CREEDE — Shelly Dee and her family have been coming to the Creede area for well over 60 years. The couple purchased the property known as the Creede Hotel and have big plans to restore the original structure and add to the outdoor dining experience in Creede.
“I have been coming to the Creede area for 60 years,” Dee said. “My family has been coming every summer to Spar City, a nearby ghost town community. Now that our children are grown, my husband and I have started coming and staying later into the fall and winter. We lived overseas for 22 years in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing. Creede was our home in America and our kids grew up thinking all of America was like Spar City and Creede.”
Once the property was purchased, Dee partnered with John Arp who owns Arp’s Restaurant that has resided in the old hotel for the past year and who has been serving up delectable, worldly cuisine for the small mountain town for six years.
“I was so happy to hear that John and Arp’s were willing to stay on board and help us bring the hotel to its full glory with a menu that fits the diversity we are seeking,” said Dee.
Arp and Dee have been busy visualizing the possibilities that the hotel could bring to the area and are looking at a five-year restoration and construction plan that when finished, would breathe life back into the once-famous hotel.
“I can see this place becoming the hotspot for Creede with live music and outdoor dining that the entire family can enjoy,” said Arp.
Dee has spent many years traveling overseas and though her degree isn’t in hospitality per se, she feels that her experience will bring a unique and universal spark to the life of the Creede Hotel.
“My background is in finance not hospitality but having lived and traveled overseas (to over 100 countries), we know great restaurants and hotels,” Dee said. “That’s our ambition for The Creede Hotel. Also, I was a waitress, hostess and bartender in college, so I remember what it’s like to work in a restaurant.”
The Creede Hotel, first known as the Zang Hotel was built in early 1892 and is one of the only buildings that has lasted through the years since Creede’s inception. The hotel was a grand location in the early boom days of Creede and Dee’s hope is to bring it back to its prime through careful historical restoration and expansion over a five-year period.
“The hotel is a Creede institution, and I have been eating there my entire life. We have plans to expand outdoor dining and will be adding a stage for live entertainment,” Dee said. “Having only closed on the property March 5, not much has happened yet but we have hired a historic preservation architect firm and they have come up with a five-phase plan that will bring the old building back to its historic beauty and modernize the other parts of the building.”
The Mineral County Miner will be working close with Dee and Arp to follow the restoration and construction project as it gets off the ground. Currently there are four rooms in the hotel, each named for a famous historical figure and two with balcony access that overlooks the downtown area.
Dee plans to have the hotel open for business by the end of May and is looking forward to the adventure that awaits.