New ownership has brought a new look and new name to an older motel on north Main Avenue.
Garth Schultheis and James Coleman, Purgatory Resort owner, bought Days End in May. Since then, Schultheis started renovating the building and changed the name to Motel Durango.
“There is a good niche for the older hotels and people like the charm,” he said.
He’s found there is strong interest among tourists in independent lodgings as opposed to franchise locations.
“They want to see what it was like in the ’50s,” he said.
Schultheis also bought the Wapiti Lodge on U.S. Highway 160 west in 2014.
As part of the improvements at Motel Durango, he’s refurnished 50 of the 72 rooms with new beds and furniture and also replaced the pool furniture. Some of the exterior improvements include new landscaping, fresh paint and new siding.
Over the winter, he plans to improve the hot tub entrance area and paint accent walls in the bedrooms. In the spring, improvements are planned for the pool. The budget for projects this year was $150,000, and the motel is planning on spending the same next year.
Days End was known as one of the cheapest motels in town, and Schultheis’ goal is to be an economy hotel by next summer. He is not planning to dramatically raise rates.
There are plenty of hotels over $200 a night in the area. Schultheis is aiming to maintain Motel Durango as an affordable option in town.
As part of his efforts, Schultheis gave police permission to patrol around the Junction Creek bridge, and since then, there’s been a reduction in crime, including drug sales, he said. The motel is also planning to put a fence along the back property line to make it harder for people to trespass and meet up for nefarious reasons along Junction Creek.
“We love the location along Junction Creek and believe we can only improve the property and increase our opportunities of making this area of north Main cleaner and more appealing for current residents and arriving guests,” he said in an email.
Coleman is a passive investor in the hotel and got involved because it would be good for Purgatory, he said in an email.
“We are adding an affordable option for ski guests,” Schultheis said.