Denver, CO

Denver committee approves contract to clean, sanitize hotel after use as homeless shelter

David Heitz

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Aloft

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Although a Denver City Council committee approved a contract Wednesday to clean the Aloft hotel after its use as a homeless shelter, that doesn't necessarily mean people experiencing homelessness will be moving out anytime soon.

The Housing, Safety, Education and Homelessness Committee approved a contract with Roth Property Maintenance LLC for $105,122 to clean, decontaminate, and sanitize the Aloft hotel after closing the homeless shelter.

The contract, which still needs full council approval, will run through the end of this year. It includes two on-site housekeeping staff at Aloft to perform twice monthly room cleaning, while a separate team will sanitize COIVD-positive rooms after guests leave. All cleaning will meet U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The contract also includes cleaning services at Rodeway Inn, a city-owned property used to house people experiencing homelessness at risk for COVID.

Will Aloft close at the end of the year?

Aloft has been operating as a shelter for people experiencing homelessness since 2020. When asked if the cleaning indicates Aloft will be closing as a shelter anytime soon, Department of Housing Stability spokesperson Derek Woodbury replied, "We are still in an emergency response situation, as the federally declared COVID-19 emergency remains in effect.”

Using hotels to provide shelter for unhoused, at-risk people is “a key element of Denver's pandemic emergency response” he said.

“We will continue to monitor and adjust our non-congregate sheltering resources for persons experiencing homelessness, as needed."

The council will vote Monday on whether to extend the contract for placing 140 homeless people at risk for COVID in Aloft through the end of the year. Doing so would cost $2.4 million, or $13,300 per day at $95 per room.

The city will vote on a separate contract Monday with Aloft to provide guests with three meals daily. That comes to $644,000. The city also has contracts with Salvation Army to manage the hotel as a homeless shelter and Colorado Coalition for the Homeless to provide health services.

Neighbors routinely complain to City Council about open drug use and litter outside Aloft, 800 15th St.

The hotel is near the convention center in an area frequented by tourists. Business owners say Aloft clientele runs patrons off.

The council spent $756,177 with Roth to clean the hotels during the past several months.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career at local newspapers. Today, I report on Denver and Aurora city halls for NewsBreak. Prior to joining NewsBreak, I worked several years as a health reporter and branded content writer in the healthcare space. I also worked many years as a news editor and city editor. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver.

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