Hotel/Motel Licensing

Wheat Ridge City Council passed an ordinance, Ordinance 1723-Series 2021, requiring hotels and motels doing business within the City of Wheat Ridge to acquire a hotel/motel license in addition to a business license. The ordinance, that passed on October 25, 2021, requires all hotels and motels to apply for a hotel license with a fee of $300. For questions about the application process, contact Wheat Ridge Licensing at 303-235-2869 or [email protected]

For hotels/motels wanting to offer extended stays of 30 days or more, an additional extended stay hotel license is required.  Changing all or part of an existing hotel to accommodate extended stays is considered a change in land use. A zoning review and approval is required and may also require a special use permit approval. For questions about the steps in this zoning approval process, contact the planner of the day at 303-234-5931 or [email protected]

In addition, for anyone doing business in Wheat Ridge, a business license is required and the fee is $20. 

Ordinance 1723 was specifically enacted by Wheat Ridge City Council to protect the health and safety of the community. The Hotel License requires that all hotels and motels that are providing lodging services to meet certain minimum standards for public safety and health. Those businesses that are providing extended stay services of 30 days or more must meet certain minimum standards and provide certain amenities to ensure extended stay units are livable. City Council’s unanimous decision to approve the ordinance is supported by City staff who believe requiring hotels and motels to meet these new minimum standards will decrease criminal activity and calls for service by the Wheat Ridge Police Department as well as improve the safety and living conditions of those electing longer stays in these businesses.

At the time the ordinance was written there were nine hotels/motels in Wheat Ridge with a total of approximately 972 rooms. While these nine hotels represented less than .05% of the total number of households and businesses in the City, the calls for service (CFS) from the Wheat Ridge Police Department to these establishments totaled approximately 10% of the total police calls. This new licensing ordinance for hotels will increase safety and create healthier environments for those relying on short-term and extended stay housing in Wheat Ridge. In addition to collaborating with owners of hotels/motels to meet the new requirements, the City will also work closely with the Homeless Navigator and other area resources to assist lodgers displaced by the new licensing requirements in order to assist them with finding more appropriate long-term housing.

The nature of calls for service at hotels is not limited to, but includes unwanted parties, disturbances, welfare checks, theft, suspicious persons and vehicles, illegal drug use, domestic violence, assaults, motor vehicle thefts, and the recovery of stolen vehicles. 

Requirements for Hotel/Motel Licensees:

  1. Achieve and maintain a call for service (CFS) rate of 1.8 within twelve 12 months of obtaining a hotel license (based on room number) CFS rate will be reduced to 1.5 CFS on January 2023
  2. Participate in the City's certified crime free hotel/motel program
  3. Corrective actions taken as identified through the City's most recent annual hotel/motel inspection program report 
  4. Compliance with the City's landscape inspection program outlined by the Community Development Department 
  5. Compliance with the applicable series of adopted international building and property codes as demonstrated by certification from the City's chief building official 
  6. Establish and maintain a security plan approved by WRPD, including crime prevention through environmental design, video surveillance, security guards, fencing, and lighting

 Requirements for extended stay (30 days or more):

  1. Minimum size for entire unit: 300 square feet
  2. Minimum size for living room: 120 square feet
  3. A defined bedroom, separate and apart from other portions of the unit
  4. Minimum kitchen/cooking facilities (not located in the defined bedroom or bathroom) 
    1. Refrigerator
    2. Cooktop
    3. Dedicated sink
    4. Cabinets with cooking/dining supplies
  5. The maximum sleeping occupancy per room or unit shall be two persons 
  6. Personal possessions may not be stored within shared common areas, on exterior balconies, interior corridors with the exception on balconies for items such as bikes, strollers, and coolers
  7. Housekeeping must be available, although an additional charge may be made 
  8. Common area amenities must be available
    1. 24-hour desk staffing
    2. Prohibition of storage of any personal possessions within common areas
    3. Universal wireless internet available included within room charge
    4. In-room or common area laundry facilities adequate for number of guests
  9. A minimum of three of the following common area amenities shall be provided:
    1. Business center of at least 120 square feet
    2. A fitness center of at least 350 square feet for every 200 rooms
    3. A swimming pool at least 15 x 25 x 4 feet deep
    4. Meeting areas or conference rooms of a size at least 150 square feet
    5. On-site restaurant or other available food options 

Questions related to fees and the licensing process? Contact Wheat Ridge Licensing at 303-235-2869 or [email protected]

To Apply 

1. NEW APPLICATION: Complete a printed application and send to City of Wheat Ridge, 7500 W. 29th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033. You may also email the application to [email protected] 

If you fill out the online application it will be emailed to the licensing team and they will follow up with your next steps. 

RENEWAL: Complete a hotel license application and submit to City of Wheat Ridge. You will be contacted when your application is approved by the City Treasurer. You will then be contacted for the license payment fee. 

If you fill out the online application it will be emailed to the licensing team and they will follow up with your next steps. 

Online Hotel License Application Printable Hotel License Application

2. Complete and submit the Security Plan Form below: Security Plan Form