COLORADO SPRINGS — Last week, a Texas-based developer called SHIR Capital bought the second-largest hotel in Colorado Springs, Hotel Eleganté for 25 million dollars.

The group said the plan is to turn the hotel into Alta Living, a low-cost, attainable housing to encourage younger people in entry-level jobs to live in the new apartments.

Front sign to the second-largest hotel in Colorado Springs. Credit: Sarah Hempelmann

According to Elan Gordon, a principal with SHIR Capital, the price is to combat the record high cost of living.

“The price point that we’re targeting is under $1,000 a month with all bills paid,” Gordon told FOX21 News’ media partner, Colorado Springs Independent. “We saw from our research that like Austin, there’s an affordable housing crisis [in Colorado Springs]. This is a way to provide valuable housing at great prices, quickly.”

According to the Alta Living website, prices range from 969 dollars for a studio to 1696 dollars for a 2-bedroom apartment.

Developers said the company will continue to rent out nightly hotel rooms during the construction phase until they make the full transition once all the rooms have been converted.

The hotel has been standing since the mid-1970s. Credit: Sarah Hempelmann

Due to the closure, many hotel employees have been let go. FOX21 News spoke with a worker who said everyone but front desk, housekeeping and engineers lost their jobs on Thursday.

Since hearing about the job losses, many people across the city took to Facebook to declare their displeasure.

One said, “Tons of people lost their jobs over this.”

Another commented, “Not only did they fire people abruptly, with no warning, but they also cancelled contracts for upcoming events the same way. No warning. No consideration. Just sudden cancellation.”

Tweets from people in the community that express displeasure at how the situation is being handled. Credit: Rachel Saurer

Others stated their concern for the impact on tourism.

Doug Price, president and CEO of Visit Colorado Springs, issued a statement saying, “The loss of any of our tourism industry staples will require an adjustment period. We’ve gone through transitions with the closures of icons like the Cog Railway and the Air Force Academy Chapel, as well as many closures brought on by the pandemic. The main lesson we’ve learned over the last couple years is that the tourism industry is resilient. We’ve welcomed countless new hotel properties over the last few years like Great Wolf Lodge, Kinship Landing, Hilton Garden Inn and Hyatt Place Downtown, as well as a variety of limited service hotels throughout the city. This year there are many new hotel openings on the horizon that will add additional sleeping rooms and meeting space options for our visitors and meeting planners, like the new dual-branded Element and SpringHill Suites opening this spring.”

So while the hotel closing will impact tourism, Price said they will adjust accordingly and expect to bounce back.

Developers said the apartment building should be fully complete towards the end of 2023.

Edit: Visit Colorado would like to clarify the closing of the hotel will impact tourism, but the industry is resilient and with strong new properties opening up, they said they will adjust accordingly and hope to bounce back.