Hotel Frisco: Celebrating a decade of ownership

Janice Kurbjun
Summit Daily News
Special to the Daily The lounge at the Hotel Frisco.

Walking down Main Street in Frisco, the Hotel Frisco jumps out as a place visitors would want to stay.

The combination of its prime location on Main Street and its quaint allure has caused it to be voted among the “Best Lodging” in Summit County in eight of the last 10 years of the Summit Daily News’ Best of Summit County readers’ poll. It was recently awarded Trip Advisor’s 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award.

June marks a decade of Mark and Mary Waldman’s ownership of the historic property, which was built in the 1880s. When the Waldmans bought it, it was a struggling, faded version of itself.

“We wanted to make a change,” Mark Waldman said. “We were corporate, high-tech and we had an opportunity to purchase the hotel and change the direction of our life. We wanted a new challenge in a new location, and I think the hotel fit all those things.”

Mary Waldman added that they were looking for a ski resort community, and they’d vacationed here before. They knew little about hospitality, but knew even less about retail and restaurants, so it seemed like a logical fit for the engineers by trade.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, they’re offering visitors one night of a visitor’s stay at 2002 rates, which Mary Waldman said has been widely successful. The promotion lasts all month, and is a chance to showcase the hotel’s newly renovated common areas, guest rooms and suites that now have new carpet and room upgrades with new closets, sinks and countertops.

A lounge bar and art studio has also been added to the portion of the hotel that faces Main Street. It’s a place where guests can mingle with locals and enjoy a beverage. It’s also a chance to look at local watercolor artist Sue Cable’s work.

The latest enhancement isn’t the first time the Waldmans have invested in their property, though.

They bought it out of bankruptcy, with two reservations on the books going into summer. One canceled. They started from scratch, so the opportunities were plentiful for improvements.

Throughout the last decade, general manager Sarah Chevalier has spearheaded numerous upgrades, such as new carpeting and room enhancements, including the addition of modern amenities like granite counters, blackout curtains and refreshed decor.

“The hotel has been a reflection of our hard efforts and of the success of the town, which was grown a lot in the last 10 years,” Mary Waldman said.

Chevalier said the hotel’s climb to the top is evidence of filling a niche in a mega-resort community.

“We believe the Hotel Frisco provides real value to the community, as well as a great place for visitors to stay,” said Chevalier. “We’re here for the long haul, and we’ve proven so by modernizing the hotel while staying true to our historic roots.”

The Waldmans not only invested in bringing the hotel up to luxury standards. They have created job opportunities in the community through the creation of Summit Mountain Rentals, which was an experiment at first, but turned into a local property management firm offering more than 150 lodging choices in Breckenridge and Frisco, and employs 18 full-time staff members.

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