Post Premium: Top stories for the week of Dec. 7-13, 2020

In 2016, Eric Holtze and his sister Sarah Treadway took over the family business. Their father, Steve Holtze, purchased the American National Building on 17th Street in 1993, converting it into the Magnolia Hotel Denver. That hotel served as a model for five other boutique urban hotels.

At the start of the year, the Magnolia hotels were running 75% full and operating ahead of budget. By April, occupancy was down to 10%. Staffing was cut deeply and managers were asked to take on day-to-day chores. For a brief period, Treadway was making beds, Holtze was folding laundry and the general manager was running the front desk.

“Everyone was doing what we could to take care of the few guests we had,” Treadway said. “We feel blessed because our team of people is so loyal and so dedicated. People were willing to jump in and work in every department.”

Loans under the Paycheck Protection Program provided relief this summer. By October, occupancy had crawled back above 40%, raising hopes the worst was behind. And then another surge of cases gripped the country, forcing tighter restrictions on the wedding receptions, business gatherings and other events that the Magnolia relies on.

Metro Denver hotels on average were only filling one out of three rooms on Dec. 5, which is down from an occupancy rate of 62.1% a year ago, according to STR, which tracks hotel statistics. The average rate hotels made per room rented was $76.89 a night versus $116.17 a year ago, which represents a decline of 34%.

In today’s Post, reporters Joe Rubino and Aldo Svaldi look at how months of empty rooms and discounted rates are catching up with hotel owners in Denver and across the country.

Some Denver area hotels dim the lights and wait for the creditors to come knocking as workers relying on unemployment, savings, hope with industry facing long road back from COVID

First COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in Colorado within days, but picture beyond initial shipments is cloudy

With the first Coloradans due to be inoculated against COVID-19 next week, state leaders are scrambling to prepare for one of the largest mass-vaccination campaigns in history — a national effort unfolding so rapidly Colorado officials still don’t know how many doses they’ll receive beyond the next two weeks. Read More…

Six free, socially distanced, in-person Christmas wonderlands to check out in Denver this month

The pandemic may have put a damper in some classic holiday activities, but if you know where to look, there is a ton of Christmas cheer to be had — all outdoors, socially distanced and abiding by Denver’s current Level Red COVID-19 regulations. Read More…

Excessive force, poor communication marred Denver police response to George Floyd protests, independent monitor finds

The Denver Police Department’s response to massive racial justice protests in late May and early June was beset with poor communication, multiple examples of excessive force, and inadequate record-keeping that made it difficult for police leaders to evaluate decision-making, an investigation by the city’s independent monitor found. Read More…

Kiszla: Football eats its heroes. Linebacker Nate Landman suffers nasty injury as Colorado knocked from ranks of undefeated.

On a snowy December morning not fit for man nor Buffs, the home team had no answer for Utah, which scored 28 unanswered points to trounce Colorado, 38-21. But what hurts worse is how this dream season ended for Landman, a senior linebacker who has gladly bled in the fight to restore CU football glory. Read More…

Tattered Cover sold to local investment group, making it the U.S.’ largest black-owned bookstore

After 49 years of private ownership, the Tattered Cover, Colorado’s largest and most prominent book store chain, has been sold to local investors after its rockiest year in memory. Read More…

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