Head wrangler Rick Welfel works Thursday with a team of Percherons that will pull sleighs at Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse in North Routt this winter.

Photo by Tom Ross

Head wrangler Rick Welfel works Thursday with a team of Percherons that will pull sleighs at Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse in North Routt this winter.

Hahn's Peak Roadhouse brings new energy to North Routt

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Longtime Steamboat Springs business owners Darren and Carroll Zamzow are the new owners of Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse, formerly Steamboat Lake Outfitters.

— The North Routt community received a fresh jolt of enthusiasm this weekend with the opening of Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse, owned by Carroll and Darren Zamzow, formerly of Steamboat Springs. They’ve injected new energy into the lodge, store and activity business that previously was called Steamboat Lake Outfitters and had been a fixture on the edge of Hahn’s Peak Village for almost 30 years.

“There’s so much opportunity,” Carroll “Peebs” Zamzow exclaimed. “We’re going to have daytime soup sleigh rides along with dinner sleigh rides, we’re expanding the store to be more of a general store and we really want people to come stay in the cabins. We’re improving the bandstand — yes, there will be live music — and in a few days, we expect to have Wi-Fi in the cabins. This is totally local North Routt. Everyone who works here is from North Routt.”

Well, almost everyone is local. Darren Zamzow’s aunt Julie Bowers is from Grinnell, Iowa (ask her about her years with the Greatful Dead), to lend her many years of experience in the kitchen. And Darren’s mom, Anne Zamzow, is coming to pitch in from New Hampshire, where she has a long background in the service industry.

The Zamzows, who purchased Steamboat Lake Outfitters from George and Barbara Eideness, have more than unbridled enthusiasm going for them. They have run the Lawn Lady landscaping business in Steamboat for many years and will continue to do that. But they’ve also worked for Jon and Wanda Hawes at Dutch Creek Guest Ranch just around Placer Cove from the Roadhouse. And they’ve owned a home in Hahn’s Peak Village for a decade. So they know what makes the North Routt community tick and what attracts the region’s guests.

“We’re big fans of Jon and Wanda,” Carroll Zamzow said. “They aren’t open in winters, and their cook, Jerry Eisenberg, is going to work for us.”

The Zamzows’ new adventure came together suddenly.

“We closed the sale in 60 days,” Darren Zamzow said with a smile. “George was great working with us on the trade.”

Essentially, the Zamzows swapped their Old Town Steamboat home and a piece of industrially zoned land for Steamboat Lake Outfitters.

George Eideness first became familiar with Steamboat Lake Outfitters as a big-game hunting client of Junior and Chad Bedell, of the Elk River Valley. The Bedells then began working with Eideness when he became owner of the business.

“We really did wing it,” Carroll Zamzow said. “I heard it was for sale, went home to Darren and said, ‘Let’s do this!’ Now I have 14 horses, and I don’t know how to ride.”

Fortunately for the Zamzows, they have North Routt resident Rick Welfel on board as their head wrangler. On Thursday, Welfel had put the harnesses on a pair of giant Percherons and, with the long reins in his hands, was walking behind the horses down a snow-packed lane to get them reacquainted with working as a team after an eight-month layoff.

Jonathan Davenport, who owns and operates Minglewood Timbers in Steamboat, is the new general manager of Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse, and Kris Lindahl is on the crew. Two holdovers from Steamboat Lake Outfitters, bartender and server Jeanie Derenzo and the versatile Liz Sevcik, are lending continuity to the operation.

Darren Zamzow, who has run his own snow-removal business, will have plenty of that kind of work to do at the Roadhouse this winter while keeping a keen eye on the books. And Carroll Zamzow will oversee the expanded store, where she wants people to know that they’ll be able to buy food staples and gasoline at fair prices this winter.

Meal prices at the Roadhouse are intended to be friendly to North Routt families. Breakfast starts at $3.

There also will be fresh-baked pizza and burgers and dinner entrees with sides for about $15. The most expensive item on the menu is an $18 ribeye that comes with soup or salad and a choice of rice or potatoes.

In addition to sleigh rides, the Roadhouse will offer guided snowmobile tours and snowmobile rentals, horseback riding in summer and, for the first time, snow coach tours.

Darren Zamzow said he has been given the right to use a dedicated easement on the south side of Routt County Road 129 by developer Lee Emery, of the Parkside Subdivision, which allows him to access dedicated trails at Steamboat Lake State Park under an arrangement with the park managers.

Kirk Mahaffie, administrative assistant at the state park, said the Roadhouse has a special-use permit that lets it utilize the park for guest activities.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

rhys jones 2 years, 7 months ago

BIG horses. Good luck, Zamzows!! You live the Dream.

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sedgemo 2 years, 7 months ago

Pretty, big horses! Used to drive a hayride team and Percherons are my favorites. Good luck guys!

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rhys jones 2 years, 7 months ago

I used to drive a wagon loaded with my Rainmaker gear for my hourly show at Rawhide outside Phoenix. I could make it rain out of a clear blue sky at 110 degrees, and if ladies didn't scream, I failed.

My Appaloosa mule Git was part of the visuals, and when I treated her to some unscheduled water on a particularly hot day, 30 minutes later, during my show, she rained on MY parade.

I love driving wagons; it's so much easier on the butt.

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spidermite 2 years, 7 months ago

highway, There is just no end to your talents.

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rhys jones 2 years, 7 months ago

spider -- I've had to do a lot of things, while writing the software I am now marketing, not entirely successfully. Lucky for me, many were fun jobs, like the Rainmaker.

I am especially talented at washing dishes, my fallback gig, and current real job.

Thank you for noticing. The Zamzows obviously have it together better than I do.

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