Leadville bed and breakfast for sale for $230 | AspenTimes.com

Leadville bed and breakfast for sale for $230

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Do you dream of owning your own bed and breakfast in, say, Leadville?

You could, for $230 and 150 words.

The Ice Palace Inn Bed and Breakfast in Leadville is holding an essay contest as a means of transferring ownership of the inn to one lucky winner.

According to owners Giles and Kami Kolakowski, the contest is a way to be selective about the next owners of the inn.

“Over the years a lot of guests that stay with us have said, ‘This is my dream job ? it’s something I’d really like to do and it’s perfect for me, but I just don’t know how to do it,'” Giles Kolakowski said.

So Kolakowski decided to provide the opportunity in the “Win the Inn” contest.

Applicants must send $230 and an essay of no longer than 150 words about why they’d like to be considered as new owners. The Kolakowskis are hoping to receive 2,500 applicants in the contest ? that factors out to receiving $575,000 for the Victorian home built in 1899.

If they don’t receive 2,500 entries, all of the applicants will get $200 back.

Kolakowski said so far they’ve received anywhere between 500 and 600 entries, with a preliminary deadline of Dec. 31. If entries are lacking, they might extend the deadline to April 30.

The family created the inn in 1994. Giles and Kami have twin 2-year-old daughters, Locksley and Lynzley, as well as their 4-year-old son, McKaulay, and they are moving to the Seattle area to be closer to Kami’s parents.

The couple got married in Aspen in 1991 at the Sardy House, and the local bed and breakfast became their inspiration for starting their own inn in Leadville.

One of five Victorian homes known as “Banker’s Row” in Leadville, the five-bedroom Ice Palace sits on Spruce Street, two blocks west of Harrison Avenue, the town’s main street.

The name comes from an ice palace that was built on the site in 1896 to draw tourists after the silver-mining industry tanked in 1893. The castle contained 5,000 tons of ice, 307,000 feet of wooden boards, and had towers that were 90 feet tall. It contained an ice rink, a dining room, a ballroom and carousel, among other amenities.

But when the castle wasn’t an effective means of bringing tourists to town, the palace was left to melt and the wood was later used to build the Victorian homes on “Banker’s Row,” one of which is now the Ice Palace Inn.

So far the contest has received publicity from television stations in Denver, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs, and some newspapers around the country.

“We’re hoping to find someone who is working really hard for their salary, and wishes they could afford to do something like this,” Kolakowski said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity, and for $230 anybody might give it a shot.”

For more information on the contest, go to http://www.icepalaceinn.com or send your essay, a check for $230 and two self-addressed, stamped envelopes to the Ice Palace Inn Bed and Breakfast, 813 Spruce St., Leadville, CO 80416.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]

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