SOUTH FORK— Christian and Margareta Grill came to South Fork two weeks ago from Oklahoma and have purchased the Ute Bluff Lodge. The couple ventured this way for the natural setting and the chance to enjoy the fresh outdoor opportunities that South Fork has to offer. After several years helping other people run their business in Oklahoma, Grill and his wife are ready to start their own adventure and have the plans in place to make it happen.
The Ute Bluff Lodge sits on the edge of Highway 160 leading into South Fork from the east near County Road 19. The main part of the lodge consists of an RV park, hotel rooms and cabins in the back and is one of the area’s favorite places to stay. The new owners plan on adding to the already prime accommodations and are eager to begin work on their new additions for the coming year. “We know we cannot do everything over night, but we know we will get as much done as possible before we open,” said Grill.
Plans for the lodge include refurbishing mattresses and linens in every room, adding fresh paint to walls and patios, trimming landscaping around the main buildings and refurbishing roofs and ceilings along the cabins and recreation room. There is a long list of things to do, but Grill says he is more than up to the task. Grill continued to explain that he hoped to have as much of the projects done as possible in time for the busy season in South Fork. “We close on May 16 and then we are going to purchase new mattresses to begin with,” continued Grill.
In addition to the work that will be done on the buildings and surrounding landscaping, Grill hopes to take advantage of the 17 acres of land that came with the property. Behind the main lodge, a foothill rises to the south and offers a perfect location at the top for some additional camping sites. Grill and his wife would like to use the area on top of the hill for tent campsites which will have soft wood bedding to make camping that much more comfortable. “We also want to do a ropes course for people who want to get out and do something while they are here,” said Grill.
The ropes course behind the lodge is only the beginning as Grill continued to explain his desire to have an oxygen bar added to the front office area. “I used to be a sky diver in the military. If you ever saw the episode of ‘19 Kids and Counting’ where the family does the sky diving trip, I am one of the instructors,” said Grill. “People come here from lower elevations and get short of breath, I want to offer them an alternative that will help relax them and give them energy.”
Grill also stated that he and his wife are going to open the front office area to offer a gift shop and light refreshments to their traveling guests. “We will have coffee and t-shirts, things like that—something that has never been offered here before,” said Grill. Margareta also explained that they planned on having games like badminton, croquet and much more for their guests to use while they stay at the lodge.
The couple is originally from Sweden and have moved around the world in the last 25 years before coming to rest here in South Fork. “We have a son who lives in Crested Butte, and we traveled to the area many times before. We love it here and are ready to become part of the community,” finished Grill. Grill was also proud to say that he and his wife both speak three different languages and have many tales to share of their life to anyone willing to listen. For more information or to book a stay at the Ute Bluff Lodge, contact Grill at 873-5595, via email at [email protected] or through their website at www.uteblufflodge.com.