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.
Peter earned his Master 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 also works for the CB Land Trust. 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”). He also co-founded Gunnison Valley Climbers and hosts The Climbing Advocate Podcast for the Access Fund.
Anna Claire Fenerty
Born and raised in Crested Butte, Anna has an explorer’s spirit – which she expresses in many realms. Spending a school year in India ignited her love for travel and openness to other cultures. She followed her family’s roots back to Ireland, lived for a while in California, and toured America’s national parks on a grand road trip. Anna also explores words and ideas as a poet, writer, thespian and student of history. A formidable soccer player, she also plays in Crested Butte’s mountains via hiking boots, ice ax and snowboard. She can tell you where to find the best wildflowers, which old Elk Avenue buildings have the most colorful pasts, and when the next poetry reading will be.
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.
Tess is a true Crested Butte creative. She makes art with watercolor, charcoal, chalk pastels and other media. Tess grew up playing soccer and exploring the wild spaces around town. She captained the high school girls’ soccer team and, with her sister Anna, coaches the U12 girls. Her father taught her soccer; her mother influenced her toward art, biology and nature. When Tess is not painting on the ever-evolving mural that adorns her room, she spends time hiking, camping, ice skating, sledding, Nordic skiing and wandering the woods. After she graduated from high school in 2019, Tess toured the major cultural centers of Europe, like Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and London. She plans to continue her travels soon. (See her Instagram art page @art_tf_)
Don’t race Brittany down the ski slopes unless you like cliffs, moguls and big speed. Growing up in Crested Butte, Brittany began excelling in big mountain freeride competitions at age 12. In high school, she took fourth in the Junior Freeride World Championships in Andorra, Spain. At the University of Colorado, Brittany coached the collegiate freeride team while studying environmental design, emphasizing product design and landscape architecture. During school breaks, she learned Spanish in Europe, scuba diving in Honduras and kite surfing in St. Lucia. The pandemic brought her back to Crested Butte, where she renewed her love of mountain biking and earned a raft guiding certification. “There’s always something to learn here,” she said.
Melanie has turned her love of dogs into an avocation. She’s often accompanied by one of her four beautiful golden retrievers. Melanie grew up in St. Louis, studied accounting at the University of Missouri/St. Louis, and moved to Crested Butte in 1991. Energetic and gregarious, she held a host of jobs here (from child care to real estate), skied and climbed mountains, and nurtured her first lineage of goldens. In 2012 she returned to St. Louis to help her parents and worked in the real estate and travel industries. She also began breeding golden retrievers, showing her dogs and training them to compete in performance sports. Crested Butte lured her back in 2020. “I missed my town,” she said.
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.