The Claremont Inn: Relax. Refresh. Reconnect

Recently Kevin Price (Editor in Chief of US Daily Review and host of the Price of Business show) and his wife, Gigi, went to Colorado to just get away from it all.  One of the highlights was their visit was to the Claremont Inn in Stratton, Colorado.  It is co-owned by partners Dave Dishner and Harry Jones.  Kevin Price found the Inn online while doing research of places he wanted to check out.  He didn’t really care where it was, but was immediately taken by the images.  When they left Denver to go there, they had a bit of a rude awakening.  “It was quite a ride, which surprised me.  It is funny, because I live in Texas and am used to long rides in order to get anywhere” he said.  When he got there he was further surprised by the location.  “It is in the middle of nowhere. In fact, a may be a suburb of that!” Price  said.
However, once he got there, he soon realized that was the entire point of the Inn.  Three words — the motto of the Inn — are “Relax. Refresh. Reconnect.”  “That is the whole point of the Inn,” Price said, “and its location is perfect for making those three important things to happen.”  There are few distractions, people who come to the Inn intend to stay here, and why would anyone want to leave?  Kevin’s wife, Gigi, said “the food is unbelievable.  It is like it was prepared by a professionally trained chef!”  They have that.  You can tell.  The rooms are beautiful and you are encouraged to make yourself at home.  The staff and the owners encourage it.  In no time one feels like they are with friends or even family.  It is an amazing experience.  The quintessential “destination  location.”
While at the Inn, Kevin interviewed Dave Dishner and got some feedback about the Inn.  Here is their  story.
To learn more about the Inn, we encourage you to call them at 719.348.5125, email at info@claremontinn.com, or check out the site at  www.claremontinn.com.
 
Please tell me the history of the Claremont and how you chose Stratton, Colorado as its home?Stratton is my hometown and so when people ask “why did you build it here?” I always tell them “I was from here so I didn’t know any better”. But seriously my grandfather moved to Stratton and opened a grocery store in 1920 and later my father took over the store – so we grew up working in the store and keeping tabs on the comings and goings of Main Street – Stratton. After college I had opened some other businesses in the area and in 1988 I returned to Stratton and purchased a hotel and restaurant. After total rehab we open that business as a Best Western hotel in 1989. We learned of lot about the I-70 travelers and what they liked and what they would to see different. That was the beginning of the dream to build the Claremont  Inn.

You mentioned that the Claremont was originally a wonderful place for people to stay when traveling to and from Colorado.  It is also a wonderful get away.  The addition of the winery also changed the way the Inn is seen and even used.  Tell me about the many ways people enjoy the  Claremont.


Yes, the original guests at the Claremont Inn were folks traveling to and from Colorado, many from Kansas and Missouri. As the business grew we added murder mysteries, cooking classes and special dining options to start developing a destination business. In 2012 we added a winery to the  operation and special events. With our friends and family packages we have become a true destination  getaway!

Dave, one of the things I could not help notice is the incredible quality of the meals you create for your guests.  I have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the country and I would put your meals in that category — including a filet mignon you cut cut with a spoon. Do you have formal culinary training? If so, tell me more about it?

Growing up in the grocery business and then moving into the restaurant business I always had a passion for food and customer service. So after having a couple of family-style restaurants as well as quick service restaurants I started studying professional cooking. I took some classes in New York City for several summers and then shortly after completing the building of the inn I went to professional cooking school here in Colorado and finished with a course in the south of France.

 

Talk about how the addition of the winery has changed the inn?  How many labels does the winery now have and how do the Inn and Winery complement each other?


The winery has been an incredible addition to the Claremont Inn. It attracts a much broader audience than we did as just a country inn. We have a lot more younger guests that are attracted by the wine and then stay because of the experience we have to offer. Now in addition to Cooking Weekends and Murder Mystery Weekends we have an Escape Room game, Paint and Taste classes and private nine course dinners with the chef and winemaker in the   winery.

We are releasing new wines all the time and to date have released over 60 different wines. This is a great pairing to the country inn business because there is always something new… a great reason come and visit again and again…

Tell me what you see as the future of the Claremont Inn and Winery?


We are always looking for new and interesting things to offer at the inn to keep that business interesting and alive. The real growth for our company right now is expanding distribution of our wines. We will be opening several satellite tasting rooms across the front range of Colorado. Our brand is pretty well known but this is a great way to introduce our wines to a whole new audience and in reverse then introduce the Claremont Inn to them as well. We have our first tasting room open in Greeley, Colorado and are currently working on our second to open in Littleton, Colorado by the end of the year. We are also starting to wholesale our wines to liquor stores in  Colorado.


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All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.
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