Are you looking for a comfortable place to stay in Grand Lake, Colorado? Look no further than Black Bear Lodge of Grand Lake! This is our preferred place to stay during the winter months when we visit the area for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. It is located right off of US Hwy 34 on the left hand side, adjacent to Shadow Mountain Lake. This beautiful, eye-catching lodge has a cozy lobby with sitting area, wood burning stove, and games and puzzles for guests to enjoy. The lodge also features an indoor sauna and hot tub, outdoor swimming pool and Wi-Fi.
Over the last five (going on six) years now, we have stayed at four other lodging establishments in Grand Lake during the winter months, and we have not been entirely pleased with any of them. What makes Black Bear Lodge shine in comparison? There are a few key things to note:
1) Cleanliness: This is the cleanest place that we have stayed in Grand Lake, right down to the corners and windowsills. And while this is an older lodging establishment, it is solidly built, impeccably clean and well maintained.
2) Bedding: The sheets are fresh and soft, and the mattresses provide adequate cushion. While I understand everyone has different preferences for mattresses (soft versus firm), I think everyone can agree that no one wants to sleep on a mattress that feels like a wood board and/or feel metal springs jabbing into one’s side or back.
3) Personal Touches: The degree of thought and detail that the owners put into Black Bear Lodge depicts their pride of ownership as well as their dedication to providing guests with a relaxing, comfortable stay. The rooms we have stayed in had ultra plush lounging blankets, lodge-themed kitchen towels, newer coffee makers, shoe/boot tray to keep the floor clean, and a loaf of the owner’s delicious banana bread that she makes for all of the guests.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: All of the rooms are non-smoking; only service animals meeting ADA criteria are allowed. All of the rooms have different layouts to accommodate different numbers of guests. Be sure to look at the pictures of each room on their website.
BOTTOM LINE: We highly recommend Black Bear Lodge of Grand Lake as a first choice when seeking lodging in Grand Lake. Please click on the link to be taken directly to the Black Bear Lodge of Grand Lake website.
Below, please take a few moments to learn about Robert and Therese, the owners of the Black Bear Lodge of Grand Lake:
1) What year did you purchase Black Bear Lodge of Grand Lake, and what interested you about the hospitality business?
We purchased the Black Bear Lodge of Grand Lake in 2014. The hospitality business was a good fit for our “next career.”
2) What are your backgrounds/where are you from?
Therese is from Chicago and Southwestern Michigan. She moved to Colorado in 1996 and taught Special Education in Summit County until her retirement in 2016. Robert moved to Colorado in 1987 and worked in Human Services while also renovating old houses in Leadville. In 2014, a self-employment dream and opportunity were realized in an area which always has had a special allure: Grand Lake, CO.
3) What changes and/or improvements have you made to Black Bear Lodge since you purchased it?
We have remodeled and updated all of rooms: new Simmons Beautyrest mattresses, high quality linens and towels, artwork (many pictures are from guests who shared their local experiences in and around Rocky Mountain National Park), tile, televisions, and wifi. We’ve updated the electrical service, plumbing, put in a new parking lot, updated our laundry equipment, and a large number of “this old house” improvements. We have also invested in technology upgrades, including an online reservation system and website.
We are grateful for the work of the previous owners, and especially Paul and Lois Linton, our neighbors, consultants, and inspiration, whose work anything we do is built upon. Our facility is built solidly, and features knotty pine wood from our local forests.
4) What do you enjoy the most about running this business?
We love getting to meet, and learn from kind and interesting people from all walks of life.
5) What advice do you have for others who may be interested in operating a lodging business?
Think, pray, work hard, and move if forward every day. Listen to, and learn from your guests. You may not have all the answers, and you will have to learn as you go; however, what you do have control over is your attitude, and how you treat and respond to guests. Always be kind, respectful and fair, and greet people warmly. It is also important to take care of yourself so you stay healthy and have positive energy for your guests.