The Rio Grande Hotel in Creede, built in 1892, is one of the few remaining examples of a mining camp boarding house. After the discovery of silver in 1889, the population of the town of Creede grew to about 10,000 people. The Rio Grande Hotel was constructed to primarily serve the personnel of the narrow gauge D & RGW Railway, whose original depot is located across the street.
Around 1900, the building was converted to a single family residence and housed several generations of the prominent Motz and Wheeler families until the early 1970's when it was sold and remodeled back into a boarding house.
In 1983, the Creede Repertory Theatre purchased the building for use as a residential facility for its visiting artists and entered into a partnership with Mineral County to rehabilitate and restore the Rio Grande Hotel to its position of prominence in the town.
Although the building was badly deteriorated when the project commenced in early 2000 (top left), investigations by Architect Mark Jones (Del Norte, CO) indicated that much of the historic fabric remained and was salvageable. Working with the architect and with the general contractor, Van Gieson & Company (Alamosa, CO), Project Manager Kay Wyley was able to assure the careful restoration of most of the original materials and finishes on both the exterior and interior of the building. The $136,000 State Historical Fund grant award was the catalyst for a fund-raising campaign that was leveraged into over $1 million for the entire project.