DENVER – Aparium Hotel Group, a pioneer in the lifestyle hotel industry, announce the appointment of George Prine as General Manager of Populus, the country’s first carbon positive hotel opening in Denver in summer 2024. Operated by Aparium Hotel Group, the highly anticipated hotel will encompass 265 modern guest rooms, a ground floor restaurant, flexible event spaces, a coffee bar, a signature rooftop bar and restaurant offering unobstructed views of the mountains, city skyline, and Civic Center Park. It will also feature a distinctive Aspen tree-inspired design by architecture and urban design practice, Studio Gang, and a carbon positive footprint, sequestering more carbon than its combined embodied and operational footprint throughout its lifecycle, thereby leaving the planet in a better place. In his role at Populus, Prine will oversee all day-to-day operations of the hotel, including its operational carbon footprint, revenue management, employee engagement, and the overall guest experience inspired by Aparium Hotel Group’s translocal hospitality and commitment to hotels done differently.
“George is an admired hospitality veteran who combines extensive hands-on experience and success bringing to life notable hotels with a passion for sustainability and biophilic design,” said Timothy Ryan, Chief Operating Officer of Aparium Hotel Group. “We are so thrilled to have him at the helm of Populus and look forward to working in tandem to curate unforgettable guest experiences that make this significant new property one of the country’s most noteworthy hotel openings in 2024.”
“Aparium’s mission is to create one-of-a-kind hotels inspired by the concept of translocal hospitality, and we’re excited for George to bring this vision to life at Populus,” said Mario Tricoci, Founder and CEO of Aparium Hotel Group. “With George’s intimate understanding of the Colorado community, remarkable experience, and likeminded ethos, we trust his expertise to go above and beyond in establishing Populus as a must-visit destination that visiting guests and Denver residents are proud and excited to be a part of.”
A veteran hotelier, Prine brings 25 years of industry experience to Populus. With extensive knowledge in managing hotels ranging from 60 to 800+ keys including Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis, and high-end boutique hotel, Le Meridien Chambers Hotel in Minneapolis, where he opened Jean-Georges’ three-star MICHELIN restaurant, Chambers Kitchen, Prine is a tenured leader who excels in hotel openings with a passion for team mentorship, community connection, operational excellence, design, and environmental stewardship. Prine also spent four years as General Manager of The Armstrong Hotel, the leading boutique hotel in Fort Collins, Colo., where he led its redesign renovations, marketing repositioning, and branding. Under Prine’s leadership, the hotel reached #1 on Trip Advisor, #1 in RevPar and was celebrated in the MICHELIN Colorado Guide selection.
“Populus is destined to become a catalyst for change for both Denver’s Civic Center Park neighborhood and the entire hospitality industry as a new model for sustainability,” says Prine. “Not only will Populus be the first carbon positive hotel in the U.S., but it will also be a stunningly beautiful property that forever impacts the Denver skyline as well as a lively, dynamic social hub for stays, dining, drinks, meetings and events, and more, for years to follow. The opportunity to open such a progressive property in the city’s downtown is a thrilling undertaking, and I cannot wait to welcome guests and locals in summer 2024.”
Populus and its dynamic social and dining areas are managed by Aparium Hotel Group, a world-class hotel operator focused on market-leading independent lifestyle hotels, restaurants, and bars, which was recently voted one of the best hotel brands in the world by Travel + Leisure. Populus is developed by Urban Villages, a leading real estate developer and environmental steward, and designed by Studio Gang, the world- renowned architecture and urban design firm founded and led by MacArthur Fellow and WSJ. Magazine’s 2022 Architecture Innovator Jeanne Gang. The nature-forward interiors, inspired by the feelings evoked by sitting among an Aspen grove, are conceived by Wildman Chalmers Design.
As the country’s first carbon positive hotel, Populus’ embodied and operational carbon footprint is being offset through forest and agricultural collaborations that sequester more carbon than the building emits throughout its lifecycle. Already, over 70,000 trees were planted in Gunnison County, Colo. in partnership with One Tree Planted vis-a-vis the United States Forest Service.