Last Friday, the Hotel Eastin came under new ownership.
Thomas Shepherd has claimed his place in Kremmling history as the new owner of Hotel Eastin, a main street business for the last 113 years that includes two commercial units, three apartments and 26 hotel rooms.
It’s an undertaking Shepherd doesn’t take lightly. With 26 unique guest rooms, Thomas described the Hotel Eastin as a “historic boutique hotel,” and attributed the Hotel’s hospitality, authentic experience and pricing structure as some of the reasons for its continued success and repeat business.
“We have a very real value proposition – a rich history with a budget-friendly price structure,” he said. “For anyone seeking a unique experience and a good value, we fit that category.”
He emphasized former owners Walt and Maryann Van Lue’s attention to the foundations of hospitality: Well-kept rooms, cleanliness, quality bedding and attention to detail.
“Walt and Maryann found a diamond in the rough when they bought the hotel, and they put their heart and soul into this place for eight years, literally going room by room,” Shepherd said.
Among the Van Lue’s improvements are a themed room for author Zane Grey, who wrote “The Mysterious Rider.” Grey penned the novel while staying at the hotel, then a boarding house known as The Schuler House. The hotel’s themed rooms include one for Colorado, John Denver and Miner’s Cove, a mining themed room complete with train cars to haul rocks.
Shepherd stated that staff member Tia Gonzales, who has been with the hotel for 10 years, contributed to creating many of the themed rooms, and maintaining the high standard of cleanliness over the years. Tia is the head housekeeper and a key member of the hotel’s maintenance staff.
“She has been providing — and will continue to provide — the standard of care we are looking for,” he said.
Also coming onboard to the hotel management team is Christine Mahorney, who has a background in marketing, design and event planning.
“I love the use of actual keys, the glass knobs and squeaky floors,” Christine said. She is excited for the opportunity to help promote other businesses and key events in Kremmling with stay and play packages.
“We are implementing a hotel management software system that will help us take care of our guests and offer better hotel packages,” Christine said of wanting to help promote some of the annual events hosted in Kremmling.
An Army veteran, Shepherd brings a wide array of experience to Kremmling. He hails from Milwaulkee, Wis., where he spent 28 years in the investment business with Edward Jones. During these years, as a hobby, he got into remodeling and new construction projects. He also co-founded and co-funded a manufacturing company that developed and engineered fill-on-demand bubble wrap and air pillows that revolutionized the packaging industry.
As for his new home In Kremmling, he’s looking forward to becoming a part of the community, helping to preserve its history, as well as helping grow its future.
“I would love to hear everyone’s stories about the Hotel Eastin and see their photographs,” he said. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to carry on this legacy.”