From retiree to hotelier: Former developer revamps Naturita hotel

Rimrock HotelPhil Castle, The Business Times

Reed Mitchell didn’t care much for retirement. So the former real estate broker and developer decided instead to invest his time and money into renovating a hotel.

Nearly three months and more than $1 million later, Mitchell and his wife, Michelle, have reopened the Rimrock Hotel in Naturita, a small town about 100 miles south of Grand Junction.

With 46 rooms, an indoor pool and meeting and banquet spaces, the hotel caters to both a local clientele and visitors, Reed Mitchell said.

“It’s just gorgeous,” Mitchell said of the remodeled facilities.

Located at 123 E. Main St., the hotel actually consists of five buildings offering different types of accommodations. Eight hostel-style rooms, for example, come with sinks, and guests share two bathrooms. Four cabins offer spaces for extended stays.

Rooms come equipped with flat-screen televisions, small refrigerators and microwave ovens.

The Rimrock Hotel also offers an indoor swimming pool, meeting rooms and a banquet room that can seat 100, Mitchell said. He expects to soon open a deli in the hotel lobby to serve meals.

Mitchell said the hotel was in foreclosure when he bought it, closing on the transactions in late July. After almost three months of renovations, the Mitchells reopened the hotel in late October.

The hotel accommodates guests who are working in the area, but also travelers who come to the west end of Montrose County to enjoy the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic Byway from Whitewater to Placerville. The route from Gateway to Naturita is particularly scenic, Mitchell said.

Naturita also is located near fishing, hunting and the historic hanging flume in the Dolores River Canyon, he said.

Mitchell also hopes to market the Rimrock Hotel as a short of adventure base for company retreats.

The opening of a proposed uranium processing mill west of Naturita could bring more people and business to the area as well, Mitchell said.

Purchasing and renovating the Rimrock Hotel wasn’t a stretch for Mitchell, who was involved in the development of a 120-room hotel on the Front Range of Colorado in the late 1980s.

When he lived and worked in Grand Junction, Mitchell proposed the development of a civic arena that would offer a venue for concerts and minor league sports.

Mitchell said he had intended to retire on his ranch, but quickly changed his mind. “Retirement didn’t work for me.”

For more information about the Rimrock Hotel in Naturita, call (844) 865-2500 or visit the Web site at www.therimrockhotel.com.