AN AFFINITY FOR THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, RICH HISTORY, AND FAMILY BONDS DRIVES NEW OWNERS’ VISION FOR MAJESTIC HOTEL.
(IN SHORT) In 2023, North Texas residents Eliot and Tara Vancil fulfilled their dream of owning a piece of Colorado’s history by purchasing the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray. This beautifully restored three-story hotel, originally built in 1886, had once fallen into neglect but was meticulously restored by previous owners Dan and Mary King, earning several preservation awards. Today, the Vancils aim to continue preserving and revitalizing the historic spirit of the hotel, enhancing its infrastructure, technology, and decor while honoring its rich history. They envision the Beaumont as a unique venue for weddings, conferences, and special events, and they plan to engage with the local community through holiday celebrations and public events. Ultimately, their goal is to offer guests a memorable retreat in the stunning surroundings of Ouray, Colorado.
(PRESS RELEASE) OURAY, Colorado / DALLAS, Texas, 2023-Nov-27 — /Travel PR News/ — For North Texas residents Eliot and Tara Vancil, owning a sliver of Colorado’s historic past is now a dream come true.
After falling in love years ago with one of Colorado’s most picturesque mountain getaways known as the “Switzerland of America,” the Vancils were elated when they discovered a “For Sale” sign in the window of Ouray, Colo.’s Beaumont Hotel during a 2023 summer trip.
The couple toured the ornate hotel and were smitten with its past, present, and possibilities yet to come. After considering the investment opportunity, the Vancils finalized their purchase of the Beaumont in late July.
Designed by architect Otto Bulow, the three-story, brick and wood resort hotel was built in 1886, opened in 1887, and named “Beaumont” which is French for “beautiful mountain.” A golden weathervane announcing the year the Beaumont was built is still visible atop the building’s southwest tower.
With its grand oak staircase, cathedral glass skylights, and lavish appointments framed by Victorian, Queen Anne, and French Second Empire architectural influences, the Beaumont Hotel was ahead of its time and symbolized prosperity and opportunity against Ouray’s rugged mining town landscape.
Nestled amidst the grand beauty of the San Juan Mountains’ alpine canyons, jagged peaks, and cascading waterfalls, the elegant Beaumont attracted tourists and investors, and quickly became known as the “Flagship of the San Juans.” One of the first hotels in the country to be wired for alternating current electricity, the Beaumont originally featured 43 guest suites, rustic hardwood floors, and furniture from Chicago’s upscale Marshall Field’s department store.
But after eventually falling into 30 years of dust and neglect, the noble hotel came perilously close to being demolished before being purchased at a silent auction in 1998 by Dan and Mary King, summer residents from San Antonio, Texas. During a process that took nearly five years and $6 million, the couple hired hundreds of local craftsmen and artists to rehabilitate the hotel by meticulously burning and scraping worn pink paint from the hotel’s bricks, replacing plumbing and wiring, restoring wooden window sashes, and more. No expense was spared and even 17 layers of wallpaper were carefully removed and replaced with historically authentic patterns.
Thanks to the Kings’ extensive efforts to restore the hotel to its former grandeur, the Beaumont earned the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation as well as the National Preservation Award in 2003 and the Preserve America Presidential Award in 2004.
Today, the modernized Beaumont offers 13 gracefully furnished guest rooms and suites, a stately rotunda with skylight, cocktail lounge, theatre, spacious ballroom, and spa.
Over the years, the Beaumont hosted a veritable list of distinguished guests including U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, King Leopold of Belgium, Chipeta, widow of the Ute Chief Ouray, French actress Sarah Bernhardt, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, singer/songwriter Jewel, actress Pamala Grier, TV journalist Jane Pauley, and many more.
While the Beaumont has changed hands several times and weathered its share of setbacks and challenges, the Vancils are eager to continue the previous owners’ mission of preserving, restoring, and revitalizing the historic spirit of the stunning hotel.
“The Leavers were great stewards of this hotel,” said Eliot Vancil. “We are so grateful for the amazing team that Chad and Jennifer left behind, as we wouldn’t be able to do this without them. The Leavers took very good care of the Beaumont, preserving the building and its history. This hotel is not simply a property; it is literally a museum.”
For Eliot Vancil, the opportunity to preserve the Beaumont evokes childhood memories of painting and renovating vintage Victorian homes with his father in Waxahachie, Texas.
He continues to build upon his family’s tradition of working together as his wife, Tara Vancil, will coordinate special events at the Beaumont; Esther and Clint Friesen, his sister and brother-in-law, will be relocating from Estes Park, Colo., to run the day-to-day operations at the Beaumont; and his brother, Ezra Vancil, will oversee marketing for the hotel.
Additionally, close friend Tommy Liebhart will manage the real estate development.
Going forward, the Vancils envision enhancing and upgrading the Beaumont Hotel’s infrastructure, technology, and décor for a new generation of guests, while also paying homage to past families and community residents who have operated, supported, and cherished this long-revered Ouray icon that was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
While the Vancils anticipate the Beaumont shining as a unique destination for weddings, conferences, and other special events, they also look forward to welcoming the local community with holiday celebrations, social functions, and other public events.
Above all, the Vancils seek to offer guests a memorable retreat where they can escape everyday life, connect with nature, and revisit a bygone era – all while experiencing Ouray’s enchanting seasonal delights and artisan shops and galleries.
“We don’t want to disrupt what the previous owners, Chad and Jennifer, had going here,” said Eliot Vancil. “I appreciate and respect how important this hotel is to this community. We are eager to learn the ins and outs before making material changes to the operation of the hotel. I truly believe in going slow to go fast. But most importantly, I want to get it right.”
For more information on the Beaumont Hotel (https://www.beaumonthotel.com).