The north-facing storefront outside the Mining Exchange should go through some changes during 2014.
The north-facing storefront outside the Mining Exchange should go through some changes during 2014.
The north-facing storefront outside the Mining Exchange should go through some changes during 2014.
The north-facing storefront outside the Mining Exchange should go through some changes during 2014.

More than a year after Colorado Springs businessman Perry Sanders announced plans to spread his New Orleans-themed brand throughout local, regional and national markets, he says it’s all coming together.

Sanders, owner of The Mining Exchange – A Wyndham Grand Hotel and adjacent Springs Orleans restaurant, said that he is working on two downtown renovation and expansion projects, a new restaurant in Castle Rock and a partnership in Los Angeles, all of which he expects to iron out this year.

Expanding at home

Permits needed to complete the Gold Room entertainment venue in the historic Colorado Springs Municipal Utilities building at 18 S. Nevada Ave. were expected to be pulled this week, Sanders said.

When complete, the Gold Room — in sequence with the hotel’s Silver Room and Platinum Ballroom — will be a 351-seat live performance venue with a horseshoe-shaped mezzanine overlooking the stage, Sanders said. True to his original plans, Sanders said the venue will include a film studio complete with editing bays for guests.

“The Gold Room renovation has already cost hundreds of thousands and will cost more to meet all fire safety requirements to get a certificate of occupancy,” he said.

“I am also moving my law offices to the third floor of 18 South Nevada, and ultimately plan on having the second floor house the Mining Exchange Club, similar to the Foundation Room with the House of Blues.”

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Also in the works is a gift shop and casual walk-up eatery in the historic Independence Building at 117 E. Pikes Peak Ave. That space — between Springs Orleans and his tenant La Baguette Bakery and Espresso Café — will also serve as the main entrance to the Silver Room, the event space located behind Springs Orleans.

“It took us a long time to figure out the best use for the space,” he said. “It’s been frustrating to get this done, but it always is for something like this.”

The “Springs Orleans market,” as the developer called it, will serve fine pastries (including beignets, of course), salads, coffee, and include a gift shop that will sell “mementos for hotel guests and downtown visitors showcasing the incredible area we live in.”

Sanders said the space will include six private rooms for business meetings, parties and/or event preparation.

“The market and Silver Room annex is a more modest renovation that we do not yet have a firm budget for,” he said.

Building permits have yet to be pulled for the project, but Sanders confidently said that the project will be complete within the next three months.

The Place Next Door

A year after he partnered with “Dog the Bounty Hunter” star Bobby Brown to develop a property in Castle Rock, Sanders says his new restaurant will be serving customers by summertime.

The duo purchased the building with plans to open Sanders’ second Springs Orleans restaurant, while Brown’s new bail bonds office will occupy the third floor. For the two, the move signified the first step to gaining footholds in larger markets.

The restaurant, which Sanders anticipates will go by the same name, was scheduled to open the same time last year until the project hit a technical snag.

“We’re having to add a civil engineering study to wrap up the plans and get it all built,” Sanders said, explaining that the study is necessary because the property abuts Interstate 25. After the study is complete, Sanders said that building permits will be pulled and the kitchen buildout will begin.

“It will be open by the summer for sure,” Sanders said. The kitchen add-on will increase the building’s footprint from just under 9,000 to around 11,000 square feet, according to Sanders.

He said that the new restaurant will be “real, real different” and will feature a large point-of-sale area, a casual atmosphere and a walk-up counter offering coffee, pastries, salads and more — similar to plans for the Springs Orleans market.

The space also boasts westward-facing outdoor dining areas on both the first and second floors and will operate 24/7, he said. When the new digs are complete, Sanders estimates that he will have spent somewhere between $800,000 and $1 million there.

Spreading to Los Angeles

Sanders is undertaking another project as co-restaurateur at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles.

“It is an existing restaurant that I think is in the best location in Los Angeles,” he said of the eatery, which he described as a 7,000-square-foot fine dining establishment. Sanders plans to help the restaurant find a theme similar to that of the New Orleans style he strings through his spaces.