Salt Creek transforms |

Salt Creek transforms

summit daily news
Special to the Daily/Carl ScofieldLocal metal sculpture artist Todd Buckendahl applies the finishing touches to the major remodel which was designed by architect Greg Howes of R-3 Design Architecture from Broomfield for the Salt Creek Saloon in Breck.

BRECKENRIDGE – Move over, Faith Hill. Fifty Cent is takin’ over.

Patrons of the Salt Creek Saloon in Breckenridge will see a major change when the doors to the former country-western bar open to the public for the first time since Sept. 23, 2003. The bar reopens at 3 p.m. today, November 12, 2003.

“Country western isn’t that big anymore,” said Don Manley, who owns the restaurant and bar with his wife, Maggie. “They’re an older crowd now. They’re just not going out like they used to. And they come to dance and they drink water. Things change; they go in cycles. Country’s out and hip-hop’s in. We’ve got to go where the business is.”

Workers first removed all the animal heads from the walls – although the pronghorn and a buffalo will remain to remind people of the old bar. They ripped up the wooden floors, removed the half-wall railings and replaced the simple tabletops and chairs that lined the dance floor.

New carpet goes from muted shades of purple to green and gold with a muted diamond pattern.

Pendant lighting gives the room a more contemporary look. Love seats have been placed in the southwest corner of the building, and a zig-zag wall with banquet tables, like booths, line the west wall.

The walls have been repainted in subtle shades of purple, red, green and gold.

And a 30-square-foot, four-panel, canvas graphic art wall will feature computer generated scenes depicting Summit County’s seasons and activities.

Tile has replaced the wood floor in the bar, and the wooden dance floor is now a larger free-form – almost butterfly-shaped – floor that has been stained a muted blue-green.

The DJ booth is larger, as is the band platform, which features a metal railing around it.

Metal sculptor Todd Buckendahl fashioned a 25-foot-long mural featuring a burned metal sunset over swirled stainless steel depicting Peaks 7, 8, 9 and 10.

He also created swirled stainless steel panels for the front of the bar, replaced the old wooden support columns with burned copper columns and installed recessed lighting within.

Other features will include a new Foosball table, a stainless steel bar top, new wood and metal bar stools and newly re-covered pool tables.

“It’s more like an urban, big-city nightclub,” Manley said. “It’s completely different.”

Manley – who thinks he’ll cringe when he hears the first hip-hop outfit hit the stage – plans to continue offering country music on Saturday nights, but the rest of the week will feature music genres more suited to the younger crowd. Those will most likely include

rock’ n “roll music and possibly even jazz.

The restaurant downstairs will remain the same until May, at which point, the Manleys plan to give it a mountain lodge theme instead of the cowboy look it has today.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or

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