The Hotel Eastin in Kremmling, which has been under new management by Maryann and Walt Van Lue since June of last year, was awarded Business of the Month honors by the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce for the month of January.
The hotel, which began operation as a sarsaparilla factory and boarding house in 1906, has been part of Kremmling's rich history for over a century, and the Van Lues have embraced and enhanced the historical image of the hotel.
The Van Lues have been completing themed rooms that have helped to preserve the history of the hotel and offer guests a glimpse of the past. They are also in the process of creating a Zane Grey-themed room. Grey, a western writer, received inspiration for his novel The Mysterious Rider after seeing a lone rider on the cliffs surrounding the hotel while staying there.
The Van Lues are also planning to hold a Zane Grey festival sometime this summer where there will be numerous activities including demonstrations and lessons by local artists who practice chainsaw carving, artistic iron work, and of course a demonstration from Walt about how to care for and repair antiques. They are also trying to organize gunfight reenactments for the festival.
The historic Hotel Eastin is the perfect place for the Van Lues to call home as Walt operates an antique restoration business called the Antiques Hospital, where he restores a broad range of antiques.
The Van Lues, who moved to Kremmling from Estes Park where Maryann operated a lodge for 13 years and Walt restored antiques, brought some holiday traditions with them to Kremmling.
Every Christmas Walt dons a Santa costume and transforms the Antiques Hospital into Santa's Workshop, where children can come help Santa get ready for the big day.
The Van Lues brought the holiday tradition with them from Estes Park, where it was a staple of the holiday festivities for nearly 12 years. They also plan to expand the Christmas tradition next with real reindeer that a local rancher has planned to purchase, and an old time sleigh.
The Van Lues have been busy operating the hotel, which has seen a steady flow of guests and received some positive reviews online, though they still try to escape every once in awhile to enjoy the beautiful area they now call home.
"When we do get a chance to take a half day, we go out and enjoy the beautiful countryside." said Maryann. "There are so many hidden secrets here."
The Van Lues will be offering special rates during the 16th Annual Wolford Mountain Reservoir Ice Fishing Contest, scheduled to take place Saturday, Feb. 16.
They are also offering deals until May that include: Stay two nights and receive the second night at half price, and stay three nights and receive the third night free.
You can get more information about the hotel, upcoming events, or place a reservation by calling the Van Lues at 970-724-3261, or by visiting www.hoteleastincolorado.com.