Developers move ahead with 10-story hotel for downtown Colorado Springs
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Patrick Meade of Iron Mountain Demolition tears down a building on the southeast corner of Cascade Avenue and Bijou Street in downtown Colorado Springs, Thursday, June 23, 2016. A 10-story, 165-room hotel has been proposed for the area by Colorado Springs-based New Vision Hotels. CAROL LAWRENCE,THE GAZETTE

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The Hilton hotel name is returning to downtown.

Colorado Springs-based New Vision Hotels, which plans to develop a 10-story, 165-room hotel on the southeast corner of Cascade Avenue and Bijou Street, has signed a franchise agreement with Hilton to brand its project as a Hilton Garden Inn, Slawek Pietraszek, New Vision's managing director, said Tuesday.

It will be New Vision's fourth hotel under the family of Hilton names; the company also operates another Hilton Garden Inn and two Hampton Inns among its portfolio of six properties.

The iconic Antlers hotel in downtown had been branded for 11 years as the Antlers Hilton until last October, when it was purchased by Springs attorney Perry Sanders Jr. and a partner. At that time, the Hilton name was removed and the hotel became simply The Antlers.

Hilton customers, including guests who are accustomed to receiving rewards for frequent stays, have missed the name in downtown Colorado Springs, Pietraszek said.

"It is the best you can get," he said of the Hilton name. "There are so many Hilton Honors members in the country. Hilton and Marriott and Hyatt are the top brands for business travelers and leisure travelers."

Meanwhile, New Vision has wasted no time in moving ahead on what Pietraszek said will be a $20 million project. Since it submitted plans to the city's Land Use Review Division in late April, New Vision has demolished a shuttered, single-story bank facility that stood on the site.

The company wanted the property cleared in preparation for construction, which Pietraszek now says probably will begin in mid-October and be finished 12 months later. The Hilton Garden Inn will be downtown's first newly constructed hotel in more than four decades and its first high-rise building in 15 years.

As planned, the hotel will have about 20 suites among its 165 rooms - including two penthouse suites, Pietraszek said. The hotel will have retail on the ground floor, a restaurant and about 5,000 square feet of meeting space on the second floor and guest rooms from the third through 10th floor, he said.

"Our plan has already been reviewed by Hilton," Pietraszek said. "They really like our concept."

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Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228

Twitter: @richladen

Facebook: Rich Laden

Business writer, Colorado Springs Gazette

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