SOUTH FORK — Steven Valdez is no stranger to the hospitality industry in the Valley having grown up helping his mother when she worked for a hotel in Alamosa, but the young entrepreneur has taken his future into his own hands and with that has begun to change the hospitality industry in South Fork.
At 21 years old, Valdez was given the opportunity to purchase two hotels in the South Fork area and is currently working to restore and renovate both properties. Valdez now owns the Quality Inn and Four Seasons Hotel and is remodeling rooms in each property.
“I was working for the previous owners and they decided to sell so I saw it as an opportunity to expand on my future and purchased the properties. Now I am working on remodeling and working with other local companies to offer a unique experience,” said Valdez.
Valdez grew up in the San Luis Valley and spent a considerable amount of his childhood at a hotel with his mother in Alamosa.
“I liked the industry and was very interested in how things worked,” Valdez said. “I graduated from Monte Vista and went to college at CSU for finance before coming back and starting my new career. I worked for Choice Hotels, specifically the Comfort Inn and liked the company so owning the Quality Inn was an easy transition.”
After coming back and making the decision to purchase the hotels, Valdez threw himself into the work and is renewing the hospitality industry.
“We recently began remodeling the four seasons, I have about eight rooms that are completely done,” Valdez said. “We kept things very modern and just what South Fork needs to attract a younger demographic.”
Valdez also worked with his main company to reopen the pool facility to the public during certain hours and is charging a minimal $5 fee.
“We are also working on building a tiny home that will be up for rent this coming summer,” Valdez said. “It is just another way to bring some of the younger demographic to the area, which is what we need.”
Valdez stated that though the pandemic caused him some difficulties at first, the past year has been one of the best the young entrepreneur has seen in some time.
“Business over the last year has been great,” Valdez said. “I don’t think anyone expected the business that we saw last summer especially when everything was shut down in March of 2020, but we came out on the positive side and can only hope the coming year will be just as successful.”
Both hotels offer basic amenities as well as ski and rafting packages with details being worked out with local companies and Wolf Creek Ski Resort. Valdez is continuing work on the properties and can now offer a grab-and-go breakfast, jacuzzi suite and invites anyone who may be interested to come and check out the newly remodeled rooms and hotel facilities.