Here’s a quick introduction to the diverse and talented people who’ll greet you at the Old Town Inn.
Starting in his teens, Chris has done almost every job at the Old Town Inn, from housekeeping to accounting. He got a degree in International Business at the University of Denver and completed the school’s Emerging Leaders Program. After graduation he launched advanced studies in adventuring: bicycling across the U.S. and around Iceland. He’s completed an Ironman Triathlon and climbed and traveled in 40 countries. Back in Crested Butte, Chris has taken on ever more responsibility for Old Town Inn management, working with everything from technology to guest amenities, marketing to toilet repair. He also has a passion for making the inn as eco-friendly as possible. He balances big trips with “micro-adventuring”: climbing rock and ice, running, cycling, skiing in all forms, and exploring nearby mountains. Since he grew up in Crested Butte, Chris has the scoop on climbing spots, swimming holes, pizza joints and ski stashes.
Diversity could be Caroline’s middle name: she can tell you about birds, snowcats, ski stashes or furniture refinishing in addition to checking you into your room. Born in Gunnison and raised in western Colorado, Caroline grew up climbing and skiing. She returned to Gunnison to study biology/ecology at Western State. For 15 years, she taught skiing through Crested Butte’s Adaptive Sports Center, traveling to Scotland, Argentina and Austria to train other instructors. More recently she drove snowcats and worked in hospitality for Eleven. After joining the Old Town Inn team in 2015, Caroline shaped amazing holiday gingerbread art for our lobby, reinvigorated our gardens and became our in-house nature expert. A master crafter, she always has some creation in the works, from handmade books to repurposed furniture.
Peter is pursuing his Masters in Environmental Management at Western State Colorado University. He grew up in Libertyville, Illinois (near Chicago), playing basketball and romping in the woods. Colorado lured him away to earn a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism at Colorado State University. As a student, Peter visited and fell in love with Crested Butte, and right after graduation he headed to the mountains. He has worked at Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Adventure Park, at the Elevation Hotel and as a guide for Irwin. In his free time, Peter’s an avid climber, reader, explorer of the western United States, and cook (he’s famous for his “big mean breakfasts”).
Stephanie belongs in the mountains. After growing up in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and earning her BA in sociology at UC Boulder, she moved to Crested Butte to play in the hills. She loves skiing (all types), climbing, biking, backpacking and “geeking out” among the wildflowers. She will go inside to cook and do yoga, though. After trying various mountain-town jobs, Steph settled into the Adaptive Sports Center as program coordinator and instructor. Her ultimate dream: creating an organization to take women with disabilities on outdoor trips. Fun fact: As a youngster Steph competed in swimming, fueled by great ravioli and meatballs (she’s half Italian).
A British chap and long-time friend, Martin is a most over-qualified Old Town Inn staffer! After studying and working in the hospitality industry, Martin and his wife Rosie moved to Crested Butte in the early eighties to own and run the Cristiana Guesthaus. After almost three decades as local innkeepers, they recently sold it, and a few months later Martin agreed to lend a hand at the Old Town Inn. An avid runner and Nordic skier, Martin spearheaded the local Mountain Runners organization. He and Rosie also enjoy time with their grown children, Emma and Nick, son-in-law Greg and granddaughter June.
Alex can tell you all about having fun in the mountains; it’s his life and his profession. He grew up in Breckenridge, Colorado, an enthusiastic outdoorsman, and then headed to college in Bozeman, Montana. There he studied business management and ended up graduating from Western State Colorado University in Gunnison. He came to the valley four years ago to work for Irwin Guides, helping people enjoy the mountain activities he loves. When he’s not working, he’s often out skiing, mountain biking or climbing.
A Crested Butte native, Cosmo returned here a few years ago after explorations north and south. After high school he headed to Fairbanks, Alaska, to study geology, which eventually morphed into a Spanish degree in 2010. In the mean time, he attended school in Chile, worked with the Peace Corps in Paraguay and traveled throughout South America. Since moving back to the valley, Cosmo has worked at the Cristiana, on a farm, and with the Crested Butte Conservation Corps (helping build/improve some of our favorite trails). He also writes fiction, personal essays and magazine articles and spends time outside gardening, fishing, camping, biking and skiing.
A note from innkeepers Sandy Fails and Michael Garren
Sandy and Michael moved to Crested Butte from Austin, Texas, as wide-eyed young adventurers in 1981. Since then, we’ve worn many hats in this amazing place, but innkeeping and parenting rank among our favorite roles.
Sandy is a writer and editor (formerly of the newspaper, now of the Crested Butte Magazine). She authored three local books, including Crested Butte: The Edge of Paradise and Where the Road Ends, and writes fiction as well. She’s a long-time fan of hiking, alpine and Nordic skiing, and hanging out in the mountains with good companions and Barley the dog.
Through the ’80s, Michael worked at the ski resort in several capacities, from retail to accounting to running the owners’ private mountain retreat. For five years, we co-owned the local newspaper, the Chronicle & Pilot, with Michael as publisher and business manager. A retiree from climbing and mountaineering, Michael is still an avid bicyclist, sailor, alpine and Nordic skier. Michael’s also a closet keyboard musician who studies jazz and improvises beautifully evocative music.
Like most long-time locals, we’ve volunteered for a host of non-profits, from Stepping Stones Children’s Center to the Center for the Arts, Friends of the Library to Hospice of the Gunnison Valley. We also enjoy traveling and over the decades have been lucky to explore Europe, Nepal, Peru, El Salvador and other fascinating places.
Since purchasing the Old Town Inn in 2002, we’ve been grateful for our good-hearted, skilled and dedicated staffers. As we head into our sixties, we rely ever more on our son Chris and our fantastic guest services team to keep the Old Town Inn such a warm, comfortable place for our guests.