May 29, 2023

Lauren Coleman, a former local Denverite, has planted new roots in southern Colorado with a roadside motel but continues to dream big with her first project in Lakewood. 
The hotel entrepreneur is behind the real estate development company The Sursy (a southern term that means souvenir), whose focus is on creating shoppable motel concepts. Coleman, who was responsible for revamping the White Swan Motel on west Colfax, is now just as excited for her latest investment in a revitalized roadside motel in Del Norte, the Mellow Moon Lodge
Mellow Moon Lodge in Del Norte. Photo by Jessica Hughes.
While she can’t take credit for the modern update the motel recently received (this credit belongs to the property’s previous owner, Jessica Lovelace), she fully plans to showcase her hospitality expertise by offering exciting upgrades and programming at the property.
The 15-room vintage motor lodge was re-envisioned to capture the spirit of travel and community. While small in size, it holds a big place in the community as a communal space not just aimed at putting heads in beds but rather a place for gathering and socializing.
Outdoor gathering spaces at the Mellow Moon Lodge. Photo by Jessica Hughes.
It’s also part of her bigger plans to create shoppable motels. Envisioning a shoppable boutique motel, Coleman plans to display local artists and creators in the rooms along with an on-site retail boutique marketplace. “We plan to take the rooms to the next level, layering in art and elements of Colorado by carefully considering where we source our produce, our shampoo and conditioner and even where we get our sheets,” says Coleman. 
Updated modern rooms at the Mellow Moon Lodge. Photo by Big River Collective.
Aiming to bring the locals and travelers together, Coleman also plans to include events such as farm-to-table dinner parties along with friendly gatherings inside the old bike shop turned cocktail lounge and shop, named Wella + Wayne. The rowdy roadside shop and lounge captures a 70s cowboy vibe that draws in the area’s local history while incorporating today’s modern elements with a rose-colored disco ball and cow skull decor.
Wella + Wayne Mercantile. Photo by Big River Collective.
The idea for fusing retail and hospitality in the form of shoppable motels came soon after Coleman moved to Denver in 2017. “I wanted to be an outlet for creatives,” Coleman said. After being rejected by every hotel she pitched her idea to, she decided to start with outfitting and merchandising Airbnbs, always with the concept of shoppable motels as the end goal.
So as a side hustle to her full-time job at Denver7, Coleman staged Airbnbs to be shoppable, in exchange for managing the property. Merchandising the artwork and using QR codes, she created a space where guests could shop on demand during their vacation stay.
Looking to take her dream further, she connected with the 40 West Arts District in Lakewood, who at the time were proposing to save the run-down motels in the area, including the White Swan Motel. 
White Swan Motel in Lakewood. Photo by Calvin Baines Photography.
“I was bullish about the property. This was exactly the type of motel I wanted to execute my shoppable motel dream,” she said. But in the midst of being under contract, the bank pulled its funding smack dab in the middle of the pandemic, requiring her to shift her focus. 
Putting her dreams of a luxury shoppable boutique motel on hold, she decided to enter into a master lease with Jefferson County Human Services to offer the motel as a housing option for those experiencing homelessness. 
As it stands today, even with its minor updates, Coleman says the motel cannot live on as it is, so there are major plans to redevelop the property into a boutique hotel for paying guests. Her humanitarian hospitality efforts with Jefferson County Human Services Foundation will continue through 2023 with plans to break ground in the spring of 2024 and a target grand opening date on Memorial Day in 2026.
While the motel will need a total overhaul, she fully plans to recreate elements of the original motel based on some old photos she received of it back in its heyday. To forever continue her charitable efforts, guests will be charged a “humanitarian hospitality” fee that will go to Jefferson County Human Services. In keeping with the shoppable theme, she plans to create an app that guests can download and purchase the artwork and merchandise during their stay. 
Coleman dreams big and marches forward in pursuit of designing and refurbishing old roadside motels into dream destinations and shoppable locations, all in hopes of forever changing the landscape of Colorado hospitality.
Mellow Moon Lodge is located at 1160 Grand Ave, Del Norte.

