The managers of Pueblo’s newest hotel say they were attracted to the Steel City’s inexpensive housing and a new vision for its downtown.
Carliann Ward and her spouse Jordan moved back to Pueblo from Denver to open The Station, a mini-hotel located above Brues Alehouse on the Pueblo Riverwalk.
“We were living in this tiny little apartment in Denver, and paying $2,000 a month,” said Carliann Ward, a Pueblo native. “So we decided to move back to Pueblo. Now we have a nice little two-bedroom house, and it’s so affordable!”
The hotel, scheduled to open in mid-April, is very much a family enterprise, created with the help Carliann Ward’s parents. Located in the renovated police station that’s also home to Brues Alehouse, it’s the latest iteration of the family’s vision for downtown Pueblo.
The Station on the Riverwalk is neither a traditional boutique hotel nor a B&B, but a full floor of imaginatively conceived luxury hotel rooms in a space once occupied by police headquarters. The Station also includes a modern event space, called The Clink.
“The third floor was originally the jail,” said Cheryl Garcia, Ward’s mother. “We gutted it, removed all the metalwork and everything else we could repurpose and reuse, and here it is.”
A heavy iron door with a bulletproof glass peephole opens into an unrestored space adjacent to The Clink. A hallway leads to the Station’s “cells,” seven high-ceilinged, spacious hotel rooms.
Decorative touches include repurposed bars and slabs of bulletproof glass, as well as original metalwork created by Colorado Metal Art, founded by Carliann’s dad, Ken Garcia, in 1983.
“We’re lucky that we have people who can create pieces like this,” Cheryl Garcia said, pointing out a double-decker steel bed frame with the look and texture of rope. “We can accommodate a total of 22 people in the seven spaces. Combined with The Clink, we think this will be a great small group event venue for weddings, family reunions, conferences and the like.”
Cheryl Garcia’s goal, as spelled out in a promotional brochure: “To offer our guests an inspiring experience in one of our seven cells, and introducing a new definition of ‘incarceration.’ Cell rates will range from $150-$300, based on season/package offers.”
The Clink and The Station complete the family’s ambitious vision for the 1940s-era police station.
When they acquired the vacant structure several years ago, it was a solidly built, architecturally interesting building of almost 20,000 square feet.
The building is on the Pueblo Riverwalk, closely adjacent to the iconic Veterans Bridge. Marty and Linda Garcia (who head regional landscaping giant Total Terrain) partnered with other family members and their son Tony to create Brues Alehouse, which opened in December 2015.
Brues isn’t a modest little storefront craft brewer with an attached tasting room.
Taking advantage of the building’s size and location, it includes a 10-barrel brewery with 80 barrels of serving tanks, a sizable restaurant, a separate performance space, a bakery and coffee shop, rooftop patios and a dog-friendly ground-level patio that fronts the Riverwalk.
Brues features a half-dozen originals on tap from master brewer Tony Garcia, as well as an array of guest taps.
A few years ago the facility might have seemed out of place in Pueblo’s then-gritty downtown, but the Steel City is changing.
And as Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs become too expensive for many Millennial entrepreneurs, Pueblo may benefit.
“So many of my friends are coming back to Pueblo and doing cool things,” said Carliann. “It’s affordable, and you can realize your dreams — there’s a lot of opportunity.”