Wolcott Yacht Club to close for winter | VailDaily.com

Wolcott Yacht Club to close for winter

Sarah Mausolf
Wolcott, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyTexas resident Chris Atwell walks out of the Wolcott Yacht Club after eating there Tuesday in Wolcott.

WOLCOTT, Colorado ” An Eagle County landmark for the past 18 years, The Wolcott Yacht Club will close for the winter, and perhaps permanently.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m ready to spend more time with my family and my kids,” restaurant owner Jan Jouflas said.

Breaking from tradition, Jouflas will close the restaurant around Halloween for the remainder of the winter season.

Although the yacht club will continue to host private parties through April, Jouflas said she is unsure whether it will re-open for public service.

“After a long winter’s nap, we’ll figure out what’s next,” she said.

As Jouflas weighs her options, she has put the yacht club up for sale. Gateway Land and Development in Edwards plans to list the property this week at $2.7 million.

Although many shuttered businesses have been fingering the economy’s nosedive for their woes, Jouflas said the market has little to do with her decision to close the yacht club.

“It was more of a confirmation of the direction I was going in anyway,” the 48-year-old Wolcott resident said. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and the timing just seemed right.”

When he heard about the Yacht Club’s closing, a part-time Edwards resident sitting at the bar shook his head.

“It’s too bad,” 54-year-old Alex Preston said. “It’s kind of an icon place since I’ve been here the past 11 years. It’s got a lot of character.”

Preston liked to stop by the patio on Friday nights to watch bands play. He enjoyed spending time among an eclectic crowd that ranged from “hard-core biker types to the chairman of General Electric or something.”

The yacht club is the first point of civilization Rob Hamina encounters after spending the day floating on the Colorado River.

“A lot of river rats come here,” he said. “I come by here after being on the river ” that’s the best.”

Hamina said he will miss stopping by the yacht club, which reminds him of an “old stagecoach-line kinda place.”

Tom Roach, a part-time Edwards resident, said he often dropped by the yacht club for a lemonade when he was out riding his Harley Davidson.

“It’s got quite a history, and I’m really sorry to hear it’s going to close,” he said.

When Jouflas bought the property in 1991, it consisted of a post office, general store, hotel, liquor store, barbecue shack and gas pumps.

Seven renovations later, the yacht club is a restaurant with an outdoor bar and patio. The hotel now serves as a private home.

Whatever form the yacht club takes next, Jouflas said she has plenty of good memories from running the ever-changing business.

“I just feel so blessed and grateful to all the people that I’ve met and the amazing music that has been here, and the great parties that we’ve had,” she said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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