After 14 years of vacancy and undergoing two years of construction, the Newport Inn, formerly the Embers Hotel and Restaurant, will soon be inviting customers back for a good meal and a home away from home. Donald and Jennie Newport bought the property located at 21 S. Wahsatch Ave. in September 1998 for $450,000 . Last year the market value for the property was listed at $304,180. Because the family was new to Colorado Springs, Jeannette Newport, their daughter, said it took them a year to get financing for the construction. The Newport’s expect to open about June 15.
Part of the reason for the long renovation is because of the age of the building, said Jeannette Newport.
“The restaurant was popular in the ’50s and ’60s and was noted as the best restaurant in Colorado Springs,” she said. After the owner’s son took over, business did not go as well, and the Embers Inn developed a negative reputation, Newport said. The inn closed and the restaurant eventually followed suit. “That’s partly why we changed it to The Newport Inn,” said Newport. The restaurant, however, will remain the Embers Restaurant.
But the past is the past. The interior makeover, with its maroon and deep green paint, fresh carpet, marble bathroom floors and spotless kitchen seems to have lifted the old building out of its autumn and into its youth.
Jennie Newport, Jeannette’s mother, is the interior designer for the establishment. She and her husband are real estate developers with Tropwen Enterprises, which is Newport spelled backwards, and the family has been doing the construction and renovation themselves.
Soon the kitchen will be spilling smells of American and Southwestern food throughout its 2,000-square-foot space, expanded from the property’s original size of 13,500 square feet. The restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. There are four banquet rooms, which can be closed off from the rest of the dining room, and the total dining area seats up to 250 people. “It’s going to be a family restaurant, with no smoking and no alcohol,” said Jeanette. “It will have a very Christian-like atmosphere.”
While some customers dine, the Inn, which will target traveling business workers, will also be ready for business.
There will be 28 guest rooms, two with handicap accessibility, four with kitchenettes and two executive suites. The beginning rate is $35 per day, depending on the season and the type of room, but weekly rates for those staying an extended period of time will also be included.
Though the restaurant is still under construction, the Newports are starting to accept job applications and if all goes as planned, they hope to be greeting customers soon.