by Sarah JF Braley | September 11, 2019

The 1,231-room Sheraton Denver Downtown, one of the brand's flagship properties, has begun an $80 million project that will touch on all aspects of the hotel, including its 133,000 square feet of meeting space.

"Sheraton is at the dawn of a new era, and there is no better hotel than the Sheraton Denver Downtown to bring this new vision to life," said Indy Adenaw, vice president and global brand leader for the Marriott flag. "As Marriott International's most global brand, we are very excited to see this transformation happen across the globe, one community at a time."

The property, the city's largest, was sold a year ago to Denver HS-EF Court Place LLC, a joint venture between High Street Real Estate Partners (Atlanta) and Eagle Four Partners (Newport Beach, Calif), and the new ownership group has developed a plan for the hotel that will completely reimagine the public spaces and guest rooms. 

Most visibly, the work is starting with the removal of the five 18-foot ballerina statues that have welcomed guests since 1997. The ballerinas will be reinstalled in the Denver Arts District on Santa Fe, making way for a new entryway and modernized exterior, which will comprise the first phase of the renovation. The full timeline for the renovations is: 

• Lobby/driveway/restaurants/club lounge: August 2019-April 2020;

• Guest rooms: November 2019-April 2020;

• Plaza Ballroom and foyer: December 2019-January 2020;

• All renovations will be unveiled in April 2020.

Drawing inspiration from the grandeur and light of I.M. Pei's original design for the city's 16th Street mall, the Sheraton's new porte-cochere, lobby entry and signature lobby bar will aim to create a striking statement at the east end of the mall.  

"Our design intention is to embrace the history of this iconic building while creating modern spaces that people will want to sit down and enjoy today," said Heather Vasquez Johnson, associate principal at Johnson Nathan Strohe, architects for the entryway remodel. "The architectural design is an interpretation of I.M. Pei's distinctive approach to materials, architectural form and light." 

The new interior design will incorporate various elements and materials inspired by the beatnik movement of the 1960s. Materials for the plaza lobby include canvas, leather and darkened metal finishes. A new fireplace in the lobby will be a nod to Pei's original tower design, featuring a plaster imprint of the historic ceiling tiles that remain on the tower's second level. The faceted glass architecture of the new signature bar will be meant to resemble a cut-crystal whisky glass.