proud to call him a friend,” said Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center, CEO, Bob McLaughlin. The two first met when McLaughlin was a Garrison Commander at Fort Carson. They worked together on ideas and events to benefit military members. The collaboration continued when McLaughlin took over at the veterans service center. "Figure out how he could help us help veterans either through fundraisers or using his facilitIes"

Guadagnoli also donated generously to support the community.

“Big ideas, big heart,” said Weise.

"Sam cared about this community. He cared about our military, he cared about the arts, he cared about our youth, and our kids,” said Furda.

Tim Metcalf has known the Guadagnolis for more than 30 years. He started working for them three decades back and is now the General Manager of the Guadagnoli’s nightclub Cowboys.

“[He is]More than a brother and they are family to me,” said Metcalf.

He said no one wanted to see the success of downtown Colorado Springs more than Sam Guadagnoli. For that to happen he wanted to see downtown grow with housing, attractions and other businesses.

“Not a competition thing,” said Metcalf, “When anybody opened a new business he was supportive.”

Memories of Gaudagnoli are plentiful for Metcalf. Admitting he was taken by cancer is difficult.

"It's hard to say. You lose words. It was a brief battle and he was strong.”

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