Boutique hostel opening in Minturn
About The Bunkhouse
Location: 175 Williams St., Minturn.
Beds: 38 — One 30-bunk community room and two four-bunk semi-private rooms.
Cost: $39-$69, depending on supply and demand.
Included: Complimentary breakfast, valet parking, free shuttle to Vail and Beaver Creek resorts, Wi-Fi and more.
More information: Visit www.vailbunkhouse.com.
MINTURN — The idea has been tossed around for years, but a local couple have finally brought it to fruition.
Ryan Richards and his wife, Nancy, have taken the idea of a hostel and made it a reality with The Bunkhouse in Minturn, where tourists and visitors can stay for as little as $39 per night.
“We picked Minturn because we wanted an authentic feel,” said Richards, who has been a personal trainer in the valley for 13 years. “We wanted to be a part of a community that our target demographic could relate to.”
The Bunkhouse is geared toward single or double travelers in theirs 20s or 30s who are young professionals or college students in the millennial generation, Richards said.
The hostel is for people who want to experience everything the Vail Valley has to offer without spending a pretty penny for lodging.
“We really want to offer something for the valley this is inclusive for people who want to travel to our awesome mountain community who just can’t,” Richards said.
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ABOUT THE BUNKHOUSE
The 3,600-square-foot hostel has 38 beds — one 30-bunk community room and two four-bunk semi-private rooms, which can be rented out together.
Cost will vary between $39 and $69 per night, depending on supply and demand.
“Isn’t that just awesome?” Richards asked.
Included in the nightly fee is a complimentary breakfast, valet parking, shuttle service to Vail and Beaver Creek resorts, Wi-Fi, linens and Loaded Joe’s coffee.
The bunks are secluded with locked storage, USB ports, lights and air conditioning during the summer.
There are also two bathrooms, male and female, with showers and toilets, as well as six trough sinks.
“We’re a unique hospitality solution for people who spend money on cool adventures, not expensive hotels,” Richards said.
Some Minturn residents have expressed excitement for the new business in town in a spot that has seen multiple businesses come and go over the years.
“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been amazing to just have a vision in your mind and to make it tangible,” Nancy Richards said. “Everybody’s response has been really positive, and it’s definitely a niche that needs to be filled.”
Richards said the idea came about after talking with friends and discussing what the community needs.
Things really started moving when he went on a skiing trip to Jackson Hole with a friend.
“We just noticed the changing demographic,” Richards said. “I said, ‘Where are these people staying? What do they really value when they travel?’”
Driving home from the trip, Richards and his friend had a long conversation talking about everything from Interstate 70 issues to the Front Range growing hastily.
“He said, ‘There’s got to be something that can be done. Ryan, I think the valley needs a hostel,’” Richards said.
After finding a silent partner to help fund The Bunkhouse, Richards and his wife got the wheels in motion.
“That’s it. That’s how the idea came to concept,” Richards said.
Greg Gastineau lives in Minturn and used to have an office in the building where The Bunkhouse currently is.
“I think the concept is a good one. It’s a good fit for the valley,” Gastineau said. “It can’t hurt. Any new business that comes to town is awesome.”
The Bunkhouse provides employee housing for four workers, who commit to one 24-hour shift per week in exchange for free housing. They will be the eyes and ears of the institution.
“One of the reasons we started this, too, was because we were kind of tired of individuals not being able to get ahead out here,” Richards said. “They get to live here, and it gives them an opportunity.
Richards stressed the importance of adding to the unique charm of Minturn and brining more economic value to the town.
The town provides “a unique experience that really Avon, Edwards and Vail can’t provide.
Snowboarders and skiers can spend a day at Vail and then take the Minturn Mile back to The Bunkhouse, which costs less than $70 for the night. They can wake up to a complimentary breakfast, take the free shuttle and do it all over again.
That’s something that hasn’t been an option in the valley, until The Bunkhouse came to Minturn.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.