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​Hospitality Company Creates 'Home Away From Home’ for Craig patients, families

April 28, 2016

For Sage Hospitality, giving back to the community is part of their DNA. The company has adopted Craig Hospital as one of its primary charitable beneficiaries — even renovating rooms to ensure that Craig outpatients and their families have accessible, comfortable places to stay when they are in Denver.

The hotel and restaurant management company operates numerous independently owned properties around the world. Four of the Denver-area properties — the TownePlace Suites Denver Southeast, the Denver Marriott Tech Center, and the Courtyard and Residence Inn Denver/Southwest Lakewood — became very involved with the work of the Craig Hospital Foundation in 2015.

In addition to giving $50,000 to Craig’s Redefining ROI Capital Campaign and sponsoring the PUSH dinner, the company hosted four Family Night dinners for Craig patients and families staying in the Family Housing apartments, delivered presents to Craig patients and families over the holidays, and even organized its own fundraising events to benefit the Hospital.

The relationship between Craig and Sage first developed when the hotels’ sales teams began to notice that many Craig outpatients were staying at Sage properties while they had their interdisciplinary outpatient evaluations.

“Our team took the initiative to learn more about Craig and develop a great relationship with Rod [Piel, Craig’s guest services manager],” says John Carter, regional director of sales. “From there it was just about figuring out how we as could be as involved as possible to support Craig and their patients.”

The TownePlace Suites worked closely with Piel and other Craig representatives when they renovated eight of their rooms to be compliant with theAmericans with Disabilities Act. “We lowered the cabinets and counters and built roll-in showers,” says Carter. “We wanted everything to be as accessible as possible, and we always wanted to have rooms available when Craig folks need them.” The Residence Inn followed suit, renovating an additional two rooms.

Piel often refers patients and their families to the Sage properties if Craig’s Family Housing unit is full, and some guests stay two weeks or longer.

Taryn Claassen, the general manager of the TownePlace Suites, says that the families often develop a special relationship with the hotel staff members as they interact daily.

Craig graduate Joe Hunsaker stayed at the property for many months while he was participating in the NueroRecovery Network program at Craig.When they learned it was Hunsaker's birthday, hotel staff presented him with a cake and card.

“The staff at TownePlace Suites really was great and made it feel a lot homier over the seven months I was there,” says Hunsaker. “They went above and beyond what I ever expected.”

Sage plans to continue involvement with Craig into the future, providing discounted room rates, hosting a Family Night dinner each month, and continuing with the holiday “Adopt a Family” benefit.

“Sage Hospitality’s experience with Craig Hospital has been extremely rewarding. We have all been touched in a very personal way during the course of our volunteer work, either through Family Night, adopting a family for Christmas, or at our Craig Hospital Fundraiser,” says Jessica Barrows, dual general manager for the Courtyard and Residence Inn Denver/Southwest Lakewood. “We feel honored to be a part of something so special.”