Ski Town Inn finally sells

New owners nix restaurant

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— The long vacant Ski Town Inn and Suites could reopen by fall, this time flying a Hilton Hotel flag.

Todd Asbury of Steamboat Village Brokers confirmed Friday that the sale of the 68-unit hotel on U.S. 40 closed Wednesday. He represented two Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, men who formed a limited liability corp. to acquire the hotel from Vectra Bank of Denver.

Asbury said the new owners have a deal with Hilton to use that company's brand on the hotel, composed almost entirely of multi-room suites. However, they haven't yet finalized which Hilton product the Steamboat property will be branded as.

Asbury declined to name the buyers or to say how much they paid for the property, which had been listed by Vectra for $4.6 million.

"They have experience in contracting which will help get the hotel open again, and they own motels elsewhere," Asbury said.

Asbury said the new owners will soon begin to make improvements to the hotel's exterior. They intend to start over with the landscaping, he said. They also plan to build an outdoor pool this summer.

Asbury said he has no idea whether the new owners plan to pick upon existing city approvals for a 107-room addition to the hotel.

Another big change will come when the new owners convert an existing restaurant/bar within the hotel to a spacious lobby and living room for guests. The hotel will offer continental breakfasts, but won't include a restaurant in its reincarnation, Asbury said.

"The plan is to go after families and small groups," he said.

He said the new hotel won't be as fancy as the Sheraton Steamboat or the Steamboat Grand Hotel, at the ski mountain, but among U.S. 40 lodging properties he thinks it will establish a new standard for a medium-level hotel.

Asbury said the new owners have met extensively with engineers and confirmed the building is sound. On Friday, they were meeting with city of Steamboat Springs and Regional Building Department officials at the site.

The new owners want to have the hotel reopened in advance of the ski season rush, Asbury added.

Vectra Bank emerged as the owner of the hotel last fall after a trustees sale conducted by Routt County Treasurer Jeanne Whiddon in August 2000.

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