The Victorian bed and breakfast boasts rich history

Teresa Ristow
The Victorian bed and breakfast is a source of conversation as skiers make their way up the mountain on the gondola at Steamboat Ski Area. The house, which was brought to Steamboat Springs from Kansas in five pieces, got a lot of attention when it arrived a few years ago. Last week, the owners opened their doors to the community to see what's inside.
John F. Russell

— Jim and Kathy Manolios had traveled to Steamboat annually from their home in Melbourne, Australia, for 20 years when they discovered The Victorian for sale.

The couple had been in the market for a bed and breakfast of their own but never expected to find a property with the level of character and charm the residence offered.

“We’d dreamt of owning and running a bed and breakfast,” said Kathy Manolios, who stayed at a Pine Street bed and breakfast for years until it closed. “This was bigger than our dream. We were so excited about it, we just had to have it.”

The couple hired two managers who run the business, which opened to the public in 2012.

It sits at 2405 Ski Trail Lane, directly under the Steamboat Ski Area gondola and a short walk from the base area.

The couple along with managers Michelle Kuntz and Jane Sindell hosted an open house Thursday to show the accommodations to the public.

The large Victorian house has a rich, storied history that dates back to 1880, when a judge in Kansas built the roughly 4,000-square-foot structure.

A popular story claims that when Judge Brinkerhoff and his wife divorced sometime in the 1880s, the house was physically divided 60-40, so each could have their rightful portion.

Manolios said while she originally thought the story was true, a woman who grew up in the home in Kansas visited The Victorian in Steamboat during the summer and explained that while the Brinkerhoffs did get divorced, the house was split by the following owners, and not as part of the couple’s divorce.

The house was purchased and split by the Blessing family, who moved one portion to another part of the property and used it as a rental. Ultimately, the smaller half of the building fell into disrepair and was demolished while the larger half landed in the hands of Larry Cole in 1991.

Cole divided the home into five parts and placed them in storage before transporting the home to Colorado via a semi with a 40-foot trailer he purchased himself for the move.

The house was reassembled on the lot it sits today and opened to the public for lodging in 1994.

Throughout the next two decades, the home has changed owners multiple times and undergone numerous renovations, including rebuilding the missing portion of the house that didn’t make it from Kansas.

Manolios said she’s enjoyed learning about the home’s interesting history.

“We keep learning new things,” she said.

Business at the bed and breakfast has been strong in the summer, but Manolios said winter hasn’t seen as many guests.

The home features a Victorian flair with modern amenities, including a basement theater room and a video game room.

“It has beautiful period features that are warm and inviting, but it’s modern,” Manolios said.

The space has been host to birthday and anniversary parties, and last summer a wedding and a wedding reception were held, Kuntz said.

“It’s relaxing, and the breakfast is to die for,” Kuntz said.

The luxury accommodations feature six rooms for rent, with prices ranging from $160 to $310 per room in the summer and fall to $240 to $375 in the winter and spring. Guests can upgrade with a romance package for an additional $80, and upon availability, the entire house can be rented.

Sindell said her favorite part of the three-story house is the staircase connecting the main level to the upper level. The carved, spiral staircase was salvaged from a Victorian house facing demolition in Hutchinson, Kansas, in the 1990s.

“I just love that staircase. The shape is so graceful. It’s beautiful,” said Sidell, who lives in a building adjacent to the house.

More information about the house and reservation information can be found at

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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