Nederland's Sundance Cafe to close under current owners, new tenant sought

A well-known local cafe in Nederland is closing its doors after more than three decades. The Sundance Cafe on the Peak to Peak Highway will close in about a week

NEDERLAND - After a 35-year-run, the Sundance Cafe along Nederland's Peak-to-Peak highway is closing its doors under its current management. 

The cafe is a part of the Sundance Lodge and Cafe. The lodge will remain open, but the cafe famous for its breakfast specials will close for business on April 17. It will reopen when a new tenant signs a lease agreement.

Owner Hillary Stevenson posted the announcement on Facebook earlier in the week. 

Stevenson has worked at the cafe for 27 years. She began as a waitress in 1990, then bought the place in 1998. 

The property (which includes the lodge and the cafe) was sold to new owners in November.

She had been in negotiations with them, and last Wednesday, they told her what the new rent amount would increase to over roughly the next year. 

Stevenson says the amount was too high for her to sustain the restaurant.

The management of the building told 9NEWS the rent increase and the costs of owning the cafe had to be raised to cover capital improvements required to the lodge.

"I want to thank all my customers over the last 27 years," Stevenson  told 9NEWS over the phone. "This has been my family, my life." 

As for what's next, she says its time to relax a bit. She's been working seven days a week, 12 hours a day for a long, long time.

The owner of the Sundance Lodge property, Kim Schuler, says he wanted Sundance Cafe to stay under Stevenson's ownership, but things didn't work out.

The cafe will remain a fixture of the lodge, but under new ownership as soon as a new tenant is established, he said.

The new owners of the lodge sent a statement to 9NEWS. 

The new owners of the Sundance Lodge and Café would like to clarify what happened with the leasing of the Sundance Café. This property has been a landmark within the Nederland community and we are committed to keeping the Sundance up and running and properly maintained for years to come.
We excitedly took on this property, even though we knew that it was in need of repairs and improvements due to the age and current condition of the building.  The current café tenants month to month rent was raised approximately one third in January, not 3 times the current amount. After months of meeting with the current tenant, we could not come to terms on a new ten year lease. The current tenant felt that it was not in her best interests to invest in our improvements slated for the Sundance Café.
We are looking forward to the future with new tenants for the café, and hope to be back open in May.  We are committed to hiring local residents and continuing to provide a quality restaurant experience for the Nederland/mountain community.

Sincerely
Kim and Kyle Schuler

The Sundance Lodge and Cafe building has an interesting history from Army Barracks to lodge.

It was founded in 1964 by Bob Ide. The lodge itself was originally army barracks in Texas before they were moved to Boulder, where Bob bought them and transported them up the Peak-to-Peak highway. 

Two brothers, Hans and Aki von Mende, bought the property in 1982 – Aki ran the cafe until 1998 when Stevenson bought it. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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