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Meet the Motel Whisperer of Colorado



What’s it like to quit your job and transform an old, rickety motel into a super stylish motor lodge? As part of our Women’s History Month celebration, we talked to Kaitlyn Sterling of Amigo Motor Lodge to hear more about her journey to owning her own business.

Kaitlyn Sterling has always loved travel and design. She’s also always loved the idea of owning her own business. Still, quitting her day job to pursue that dream wasn’t exactly a no brainer. Or even a half-brainer. The freedom and control sounded great, but the risk? Not so much.

For awhile, she mulled the idea over with her husband Philip, bouncing ideas off him about what she wanted to do. The more they talked about it, the more it started to seem like something she might actually go for. “I started to realize that some of my ‘crazy’ ideas weren’t really all that crazy,” she says.

Eventually, they put together a vision for what would become Amigo Motor Lodge: contemporary designs, beds that were actually comfortable, wall accents, art, and real plants to add a little life to the rooms. After finding a space in Salida, Colorado they brought that vision to life by refurbishing a 60+ year old motel. It was a long, complicated process, but they finally opened for business in July of 2016.

In the years since Amigo Motor Lodge opened, they’ve built quite a reputation for themselves: great Yelp reviews, a sizeable social media following, and the crowd appeal business owners dream of. “Many of [our guests] come to Salida just to stay with us,” says Kaitlyn, “and that’s such an insanely cool feeling.”

She’s also pretty proud of the team she’s built, which is all female with the exception of her husband Philip. “It’s so cool to see these bad ass women coming together and just making it happen,” Kaitlyn says. “They’ll be carrying mini refrigerators across the property, perfectly military-tucking all of the comforters, and lugging huge baskets of laundry like it’s nothing!”

As for Kaitlyn, she’s in love with being her own creative director–from the early concepting stages of what the motor lodge would look like to the decor in each room to finding the finishing touches–all of it has given her something previous jobs couldn’t. “Getting to make my own rules has been freeing,” she says. And, she adds, “It also helps that I get to bring my dog with me.”

With the addition of the Women-Owned business attribute on Yelp, you’ll now be able to see whether or not specific businesses in your area are women-owned!

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