Grand Lake Area Historical Society eyes property for relocating Eslick Motor Court

Tonya Bina
Grand County, Colorado

The Grand Lake Area Historical Society is attempting to purchase property in Grand lake to create a historic park.

“We made an offer last week on two lots in town,” said Society President Jim Cervenka. “The owner is considering the offer.”

The Society is hoping to own property to relocate and preserve the historic Eslick Motor Court building now owned by the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre.

The original deadline the Theatre gave to the Society to move the building from its existing location was June 1.

The building is considered the oldest existing motor court in the country with accommodations for both guests and automobiles that pre-dated the modern motel.

“The Repertory Theatre wants us to have (the building) and is working with us to help us get it,” Cervenka said.

The Society’s intention is to have more space for other historic buildings that may become threatened by new development. One can find similar historic parks in Kremmling and Frisco.

“We want to preserve the history of the Grand Lake area, that’s our mission, our goal. That’s what we’re trying to do,” Cervenka said.

The Society still mourns a historic riverside cabin torn down in recent years that had been a feature on the organization’s “Historic Walking Tour.”

“We don’t know what the next building might be,” Cervenka said.

“We want to create a place to put buildings the Society and community deem appropriate to save in terms of the Grand Lake-area history.”

To purchase the land, the Society is pledging a combination of membership funds, inheritance funds and other donations, book-sale funds and moneys acquired through financing.

The Society’s goal, Cervenka said, is to move all four units of the Eslick Motor Court and restore it to look as it did when travelers came by car to vacation in Grand Lake after it was built in 1912-1915. The Society is looking to various historical preservation organizations for funds and expertise to help achieve that goal.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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