Coronavirus closes Brown Palace Hotel to guests — temporarily — for the first time in 128 years

The general manager is hoping to press restart on June 1.

Prize steers Olaf and Zion make their grand appearance at the Brown Palace Hotel, Jan. 24, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Prize steers Olaf and Zion make their grand appearance at the Brown Palace Hotel, Jan. 24, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photos

First, the pianos went quiet. Now the famed Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver has stopped hosting guests.

A sharp drop in bookings because of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, prompted the hotel to stop renting rooms, said general manager Nick Moschetti.

“Our demand has really dwindled to almost nothing,” Moschetti said. “We tried over the last few weeks to lower rates and capture whatever demand we could in the downtown market.”

Moschetti said the closure amounts to a temporary suspension of service. He’s aiming to reopen the inn June 1, but said it could happen sooner — or later.

Some staffers remain, including members of the sales and engineering teams. But having guests at the hotel was no longer tenable as public health officials continue to clamp down on social activities. The decision was not simply economic, Moschetti said.

“Our ownership is also concerned with the safety and well being of our associates and guests,” he said. “If there’s continual advisement by public officials not to travel or to expose our associates and guests to a commingle situation, what are we staying open for?”

The legendary and ritzy Denver hotel first opened in 1892 and hasn’t closed since. It has 241 rooms and is owned by Dallas-based Crescent Real Estate.

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