The Holiday Inn and Express Suites opened Thursday.
Owners Anis and Bina Malkan welcomed an entourage of friends, Chamber of Commerce members and more to officially open the hotel to the public. Although it has been open for business since June 15, they were delighted to be welcomed by the wider community of Fremont County.
Anis and Bina moved from the UK to the US in 2000 and bought their first hotel in 2003. It was a learning process as they quickly built up expertise and experience in the hospitality industry. In 2011, through a series of events, the couple became owners of the Best Western in Cañon City. Several years passed and they were very successful in the hotel.
Five years ago, the couple started looking for a plot of land to build their own hotel, a brand new business.
“We went to Woodland Park and other towns and we said, ‘why not Cañon City? “,” Said Anis. “Fortunately, we got this land – we were taking this road anyway. “
After four long years of planning, designing and code meeting, the couple finally saw their dream come true. A rather luxurious 90-room hotel, each room sports a king-size bed (regardless of the number of beds), mini-fridge, microwave, and Keurig, as well as a noise-canceling double door system . Hallways smell like new carpeting and the pool simmers with the sounds of a bubbling hot tub and soothing sauna.
Bina herself designed the uniquely shaped pool with an area for children and a seating area for those who prefer to relax rather than swim.
The Malkans, however, also insisted on bringing part of their family into the hotel. Two conference rooms are named after their two daughters: Ratna Melanie and India Tiffany. Mélanie and Tiffany rooms are available for rent. Their commitment to family also rings solidly in their interaction and knowledge of their employees.
As she walked around the hotel, Anis spoke regularly, barked and smiled with her employees, calling everyone by name. More than once, employees have commented, “There is no one to work for better than the Malkans. “
Receptionist Christopher Kukich has a long history with the Malkan family, as they had provided employment for two of his older daughters while they were in high school. As the initial panic of the COVID-19 pandemic began to subside, Kukich (having had long years of communication with family) began working at the brand new hotel. Father of seven adopted children and guardian of his sick mother, Kukich knows the value of a kind and caring employer.
“They are very understanding and know how to work with me,” Kukich said. “It’s like the best job in the world.”
The Malkans hope the hotel will provide a gathering place for both community members, through the various conference rooms, as well as for those coming from out of town.
When asked what they wanted the community to know about the new hotel, Anis had a simple response.
“It belongs to them,” he said. “Remember, this property belongs to the city – it’s not that I own it – it’s our business, our property, our city.