Trip Report, Mining Exchange Hotel
Grand Opening 2012
Do you ever watch those shows like Pawn
Stars or those Restoration shows?
This is a story like that, but many
millions of dollars were gambled.
Mrs. Bart and I went to school with one
Perry Sanders Junior, back in Fayetteville.
Perry worked several jobs to put himself
thru college, and then law school.
In one case he got a judge to rule that
CBS (maybe) had to not only turn over footage they ran
This, apparently, had never happened
before so John Gotti's lawyer, Bruce Cutler,
Perry took on the hopeless case of a
Black artist (can't remember) who'd been swindled out of his
I believe this got the attention of
Voletta Wallace, mother of Notorius B.I.G. That murder case
Perry took the case and I believe it's
still open and a settlement is perhaps forthcoming
I believe that case got the attention of
Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael. She hired Perry
If you can believe what you read in the
papers, Perry's first act for Mrs Jackson was to get
When you hire the right lawyer, good
things can happen.
During all this, Perry had purchased a 110-year old block of granite in downtown Colorado Springs.
He had partners, and there was talk of turning this old building into condos, maybe some apartments,
but they kept running into problems and setbacks and eventually the other partners wanted out.
Perry (and his lovely wife, Lorn) decided they wanted to be hoteliers.
Thru a series of big-time financial
maneuvers (I was witness to one such $6M phone call) Perry took
Before they opened the hotel, Perry started Springs Orleans, a fine Cajun food restaurant.
After six long years of fires, floods and
a survey crew that discovered the building
That entire building is solid granite...
- with brass stairs, brass railings and
some brass walls.
So we got there about 4 PM and Perry was
eager to show us around.
He started with his fabulous Springs
Orleans. Their Menu
Do you remember those Vegas stories where I told you how Perry would take over a fine Vegas restaurant?
Within minutes, the restaurant manager would be at our table, along with the chef offering samples and the
wine expert was suggesting different vintages of fine wine and champagne, etc.
Well, you should see him work when he owns the place.
We were at his hotel bar when Perry said, "You have to try the Shrimp Cobb Salad."
It was great and I don't even like Shrimp.
So while we were eating that, Perry was
making phone calls and overseeing his hotel - which opened the next day.
I was hitting the Black Russians and Perry called for shots of De La Familia, Cuervo's top shelf hooch.
Then Perry ordered us some Filet Mignon -
I even agreed to try it medium rare.
It was soaking in some Creole Citrus Butter - Mmmmmmmmmmm.
Then Perry said we needed to try his Black truffle, organic trotolle pasta and
Mrs. Bart said it was the finest food
she'd ever tasted.
Perry suggested we try the Cheesecake.
Here's the deal:
This is Perry's restaurant.
is fortunate to have no partners, no stockholders, no bankers, no
lien-holders and no Board of Directors to answer to.
We were being wined and dined by a food
expert and his personal kitchen staff.
There's a cool story behind this giant
wall piece of Italian marble.
The lobby has lots of cozy,
well-appointed little corners where you can talk and entertain friends.
The Mining Exchange - back in the day...
They have a nice antique piano in the
Then we were shown to our room personally
by Lorn, Perry's wife.
These are fine hotel rooms - I assume
they'll get FIVE Stars when the ratings come out.
This is very luxurious.
There was granite everywhere and it
smelled like fresh wood and leather.
The HD TVs were actually
their correct channels.
The stone showers have twin shower heads
so you should bring the wife.
They also provide terry cloth robes for
It's so laid back, dogs under 50 pounds
We knew Perry had a thousand things to do before everyone showed up,
so we grabbed the car and went for a drive - to Cripple Creek, Colorado.
We'd never been to Cripple Creek before and the ride in was spectacular.
We've never been to Tuscany, but this looks like what I imagine Tuscany looks like.
Cripple Creek has the spectacular views, plus casinos, plus a narrow gauge railroad.
How did we miss this place? We've been coming to Colorado since 1983.
By now it's 11 AM and we had a 1 PM Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to get to.
In a first class restaurant, Perry is often heard to say, "More champagne!"
That's what we saw that Saturday - more champagne - the party was open to the public.
Here's Perry on the left, standing under the "E" in Exchange, talking to the troops at his ribbon cutting.
The mayor of Colorado Springs thanked Perry for investing in downtown and for hiring 70 Springsoans.
I can't get over how impressive those raw granite walls are.
Here's some fancy kabob things the staff was serving.
The food reminded me of an expensive Las Vegas Buffet (compliment).
Food was everywhere, and remember, this was open to the public.
Not pictured: There were chefs cutting roast beef, chefs cutting ham and several other "stations" where
things above my pay grade were being served. There were cakes and pies ...and more champagne.
The place was packed and there was free food, free champagne and free wine for all.
It was a tremendous successs and I'm glad we got to be a part of it.
The next day we got up early and checked out Springs Orleans.
We'd eaten their food, but hadn't been in the restaurant itself.
Mrs. Bart loved the corrugated tin under the bar.
Perry had tin on the ceiling, too.
Mrs. Bart and I debated - what was new or 110 years old? We forgot to ask.
I spotted a bottle of Chinaco Anejo behind the bar and asked for a shot.
Those shots were priced at $10, an excellent value.
We ate at Springs Orleans three times, once from the bar, the second time I got the burger he put on
the menu for me, the third time we had a great ham and waffle breakfast that included beignets.
Then, Perry called to say he wanted to meet us in our room.
Check it out - we had a sitting area with leather chairs and granite tables - and original art in every room.
Perry was busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger.
On perhaps the biggest day of his professional career, he gets a phone call saying his
Number One client, Katherine Jackson, had been "kidnapped" and he was on the case.
He eventually negotiated Katherine's release.
It had been a whirlwind 48 hours for us.
Staying in a FIVE star hotel where the staff knows the boss likes you is a lot of fun :)
Perry also said he still wants to put together some kind of Bartcop TV project.
When I laughed, he said, "Only one of us thinks I'm kidding," so who knows...
One thing's for sure:
You don't want to tell Perry Sanders, "You can't do that."
He turned a 110-year old chunk of granite into a FIVE Star hotel.
I can't wait to go back.