While the Nichols Partnership is looking to the future, turning the former Hotel VQ, right next to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, into 179 micro-apartments, we've been looking to the past of that building, whose circular design was once considered so cutting-edge. Out-of- this world, in fact, particularly when the hotel served as headquarters for Concerned Christians, a Doomsday cult founded by Coloradan Monte Kim Miller. See also: For Heaven's Sake -- 1999 Was the Year Many Coloradans Decided to Play God
As Y2K approached, Doomsday cults flourished around the country, including here in the Mile High City, where one Monte Kim Miller, who considered himself the exclusive end-time prophet for God, recruited members for his cause, Concerned Christians. It was designed to combat the touchy-feely New Age religious movement and take Christianity back to its apocalyptic roots.
A former marketing executive for Proctor & Gamble, Miller published a newsletter, Report from Concerned Christians, that attacked feminist spirituality, the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, alternative medicine, Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, the Roman Catholic Church, the World-Faith movement, and many other Christian denominations and organizations. He produced a radio program, Our Foundation, and predicted that an earthquake would wipe Denver off the map in 1998.
When Denver failed to disappear, many Concerned Christians themselves disappeared from their homes and jobs in Colorado in October 1998; they later showed up in Israel, where they were arrested in early January 1999. Concerned Christians had joined other extremist groups in what was known as Operation Walk on Water; according to Israeli police, they were prepared to start a gunfight with Israeli police, thinking it would trigger the Second Coming.
Expelled from Israel, Miller and his doomsday cult followers went back to the Mile High City. They spent most of January 1999 in what was then the downtown Holiday Inn, making occasional sightseeing trips to the Denver Museum of Natural History and King Soopers while preparing for the final days.
But after it became clear they wouldn't be beamed up from that futuristic-looking hotel, they took off for Greece, where they all lived peacefully until December of that year, when 25 of them were deported. At Kennedy Airport, one Miller follower told his brother, who lived in Boulder, "That which we have been accused of doing is not going to happen."
After that, the cult disappeared from view.
But it looks like the Turntable project is definitely happening. The 330 square-foot micro-apartments will rent for just under $1,000 -- no charge for the interesting history.
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