|By Dennis Darrow, The Pueblo Chieftain,
Colo.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
June 08, 2011--Pueblo's signature bed-and-breakfast now stands as a symbol of the economic downturn.
The Abriendo Inn at 300 W. Abriendo Ave., recently repossessed by FirstBank, shows the scars of foreclosure with its rooms empty, once-lush lawn dying and newspapers scattered on the front steps.
The stately manor on the edge of Mesa Junction was built in 1906 as the family home of Pueblo businessman Martin Walter of Walter's Brewery.
The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
In 1989, the home was turned into a 10-room bed-and-breakfast, and for the next 15 years remained the only successful bed-and-breakfast in Pueblo.
In 2005, the four-room Edgar Olin House Bed & Breakfast opened at 727 W. 13th St., and now is believed to be the city's lone B&B. Its telephone number is 544-5727.
FirstBank moved to foreclose on The Abriendo Inn in January. Two weeks ago, the bank took possession of the site, according to records filed with the Pueblo County Public Trustees office.
The bank's plan for the property is not known. A telephone message left with the Denver law firm handling the foreclosure was not returned Tuesday.
The inn's most recent operator, Pamela S. Nelson, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Telephone calls to the inn were met with a busy signal.
At Edgar Olin House, Kelly Galvan, who operates the site with her husband, Steve, said the couple was saddened to see a fellow bed-and-breakfast close.
"While The Abriendo Inn was one of our competitors, we never really looked at it that way. We would send people their way and vice versa.
"I know she really loved doing what she did. It's sad," Galvan said.
Watching as The Abriendo Inn's grounds deteriorate adds to the disappointment, Galvan said. "We just drove by the other day and it just looks horrible," she said.
The closure has meant an upturn for her business, Galvan said. Bookings already were going well and now "we are swamped," she said. She thinks the inn stopped booking rooms after February, she said.
Rod Slyhoff, president of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes a buyer emerges who wants to keep the property as a bed-and-breakfast inn.
"We do miss that property not being in our mix. We have some people who prefer bed-and-breakfasts and that certainly was a very nice one. We're sorry to see it off the market right now," Slyhoff said.
"Hopefully, the bank will find an owner that will keep it a bed-and-breakfast because I think it adds to our overall lodging mix we have to offer."
Nelson's company, JPNT B&B LLC, purchased The Abriendo Inn in 2007 for $821,600, according to the Pueblo County Assessor's office and the state secretary of state's office.
FirstBank, the largest lender involved in the property, said in its foreclosure filing the inn became delinquent on loan payments with $388,000 still owed on a $417,500 note.
JPNT B&B was the inn's third owner.
The Abriendo Inn was founded by interior decorator Kerrelyn Trent of Pueblo.
She bought the property in 1989 for $230,000 and used her decorating skills to turn the bedrooms and other spaces into 10 distinctive rooms and suites.
In 2003, Trent sold the inn to a California couple, Mark and Cassandra Chase, who relocated to Pueblo and operated the inn until the 2007 sale to JPNT.
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.
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