The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs will close for roughly 70 days starting at noon Saturday, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
The hotel expects to reopen for the Memorial Day weekend.
The closure of The Broadmoor — an internationally known, luxury resort that opened in 1918 — is another blow to a local economy that this week saw the state-ordered temporary shuttering of restaurant dining rooms, bars, casinos and other public gathering places in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The Broadmoor joins other prominent Springs-area hotels that are temporarily shutting their doors amid the coronavirus outbreak. Among them: The Cheyenne Mountain Resort and the Great Wolf Lodge and Water Park.
"The Broadmoor has been here 101 years, and has survived World Wars, The Great Depression, recessions and Prohibition," hotel President Jack Damioli told The Gazette. "We'll survive coronavirus as well. We anxiously look forward to being able to reopen our resort later this spring."
In a statement, The Broadmoor cited "the reality of COVID-19" and "the need to self-separate our guests, employees and community from what's commonly called the coronavirus."
The hotel's leadership said the decision to cease operations was made "out of an abundance of caution for the safety of everyone." The hotel said it has had no cases or confirmation of any guests or employees testing positive for the coronavirus.
The Broadmoor, whose employee headcount fluctuates but has had upward of 1,500 full-time and seasonal workers in the past, is "making arrangements for supplemental pay, health care coverage and other assistance during this unprecedented situation," Damioli said. The hotel plans to recall all employees when it reopens, he said.
The property known as the Grande Dame of the Rockies has closed just once before. The Great Depression forced its closure for more than nine months — from Sept. 9, 1935, to June 20, 1936, according to Gazette research.
The decision to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic follows last week's cancellation of the 36th annual Space Symposium, which was supposed to have taken place at The Broadmoor beginning March 30.
The symposium, which draws members of the military and defense and aerospace industries from around the world, was expected to bring about 14,000 visitors to the Springs and pump millions into the local economy.
The sprawling Broadmoor — which for decades has received a five-star rating from the Forbes Travel Guide and five diamonds from AAA — has more than 780 rooms, suites, cottages and an estate house to go with golf courses, tennis courts, pools, stores and restaurants on Colorado Springs' southwest side. The hotel also has three offsite wilderness retreats that offer fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities.
The Broadmoor is owned by the Denver-based Anschutz Corp., whose Clarity Media Group owns The Gazette.
Also on the southwest side, the 316-room Cheyenne Mountain Resort will close at 5 p.m. Friday and remain shut until April 30, said Jess Johnson, director of sales and marketing. The hotel already had closed its five restaurants and bars after Gov. Jared Polis on Monday ordered that dining rooms statewide be shuttered until April 30.
Cheyenne Mountain Resort will furlough all but about 10 of its 309 employees, Johnson said.
"We, obviously, like everyone else in the hotel and resort industry, have experienced cancellations for March through May," he said. "Once the public health advisory came through and we had to close our restaurants and bars, and with additional advisories coming out, we had to make the tough decision to close."
The hotel, which also includes a golf course and spa, is owned by Florida-based KDG Capital and managed by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.
On the Springs' far north side, the Great Wolf Lodge and Water Park closed March 15 and plans to reopen April 2. The all-suite hotel has more than 300 rooms, a 50,000-square-foot indoor water park, miniature golf, mini bowling and eight areas for dining and drinks, among other amenities.
The Hotel Elegante Conference and Event Center, on the south side, will remain open for a handful of weekly guests who live there and to complete a "deep clean" and small maintenance and refurbishing projects in the coming weeks to keep its 270-member staff working, said Ed Okvath, the 500-room hotel's general manager.
About 95% of the hotel's room reservations and meeting business for the next two months have been canceled or postponed; one meeting in December also was canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak, he said.
"Our sales staff is working from home, and we are trying to minimize the impact on our staff by keeping the crews on these projects to two or three," Okvath said. "We don't plan on laying off any employees."
The Colorado Springs Marriott hotel isn't shutting down and continues to take reservations while monitoring the COVID-19 situation, a spokeswoman said.
The closure of area hotels, cancellation of conferences and meetings and the shuttering of local visitor attractions portends a major blow to Pikes Peak region tourism, a $2.4 billion industry in 2018 that employs thousands of workers.
"It has brought many industries to a virtual standstill, and tourism has been especially impacted," Doug Price, president and CEO of Visit Colorado Springs, said of the pandemic. "Given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus, the best we can all do is support one another while continuing to follow the recommendations of our national, state and local public health leaders.
"While the closure and cancellation of many of our city’s beloved attractions, accommodations, restaurants, galleries, museums and events is hard on all of us," Price said, "the more stringently we follow these health practices, the sooner we can get back to the business of welcoming visitors and groups to Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region."