Iconic Hayden windmill goes on market

A windmill makes the property at 745 E. Jefferson Ave. in Hayden unique. It recently went on the market for $613,000. (Courtesy photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — An iconic property that recently hit the market in Hayden has had several uses over the past decades, as a restaurant, a coffee shop and most recently a home for Devin and Felicia Cook. But what sits atop its roof perhaps makes it most unique.

“It easily could be the only windmill in Northwest Colorado,” said Doug Labor, general manager and broker at Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty in downtown Steamboat Springs, who is the listing agent for the property at 745 E. Jefferson Ave. “Own Hayden’s most famous landmark.”

Located at the eastern entrance into Hayden along U.S. Highway 40, the windmill was first built in the 1970s when it opened as the Dutch Mill Restaurant and Drive-Inn. In 1979, it was transformed into Speedy and Marie’s Mexican Food. It became home to candy shop Timberline Candy Bouquet then GG’s Coffee Shop in the 2000s.

The Cooks, hailing from just across the Colorado border in Vernal, Utah, purchased the property in January 2018. At that time it was vacant, with various small businesses having popped up inside over the years. But instead of creating a business, the Cooks envisioned the windmill as their family home — the first time the property would be converted into living space.

Devin Cook, a general contractor, had found work in Steamboat so the family purchased the home as a secondary residence while keeping their home in Utah.

“We kind of always find places like that, that people don’t know what to do with it,” said Felicia Cook, 32.

While Devin Cook, 35, maintained his job in Steamboat, the family worked together to renovate the Hayden space. That entailed completely gutting the interior; stripping it down to its studs; and redoing the plumbing, electrical, insulation and drywall.

“It’s been fun to have something that nobody else has,” Felicia Cook said. “When we tell people where we’re at, they all know it.”

Devin Cook stands atop the windmill structure after buying the property in 2018. (Courtesy photo)

From the time the windmill was built the second level was used primarily for storage. But the Cooks turned the space into a second bedroom. Above that is an attic followed by the towering windmill structure. It hasn’t been operational for years and only requires a new motor to be able to spin once again. Though it’s still not functioning, Devin Cook rebuilt the mill’s blades last year.

The property and its 0.21-acre lot, along with an adjoining 0.29-acre vacant lot that can also be sold separately, has been listed for $613,000.

“Because it’s zoned commercial, it’s up to the imagination of the new owner as to what it could be,” Labor said.

Labor said it would make a great buy for somebody wanting to open a flower shop. Going off the property’s Dutch theme, a florist could open their retail space in the windmill and grow next door on the vacant lot.

“Or, even a mixed-use, live/work situation where they can live in the windmill and have their operation on the lot next door,” he said.

The fully renovated open living, dining room and kitchen in the windmill property. (Courtesy photo)

The two-story home has two bedrooms and one bathroom with an open-floor concept living room, dining room and kitchen.

It’s easy to maintain as a turnkey home, but the Cooks remodeled the building so it’s easy to transition back into either a live and work space or a commercial space.

Get a steak sandwich and a milkshake for $1.35, according to an original menu from the Dutch Mill Restaurant and Drive Inn in Hayden. The restaurant was the first business in the iconic windmill building when it was constructed in the 1970s. (Courtesy photo)

“It would be good for commercial marketing,” Felicia Cook noted.

While the remodel worked well, when they first purchased the windmill the Cooks weren’t entirely sure what to do with the large tower that has since become one of the few sizable landmarks in Hayden.

“Do we take the top off? Do we preserve it?” Felicia Cook recalled wondering.

The Cook family poses outside their new windmill home in Hayden after purchasing it in January 2018. (Courtesy photo)

The family purchased it from Iowa-based Chieftan Corp., which owns Kum & Go gas stations and convenience stores, which wanted to raze the structure. That ultimately wasn’t allowed so the property was put back on the market.

“When we first bought it people would stop and ask what we were doing with it,” Felicia Cook said. “People were excited that we weren’t tearing it down.”

The only reason the family is now selling is because work is taking them back to Utah full time.

“We still love and want to stay in Hayden and the Steamboat area, but we’re just kind of looking for the next adventure,” she said. “Our children have loved it. They love being up in the tower and all the memories we’ve made fixing it up and staying there.”

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