New owners share their vision for historic KP Building

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 3:55 PM MDT
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MONTROSE, Colo. (KKCO) - Since a devastating fire in 2012 the historic KP building in Montrose has sat vacant and now, after a change of ownership the building is getting new life breathed into it.

Co owners, Clay Bales and Jason Raibles purchased the building on 33 S Cascade Ave in downtown Montrose earlier this summer. The two are now sharing their vision for the property as they transform it to a place the community can enjoy.

“We want to be an integral part of the community,” said co owner, Clay Bales. “I want them to see that Montrose is a world class destination.”

Bales said he’s spent much of his professional career in the hospitality sector and had been looking for lodging opportunities in Montrose, when the KP Building went on the market.

“There were really no other opportunities in the market for more lodging,” said Bales “So as soon as I saw this building come available, I knew that I thought there should be a hotel, right downtown here on Main Street.

After the fire in 2012, the previous owner, Albert Stovall did what restoration work he could such as structural and fire remediation work to help keep the building in the best shape he could. But according to Bales, Stovall wasn’t quite sure what purpose the building itself should serve going forward.

“He explored multiple uses, but ultimately, he never settled on something that he found, you know to be the the right use,” said Bales. “He thought a hotel would be a good use, you know, as we did to so.”

Bales and his partner, Jason Raible want to transform the KP Building into the Rathbone Hotel. Named after Justus Rathbone, who in 1864 founded the Knights of Pythias.

“The building was built originally by a fraternal organization called the Knights of Pythias, who came down to this location and built this great old brick structure here for their purposes,” said co owner, Clay Raibles. “We’ve got a great design, I think that really will show off the great windows that are in this building, and really kind of be able to sort of capture its historic essence while providing a really fun and clean and, you know, modern atmosphere.”

The building itself was built in 1909. Over the years, it housed a variety of businesses, such as Hupp Furniture, Mash Appliances and even Safeway. People were living in upstairs apartments right up until the fire in 2012.

Now going forward with renovation, Bales and Raibles said 18 new hotel rooms will be available, 10 of them with 26-foot vaulted ceilings.

“I think that the rooms are going to be kind of dark and moody a little bit,” said Bales. “But it’s going to be very modern at the end of the day.”

On the main floor, Bales said there will be a coffee shop and a bar open for the community to enjoy. Outside there will be places for food trucks. With the hotel’s proximity to historic downtown Montrose the owners hope more foot traffic will come through.

“I think it’s a building that’s ready to go into the future,” said Raibles. “I’m glad it’s a building that, again, will help the neighboring businesses and restaurants and things of that nature, all the great people who are down here running those businesses.”

Montrose City couldn’t be more excited about the project and jumped on board on day one.

“I mean, we were ecstatic, I mean, we’re really happy, because we need that for downtown, we want to see that foot traffic and we want to see the right project,” said Anthony Russo, with business development with Montrose City. “Especially in a building like this, you’re talking about 113-year-old building, that the bones of this building tell the story of Montrose.”

At this point, no word on exactly how much the project is slated to cost. The Rathbone Hotel was able to get a Community Development Block Grant through Region 10 in Montrose and Region 9 in Durango. Funding comes from the Colorado Economic Development and International Trade.

Construction for the project is expected to begin sometime in November, and wrap up a little over a year later.

“We want to take it into its next 100 years,” said Bales.

“I think it’s a it’s a story of 113-year-old girl who wants to be pretty again,” said Raibles.

To see previous articles about the KP Building, click here.

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