Steamboat Springs Comments in the guest book at Steamboat Bed and Breakfast read, "Wow!" "We're back!" and "Even better the second time."
"You have a lot of choices in this world as a traveler, but once you get to know a place, where all the stuff is, you are comfortable," said Barbara LeRoy, four-year resident manager of the bed and breakfast.
The bed and breakfast has been a fixture at 442 Pine Street since the 1980s. It was originally constructed as an addition to the Steamboat Congregational Church in the 1930s and was almost destroyed by lightning in the 1980s.
The historic building is now for sale, but owner Gordon Hattersley and employees Hilda Trevino and LeRoy hope the buyer will not change the nature of the building or its business. It is being sold as is, with all furnishings, for $2.75 million.
Hattersley, who has overseen operations at the bed and breakfast for more than a decade, recently bought and will be restoring a 120-year-old mansion in San Diego to convert into a bed and breakfast.
"I've taken this bed and breakfast to the highest level, so I'm up for a new challenge," Hattersley said. He said he plans on installing private bathrooms for each bedroom, as he has done with Steamboat Bed and Breakfast.
In the time Hattersley has been with the bed and breakfast, he said he has seen a large number of repeat guests.
Rosemary and Kevin Kelley, of San Diego, stayed at the bed and breakfast several years ago and were back this week. Rosemary said she simply enjoys the atmosphere and having people to chat with.
Debbie Tarrant of Denver said she toured Ireland staying at bed and breakfasts at every stop. "That's the only way to do it," she said. She also stayed at Steamboat Bed and Breakfast a couple of years ago and said she just enjoys the homey atmosphere of the place.
LeRoy and Trevino said they do all they can to make their guests feel like they are in a home away from home. They cook a hot breakfast every morning and bake fresh bread and cookies and prepare fresh fruit throughout the day. The eight-bedroom building is completely furnished with antique and antique reproduction furniture, along with many modern electronics, a professional kitchen, and a massage therapist.
Outside, there is a hot tub, sauna, patio, and lawn furniture among the landscaped yard, complete with a manmade waterfall.
The first floor is mostly living space, but has one bedroom. The second floor has five bedrooms, and the third floor has two bedrooms with a sitting area between the rooms. Hattersley said the third floor is popular for those who want extra space. He said it is also common for large parties to rent out the entire building, which the facility will accommodate by allowing parties full use of the kitchen for them to prepare their own meals if they wish.
Looking at yearly occupancy, Steamboat Bed and Breakfast stays about 55 percent full, Hattersley said. But that is misleading, he said, because during peak summer and winter seasons, the place sees 80 to 100 percent occupancy. The downtown location puts guests within walking distance of any Old Town shop or restaurant.
"I think the people that stay in a bed and breakfast are looking for a smaller, more intimate place," Hattersley said. "Some of the vacation warriors that come here expect to ski all week, but find there are muscles they haven't used in a while. They end up spending a lot of time here."
"They won't find anything as nice, comfortable or welcoming," LeRoy said.