The Rio is closing after 13-year run in downtown Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

The Rio is closing after 13-year run in downtown Steamboat Springs

Scott Franz

After Sept. 13

— The Rio rooftop margarita is joining the Wendy’s Frosty on the list of extinct treats in Steamboat Springs.

On Sept. 13, the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant will close after a 13-year run on Lincoln Avenue.

The establishment, which boasts one of the only rooftop dining areas in downtown Steamboat, employs about 40 people.

“We are all heartbroken,” general manager Wes Boyd said Wednesday.

Boyd said the restaurant plans on staying busy until the final day.

According to a press release from the leadership of the Rio restaurant chain, it has become “increasingly challenging to operate” the Steamboat Rio three hours away from the company’s headquarters in Fort Collins.

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“While unfortunate, this is ultimately a business decision that had to be made,” company CEO Jason Barrett said in a news release about the closure. “This was an incredibly hard decision. We can’t thank everyone in the community and our wonderful staff enough for what they’ve done to make the Rio a Steamboat fixture for more than a decade.”

A message left for Barrett on Wednesday morning to discuss the closure wasn’t returned.

After the local restaurant closes, the closest Rio marg will be in Frisco.

The chain also has restaurants in Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Greeley and Park Meadows.

The Rio chain started in Fort Collins in 1986.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10