Hospitality & Tourism  April 25, 2024

Mexican-themed eatery open at new outdoor-themed Estes hotel

ESTES PARK — A new adventure-themed hotel in Estes Park has added a restaurant offering Mexican-American flavors and a tequila and mezcal bar program.

Casa Colina — Spanish for “house on a hill,” a nod to the natural landscape on which the restaurant is built — was launched March 14 at Trailborn Rocky Mountains, a 40-unit hotel at 130 Stanley Ave. that opened in December after its owners renovated the Twin Owls Motor Lodge with help from Los Angeles-based architecture firm Electric Bowery.

They also have purchased and are renovating the Estes Village Inn, 1040 Big Thompson Ave. (east U.S. Highway 34) and will open it in May as the 46-unit Rocky Mountain Outpost.

Casa Colina has floor-to-ceiling windows that frame picturesque views, natural stone flooring, a vaulted ceiling with exposed wood beams, pendant lighting and an outdoor patio. Seating for 100 is available throughout the dining room and patio, which spills out onto the surrounding grounds.

Its dinner menu includes a variety of tacos, chips and guacamole, margaritas, South American wines and a selection of both Mexican and local beer. A breakfast menu includes breakfast tacos, homemade granola, Huckleberry Roasters coffee. House-made, picnic-style lunch options such as sandwiches and salads are also available to those looking to grab a bite before heading out on the trail.

The restaurant initially will offer breakfast daily, followed by dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays, said Andrew Sherman, its director of food and beverage. “We’ll have live music starting next Thursday,” he told BizWest, “and we’ll start doing brunch after May.”

Casa Colina will host a “Cuatro de Mayo” event on May 4 with live music on the back patio from 5 to 7 p.m., as well as an all-day happy hour on May 4 and May 5 with $2 off draft beers and margaritas.

Each of the hotels will include a pool and outdoor areas including expansive porches, firepits and communal game areas.

In line with Trailborn’s “Keep Extraordinary” initiative, a portion of proceeds from each booking is being donated to the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, formerly the Rocky Mountain Nature Association. That nonprofit group publishes maps, guides and other publications related to Rocky Mountain National Park, and raises money for trail maintenance and interpretive signs and programs in the park.

“The overall goal is that we aim to be a place that’s like visiting a friend that helps you find your way around the area,” Sherman said of Trailborn’s Estes Park venture. “We want to be a helpful friend more than just a shower and a bed. It’s a super cool venue, and I can’t wait for more people to experience it — locals as well as visitors.

Sherman said he hopes the inns will be bustling during the summer season, but added that “we’re going to live and die by people supporting us in the offseason.”

The Trailborn brand was developed by Mike Weiss and Ben Weinberg, friends and entrepreneurs who wanted to develop accommodations near national parks, beach and mountain towns, and other natural wonders that featured thoughtful designs and, in many cases, could disrupt a travel market dominated by large corporate brands.

The Estes Park properties are their first Trailborn accommodations, with hotels to follow in

Highlands and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, as well as Mendocino, California, and near the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

The Highlands property, located on a plateau in the Blue Ridge Mountains within Nantahala National Forest, will be next to open in July; its 63 guest rooms will be surrounded by 4.5 acres of woods.

Castle Peak Holdings is the investment and development company created in 2020 by Weinberg and Weiss to launch the Trailborn hospitality brand.

Mexican themed restaurant takes shape on a hill in Estes Park.

Dallas Heltzell
With BizWest since 2012 and in Colorado since 1979, Dallas worked at the Longmont Times-Call, Colorado Springs Gazette, Denver Post and Public News Service. A Missouri native and Mizzou School of Journalism grad, Dallas started as a sports writer and outdoor columnist at the St. Charles (Mo.) Banner-News, then went to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before fleeing the heat and humidity for the Rockies. He especially loves covering our mountain communities.
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