Steamboat’s Holiday Inn sells; owners close Rex’s after 16-year run
The Holiday Inn in Steamboat Springs has sold, confirmed by owner Scott Marr on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and Rex’s American Grill & Bar will be closing its doors along with the sale.
“I have major mixed feelings,” Marr said of the deal, which is expected to close in early January. “You know it’s been a great ride.”
Marr purchased the property in 2001 as an 82-room hotel and, at the time, Village Inn Restaurant as a tenant. In 2006, Rex’s Grill was created by Rex Brice and Marr, offering diverse American cuisine, friendly staff and bartenders, and the large back patio and lawn with views of the ski mountain. In 2010, Marr added an additional 35 rooms and suites to the property, bringing the room count to 117.
Marr said he received an unsolicited purchase offer from an undisclosed buyer, and the pending sale will occur on Jan. 3. The property will remain a Holiday Inn and the restaurant will remain open under Rex’s management until it changes hands and reopens under a new name once the sale is complete.
“While Rex’s might be the name on the door, the restaurant just isn’t Rex’s without Scott,” said Brice, the owner and CEO of Rex’s Family of Restaurants. “From the beginning, we both knew that it was our friendship and partnership that made it work so well. We are great friends, and few people are lucky enough to have partnerships as good as ours. I am so happy for Scott, and I wish the new owners well as they reenvision what they’ll do with the space.”
Rumors that the hotel at 3190 S. Lincoln Ave. had sold have been circulating in recent weeks, and while Marr confirmed the sale, he also said he wanted to let people know that the property will continue to operate as a Holiday Inn.
“It’s a very, very successful operation,” Marr said. “Nobody’s going close it down and turn it into employee housing.”
Marr said the hotel was built in 1974 on just under five acres and offers a seasonal outdoor pool, a year-round indoor pool and a fitness center, as well as a business center and plenty of parking. In the 16 years since it opened, Rex’s American Bar & Grill has found a devoted following in Steamboat Springs.
Things will remain unchanged at first, and Brice said guests can expect familiar menu items to be offered through the winter season.
Brice said he has no plans to reopen the restaurant in a different location and Rex’s Family of Restaurants will focus on its other concepts while taking new growth opportunities as they come. Current concepts include Mazzola’s Italian Restaurant, The Laundry Kitchen and Cocktails, Creekside Café, Salt and Lime, Big House Burgers and Lil House Country Biscuits.
“While it is sad to see Rex’s Grill close, we are forever grateful to Scott, our loyal guests, and all the amazing staff that have worked here over the years,” Brice said. “Thank you to everyone. I could write a book with all the memories. … It’s been an awesome ride.”
Marr said the sale will allow him to slow down a bit, but he said that plans remain in place for the upscale, 55-room hotel that will be built on property he owns but currently leases to the city for parking, located at the northwest corner of 10th and Yampa streets.
This March will mark two years since he received approval from the city, and he has until 2024 to pull the permits for the project.
“I’m gonna be 68 next Saturday,” Marr said. “I trying to wind some things down so I can enjoy the next 20 years of my life.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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