Business briefs: Yampa diner, hotel sell for $2.5 million |

Business briefs: Yampa diner, hotel sell for $2.5 million

— Some eyebrows might have raised this week when Penny's Diner and the nearby Oak Tree Inn in the small South Routt town of Yampa sold for nearly $2.5 million.

According to records on file with the Colorado secretary of state, the buyer, Lodging Properties LLC, shares an address with O'Neill Hotels and Resorts in a high-rise in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. O'Neill counts the Westin Grand Vancouver among its properties.

Oak Tree Inn is a small group of 33 hotels emphasizing how quiet their properties are in locations around the country including McAlester, Okla.; Milford, Utah; Green River, Wyo.; and Yuma, Ariz. Most of the hotels, if not all, have a Penny's Diner very close by, and the nightly room rate includes a free breakfast at the diner.

The Oak Tree is billed as being close to Steamboat Springs and at the gateway to recreation in the Flat Tops mountains.

Sources in Yampa say the Oak Tree there enjoys a high rate of occupancy because it is booked mostly on behalf of railroad crews working the nearby Union Pacific line between Craig and Denver.

Alpine Bank plans to build its 1st Front Range branch

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Alpine Banks of Colorado, with a branch in Steamboat Springs, has announced it will expand to Colorado's Front Range. A site in lower downtown Denver has been selected for the new Alpine Bank location with plans to buy the third quarter of 2013, according to a news release.

Norm Franke, a 30-year Alpine Bank veteran, has been named regional president of the forthcoming Front Range region, the release stated.

Alpine Bank is a $2.4 billion, employee-owned organization chartered in 1973 with headquarters in Glenwood Springs. With 36 western and southwestern Colorado banking offices, Alpine Bank employs more than 500 people and serves more than 130,000 customers with retail, business, trust, asset management, mortgage and electronic banking services, according to the release

Colorado Group gives out Excellence in Sales awards

Colorado Group Realty has announced in a news release its Excellence in Sales award recipients. This year's distinguished brokers are as follows:

Platinum level: Nick Metzler, The Metzler Team; Chris Paoli, The Paoli Group; and Jon Wade, The Steamboat Group

Gold level: Eliese Pivarnik and Ron Wendler

Silver level: Coleman Cook, The Cook Group; Jim Cook, The Cook Group; Penny Fletcher; Randall Hannaway; Dave Harley; Mike Lewis; Marci and Tom Valicenti; Pete Wither; and Scott Wither.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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