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Citing public safety concerns, Wheat Ridge proposes new license for hotels and motels

Extended stay hotels would have to meet requirements
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Posted at 6:52 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 07:46:07-04

UPDATE | Wheat Ridge City Council unanimously approved this new license for hotels and motels.

A slight change was made on Monday evening — applicants will need to achieve and maintain a call for service rate of 1.8 — instead of 1.5 — within a year of obtaining a hotel license.

The program will be reviewed every 18 months to see if there are any improvements.


WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — The City of Wheat Ridge could soon require hotels and motels to apply for a new license, citing public safety as the main driver for the policy.

City officials say nine hotels are responsible for more than 3,000 calls per year to the Wheat Ridge Police Department. To put that in perspective, that's about 10% of the total police calls.

"That means our public safety services are not being provided to the rest of the city when those calls are taking up a great day of time and resources," said Sara Spaulding, a spokesperson for the city.

The proposed ordinance would create a new license for hotels and additional requirements for extended stay properties. Hotels would be required to stay under a set call volume and submit a security plan.

It also defines extended stay lodging as any hotel room that is occupied for longer than 29 consecutive days. These hotels would have to provide rooms that are a minimum size of 300 square feet and have a defined bedroom that is separate from other parts of the unit. Kitchen facilities and housekeeping services would also be required.

"We will always cater to the budget guest. That’s our business model. That’s who we are, we believe in it," said Don White, vice president of the company that owns American Motel in Wheat Ridge.

White says he has eight long-term guests who have been at his hotel for multiple years. He said he doesn't want to ask them to leave but he can't afford costly renovations in order to meet the proposed requirements.

"I don’t see how public safety and perhaps this desire for the city to have stoves in the room, how those two things go together," said White.

ease restrictions in forst year