Jessica (she/her) is a writer and photographer based in Denver. She spends her time traveling the world and exploring her beautiful home state of Colorado. She has a passion for well-written stories, gorgeous photography, and bringing these two together. When she is not working in the city, you can find her in the mountains, hiking, backpacking, or biking. Connect with her on Instagram @small_town_stops.
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303magazine
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Get tickets to Tiff's Treats® Denver Grand Opening on Saturday and enjoy a dozen cookies, games, giveaways and so much more!

Get tickets to Tiff's Treats® Denver Grand Opening on Saturday and enjoy a dozen cookies, games, giveaways and so much more!
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From grunge to country and classical, artists are flocking to Colorado — and this week saw yet another wave of announcements to keep the local concert calendar full throughout the end of 2022 and into the beginning of 2023.

Muse, Dominic Fike, Billy Strings and more are coming to Denver! Link to bio to read more!
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The ban was established after Denver Police Department officers were involved in a shooting that wounded six bystanders exiting the bars on Larimer Street in the late hours of the night. The food truck prohibition was lifted last month but now vendors must follow new limitations due to the recent rise in violence.

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Despite stereotypes that cast young voters as a flaky, unreliable voter base, turnout records in Colorado tell a different story. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University lifts up this narrative with supporting data and research. CIRCLE collects data on youth voter registration and participation in elections, and uses their data to demonstrate where young voters hold influence.

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After tremendous success following their viral tracks on TikTok, the King Khan and BBQ Show stops by The Bluebird Theater meanwhile, producer and DJ MK drops a beat at Mission Ballroom. At Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Tyler Childers and Cody Jinks reserve two nights at the iconic sandstone venue to round off the end of September.

For future weekly concert updates and more 303 music news, stay up to date with 303 Magazine.

Link in bio to read more about what’s happening this week in concerts!
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46 days and counting until @denverfashionweek!

We have some incredible designers! Here are a few you can expect to see on the runway: @hoohah_us @madvandesign @kimlikesclothes @hottpinkmatter @tynehall @killionaire___mxxix @petergrayhair @nylanasser @kawesii @glamitcolorado @idiotcult @rabbitjaxclothing @officialironpulse @bukkyara @sbshades @imaginaryfriendsfinds and more!

Have you purchased your tickets? Link in bio or go to denverfashionweek.com!
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Autumn is finally arriving in Colorado. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling and hiking in the great outdoors offers a picturesque view of it all.

And while trails close to Denver can be congested, Colorado Springs is home to its own autumnal trails and parks — and you might have better luck finding an escape from the hustle and bustle of Colorado’s capital city.

All levels are welcome to a change of scenery in the Springs, whether you’re an experienced or casual hiker.

Link in bio to read more about different Colorado Springs hiking trails!
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This idea is what led Mike and Amber Handby to found Sundown Colorado, an alcohol-free music festival encouraging healthier nightlife. Taking place in downtown Denver on Sept. 24, Sundown invites everyone to “party positive,” creating a new community within the Denver music scene.

Link in bio to read more about the alcohol-free music festival!
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While a burger is a simple staple at your average American eateries, most burger lovers still have their own go-to spots when they’re craving a solid cheeseburger.

But as a vegetarian or vegan, it can be challenging to find a veggie substitute that nails the essence of a good burger. Whether you’re a hardcore vegan or just want a meat substitute, here’s a list of the Denver spots to visit for a meatless burger.

Link in bio to read more to learn about where to find a meatless burger!
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Kick off the weekend with a cold brew at Denver Oktoberfest and end it by witnessing your fitness at #bRUNchClub at Stanley Marketplace. Whatever you have planned, make sure to take a gander at this roundup of events happening in Denver.

Link in bio to read more about unique things to do in Denver this weekend!

What are you most excited for? Comment down below!
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Dubbed the “The 7th Annual, 10th Annual Holiday Show,” this year’s event mark the official return of the event, which went on an indefinite hiatus during the pandemic.

Accompanying the hometown heroes will be special guests Marcus Mumford (of Mumford and Sons) and Hermanos Gutiérrez — a duo of brothers Estevan and Alejandro Gutiérrez, who will be performing just after releasing a new album via their label, Easy Eye Sound.

Link in bio to read more about Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats' annual holiday show!
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