The Elk Run Inn has been sold to owners who plan to turn it into long-term rental housing. (Photo by Cuyler Meade)

The Elk Run Inn, a cultural staple in Craig for decades, has new owners, and they plan to change the inn’s direction. Now, instead of short-term lodging for visitors in Craig, the inn’s units will be used for long-term housing for those living in the area.

Darrin Fryer and Ryan Cox, both real estate agents in Steamboat Springs, bought the inn in August for a recorded $675,000 and said the facility would reopen within the next few weeks. The inn, located at 627 W. Victory Way, will now house 23 units that will be available for rent.

“We thought with the current housing crunch, it was an opportunity to offer really nice inclusive rentals to Craig,” Fryer said. “It’ll be an easy move-in opportunity (for tenants). They could just move in and have everything included (such as utilities and internet).”

Fryer, who also owns the Colorado Inn in Craig, said that because other infrastructure parts of the building were so well taken care of by past owners, there are not many improvements to be made besides fire and service updates.

A sign on the door to the office of the Elk Run Inn indicates that it will no longer operate as a hotel. (Photo by Cuyler Meade)

Currently, Fryer said they are working to get improvements on the building’s fire safety infrastructure improved before tenants move in, as well as improved access to high-speed internet for each unit.

“We’re going to make sure that this building is generally improved — washing machines and other services,” Fryer said. “(We will be) replacing the locks and using more modern keys, like apps. This day and age, we have some really cool features and ways to make sure you’re not locked out when it’s -10 degrees outside.”

Elk Run Inn was for years a popular destination for big-game hunters who make their way to the area every fall for hunting season. But, if the inn were to become long-term housing as planned, it’s unclear where those hunters may stay, instead.

The inn was last sold in December 2020 for $672,000 after 17 years of ownership under Randy and Cindy Looper. The property had been on the market for four years before the sale to Rajbir and Sandy Grewal was finalized last year.