Nordic Lodge owners convert rooms to suites

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— The combined Banas and Golaszewski families are pushing forward with their long-term plan to expand and upgrade the Nordic Lodge Motel at Eleventh Street and Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs. They plan to add 2,000 square feet to the motel they've operated for a decade, but no new rooms.

"We're limited to 40 rooms by our parking," Emil Banas said. The addition will be used to transform a number of the Nordic's traditional rooms into suites.

Emil Banas, who owns the hotel with his daughter, Izabela Golaszewski, will act as the general contractor on the project.

Izabela's husband, Greg, is the motel's general manager. Her mother, Krystyna, is active in running the motel.

Construction fencing has gone up around the west wing of the motel and, by Christmas, a second story will have been added to the building. During the remodeling, most of the rooms will be converted to one- and two-bedroom suites.

Greg Golaszewski said his family's property is experiencing increased demand for larger accommodations from extended ski families, Triple Crown softball families and even hunting parties.

The remaining three motel rooms closest to Lincoln Avenue will be converted to commercial space, possibly for retail or office space.

The motel owners began their multi-phase upgrade of the motel in spring 2004 with the addition of a second story to an expanded motel office. The log siding on the office building will be repeated in the motel addition, along with some stucco and green roof shingles.

Emil Banas said a big part of the motivation for the remodel is upgrading the property to keep up with changes on Lincoln Avenue.

The Banases purchased the motel from John Bohecker in 1996. Going back to the turn of the 20th century, the site housed a blacksmith shop, stable and a few guest rooms to house travelers whose horses had thrown a shoe.

In another era, there were both an auto repair shop and service station at the front of the property.

During much of the 1960s, when it was owned by Al and Hazel Nelson, the lodge was named the Royal Rest Motel. The façade reflected Spanish colonial architecture during that decade.

The Banas and Golaszewski families hope to add a second story to the east wing of the motel by 2010.

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