Granby: Circle H is back in business
May 9, 2008
Though they are in the midst of creating what is envisioned as an arts center, new Circle H owners April Lang and fiance Ken Hilton have begun to take reservations for the unique space.
The two, both Middle Park High School graduates, are excited to be living a dream.
“This place got empty and has been just waiting for us,” Lang said of the Circle H, which at one point in its long history was owned by Hilton’s parents.
“It’s got a lot of potential and we’ll just see what we can do with it,” Hilton said.
For four years, the building on Lake Granby’s shore stood vacant. One day while boating, Lang and Hilton sat on the lake reminiscing about its heyday and agreed there was just something about the place that drew them in.
“We just kind of put it out there,” Lang said, that they would look into buying it.
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A nearby homeowner who was a friend of the couple ran into them at a blues show and they talked to him about buying the place. That very next Sunday, their friend was walking past the Circle H and happened upon Alan Funk of Black Diamond Real Estate who just got the listing for it.
The couple closed on the deal Jan. 16 and have since been doing repairs where needed and adding their own artistic flair. Hilton said the business could never really reach success as a bar and restaurant and that he and Lang wish to turn that luck around by giving it new dimension.
The building, which was rebuilt in the 1950s, has a large room that served as a restaurant (off of which is a commercial kitchen for customers and professional caterers to use). Lang has that room slated for her glass art studio. Off of it, is a full bar and seating area with a good-sized deck overlooking Lake Granby running along its southeast side. Lang and Hilton do not have a liquor license but caterers who do may use the bar facilities for events.
Aside from the bonus of having room for Lang’s studio and gallery, her and Hilton’s new venture offers several opportunities for special events and meeting space, as well as six lodging units that people can include in their package or rent out (three-night minimum).
The front door opens up to a comfortable and elegant great room measuring about 600 square feet, which could seat about 80 people. A stairway from there leads up to six themed, spacious lodging rooms with their own sitting room. Themes reflect Native American, Western, fishing, outdoors, and Asian styles. There’s also an outside access for the rooms, each which offer incredible views of the lake.
On the first floor of the great room, bar area and deck offer comfortable spacing for small weddings, workshops like cooking classes, corporate meetings or retreats, receptions, meditation or yoga space, stamping classes, chamber luncheons, or pretty much any quaint private event.
“It’s really quite diverse,” Hilton said of the building. “This is really a nice place where people can go that’s not very commercial,” Lang said. “It’s more relaxed and inviting.”
She and Hilton really want to make this a place that locals and visitors want to come to. They thought of ways to help build the business that would also entice people to host events there, and stay on the lake if they’d like. Package prices range from $250 for a three-hour rental to $2,500 per day for a run of the place (except Lang’s studio and gallery), including the six rooms. Their first event, a workshop on grants available to support the arts in small communities, is scheduled to start June 6.
“The whole thing has evolved so incredibly,” Lang said of the possibilities that are available to them and the Grand County community. “Each week we’ll look at each other and see something we didn’t expect. It’s so spectacular.”