The timing was also sparkling: The Ritz got the news just days before the shiny new Four Seasons, with its shiny new Edge restaurant, opened a few blocks away at 1111 14th Street.
Rich Grant, spokesman for Visit Denver, was already planning how he could pitch the Ritz's five-diamond rating to conventions and other tourists coming to town.
AAA annually evaluates more than 60,000 hotels and restaurants, rating them on a scale of one to five diamonds. "One diamond properties meet AAA's basic standards for comfort, cleanliness, and hospitality," the AAA website reports, "while five diamond properties are the premier establishments that provide the ultimate in quality and service."
There are only three other five-diamond hotels in Colorado: The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, the Little Nell in Aspen, and the Ritz in Batchelor Gulch at Beaver Creek.