What’s the best new business in Summit County? Readers chose The Pad, a hybrid hotel and hostel.

The back of The Pad is pictured on the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. The Pad won Best New Business for Best of Summit 2022.
David Lauer/Courtesy photo

Co-owners Lynne and Rob Baer began dreaming of a business like The Pad — a hybrid hotel and hostel — eight years ago. 

The Pad officially opened its doors to the community in 2021. Along with its affordable rates and welcoming bar, The Pad has made a concerted effort to draw both tourists and locals. 

“We wanted our business to be a part of the community just as much as it was for travelers,” Rob Baer said. The heart of that connection is his wife, he said, but both owners exert time and energy to nonprofits and to organize events that benefit the community. 

Lynn Baer is a member of the Rotary Club of Summit County, and Rob Baer is on the board of the Blue River Watershed Group. At The Pad, nonprofit events, fundraisers and yoga happen alongside nights of trivia and live music. 

In addition to their community connections, the Baers wanted to create lodging space that was accessible to all walks of life. 

“We really had a dream that we wanted to bring affordable lodging to Summit County.” Rob Baer said. “It’s safe, clean and newly built, but also it doesn’t matter if you’re staying in a $40 or $50 dorm or a $300-a-night private room — you get the same amenities.”

Being named Best New Business for Best of Summit is also thanks to the A-Bar, a social space that greets guests as soon as they walk through the doors. Rob Baer’s favorite story about the bar involves two guests connecting. Last winter, he said an out-of-state visitor sat at the bar, upset he had booked three weeks in Summit County with little snow to ski on. 

However, further down the bar, a local who enjoyed mountain biking overheard. The local invited the visitor to go mountain biking, and the two spent the next three days together exploring the bike trails of Summit County. 

“It doesn’t matter who you are. You never know who you’re going to sit next to, whether it’s a local, a traveler, a ski bum or a millionaire,” Rob Baer said. “Everyone comes to our bar, and it kind of breaks down all those barriers. Everyone feels comfortable here.”

The Pad also won the Best Place to Work: Fewer Than 20 Employees, Best Pet-Friendly Lodging and Best Lodging/Hotel categories. It is a finalist in Best Wedding Venue and Best Bartender. It is located at 491 Rainbow Drive, Silverthorne.

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This story previously published in the Best of Summit guide. See complete results at

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