Satan Sheets

The Regency Hotel's dance with the devil.

In the meantime, says Silverman, "the Regency is alive and well. You can stay in the tower and the north wing. More important, you can come hear some excellent Mexican music and dance with your partner into the wee hours. On Cinco de Mayo."

In the meantime, "the best thing they can do to help themselves is to take a good, hard look at the property and contract to fix the violations," says Bigler. "The deteriorated condition of the property renders it a very, very dangerous place to be. You have that many people and that many violations, it's a very volatile mix."

"We intend to work with the city attorney's office, and I think communication will improve," says Silverman, adding that even as he speaks, the Regency is working on the parking lot potholes. ("There's a guy out there with a broom," Carmichael observes.)

"The city's been after him for four years trying to secure his voluntary compliance," Bigler says of Cormier. "The property continued to decline, and the owner doesn't seem willing to bring that property into compliance. But now it's time."

To fix the Regency, or sell it, or maybe even scrape it and bury the remains on that prime piece of real estate. Cormier put the hotel up for auction on March 20, but the deal got buried in the blizzard, and he's still negotiating with potential buyers, according to Silverman. (One contender is the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, which purchased the downtown Denver YMCA almost two years ago, renovating the building to include housing as well as Y facilities.) If a sale goes through, though, Cormier may still continue his dances at the hotel -- or he may move them elsewhere. The Mexican-music audience is too large, and lucrative, to ignore. Even the city's gotten into the act, Silverman points out, offering its own weekend events at the Coliseum that compete with the dances at Los Caporales.

"It's a wholesome dance environment," Silverman says of the Regency. "They pat everybody down as they come in. Whole families come."

And whole families go. "You can tell your daughter that if you go to places like that, nothing good will happen to you," Salazar says. "But because these girls don't listen, you sometimes have to invoke a higher power and go to the spiritual level, maybe ask for the blessing of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

"For a while, I think some of these girls stopped going there. And the story kept growing. He had horns. People smelled sulfur. There were hoofprints burned into the floor. The girl had a burn mark on her back when she woke up."

The devil's in the details.

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