Owner Dave Symonds, who purchased the eatery at 404 El Paso Blvd. in 2003, was noticeably distraught Tuesday after shutting the Craftwood’s doors for what might be the last time.
“It’s a real shame,” he said. “We’re heartbroken over this. … hopefully there will be another Craftwood Inn.”
Symonds said that the once-successful business had been bleeding money as of late due to two long, tough tourist seasons.
“When you own a business, you just think that around the corner will be what makes the difference,” he said. “It’s just been two summers of really difficult times affecting the money we make. There is no money in the winter because this is a tourist town … [then] the fires and floods kept them away. It eventually just caught up with us.”
He and his wife Kathy had been trying to sell the property for the past six months in an attempt to save the dying business, Symonds said. The 7,228-square-foot building, which sits on about 1.13 acres, is now listed for $1.45 million on the RE/Max Commercial website.
“The Craftwood Inn offers fine dining, banquets, weddings and receptions for up to 175 guests,” according to the listing. “Historic Arts and Crafts Building and English Tudor Mansion in a magnificent setting with panoramic views.”
Symonds said the couple plans to continue running the Stagecoach Inn at 702 Manitou Ave. — for which they paid $1.15 million in 2006 — until a buyer is found for that property. That 6,748-square-foot restaurant and .65 acre lot in downtown Manitou are listed are also listed online by RE/Max Commercial for $1.35 million.
“This English style pub has a creekside patio and cozy fireplace,” according to the listing. “Steeped in Colorado history the facility is large enough for receptions, banquets and bus tours with seating capacity of 150 inside and an additional 90 on the patio.”
Since opening in 1940, the Craftwood Inn had become known as one of Manitou’s premier spots for fine dining and was awarded Best Restaurant by the Colorado Springs Independent just months ago.
But despite a five-star reputation in the local community and beyond, Symonds said that it became impossible to attract guests — some days seating no customers at all.
“I’ve been in this business for 30-plus years — it’s just mind-boggling,” he said.
As for what is next for Symonds, after the Craftwood and Stagecoach, Symonds isn’t sure.
“This is a very stressful time, and this is uncharted territory,” he said. “We’re just scrambling to find places to find places for the weddings that we’ve had booked … and get the Craftwood Inn settled down.”