The historic Rochester Hotel in downtown Durango has been sold for nearly $3 million to a business group led by Silverton Mayor Shane Fuhrman.
“It’s kind of a big deal,” said Diane Wildfang, whose family has owned the hotel since 1993.
Wildfang said she moved to Durango in 1992 with the intention of retiring.
Instead, Wildfang and her son and business partner, Kirk Komick, ended up buying two hotels, the first of which was the Leland House, a small bed and breakfast spot in the 700 block of East Second Avenue.
Wildfang said that at the time, the Rochester Hotel, which is across the street, was in disrepair. Built in 1892, the Rochester is one of the oldest hotels in Durango.
“So we bought it,” Wildfang said.
Wildfang said they renovated the building from a 35-room boarding house with only a few bathrooms to a 15-room hotel, with a bathroom in each room. They also built a lobby and turned the junkyard next door into a garden.
Between the Leland House and Rochester Hotel, there are 25 guest rooms.
“We’ve enjoyed it tremendously,” she said. “It’s been really great for us and the community.”
Wildfang said she was looking to retire in earnest recently, and Fuhrman, who is the current mayor of Silverton, came up as a potential buyer.
Fuhrman did not return a call seeking comment.
According to La Plata County records, the selling price was $2.94 million.
La Plata County records show the buyer as Rochester Hotel Property Co. LLC, whose registered agent, state records show, is Selwyn Capital Management LLC, a business venture associated with Fuhrman.
Fuhrman moved to Silverton in 2016 from New York, where he worked as a corporate and finance attorney. He and his partner, Haley Morgan, purchased, renovated and reopened the historic Wyman Hotel in Silverton in 2019.
Wildfang said Fuhrman indicated he would keep the Rochester Hotel relatively as is over the summer and then decide on future plans. She said the hotel will be closed for a few weeks for the transition of ownership.
“He seemed like a really good fit,” she said.
Wildfang, for her part, intends to travel during retirement. She’ll also continue to live in Durango and do some community work, she said. Komick will continue to run the Leland House, too.
The Rochester Hotel has a rich history in Durango, one that includes the paranormal. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Over the years, the hotel has collected a number of ghostly reports from guests, and is commonly featured on most haunted hotel lists. Common sightings include a woman in Victorian garb who frequents the John Wayne suite.
“Sometimes, guests have taken photos and are impressed by how the lighting turns out,” Komick said in a previous interview.
The Rochester Hotel has also played host to a number of nonprofit gatherings and fundraisers. And its outdoor patio was a popular spot for concerts during summer months in the hotel’s “Secret Garden.”