With the crash of a champagne bottle into the stone base of a towering stucco archway, Broadmoor West - sporting a $57 million makeover and expansion - was christened Friday and opened for business.
"God bless her, her staff and all who stay with her," said Nancy Anschutz, wife of Broadmoor owner Philip Anschutz, at the end of a brief dedication ceremony that was followed by a round of tours.
The renovation and expansion of Broadmoor West, which opened in 1976, was inspired by one of Europe's finest hotels: the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria, which itself underwent an extensive renovation of its 149 rooms in 2011 to bring the five-star hotel into the 21st century.
The Broadmoor West project was born when Anschutz, chairman and CEO of the Anschutz Corp., showed Broadmoor CEO Steve Bartolin a copy of a newspaper story on the Vienna hotel in late 2012. He told Bartolin how much he liked the Austrian hotel's "rich finishes, stained-glass skylight and Old World craftsmanship," Bartolin recalled at the ceremony, which was attended by Broadmoor executives and many local business, community and government leaders, as well as Bill and Thayer Tutt - great-grandsons of Broadmoor co-founder Charles Tutt Sr.
Bartolin thanked the architects, engineers, contractors and consultants involved in the 6?-month construction project, which added three floors and 31 rooms, extended the building on its east and west ends and dramatically changed the building's appearance so it would blend better with the other structures on the 3,000-acre resort.
In a nod to the project contractor, GE Johnson Construction, Bartolin joked that he asked company president Jim Johnson to complete the expansion and renovation for the same price - $8 million - that the company bid to build Broadmoor West in the mid-'70s.
The renovation also enlarged all the Broadmoor West guest rooms and replaced its restaurants with a new Italian eatery, Ristorante del Lago, and a second restaurant, Natural Epicurean, that will specialize in natural, fresh, organic and wholesome foods.
The christening of the building with a champagne bottle re-creates the christening of the hotel's main building in 1918 by Julie Penrose.
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