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Owner keeps pushing to reopen castle

Dennis WebbGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

REDSTONE, Colo. – A New Year’s Eve party may have been a sign of better days to come for the Redstone Castle, whose owner continues to work toward reopening the facility to regular public use.Ralli Dimitrius bought the castle at auction in March 2005 but has run into delays in renovating the property to a point when it might be able to reopen for tours and as a lodging establishment. Dimitrius has discovered how difficult it can be to line up workers in the competitive local construction market.”It took me nine months to get the boiler fixed, so you can kind of tell how slow things are getting the right contractor out,” he said.Dimitrius had hoped to have the castle open for some public uses last summer, and now is shooting for this summer.Redstone business people have looked forward to the castle’s reopening because it will draw more people to town.With the boiler fixed and the castle warm in the winter, Dimitrius at least was able to show Redstone residents some hospitality over the weekend.”We had a nice big New Year’s Eve party, and that went well. The whole town showed up; it was very good. Everybody had a nice time,” he said.The event also provided the Redstone community reason to look forward to the castle eventually being fully renovated and reopened. One of those attending was Darrell Munsell, a board member on the Redstone Historical Society.”It was really great to see the lights on at the castle and all that activity and energy,” Munsell said.Dimitrius said he’s now undertaking roofing work on the castle, but doesn’t know how long that might last. He said work didn’t take so long to get done when he used to be a contractor in California.”I never anticipated things taking this long, but I’m not rushed because we want to do it right,” he said.He said the expense involved in renovations hasn’t been the problem.”The financing is OK but just getting the right people is a slow process here because there’s so much construction going on in this valley that it’s hard to get the contractors on a schedule,” he said.”There’s no reason for a boiler to take nine months but the guy was busy, and he was the only one that could work on it.”Dimitrius, who continues to have an office in Aspen, has moved into the carriage house that’s on the castle property.He has no other immediate plans for the property, but is toying with longer-term ideas such as putting in a pool.”That’s in the future. We’re trying to take care of the main building first,” he said.”We’re happy. Even though it’s taking time, we’re not pressured except that the people in town will be happy to see it open as soon as possible. I think the town depends a lot on it. We’re doing the best we can,” he said.Munsell said he’s “very happy” with Dimitrius’ efforts and understands the reasons behind the delays renovating the castle. He also is glad to see the castle will be renovated in the right way, with its historical values protected and preserved.”I think we’re all very, very eager to see it again opened to the public, but we realize we have to be patient,” he said.Contact Dennis Webb: 384-9119dwebb@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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