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The University of Colorado Boulder could use city hotels to serve as dorms, classrooms and isolation or quarantine rooms when campus reopens this fall after closing early in the spring semester due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A request for proposals issued by the university this year and obtained by BizWest shows CU Boulder is seeking bids from local hotels for guaranteed blocks of adjacent rooms — “multiple blocks within one complex would be a plus” — that could be available by Aug. 17.

The school wants at least 22 beds in each block and would prefer double-occupancy rooms, the RFP said. Of those, 20 would be for student use, one would house a CU Boulder resident advisor and another would be used for isolation or quarantine.

CU Boulder has also requested bids for isolation-only blocks of hotel rooms.

In these blocks, the university is looking for a “private entrance to isolation/quarantined-off area and/or individual room exterior access” and “services from a biohazard cleaning company post use,” according to the RFP.

For students housed in the isolation block, CU Boulder would provide a single point of contact to distribute keys, deliver meals and ensure COVID-19 rules compliance.

CU Boulder has also solicited bids from hotels for classrooms and meeting spaces to allow socially distanced groups of 10 to 20 people to gather.

“Next steps … include requirement negotiations/clarifications and contract terms with Student Affairs and CU Procurement,” according to the RFP.

BizWest has requested any contracts entered into by the school and a hotel operator but as of Monday none were provided. The school did not provide additional details on the status of its bid solicitation processes.

Should CU Boulder rent rooms from Boulder hotels, it could be a shot in the arm for the city’s struggling hospitality sector.

“Some business would be good,” Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Maryann Mahoney told BizWest last week. “The outlook in the near future doesn’t seem to be very good.”

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