Our Heritage

1920s

1920s

Historic Image of Exterior of Hotel

The Opening of the Armstrong Hotel

In 1923, Charles and Carolyn Mantz opened the original Armstrong Hotel and named it after Carolyn’s deceased father (Andrew Armstrong), whose house once stood on the property. When it opened, the hotel was the tallest building in town, boasting two elegant dining halls, 41 guest rooms, and various retail shops. The Mantz family advertised the Armstrong Hotel as the ideal location from which to tour the Poudre Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Park.

In addition to welcoming visitors, the hotel offered Fort Collins residents a home away from home for many years. Serving the public’s growing love affair with the automobile, it housed the first chapter of the American Automobile Association, and during World War II, it was used as a barracks for the U.S. Army. Many long-term residents of the Armstrong also considered the hotel their home.

1970s

1970s

Historical photo of 3 women next to a vintage car

Changes Over the Years

As the hotel changed hands, its name changed as well—first to the Empire Hotel, and later, the Mountain Empire Hotel. During the 1970’s, downtown Fort Collins fell into decline as new growth to the south drew business away. During that time the Armstrong Hotel slipped into disrepair as more and more visitors opted for newer hotels. Eventually, the hotel closed its doors in early 2000.

2000s

2000s

Historical photo of Armstrong Hotel

Coming Back to Life

Local Entrepreneurs Steve and Missy Levinger saw potential in the historic building. They purchased it in November 2002 and renovation began shortly after. The Levingers preserved and restored as much of the building’s historic fabric and character as possible. The original storefronts and the 1940’s-era neon sign were recreated from historic photographs. Wood windows were restored, the beautiful douglas fir floors were refinished, and period hall doors and transoms were faithfully reproduced. The newly renovated and revitalized Armstrong Hotel reopened its doors in June 2004.

The building’s architecture still reflects the simple, symmetrical, “clean” form of the early ‘20s. The east and south facades still showcase leaded prismatic glass tiles used to diffuse light into the original lobby and retail spaces. Each corner of the building still features the elegant tile cartouche with a floral motif—the structure’s only non-utilitarian embellishment.

2017

2017

Exterior view of Armstrong Hotel at night

The Next Chapter

After 14 years of owning and operating the hotel, the Levinger family sold this Fort Collins landmark to Crystal Creek Capital. At Crystal Creek, we love this hotel, and its connection to its setting and neighborhood. Our ardent goal is to preserve the unique nature of the property, and ensure it remains a fixture in the community.

That’s why, in 2017, we brought on our General Manager Aaron Black, along with his wife Kelley. Together they have over 35 years’ experience working at luxury hotels and resorts. They understand that a hotel is far more than a place to sleep; at its best, it’s a vibrant reflection of its surroundings and community.

2019

2019

A New Luster to the Armstrong

In 2019, we underwent extensive renovations of our rooms, lobby and public spaces. We took meticulous care to create an atmosphere that celebrates our history and shares it with our guests, while creating a more refined and comfortable environment. Our beautiful lobby space invites both locals and guests into its midst, serving as a focal point for the community. For us, one thing will always remain the same: our commitment to authentic hospitality, and to being fantastic hosts.