Longtime Colorado hotel owners acquired the 43-room Boulder Creek Inn in Donnelly on July 1.
Chris and Annette Szczelina had owned the 35-room Aspenalt Lodge in Basalt, Colo., near Aspen for 20 years. Before that, Chris Szczelina’s parents had owned that property.
“We were looking at doing something on our own,” Chris Szczelina said.
The two took a road trip through Idaho, Oregon and Washington looking for hotels for sale and the first one they considered was Boulder Creek Inn.
“We like the more low-key, down-to-earth atmosphere down there in Donnelly,” Chris Szczelina said.
He said Donnelly reminds him of Basalt 20 years ago. The pair said they were saddened by what he described as “the Aspenization” of Basalt. Aspenalt used to attract families as guests, but now, Chris Szczelina said, guests are “people who want the Aspen experience without paying top dollar.”
“We never catered to that kind of clientele,” he said.
The Szczelinas have moved to Donnelly and bought a house, and their children are enrolled in Donnelly Elementary School.
They will continue to own the Aspenalt Lodge until they find an owner, Chris Szczelina said.
Boulder Creek Inn and the eight-room Long Valley Motel are the only hotel/motels in Donnelly.
Crystal Investment Property of Portland, Ore., facilitated the transaction.
The Szczelinas have already added WiFi and started continental breakfast service. They plan to upgrade rooms with new bedding and furniture.
The Boulder Creek Inn was built in 2004. The sale price was not disclosed.