Steamboat Springs The Banas family has begun a multi-year project to upgrade the Nordic Lodge in downtown Steamboat Springs and create new leased office/retail spaces on the building's Lincoln Avenue frontage.
The entire project will unfold over several years, Izabela Banas said. She owns the motel with her parents, Emil and Krystyna.
The first phase of the remodeling is finished, with the completion of a handsome new hot tub room next to the pool at the rear of the property where it borders Soda Creek. It has been fitted with a new exterior of rock and log siding. The interior is paneled in wood. Emil Banas is serving as his own contractor on the project. He has remodeled the interior of the motel's 38 guest rooms one by one over the eight years that his family has owned the property.
Under way this spring is remodeling of the motel office to expand the first-floor breakfast area and add a second story to create an owner's apartment.
The motel has five buildings in all. Still to come is a planned remodeling of the east and west wings of the motel, which flank the office. The plans call for adding a second story to those buildings, which would allow opening up interior walls to create a similar number of larger suites.
The rooms closest to Lincoln Avenue would be converted to commercial use -- perhaps a coffee shop or offices, Izabela Banas said.
"It's a long process. You have to do it one at a time," she said. The family would like to complete the second stories on the two motel wings within three years. However, Emil Banas said banks are currently reluctant to lend money for
The Banases purchased the Nordic Lodge in 1996 from John Bohecker.
Going back to the turn of the century, they said the site housed a blacksmith shop, stable and a handful of guest rooms to accommodate travelers whose horses had thrown a shoe.
In another era, there were both an auto repair shop and filling station at the front of the property.
During much of the 1960s, the lodging property was known as the Royal Rest Motel and was owned by Al and Hazel Nelson. During that era, the buildings featured Spanish Colonial architecture.
The Nelsons sold the motel to Garret Lenderink in 1968. He in turn sold it to Glen and Patricia Keelin.
The Nordic Lodge offers nightly rentals for less than $100 for some rooms during portions of the ski season and throughout the spring summer and fall.
Izabela Banas said some of their guests have been returning for 25 years -- since long before they assumed ownership.
By creating more suites at the Nordic Lodge, her family hopes their property will be more comfortable for vacationing families.
-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205 or