Situated roadside along I-25 (the primary north-south thoroughfare that connects Fort Collins, Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado), the SCP Hotel appears delightfully worn-in, but up close it’s undoubtedly new. Set between construction sites and empty parking lots, the space fills the block with energy. Its lobby, which sits separately from a sprawling corridor of motel-style rooms, is expansive. From the front doors, the square footage seems unfathomable.
For the newly opened hotel (they welcomed their first guests late last year but much of the space remains under construction) space is an advantage they happily inherited. The 98,000-square-foot space is reminiscent of a ’60s era motel and that’s precisely what it used to be.
Focusing on the necessities and the design features they felt embodied their brand best, the independent hotel began a $6 million renovation that included mapping a layout that could house a co-working space (SCP Commons), two pools, a rock-climbing wall, yoga studio, 12,000-square-foot fitness complex (SCP Fit), 176 guest rooms, self-service food market and even more in their future plans.
Paring down means the brand’s space is true to their ethos—the inclination to reuse the pre-existing space included. The front desk is made from Beetle Kill Pine, a Colorado-specific type of once beetle-infested wood that has been reused (courtesy of government allowances) throughout the property. The lobby is wide open and inviting, especially because even the noisiest of guests get drowned out in the vastness of it all.
Below the lobby is SCP Fit, the hotel’s fitness center that doubles as a gym for locals. Yoga instructors are given low rent for studio time in exchange for allowing guests of the hotel to attend free classes. The weight room— which includes two Peloton bikes, ropes, full weight sets, kettlebells and more—won’t disappoint even the most avid exerciser. The pair of pools were resurfaced and will service two different crowds—indoor for XPT classes and outdoor for leisurely swims and sunbathing.
Atop it all, solar panels fuel the electrical demands of the building. Recycled materials, quick-drying fabrics and soy-based mattresses also lend to the property’s overall sustainability. The walls—which play host to 10 murals—are adorned with inherited, living, donated and employee-made art. Plus, forgoing amenities like a microwave, coffee-maker and more saves on waste and encourages guests to cater to their needs within the lobby’s market, wherein eco-friendly amenities abound.
“We got it down to the bones and started over,” Robin Pile, the hotel’s lifestyle director, says. “We have a ton of solar panels. We have the charging stations outside as well—even down to things like the laundry. When cleaning the rooms, we use only environmentally safe products and have plastic that is compostable. We have this industrial concept of decor, and that’s why you’re not seeing carpet [or anything like that]. Every five or six years, you have to replace the carpet throughout the entire hotel. So the less we have the less we waste and have to replace.”
“And that’s the point of not putting microwaves and alarm clocks and coffee-makers in the room,” Pile continues. “Because again, those are items that eventually you’re going to have to update and eventually you’re going to have to replace—and everybody’s got their cellphone, so a lot of these items are less used. We keep it within a minimalist concept because a lot of it ends up in landfills anyway.”
But, Pile admits, the minimalism doesn’t satisfy the needs of every guest. Emphasizing the founding principles of SCP (which stands for Soul Community Planet), management made the decision to offer “Fair Trade Pricing”—a sign at the front desk encourages guests to ask about the program.
“It’s a huge asset for our employees and our guests,” Pile explains. “We have taken a really old building and renovated it. That has not left us with anything easy or free from maintenance issues. It’s honestly put us in a position where sometimes you find out you have an issue when the issue occurs. We want to make sure that everyone’s leaving satisfied, everyone’s leaving here feeling like, ‘Yes, the rate for that room is exactly what was supposed to be paid.’ So that’s why we offer that to our guests—to leave the ball in their court. Because we do want your stay to be fulfilling, to be relaxing. We don’t want it to be a whirlwind or stressful.”
The SCP leaves room—both figuratively and literally—for guests to be a part of their built community. Inside, healthy eating and drinking options abound (kombucha on tap, pre-portioned smoothies with optional proteins and supplements, locally sourced snacks and much more), community members mingle and add to the experience, and the rooms (which include bedrooms with one king or two queens and six-bed hostel options on the bottom floor) promote rest first and foremost. They aren’t overly glamorous or pretentious, but they’re far superior to the city’s other offerings. That said, while it’s important to enjoy the hotel’s amenities, it’s equally encouraged to explore the natural splendor that surrounds it.
Hero image courtesy of SCP Hotel