Cow Palace Inn Sold

Doug Thrall, former Lamar real estate businessman said today, August 9, he represents an investment group that has purchased the Cow Palace Inn, in Lamar.  Thrall and his wife, Lieanna managed Palace Holdings, LLC which has purchased the property from Zions First National Bank in Utah.  Although he wasn’t specific, Thrall said the motel purchase price was under $1 million.  He told The Prowers Journal his group expects to invest $700,000 to $800,000 in renovations over the next several months.  

Thrall said that although he has been involved in real estate ventures and home loans in Salt Lake City, Utah for the past several years, he expects to spend time in Lamar overseeing the refurbishment project including motel, lounge and restaurant.  Each aspect of the Cow Palace will have its own separate manager who will work under Thrall.  “I want to restore this motel to the way people remember it, as the convention center of southeast Colorado back in the 70s and early 80s,” he stated. 

Thrall said the motel will retain its name, and will be franchised under Rodeway Inn, a subsidiary of the Choice Hotel chain.  He added that he wants to employ local contractors and suppliers for the operation and provide the motel with an almost entirely new look.  “The most immediate work will begin on all the rooms,” Thrall said this past Tuesday afternoon.  “We’re buying new furniture, new king and queen sized beds and bedding, new furniture for the lounge and restaurant, and new kitchen equipment.”  “Our first priority will be to bring the motel up to specifications required by the Rodeway Inn Corporation,” Thrall stated.  He said all the ceiling tiles will be replaced, the parking area will be resurfaced and the blue tint to the Cow Palace Inn roof will be changed to sport a copper-colored motif.  “We plan to put a new surface area on the swimming pool and replace the hot tub.  I want to go after conventions, weddings, anniversaries, and actively pursue organizations that will hold their conventions in Lamar at the Cow Palace Inn,” he said.  

Other changes include remodeling the restaurant and the lounge.  “Right now, when you walk past the reception desk, you can either go in to one of the two areas.  Our plans call for an entryway that takes you directly into the inner courtyard with a middle connection that allows you a choice,” he said.  Other changes include renovating the ground floor hallway rooms into office or retail space and the second floor can be used as executive office suites.  Thrall plans for a full-time staff between 25 and 30 employees, including bellhops who will take a patron’s luggage to their rooms and provide other amenities.  The restaurant will serve a full breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Thrall said some early plans call for occasional buffets.  By early September, he plans to hold a full-scale auction of all the used and stored furniture on the premises and what had been stored by the last owners of the Cow Palace Inn, Dhillon Enterprises of California.  That group purchased the Cow Palace Inn in 1994. 

The most recent history of the Cow Palace Inn had it placed in receivership to Nationwide Asset Management Group out of Utah.  That transaction went through the local courts on January 28 of this year.  The foreclosure proceedings on the Cow Palace Inn took place in Prowers County on May 4.  Since that time, the motel has remained open, but the restaurant and lounge remained closed and employed only a skeleton staff.  Thrall said he wants the remodeling job completed in time for the approaching holiday season and ready to accommodate local Christmas parties.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessChamber/Local BusinesscommunityEconomyEmploymentFeaturedLamarThe Journal Alert


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