In February 2022, John Evans, Kathleen (Evans) Martin, Kelly(Evans) Christman, Dave Christman and Rob LeVine acquired the Riviera Lodge from Chris Duke.
John, Kathleen and Kelly grew up in the Saratoga area and attended Saratoga schools. They are descendants of William and Rebecca Meason who arrived in a wagon as homesteaders on Cedar Creek in 1879. Their parents, Valle and Elva Evans, lived virtually their entire lives in the Saratoga area.
The great location in Saratoga attracted the new ownership to the Riviera Lodge. It is located on First Street, on the banks of the North Platte River and just two blocks from historic Bridge Avenue. The acquisition of the property also provided the new owners with an opportunity to significantly improve the lodging experience in Saratoga.
A New Name
The name was changed from the Riviera Lodge to the Riviera Motor Lodge as an ode to the days of vacations in the family’s station wagon. As was the custom in the day, the family pulled up in front of their room at the selected motel, thus the term “motor” lodge. The property has been rebranded with a new logo, signage and digital presence to reflect the newname.
The partners are committed to significantly renovating the property, starting with exterior paint and stain. The shady willow trees have been trimmed and Saratoga’s Quality Landscape is improving the Riverfront Lawn to include a patio, natural gas fireplaces and grills – it will be a true gathering place for the property’s guests. There will be outdoor games such as Cornhole, giant Jenga and Connect Four.
The guest rooms are being completely renovated, including new paint, carpet and tile, comfort-height toilets, vanities, lighting, furniture, bedding and mattresses. A majority of the guestrooms will have new showers, with the remaining rooms retaining bathtub/shower combinations. Saratoga’s Raymer Construction is leading the property’s construction efforts.
The keyed guest room locks will be replaced by modern and secure electronic locks. Also, the partners decided to replace wasteful small shampoo and conditioner bottles with larger bath product dispensers.
The quality of the guest experience is paramount. In addition to the Riverfront Lawn, the partners believe in extending the guest experience into the greater Saratoga area. The Riviera Motor Lodge has created a Gear Garage, complete with Schwinn bicycles, games, and snowshoes, which are all complimentary to guests.
Long-time Saratoga local Kim Hytrek has recently been hired as the property’s general manager. Kim has worked at another lodging facility in Saratoga, has significant tourism and hospitality experience and served on the Carbon County Visitors’ Council.
Much of the renovation, including the Riverfront Lawn and almost half of the guest rooms, is now complete. The remaining guest rooms will be completed in the fall of this year.
More information about the Riviera Motor Lodge can be found on its website: https://www.therivieramotorlodge.com.