COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—Six months after soft opening in Colorado Springs, the 176-room SCP hotel there is enjoying “off the charts” reviews according to Ken Cruse, CEO of Soul Community Planet, LLC, the parent company of SCP Hotels.
The renovation of what once was a Knights Inn and other branded properties is attracting travelers and locals with its eco-industrial vibe and features such as the SCP fitness center.
The SCP Hotel Colorado Springs is the first of several green, community-focused hotels planned by Soul Community Planet. The next one will open in Redmond, Ore.
Cruse says he and his core team had been thinking about the SCP concept for several years. “We all recognized the industry was set in its ways,” he says. “We saw an opportunity to implement a brand representative of our core values.”
Each hotel’s mission, according to Soul Community Planet, is to make the world a better place by serving those who value personal wellness, social good and the environment.
Still in its ramp-up phase, the SCP Hotel Colorado Springs is a testament to what can be done to an aging hotel property. The building was originally constructed in 1965. Cruse says most would have chosen to bulldoze the hotel, but his team saw it as a “footprint that was still viable.” After a nine-month, $6 million renovation, the hotel is a showcase for sustainable design and technology.
Use of Natural Materials Emphasized
Green materials are used extensively—reclaimed and beetle kill wood, for example. Some case goods are made from beetle kill wood. There are two living green walls. One is outside as one walks into the hotel. Another is inside the lobby. The interiors are accented with industrial ceilings, hand painted murals and subtle metallic elements.
Efforts to help the planet include a 223-panel, 75 kW solar array, the use of eco-friendly cleaning products, low-VOC paints, LED lighting, water conserving fixtures, drinking water filtration systems, a smart thermostat system, and four electric vehicle charging stations. Cruse says almost all the plumbing in the building was replaced. Bathroom amenities are made by a company that takes locally sourced depleted vegetable oil, refines it into biofuel and then converts it into glycerin soap and lotion.
No plastic water bottles are given to guests and there are no plastic straws. The hotel has a complete recycling program will be adding composting soon. Dispensers are used in bathrooms to eliminate plastic bottle waste.
“One thing that seems to work in every market is having a top-notch fitness program,” Cruse says. At SCP Hotel Colorado Springs that program is housed in a 12,000 square-foot area that previously was meeting space. It now includes climbing walls, an area for resistance training, and space for Pilates and yoga.
Guests can find locally-sourced food, craft beer and gourmet coffee in the 1,000 square-foot SCP Market.
“The hotel is part of the Colorado Proud program,” says Gus Krimm, General Manager. “It helps market and promote small businesses and sustainably sourced products. About 90 percent of the food products we buy are from Colorado. Our coffee is roasted locally.”
Fair Trade Pricing Program
The first thing a visitor to the www.scphotel.com website sees is information on the hotel’s Fair Trade Pricing program. Under the program, guests have the option of determining the price they will pay for their stay if they are unsatisfied with an aspect or aspects of their overall experience.
“Guests appreciate that it is available to them,” Cruse says. “We have not had anyone ask for a price reduction.” The program keeps hotel associates on their toes by reminding them to offer guests the best stay possible.
SCP Hotel Colorado Springs currently employs from 15 to 20 people, but that number should hit 40 during peak season. Set aside on property is space for college students who come to the United States to work.
“We converted 10 of the guestrooms that became somewhat separated from the main property due to the layout of the SCP Fit into more hostel-style accommodations,” Cruse says.
Soul Community Planet gives back 5 percent of its profits to a Toronto-based charity (WE.org). “It is one of the largest charities in the world,” Cruse says. “It is oriented around providing support to developing nations.”
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.