Timbers frame a Rocky Mountain bed and breakfast
In 1991, Tom Sullivan faced a tough choice: Either move to Houston and sell oil products or move to the Vail Valley, tend bar and ski more than 100 days a year. Of course, Tom says, there was never any real choice. “How could we resist?”
Along with his wife Cathy, Tom headed for the Rockies. The couple embraced the mountain lifestyle with gusto and soon discovered they wanted to put down roots.
Looking for a place to settle, the Sullivans found a vintage l900s house on a tiny lot in Minturn, Colorado. In the early 1990s, Minturn was still a sleepy little town on the west side of Vail. A real estate venture to buy this dilapidated property presented itself to the Sullivans, who quickly bought the house and started renovation with the plan to operate the home as an inn.
Suitable for Framing
“With the Eagle River running right alongside the back of this property, it seemed perfect,” Tom says. He began studying the architecture of both log and timber frame homes. Finally, he and Cathy chose a timber frame, which had always piqued Tom’s interest. The Eagle Street Bed and Breakfast was on its way to becoming a reality.
Tom researched several timber frame companies before he chose Vermont Timber Frames, a producer in Cambridge, New York, partially because they were small and because they liked the way they approached the project.
Raising the Frame
Cathy and Tom chose native Colorado river rock for veneers on fireplaces, hearths and bathtubs. Because of the strict fire code in their area, fireplaces can no longer be wood-burning, thus, all of the fireplaces in the Sullivan home; Minturn Inn and Eagle Street Bed and Breakfast were built with gas log units.
Story by Gloria Gale
Photography by Tim Murphy