Gateway Inn adds 14 rooms, launches new Wild Bear Tavern
GRAND LAKE — Recognizing the high demand for local lodging, the Gateway Inn in Grand Lake recently kicked off a new expansion and rebranding effort that will see over a dozen new rooms added to the mountain lodge.
Owners of the Gateway Inn, Tom and Debi Jenkins, and their son, Robbie Muck, had been looking to expand the property for several years. Last summer, they finally broke ground on the expansion.
“We have been thinking about this project for four years,” Muck said. “In early 2017, we started the permitting process. Construction began in late August.”
According to Tom Jenkins, who originally built the inn with his construction firm in the late 1990s, the expansion was a direct result of the high demand Gateway Inn sees.
“We just felt there was a need for the rooms, especially in summer,” Jenkins said. “We could certainly fill them.”
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Muck echoes his sentiments.
“We always felt we had grown as much as we possibly could,” Muck added. “We are sold out 100 percent all summer. The only way to put more money in the bottom line was to add more product.”
The expansion work will add 14 new rooms to the inn, bringing its total to 46. The expansion also includes a new handicap room that features a roll-in shower. Structural work, including the pouring of foundations and structural framing, have already been completed on the new expansion, which is being built on the north end of the existing structure.
Workers are still conducting interior electrical work as of mid-January with finish carpentry and flooring installation to follow. The exterior of the new addition remains under construction, as well. The inn is also redecorating rooms and upgrading its existing internet service as they expand.
In addition to the Gateway Inn’s expansion project, the property has also recently undergone a rebranding effort for its Wild Bear Tavern, previously known as the Gateway Lounge.
“This past summer, we all kind of came to the conclusion that it would be best to separate the Gateway from the lounge and rebrand it into an actual bar or tavern,” said Jake Virant, bar manager at Wild Bear Tavern.
Muck indicated that the rebranding is meant to distinguish the Wild Bear Tavern to let visitors and locals know that the tavern is not just a hotel lounge, but is, in fact, a fully functioning bar that regularly hosts local bands and events, such as Sunday football potluck parties.
Gateway Inn hopes to open the expanded room section to patrons sometime this spring, though the rooms will not become available for reservation on their website until June 1. The Gateway Inn remains open as the expansion work continues with rooms available and draught beers being served up regularly.
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