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Still Standing After All These Years

7/15/2020 | Vaughn Mantor

So, you build a 100-room hotel in a booming, frontier town, and within seven years, 90% of the population leaves. What would you do? J. P. DeWoody decided to dismantle his hotel

and put it back together, fifty miles away. While moving the hotel, DeWoody took the opportunity to add advanced, highly sophisticated features to the hotel at its new location including an elevator, call buzzers in each room, hot and cold baths, electric lighting, and telephone service. That was in 1888.

Hotel St. Cloud circa 1910 - 1914.
An early photograph of the Hotel St. Cloud circa 1910 - 1914

The Hotel St. Cloud still stands in Cañon City, Colorado although it’s been empty for several years. In 2018, The Unbridled Group purchased the hotel with the intention to refurbish it and to offer travelers modern conveniences and technology imbued with an older, elegant ambiance.

The hotel on the day of sale, 2018.

Verify 3D laser scanned the interior and exterior of the hotel for the new owners and the architects, engineers, and constructors. They have an exciting and difficult opportunity to refurbish the hotel. They must balance the various costs, legal requirements, marketing needs, potential revenue, ROI, cash flow, et al. The list of competing factors is a long one, and laser scanning can reduce time and cost for a number of the tasks. Here are a few examples.

Historic District The entire block on which the hotel sits is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Any modifications to the exterior must be carefully considered so as to not affect the hotel’s inclusion in the Registry. Adding to the complexity, the hotel itself is on Colorado’s State Registry. 3D laser scanning provides important documentation about the exterior of the building before and after construction.

Code Code requirements have changed quite a few times since 1888. The Hotel St. Cloud may have been the epitome of modern technology when it was re-built in Cañon City, but it’s now been thirty-two years since the most recent upgrade; witness this antique that we photographed during scanning. As we explained in a previous post, the laser scanning will help reduce the costs of adhering to the current building codes.

Structural Structural issues are central to refurbishment. First, is the building structurally sound? It’s been several decades since the foundation was shored up. The building has no internal support columns above the first floor, and the fourth floor was badly burned in a fire in 1914. Laser scanning has provided the engineers and architects accurate measurements on which to base their decisions about the structural soundness including measurements that are otherwise difficult to get such as the thickness of walls.

Second, the laser scanning reveals peculiarities not visible to the naked eye. We’ve already reported a three-inch sag in the floor of the 3rd story. Laser scanning can reveal any bulges in the walls and reveal anything that is out of square, plumb, or true.

Third, after construction, laser scanning can quickly reveal anything that has moved or settled or cracked since construction began.

Hotel St. Cloud as-built Revit model by Verify 3D.

The longer the project goes before a traveler buys a room for the night the more the project costs. Time is expensive! Laser scanning saves everyone time in a number of ways. One example, in this project, the owners and the architects live 140 miles from the St. Cloud. Any trip to the hotel is more than half a day of travel time. Any questions that can be answered by examination of the point cloud or the model saves at least half a day. Second example, 3D laser scanning rapidly produced an accurate, complete CAD model of the building. Creating such a CAD model by other means would take weeks longer, and its accuracy would be suspect.

We have scanned and modeled a number of buildings dating from the 19th to the 21st centuries, and our experience has shown that the older the building, the more valuable the laser scanning becomes.

If you’d like a personal explanation or demonstration of the ways laser scanning can help you or if you'd like to speak to one of our clients, our contact information is directly below.

Because our experience in this technology dates back to 2002, Verify 3D knows the most appropriate equipment to use on each project and how to use it for the best benefit to our clients. For this project we used a Leica laser scanner, a P-30, and Leica Cyclone software for registration. Per contract, Verify 3D delivered ReCap point clouds, TruViews, and a 3D Revit model. Most of the delivered 3D model was created at Level of Development (LOD) 300.


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