(Gazette, The (CO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) St. Louis-based Drury Inns has started work on a seven-story, 180- room Drury Inn and Suites at the InterQuest Marketplace shopping center, which will give the privately owned chain a pair of hotels on Colorado Springs' north side.
The new Drury hotel, east of Interstate 25 and InterQuest Parkway, will join a 14-screen Regal movie theater complex, a Brunswick Zone XL entertainment center, Cheddar's Casual Cafe, Colorado Mountain Brewery and a Kum & Go convenience store at InterQuest Marketplace.
Crews were moving dirt Friday at the nearly 4-acre site, and the hotel is expected to be completed in 2015.
Drury officials didn't return phone calls Friday, but had laid out details of their project nearly two years ago, when they submitted their proposal to city planners. Last month, Drury completed acquisition of the site from InterQuest Marketplace developer Nor'wood Development Group of Colorado Springs, according to El Paso County records.
Fred Veitch, a Nor'wood vice president, said Drury's presence will help generate more interest in InterQuest Marketplace, envisioned as a 131-acre, 900,000-square-foot retail center.
Drury "is a very, very strong operator with a tremendous following and loyalty," Veitch said.
"It's a brand that I think is going to do very, very well in Colorado Springs," he added.
A 117-room Drury Inn - without suites - has operated for about 30 years at 8155 N. Academy Blvd., near I-25 and Academy and the Chapel Hills Mall.
The new Drury Inn and Suites will go up a short distance from the partially finished Renaissance hotel, in the northwest corner of the InterQuest Marketplace. Construction stopped on the Renaissance nearly 4 1/2 years ago after then-developer John Q. Hammons ran out of money. Since then, hotel general contractor Flintco Inc., of Tulsa, Okla., took it over and has been trying to sell it.
A real estate firm marketing the property says on its website that the Renaissance is under contract. Some commercial real estate industry members have said that Springs developer and homebuilder Classic Cos. has contracted to buy the hotel and is assembling investors for the project. Classic CEO Doug Stimple couldn't be reached for comment Friday and has declined to comment on the hotel in the past.
It wouldn't be unusual to have two hotels a short distance from each other - especially if they appeal to different clientele.
Assuming it's completed as planned, the 300-room Renaissance will be a full-service hotel with nearly 50,000 square feet of meeting space that will play host to seminars, conferences, trade shows and the like. It also will have a 191-seat, full-service restaurant, a 100-seat atrium lounge and bar, a spa, fitness room and heated indoor pool, according to the real estate firm marketing the property.
The Drury Inn and Suites, however, won't have a restaurant, meeting space and other amenities associated with a full-service hotel. Its room rates also are expected to be less.
"It's important to have different groupings of service and price points available to customers at one location," Veitch said. "The two hotels actually will end up complementing each other."
Doug Price, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, said each hotel will appeal to different customers; the Renaissance will bring in large groups and guests holding reservations, while the Drury Inn might attract interstate drivers looking for a place to stay for the night.
"It's not only a different price point, it's a different customer," Price said.
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