A trip to the MX Spa, which opened June 20 in the basement of the Mining Exchange Hotel, is one that takes its visitors through the rich history of the Pikes Peak region and one of its most storied structures.
Bound for the spa’s massage parlor, nail salon or adjacent fitness center, guests pass walls and pillars of locally quarried granite and red sandstone and enter a space lined with the large bank vaults that once protected the area’s gold. With those aesthetics, and the spa’s full line of services, owner Perry Sanders said he hopes to “introduce guests to real, old-world luxury.”
“That’s the key,” he said.
MX Spa, three years in the making, currently offers an array of massage packages, scrubs and wraps, skin care treatments, waxing and salon services, as well as manicures and pedicures. The 5,000-square-foot space houses six total treatment rooms, including two couples’ suites, as well as a retail space, a nail salon and men’s and women’s lounges with steam rooms and infrared saunas.
“We intend to drop spa guests into another world of fine fabric and historic stone with luxurious treatments,” Sanders said, adding that he would like for it to become a “destination spa and hotel.”
Director Kristi Roberts said MX Spa currently carries eight product lines, including Astara Skin Care out of Telluride and Phia Lab out of Denver, as well as its own custom bathrobes with the Mining Exchange logo. Sanders said his wife Lorn “personally sourced all the product with organic and vegan product lines so there will be zero toxic fumes.”
Every spa visit also is accompanied by a complimentary round of mimosas and champagne, Roberts said.
“We really just want to treat our guests the best we can,” Roberts said.
The walls of the spa also are decorated with the prints of local photographer Lewis Carlyle, whose work is available for purchase through the Mining Exchange (the pieces themselves are not for sale).
An opening for the spa had previously been announced for June 1, although it was June 20 before its nine-member staff began taking appointments. Since then, staff of the hotel and general contractor Blue Spruce Constructors have been “fine tuning” the space while guests begin to trickle in.
“We’ve been so well received and people are loving it,” Roberts said. “We’re having a slow start … but we haven’t had one person through that door who wasn’t blown away.”
MX Spa is open seven days a week, but hours vary depending on the day.
The spa is yet another addition to the Mining Exchange’s list of amenities, which Sanders has amassed since purchasing the property in 2009. The 157,000-square-foot Mining Exchange (8 S. Nevada Ave.) complex has grown to include a hotel bar, Springs Orleans (123 E. Pikes Peak Ave.), a Creole restaurant in its Independence Building, a hotel lobby bar, and multiple event venues that include the Gold Room (the former Colorado Springs Utilities building at 18 S. Nevada Ave.).
Prior to the spa’s completion — the project was undertaken by Blue Spruce Constructors, the company that renovated the hotel — safes in the basement area were leased as document storage space, Sanders said.
He said the project began three years ago, around the time the hotel opened, but progress was slow, because it was “extremely complex due to the age of the building, the thickness of the walls and issues with the foundation.” To meet code regulations and create a pleasant experience for guests, Sanders commissioned a complete redesign of the space with plans to create a spa.
“It was significantly more expensive than it would have been starting from scratch in the middle of a field,” Sanders said in reference to the cost of the renovation.
By the time of the hotel’s grand opening in July 2012, Sander had spent an estimated $25 million on the project, according to a report by the Business Journal. Sanders declined to comment on the cost of the basement renovations.
Sanders, a native of Baton Rouge, said he is now turning his focus to creating more amenities. He said he plans to open an outdoor cigar bar in the alley between Springs Orleans and the Mining Exchange this year, as well as a “triple bar” that will serve oysters, whiskey and cigars in what is currently the hotel’s Silver Room event venue.