Highlights from the

Herald Democrat

15 Years Ago

Tabor Grand is facing


by Marcia Martinek

Herald Editor

May 19, 2006


The historic Tabor Grand is facing foreclosure, according to a notice received by the City of Leadville on May 9.

Not only is the use of the building for low-income housing in jeopardy, but the city does not know what will happen to a note it holds that comes due in 2012 and means more than $1 million payable to the city.

In a letter dated May 5, 2011, Marcel Arsenault, Real Capital Solutions, informed Mayor Bud Elliott that he had spent the past year evaluating the current state of the Tabor Grand and what to do moving forward.

“As you know, I purchased the property in 1990 and spent over $4 million restoring the building to a standard reflecting the rich history of the town,” Arsenault wrote.

He said that over the years he has continued to fund shortfalls in operating profits of the building to the tune of more than $400,000, and foresees the building continuing to operate at a deficit under the status quo.

Citing both heavy debt and the restriction of rents under the LIHTC program, Arsenault predicted that the property will continue to fail monetarily and experience further deterioration in its physical condition without some changes.

The LIHTC program is an indirect federal subsidy used to finance the development of affordable rental housing for low-income households.

Arsenault said that Tabor Grand, LP, owner of the building, sent a letter to the first lien holder on April 25, making it aware of Tabor Grand, LP’s inability to service the debt and pay all operating expenses.

“The first lien holder has responded with its intention to foreclose on the property,” Arsenault said.

Elliott pointed out at Tuesday’s council meeting that Arsenault is the 100 percent owner of Capital Solutions, which owns Tabor Grand, LP. He is also 100 percent owner of the first lien holder, Superior Investments.

Following a call to one of Arsenault’s associates, Elliott learned foreclosure could come in 45 to 90 days.

Numerous questions remain to be answered, such as what would happen to the 50-some tenants currently living in the building, and what the city’s rights are as far as the note is concerned. The city has been receiving interest on the note since 1991, Elliott said.

Elliott has contacted an attorney, the state representative and senator, and the Upper Arkansas Council of Governments, the latter in regard to the legal rights of the renters currently in the Tabor. He is waiting for some response.

“This doesn’t feel good and it doesn’t feel right,” Elliott said.

Tabor Grand has seen best of times and worst of times

by Marcia Martinek

Herald Editor


The Tabor Grand Hotel, like the city of Leadville, has suffered through its own boom and bust cycles over the years.

The building, known originally as the New Leadville Hotel, had been in the planning stages for two years and then under construction for seven months when it ran into financial difficulties in spring 1881.

Initially, a group of Leadville businessmen had guaranteed a $33,058 building fund. Unfortunately, a business slowdown due to a harsh winter meant the men were only able to supply half of the funds that they had originally promised.

Robert Murdoch, who had contracted for the erection of the building, refused to proceed until more funds were raised, so the men went out and tapped other Leadville businessmen. They raised an additional $10,000, but another $10,000 was needed, especially since the decision had been made to add a fourth floor to the building. This brought the promoters to H.A.W. Tabor, who was living in Denver at that time. W.G. Sprague of Denver agreed to take a loan of $10,000 on Leadville’s Clarendon Hotel to enable Tabor to contribute $7,500 to the hotel if the remaining $2,500 needed could be raised by citizens. This was on May 27, 1881.

At this point, the men voted that the hotel would be named the Tabor Grand.

The funds were raised, but construction took longer than expected, with completion expected in 1883 and then 1884. The opening of the hotel took place July 17, 1885.

In late 1887, the Herald Democrat reported that, after a period of idleness, the hotel had been purchased by the Kitchen brothers, who had previously run hotels in Nebraska.

The Kitchens initially proposed to call the hotel the Maxwell Hotel, but changed the name of the hotel to the Hotel Kitchen “at the request of many of the business men of this city,” according to the Herald Democrat.

The building was refurbished and refurnished, and an elevator was added.

During the hotel’s tenure under this name, it hosted President Benjamin Harrison in 1891.

The hotel remained the Hotel Kitchen until 1892 when it became the Vendome, a name it held until the 1980s.

In 1928 Leadville hosted the State Aerie of the Colorado Fraternal Order of Eagles. In the brochure, the Vendome Hotel advertised itself as having steam heat, an elevator, hot and cold running water, and circulating ice water. Rates were $1 and up without bath and $2.50 and up with bath.

Over the years, the Vendome fell into disrepair. By the mid-1980s, it was described as a flophouse for out-of-work miners and others. Eventually it closed.

It reached its lowest point in July 1989, when, after a heavy rainfall, the northwest corner of the building crumbled. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Anderson, realtors, were ordered to begin repairs within 30 days.

At that time, Marcel Arsenault, described as a Broomfield real estate developer, was planning to purchase the building, and, using considerable public funding, was proposing to restore it in a $2.2 million project. Most of the funding was in place at the time of the collapse except a $620,000 federal Urban Development Action grant.

Although several earlier attempts to restore the building had ultimately failed, this project did not. The purchase was completed by Arsenault in 1990, and the Tabor Grand name was restored.

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