Sky Vue slated for demolition
FRISCO – Nestled among trees and private houses, at the corner of Teller Street and Second Avenue in Frisco, the Sky Vue Motel elicits memories of another era. The low, u-shaped building, with its retro sign and room-side parking, looks somehow out of place in shiny, redeveloping Frisco.All that will change soon, though, when the wrecking ball arrives. The motel is slated for demolition within the next few weeks, and the one-acre site is the future home of “Frisco Legends” – a high-end six-duplex development.Built in 1966, the structure still maintains much of the character of 1960s tourist motels. Its 26 guest rooms, all on ground level, each open to the parking lot, in the center of which sits an indoor swimming pool. The interiors of the rooms are generic motel design. Some things, such as carpet, microwaves and televisions, have been updated over the years, but the basic plan is definitely pre-Comfort Suites.The need for renovation is one reason owners Anna and Andy Toczek have decided to tear the building down. Because the motel is in what is now zoned a residential area, its commercial features have been grandfathered in by the town. In order to stay competitive in today’s market, the building would require a major overhaul, and that could cause problems with zoning permits, Anna said recently.”We’re not going to blame it totally on zoning, but that’s a part of our decision,” she said.
According to the Toczeks, several other factors contributed to their resolution to shut down the business. Although the motel trade has picked up considerably in the past several years, there were some lean times, and the work was endless.”In this kind of business, you never kick off your shoes at night,” Anna said.Owners since 1996, the couple has lived at the motel for most of a decade.”We had live-in managers for a while, but it didn’t work out,” Andy said. Staff-wise, the Toczeks employed two housekeepers and an occasional part-time desk clerk, but, for the most part, it was a family affair. Andy did most of the general maintenance, including small renovation projects, and Anna managed the office. Neither had any motel experience when they bought the Sky Vue. Childhood immigrants from southern Poland, the couple met in Chicago, where they married and had two daughters, Teresa and Alina. Up until their move to Colorado, Andy ran a repair business in the city. In 1995, Anna’s cousin Harriet bought a small motel in Granby and the couple traveled out to visit. The cousin suggested they think about buying a motel in the mountains and her real estate agent brought them to Frisco to look at the Sky Vue.
“When we came here, we fell in love with the place,” Andy said. They made an offer on the day they saw it and never looked back.Andy hails originally from a Polish ski resort area, so Summit County was a natural fit for him. Anna said she tried to ski only once, and decided it wasn’t for her.Running a motel was challenging at first for the inexperienced couple. They faced all the problems common for innkeepers – non-paying guests, stolen property and slow seasons. Overall, though, both claim the business has been both fun and satisfying.”I’ve kind of got used to the place. I’m sure we’re going to miss it,” Andy said.About two years ago, they got the idea for a residential development. Once the plans were approved by the town, they started closing down rooms and selling off furnishings. The last guest will leave right after Memorial Day.
The couple hopes to break ground on the new project some time in June. The new duplexes will range in size from 2,000 to 2,400 square feet and start at around $800,000.Although she’s optimistic about the change, Anna confessed to some mixed emotions.”There are days I’m already teary-eyed,” she said. Despite the sadness, the Toczeks emphasized their gratitude to those who supported their business.”We want to thank all our guests, the kids who learned to swim in the pool, the town of Frisco, and the entire community,” Andy said.Harriet Hamilton can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at email@example.com
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