New Hotel on University Hill in Boulder thrills city officials, angers some business owners

Posted at 4:06 PM, Sep 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-11 14:19:01-04

BOULDER, Colo. -- Nadar Wahdan has owned Bova's Market and Grill in Boulder for almost 12 years. Soon, he'll be forced out when construction crews break ground on a brand new hotel.

A city block will be wiped clean off Broadway between College Avenue and University Avenue. A 160-room independently-owned hotel with an underground parking garage will take its place.

"What does it do for us?" asks Wahdan. "What does it do for Bova's?"

Several businesses make up the two-story strip mall. It sits at the end of iconic University Hill across the street from the University of Colorado campus. The city of  Boulder has been working to revitalize the commercial district for years.

"We've been working on The Hill for a long time," said Boulder city councilman Andrew Shoemaker. "It's tired up needs some work."

The Hill certainly has it's history and charm. 

Businesses usually thrive when college students take over the town, but the real struggle comes during the summer months. Local property owner KC Schneider has watched businesses fail on The Hill for a long time. He believes the new hotel will boost business.

"It's going to provide parking and year-round traffic. All these businesses need year-round traffic."

Councilman Shoemaker also believes the hotel will bring much-needed money into the local economy.

"That's 160 rooms worth of people looking for dinner every night," he said. "It provides opportunities for people to visit the Fox Theater and stay the night."

For Nadar Wahdan, the excitement for the future is just the writing on the wall that he'll eventually have to close his doors. He knew what could happen before he signed the lease but has been dreading the reality of it all.

"It's still a hard pill to swallow," he said. "It's not like I can pick up this place and just move it anywhere and do the same amount of business. Unless the university moves with me...I'm out of luck."

Denver7 talked with several students on campus. All of them were upset at the news Bova's would be disappearing soon.

"You talk to any student here...they'll know about Bova's," said Wahdan.

Other businesses affected include No Name Bar, Cosmo's Pizza, and Dot's Diner, among several others.

Denver-based BMC Investments has taken the lead on the development of the hotel. It would be operated by Sage Hospitality, which also operates the Crawford Hotel at Denver's Union Station.

The CEO of BMC Investments told Denver7 his company is dedicated to making sure the hotel compliments what The Hill already has to offer.

Shovels could hit the dirt for the development of this hotel as early as next year. 


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