Metro State Springhill Suites

Mortenson Development
150 keys
Year Complete


Creating a literal and figurative link between the campus edge and downtown, large expanses of glass provide guests with incredible skyline views of the hotel’s surroundings. From the main artery bordering downtown, the hotel visibly glows. This custom Springhill Suites Hotel is part of Metro State University’s new Hospitality and Learning Center on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver.

“A nationally renowned hospitality program affordably serving a diverse student population: the program prepares tomorrow’s hospitality leaders within an experiential learning for-profit hotel located in urban Denver, a living laboratory.”

With this bold mission in hand and a public-private partnership at the helm, the $45 million project is a hybrid of hospitality and education, a working hotel on a thriving urban campus. A 150-room select-service hotel with 5,000 SF of meeting space serving the adjacent downtown business center becomes a laboratory for the 28,000 SF learning center, where students gain hands-on experience.


Creating a design authentic to Denver and the Colorado lifestyle, an indoor-outdoor chiseled stone fireplace greets guests upon arrival and a rock bed at the vestibule recalls the region’s rivers. Locally made beetle-kill-pine log tables are crafted from Colorado trees. The guestrooms and corridors are accented by the color turquoise to reflect the stone that adorns native jewelry throughout the southwest.

A dramatic undulating structure over the reception glows with a large-scale botanic image, capturing the attention of the hotel guests and setting the tone of an artsy and creative environment.

Within the light-filled lobby, a kinetic birds-in-flight suspended sculpture spans two stories, capturing the exuberance of the collegiate experience. A glass staircase cascades from the prefunction space on the second level, bringing with it a sense of movement.

Engaging the student body, a call for entries culminated in a collection of original artwork by students, faculty and alumni.

Designed for LEED Gold Standard, the hotel employs energy-recovery systems, water-use reduction strategies, improved envelope performance, and renewable and recycled content materials throughout. Integrated lighting and a smart-energy system place this hotel at the forefront of technology.

Photo by David Lauer


Metro State’s experimental hotel has turned into a surprising success
Denver Business Journal | June, 2015

Apartments filling a Ballpark block
Denver Business Journal | November, 2013


Downtown Denver Award
2013 Downtown Denver Partnership Award

Best Innovation in a School Building | Arts and Entertainment Category
Westword 2013 Best of Denver Awards

LoDo District’s New Business Award
2013 Limelight Awards

Hospitality Project of the Year
Rocky Mountain Commercial Real Estate 2012

Opening Hotel of the Year
2012 Winner of SpringHill Suites by Marriott