The Caboose Motel
and Gift Shop
written by Sara Lynn Valentine
“My grandfather moved from Chicago to Durango and bought the Caboose Motel in 1979,” Weston Kulovitz says. “My family moved from Phoenix to Durango when I was seven, right onto the grounds of the Caboose Motel. My mom, dad, older sister, little brother and I all lived in the cozy little house on site. I went to Needham Elementary, Miller Middle School and Durango High School, then away to college. After graduating I was working in Las Vegas when my mom and dad started looking for a manager. I have always loved the Caboose and I love Durango - so I saw an opportunity to return to Durango. This will be my 3rd summer as Manager.”
Weston wants to capitalize on The Caboose’s identity as a mom and pop motel, run by the same local family for three generations. Guests appreciate that each room is uniquely decorated and that their well behaved dogs are welcomed. They frequently tell Weston that it feels like home away from home. “We try to treat each guest as we would treat a guest in our own house,” Weston says. “We get a lot of referrals and have so many returning guests that we know many of them by name. We have a lot of soccer team guests. We have a groups of classic car owners who always stop at The Caboose and fill our parking area with all these beautiful classic cars. And we have bikers who stay here every year and rent every room. All our guests love it here.
Word of mouth brings a lot of first time guests from all over the U S and all over the world. “Many visitors to Durango come to ride the train and our name, The Caboose Motel stands out as someplace they’d like to stay,” Weston says. “Being a member of the Chamber from the beginning has been a good thing for us.”
One of Weston’s goals is to become more involved in the community. He’d like to host non profit events, networking meetings, weddings and reunions. “We have a gazebo and picnic area with grill that groups can reserve,” he says. He’s also looking into organizing art shows and sales featuring local artists. The Caboose already has an art gallery with art from local artists in the main office and has recently begun featuring consigned art for sale.
The Caboose is home to one of the tallest Ponderosa pines in the area, estimated to be 800 years old. Another link to Durango’s past is the fact that the Caboose has one of the few remaining neon motel signs in town. Visitors to Durango frequently stop and get out of their cars to take pictures with the Caboose’s neon sign. Read more about what the Caboose offers at caboosemoteldurango.com You can visit the historic Caboose Motel at 3363 Main Ave. And Weston or any of the family will be happy to take your call at 970.247.1191.
The Durango Chamber of Commerce
The Durango Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organization that promotes and supports the local business community through communication, advocacy, education, leadership and financial viability.