Former school by convention center reopens as new Stonebridge hotel

Class isn’t back in session, but there’s new life at the former Emily Griffith Opportunity School in downtown Denver.

The four-story building at 1250 Welton St. reopened on Tuesday as The Slate Denver, a 251-room hotel that is part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection. It is owned by Denver-based Stonebridge Cos., led by CEO Navin Dimond.

“Stonebridge has been part of the Denver community for more than 30 years,” Dimond said in a statement. “With the hotel’s opening, we pay tribute to the Mile High City’s past, present and future.”

As of Wednesday, rooms on the hotel’s website started at around $160 for this coming Saturday and at $260 for mid-next week.

The Emily Griffith Opportunity School was founded in 1916 and is recognized as one of the first trade schools in the country. The existing building dates to 1926, and was added onto in 1947 and 1956, according to Stonebridge.

The Slate hotel opens in Denver

From left to right: Emily Griffith Foundation President Robin Chalecki; The Slate Denver General Manager Kirby Kiner; Historian Debra Faulkner; Stonebridge Senior Vice President Randy Santulli; Stonebridge President Navin Dimond; and Visit Denver Associate Vice President Jason Lusk. (Photos courtesy of Stonebridge Cos.)

Classes at the location ceased in 2014. Historic Denver Executive Director Annie Levinsky told BusinessDen last week that Denver Public Schools initially applied for a designation that would have paved the way for demolition, but that DPS and Historic Denver later spearheaded the push to designate it a city landmark instead.

Stonebridge Cos. paid $25.3 million in 2017 for the full city block the school sits on, which also includes other structures ultimately intended to be leased to retailers. The company kicked off the redevelopment effort in April 2019.

Speakers at a Tuesday ceremony marking the opening included Robin Chalecki, president of the Emily Griffith Foundation; hotel general manager Kirby Kiner and Stonebridge Senior Vice President Randy Santulli. Debra Faulkner, a historian who authored a book on Emily Griffith, appeared dressed as her.

The hotel is across the street from the Colorado Convention Center. The building’s original hallways and stairways survived the renovation. Another nod to the past can be found in the on-site restaurant: Teachers’ Lounge Food + Drink.

The Slate Denver hotel opens

SLATE HOTEL 24 scaled

The hotelier paid $25 million in 2017 for the block the Emily Griffith Opportunity School sits on and turned it into the 251-room The Slate Denver.

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