Looking back through our Facebook memories, I found pictures of some of our local deer enjoying a snack in the planter housing the Box Canyon Lodge sign. Initially amused at how cute they were and how much snow we had already gotten that year, I could not help but to reflect on all the changes we have made since I posted that picture.
For instance, a couple of years ago, we replaced the sign itself. Having stood for decades welcoming guests to our parking lot, the letters had begun to tilt, and the light had begun to dim. The new sign doesn’t look so different to most, unless you look closely, which was ultimately the goal. Every year, little upgrades and changes are made to the property. Most are like the sign. Necessary upgrades that often go unnoticed.
Prior to the shut down in March, we had already received a grant for the installation of solar panels. The decision to continue was simple, as the job had already been started. This summer, our energy consumption was significantly reduced through solar power.
Every year, the mustard yellow and emergency orange exterior was touched up and maintained. Last March, at the onset of the pandemic, we decided to make a bold move.
The prospect of being closed to guests for the first time in over 30 years was beyond frightening. Combined with the uncertainty of when and if we would be able to reopen was the concern for our team. Therefore, the decision was made to make some changes that could not be done if we were open. When discussing the annual touch ups to our orange doors and railings, we realized it was the time to put the orange paint away.
Samples of a variety of colors were tried before finally settling on the final product. With a sense of excitement, we began the process of preparing the buildings for a giant make-over. Social distancing was easy, as everyone worked on different projects around the property.
As things began to calm down, and a date for reopening was set, we realized that we might have bitten off more than we could chew. Housekeepers and front desk agents returned to the privilege of welcoming guests back to Ouray – leaving less people to complete the monumental task of painting a hotel. Every time we finished a section of the property, another wall appeared as if from nowhere, mocking us with mustard yellow.
And yet we persevered. Gradually, there was less yellow, and orange ceased to haunt our dreams.
Today, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs looks a lot different than it did five years ago. Every member of our team can proudly say “We did that!”.