Ghost Ranch Saloon in Steamboat closes down indefinitely | SteamboatToday.com

Ghost Ranch Saloon in Steamboat closes down indefinitely

Employees let go after owner says new management and direction are needed

The Ghost Ranch closed indefinitely on Oct. 30, 2011, after three years of operation. At the time, the owner said the venue would reopen at a later date.

Music event change

String Board Theory was scheduled to play a 10 p.m. Halloween show at Ghost Ranch Saloon on Monday night. The band will now be playing at Old Town Pub.

— The Ghost Ranch Saloon in downtown Steamboat Springs closed its doors indefinitely Sunday after all of its employees were told they no longer had jobs.

Owner Jean Sagouspe said Sunday that he plans to reopen the bar and music venue, which employed about 22 full- and part-time employees, under new management, but he did not say when that might take place.

"The Ghost Ranch has gotten away from its original vision over the last 12 months, and I'd like to get it back on the right track by bringing in new management to start over," Sagouspe said. "It was not doing what I expected."

Sagouspe said he's working to find a new manager who he would work with to develop a fresh business plan for the Ghost Ranch.

"It would be hard to do that while we were still running, and I decided to close it during one of our slower times of the year," Sagouspe said.

He said Monday he would inform the bands that already were scheduled to play at the saloon and would work with them to either reschedule or refund their deposits.

The saloon, which opened in May 2009 downtown on Seventh Street, has hosted numerous concerts and can accommodate as many as 400 people in its 7,000-square-foot space. The building previously was home to Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and underwent a significant redesign to be transformed into a restaurant and bar.

Brooks Graham, a bartender at the Ghost Ranch since it opened, said employees were notified of the closure at a brief meeting with Sagouspe on Sunday afternoon. He said employees were told the venue was closed because of financial issues and not because of the staff.

"(Jean) said the business has been running at a loss," Graham said. "Jean has been absorbing that loss for the last three years, and it has come to a head. He could not continue on the business path he was already on. It's not anybody's fault. No devious things were going on. It's just business and the numbers didn't work."

Asked about Sunday's meeting with employees, Sagouspe said no financial issues led to the closure. He said the music venue was not performing how he expected and that he closed it so it could be restructured under new management.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com