Mining Exchange Night ShotThe owner of the Mining Exchange Hotel said he transformed the 1901 exchange into the first full-service hotel downtown to be a 5 Diamond property. But, he’s happy with the 4 Diamond designation, for now.

After a surprise on-site visit one month ago, AAA named the Mining Exchange a 4 Diamond property. Fewer than five percent of nearly 31,000 properties approved by AAA achieve the 4 Diamond designation.

“Although we designed this property to ultimately be a 5 Diamond property, to get 4 Diamonds right out of the gate, without our spa, permanent fitness center or Gold Room being open, is very gratifying, ” said Perry Sanders, owner, who spent about $25 million on the hotel project.

Sanders said more enhancements are underway. The Broadmoor Hotel and Resort is a Five Diamond property.

For 77 years AAA has used inspectors to conduct in-person property inspections and publish the results on a system of One to Five Diamonds to help guide travel decisions.

Sanders opened the Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, in May. It was the first full-service hotel to open in the Springs in 27 years, and is one of 30 Wyndham Grand Hotels in the world.

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The hotel, at the corner of Nevada and Pikes Peak avenues, opened with 57 guest rooms, a boardroom, a fitness center and a 3,000-square-foot ballroom that can seat 200 or host a cocktail party for 300.

The Mining Exchange Hotel has the charm — antique-styled furniture, original crown molding on its pillars, original tile in the ballroom and the original vault doors — of its 1901 heritage. But, the hotel has very modern rooms with iHome entertainment centers and ergonomic desk chairs. The original 1901 window casings were restored, but covered with Mylar glass to keep the rooms little sound-proof.

“We are so excited to be given this rating, especially in light of fact we haven’t been open for a year yet,” said Shelby Pywell Yarbrough, general manager. “Our incredible staff is the reason we are able to attain this award.”