Wheat Ridge may require a new license for hotels and motels

WHEAT RIDGE, Colorado – The town of Wheat Ridge may soon require hotels and motels to apply for a new license, citing public safety as the main driver of policy.

City officials say nine hotels are responsible for more than 3,000 calls a year to the Wheat Ridge Police Department. To put that in perspective, this represents about 10% of total police calls.

“This means that our public safety services are not being provided to the rest of the city when these calls take a lot of time and resources,” said Sara Spaulding, spokesperson for the city.

The proposed ordinance would create a new license for hotels and additional requirements for extended stay properties. Hotels would be required to adhere to a defined call volume and submit a security plan.

It also defines extended stay accommodation as any hotel room occupied for more than 29 consecutive days. These hotels should provide rooms of at least 300 square feet and have a defined bedroom separate from other parts of the unit. Kitchen facilities and housekeeping services would also be required.

“We will always cater to customers on a budget. This is our business model. This is what we are, we believe in it,” said Don White, vice president of the company that owns American Motel in Wheat Ridge.

White says he has eight long-term clients who have been at his hotel for several years. He said he didn’t want to ask them to leave, but couldn’t afford expensive renovations to meet the proposed requirements.

“I don’t see how public safety and maybe this desire for the city to have stoves in the room, how those two things go together,” White said.

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