Powder Room Lounge closes in Steamboat
St. Cloud Mountain Club to retool night scene, scale back hours
August 5, 2010
Steamboat Springs — The St. Cloud Mountain Club at the base of Mount Werner is undergoing a makeover that doesn't include keeping the popular Powder Room Lounge that opened there during the ski season. General Manager Luke Dudley said the club is retooling its night scene.
"We decided we wanted to mellow out the place a bit," Dudley said. "We're trying to make it a more calm environment that is conducive to the mature crowd that we serve here."
Dudley said issues with noise coming from the lounge into Torian Plum Plaza contributed to the decision to close the bar. The club will change its name to the St. Cloud Mountain Club and Lounge, and will be open to the public Wednesday through Saturday nights beginning at 5 p.m. It also will close earlier than the Powder Room did. The club will introduce new wine lists and focus on their tapas menu.
"With these changes, I'm trying to improve the experience for our members," Dudley said. "Ninety-five percent of our business comes from our private mountain club, while only 5 percent comes from our late-night scene."
Dudley praised Powder Room manager Scott Agnew and his ability to attract a lively crowd at the club at night, but said the club is hoping to move in a different direction.
Agnew said he was told last month that the Powder Room would be closing.
"The club believed that our concepts didn't jive that well together," Agnew said. "They were looking for older clientele, and my clientele ranged toward the younger age group. The lounge had a nightclub feel to it that you could compare to Miami or Las Vegas."
Agnew, who has managed bars and clubs for 21 years, said he thinks business levels did not contribute to the Powder Room's closing. Agnew moved to Steamboat Springs from Denver in December to manage the bar.
"They offered me the chance to come to Steamboat and prove a concept, and it worked out for a while," he said. "But we were on different pages, and I don't have any hard feelings about it whatsoever."
Agnew is exploring other opportunities to reopen the Powder Room at another location in Steamboat.
Neighboring businesses said the Powder Room was vital in helping to attract customers to the plaza at night.
"It was a great thing for the Torian Plum Plaza," said Chad Gagliano, general manager of nearby Slopeside Grill. "The bar was definitely a part of the puzzle in bringing some vitality to this area."
Cafe Diva owner Paul Underwood agreed. He said he hopes the new lounge at the club still will continue to attract customers.
"We were just starting to see more life up here when they left," he said. "The times I went there, I found it to be an upscale, nice atmosphere where people could enjoy a different offering than what is available elsewhere in Steamboat."
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