It is the greenest brand to come along in quite some time—SCP Hotel—and its owner and developer, Soul Community Planet (SCP), has plans to develop about 20 of them in the next two years. As Green Lodging News reported earlier this month, the first SCP Hotel just had its soft opening in Colorado Springs, Colo. What was formerly considered one of the worst hotels in the city is now a shining example of sustainability after a $6 million renovation. Be sure to read the original article for background information. The following is the result of an e-mail interview I had this past week with Ken Cruse, Co-founder and CEO of SCP Hotels.
1) What type of business was at the Colorado Springs location before the hotel was built? It had been a hotel?
“The new SCP Hotel Colorado Springs was built as a hotel in 1967. Over the years, the hotel declined in quality and reputation. When we acquired the property in Q2 of 2017, it was a Knight’s Inn and its online reputation ranked among one of the worst hotels in Colorado Springs.”
2) How is business so far? When will the entire hotel open?
“We began offering rooms for sale during the last week of June. The full hotel will open this summer with the SCP Fit facility being the last phase of the rollout. We intend to do the grand opening in September.”
3) Who is the brain (or brains) behind the SCP Hotels concept?
“Ken Cruse serves as CEO of SCP Hotels. Bill Tremper is the COO and Pam Cruse is the CMO. Gus Krimm is the SCP Hotel Colorado Springs GM. This has been and continues to be a team effort. The founders wanted to marry our values with a hotel concept. We have all worked in the hotel industry for years and we felt it was time to introduce a completely new concept that embraces Soul, Community and Planet. Along the way, we began working with HGTV’s Kelli Ellis, who has become our design muse, and Liana Miller, who has helped us to refine our brand story around the concepts we knew we wanted to implement.”
4) Describe what is meant by “eco-industrial” in regard to the hotel’s design.
“We use the term ‘eco-industrial’ to describe the fact that we used a lot of the existing structure and materials rather than demolish the entire building and build a new one when we created the new spaces. We added a range of natural and recycled materials and things like living walls to create the public spaces. We began calling the combination ‘eco-industrial.’”
5) What will SCP Fit consist of?
“The first SCP Fit will be a 12,000 square foot facility with a range of modern fitness equipment and yoga, pilates, spin and other group training facilities. The SCP Fit will also include two swimming pools—one indoor and one outdoor. Both will run with new high-efficiency equipment.”
6) Where exactly are the living walls located and how large are they?
“We have one outdoor living wall adjacent to the main entrance. The wall is approximately 40’ x 12’ and it is comprised of succulents. There is a second interior living wall located within our lobby. This wall is spread across approximately 30’.”
7) In the press release, it was mentioned that the “property includes flexible accommodations for international and student workers.” So, they stay in guestrooms? Or somewhere else?
“Yes. 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. These rooms will be suitable for student travelers, backpackers and adventurers. We will also use the rooms during certain times of the year to accommodate international guest workers on J1 visas.”
8) It looks like you are really trying to bring the community into the space. Why is that important to you?
“We believe that the SCP Hotels concept will work best when all three of our core values—Soul, Community and Planet—are balanced. The Community value has a double meaning. First, we’ve tried to create spaces and a culture that instills all guests, employees and visitors with a sense of welcome-ness, shared values and comfort—a place where people feel they are among friends. Second, as part of our focus on sustainability we look to support and give back to our local communities: through local sourcing of goods and services, hiring of local employees, and most importantly supporting community causes through our commitment to contribute 5 percent of our profits to causes that embrace our core values.”
9) Who do you expect your guest to primarily be? Tourists? Business travelers?
“SCP Hotels are places where all types of travelers will feel welcome. Most of our guests will be people who value doing good things for the environment, their communities and for themselves, which we believe accounts for a large and growing segment of the traveling population. Accordingly, we believe we will see a mix of tourists, business travelers and groups.”
10) Where are the water filtration stations located?
“Both the lobby and SCP Fit.”
11) What types of electric vehicles will your charging stations accommodate?
“Our EV Charging stations were provided by Tesla, however we are looking into broadening our charging capabilities to accommodate all types of electric vehicles.”
12) Where are the solar panels located and what percentage of the property’s electricity will be provided by the installation? What else about the hotel makes it energy efficient? Water efficient? Waste efficient?
“The SCP Hotel Colorado Springs will have a roof-mounted solar array, which we estimate will generate 110,000 kW per annum. With LED lighting throughout and new high efficiency systems, the solar array will address a significant share of the hotel’s electric needs.”
13) To what type of organizations will 5 percent of profits be given?
“We will be supporting charities that embrace our core values of Soul, Community and/or Planet. We will be giving priority to local charities. Some of the charities we’re currently involved with include Miracles for Kids (Soul), YMCA (Community), Me to We (Planet).”
14) What kind of rate will you charge?
“SCP Hotels will be priced to be accessible to a wide range of guests. Room rates will be comparable to typical branded select service hotels.”
15) How many additional hotels are being planned? Where will they be located?
“While we don’t have any specific growth goals or timeline, we think it would be realistic to have developed upwards of 20 SCP Hotels within the next two years. We will focus on western markets initially.”
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