Long-established Inn at Steamboat gets new life as boutique hotel
November 24, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Todd and Tiffany Moore understand what differentiates an independent hotel from the competition. Todd literally grew up in his family's motels and hotels in the resort community of Rehoboth Beach, Del., folding towels and even serving as the lifeguard.
And Tiffany Moore has gained savvy from her mother's experiences of running a bed and breakfast just a block from the Atlantic Ocean in Rehoboth.
Now, the new owners of the recently remodeled Inn at Steamboat have a plan to build repeat business — particularly from Front Range guests — at their boutique hotel not far from the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
"We want to interact with out guests here to help them get more out of their visit and create relationships with visitors," Todd Moore said.
"We can help them have a full experience here instead of just offering them a place to stay," his wife added.
Todd's parents, Bob and Dee Moore, own several hotels and inns, including the showpiece The Bellmoor Inn and Spa with its beautifully manicured patio gardens. And not far away in Rehoboth Beach, Tiffany's mother, Melissa Link, owns At Melissa's bed and breakfast in a period home on the Delaware shore.
Todd and Tiffany Moore will work off a lengthy captive list of previous guests to strengthen relationships and increase the appeal of their 34-room property among destination guests, business travelers who come to Steamboat several times each year and Front Range residents who have made the Yampa Valley their choice for long weekend getaways.
The history of the Inn at Steamboat goes back to the late 1960s, when it was built as a traditional motel on the south side of Walton Creek Road, one of the few commercial buildings there at the time. More recently, two Steamboat developers, Scott Rotermund and Dave Thorp, purchased the Inn at Steamboat and a piece of adjacent development ground in 2007 for $3.65 million. Their business plan included a major remodeling and upgrade of the guest rooms, selling them and managing them as nightly rentals for 10 months out of every 12.
"We really have to credit the Rotermunds and Thorps," Todd Moore said. "They did a great job on the remodel."
The traditional rooms have slate entryways and granite vanity countertops, for example.
After the economy did an about-face and the last investors' business plan was not carried out, the Moores, using the business entity Alpiner Group LLC, purchased the 23 unsold units of the total of 34. They also acquired the contract to manage the remaining privately owned units on a short-term basis, except for the 60 days the owners are entitled to use them if they choose to.
The Moores have brought a new sustainable approach to the Inn at Steamboat. While they were contemplating installing a new heating system, the ancient iron boiler died, and they seized the opportunity to replace the boiler with an efficient new heating system, plus they installed solar panels backed by a computerized management system to provide 65 percent of their hot water needs. On a mild, sunny day Tuesday, the solar panels were heating the water supply to 138 degrees — hot enough to require the system to mix in cold water to deliver the right temperature of hot water to the guest rooms.
"We're very adamant about doing our best to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce waste," Todd said.
Already, UV-blocking window film applied to the west-facing guest rooms has reduced daytime temperatures in summer by 10 degrees, making the rooms themselves more comfortable. The Moores even have upgraded the linens to micro fleece that dries in half the time in a commercial dryer.
The Inn at Steamboat has a commercial kitchen, and they are committed to serving their guests healthy breakfasts to power them through a day of skiing — yogurt, granola, a few gluten-free options and a hot egg frittata will be typical, Tiffany said.
The couple has invested in a new people-mover van and will transport guests not just to the ski mountain, about two minutes away by vehicle, but also to Steamboat's dining and entertainment districts.
True to a Moore family policy that its members must experience employment outside the family before returning to the family business, Todd set out on his own and worked in the hospitality industry in Summit County for 10 years.
He supported his father in all aspects of the acquisition of the Bellmoor before returning to Colorado to work at the Hampton Inn and then opened Steaming Bean Coffee Co. in Steamboat from scratch.
Next, he made the move to Timbers Resorts' One Steamboat Place and helped to open the large luxury condominium resort in Gondola Square.
"It was a wonderful opportunity to get the five-star service experience," he said.
The No. 1 takeaway from One Steamboat Place, he said, was that the customer never should hear the word "no" as the first response to a request from the staff.
Sample rates at the Inn at Steamboat range from $189 nightly during the peak of the December holidays to $169 during the non-peak period in January. However, area residents who book visiting friends and family members into the Inn can expect a 20 percent discount.
A key piece of the Moores' plans to create a home boutique hotel not far from the base of the ski area is the hiring of veteran Steamboat concierge Cindy Johnston.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com