Live Like a Local at Leland House

8/26/2021

A local Durango family recently purchased the Leland House from Diane Wildfang and her son, Kirk Komick. But don't expect radical changes. The new owners want to carry on the hotel's historic legacy. Featuring interviews with the new Leland House owners Tonya Ensign, Alec Ensign, and Dominic Martinez. Sponsored by 2180 Lighting and Design Studio and Happy Pappy's Pizza and Wings

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The new owners of the Leland House Hotel on Second Avenue want to invite visitors to Durango to live like locals, while they explore all that Southwest Colorado has to offer. You're watching the local news network brought to you by 2180 Lighting & Design Studio and Happy Pappy's Pizza-N-Wings. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. Durango entrepreneurs, Chuck and Tanya Ensign recently purchased the historic Leland House Suites from longtime owners, Kurt Comic and Diane Wild Fang. But don't expect any radical changes anytime soon.

When the opportunity to purchase the Leland came available, we were just thrilled to be able to keep it local and carry on the legacy that Diane and Kurt had- had started and the- the way that they had run it for so many years.

Although the Leland house has been part of the Rochester bed and breakfast in across the street for more than 20 years, it originally was built as an apartment building in 1927. Phillip Ward Pittman, one of Durango's early developers and building contractors. Then sold it to Leland and Lola Hill in 1947, Comic and Wild Fang purchased the building in 1993, remodeled the apartments into hotel rooms and renamed it "The Leland House" in honor of its previous long-time owners. During their 20 year run, Comic and Wild Fang later remodeled the Leland House into 11 suites, including a two-bedroom suite with a full kitchen, 61 bedroom suites also with full kitchens and four efficiency suites with microwaves and refrigerators. According to the LaPlata County Assessor's office, the purchase was complete in late June for $2.6 million. Earlier this year, Comic and Wild Fang sold the Rochester hotel to a business group for nearly $3 million. The Ensign's son, Alec, and his partner Dominic Martinez will manage the Leland House and plan to continue Comic's new branding campaign that invites visitors to live like locals while in Durango.

There's so many amazing outdoor activities here in Durango and I think a lot of people come to Durango for the city of Durango and then discover all that there is to do beyond that. And, so that's something that we're really working with this- working with outdoor enthusiast, kind of hubs in the surrounding areas, in the four corners and in California. To try to reach some people who are already enjoying doing Fangs that we do here, and maybe haven't come to Durango already. So, people who really enjoy mountain biking or hiking, fishing, all of those kinds of activities.

Our property is set up so uniquely with 11 rooms and they're all suites. So, it really lends itself to staying for a longer term. We've had some guests stayed weeks or even months, and we're really excited about just partnering with the local businesses and continuing to bring people to the region and have them stay here.

Alec grew up in Durango, graduating from Durango High School in 2014. He obtained his Business Degree with an emphasis on Sustainability at Arizona State University, where he met Martinez, a native of Guadalupe Arizona, considered the center of Yaqui Indian culture. Martinez also has a degree in Business from Arizona State. Both say they plan to stay involved in the community to carry on Wild Fang and Comic's legacy of community support and service.

This opportunity just seemed to compliment so many of our skill sets with the understanding of business and design and leadership. We really want to ground our roots here in the community and see how we can get involved and how we can help others being, you know, indigenous, being Mexican, being LGBT. We really want to find ways to support those groups in the community and other groups too.

While Ensign and Martinez invite visitors to live like locals, they also invite locals to visit the Leland House for a tour of the facilities. You can reach them through their website at lelandhouse.com Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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