Thursday, June 12, 2014

Great write up in The Spectrum featuring Inn on the Cliff

Inn on the Cliff revives former Rococo location
 Casie Forbes, STG8:41 p.m. MDT May 28, 2014

STG 0529 cliffside 02.jpg
(Photo: Jud Burkett / The Spectrum & Daily News)
ST. GEORGE – The iconic Rococo Steakhouse and Inn built on the cliff of the Black Hill has sat vacant since 2008 when it closed after 32 years of service.

 As the years went by, the building fell into disrepair, serving as a reminder to residents of the Christmas banquets and other parities that used to be held within the walls of the building.

Three months ago, the old building began its second life as people roamed the halls and the rooms of the newly renovated hotel renamed the Inn on the Cliff, and last month the restaurant, renamed the Cliffside Restaurant, began serving food to guests while they took in the view of St. George.

Tom and Dorothy Heers bought the property at 511 S. Airport Road, with the intentions of renovating it and making it — once again — a staple in the Washington County community.

“In our past, we’ve taken older buildings and made them into hotels, and this one just happened to come with a restaurant, too,” Dorothy Heers said. “We just took a building that had aged and gave it an extreme home makeover. We are in the business of hospitality, and we want people to feel like they are our guests in our home.”

Joel Deceuster, St. George Chamber of Commerce director of marketing, said he drove by the property two years ago, prior to the Heers buying it, and thought it was “decrepit” and “a dump.”

“I thought they should really rip this place down; it really looked just horrible,” Deceuster recalled. “I got a call from Tom saying they were buying it and renovating it, and they wanted to be a part of the chamber. He invited me up after they’d finished the hotel, and I was like, ‘You have to be kidding. Did you level it to the ground?’ It’s absolutely gorgeous how they’ve transformed it.”

Among the many changes to the hotel and restaurant was the removal of a pool between the hotel and restaurant that was moved to the north end of the hotel and the creation of veranda for patio dining.

Tom Heers said the business hopes to cater to couples and residents who are looking for a “staycation.”

“A great romantic getaway is hard to find here because most hotels are built for travelers,” Tom Heers said. “We’re built for travelers, but, on the other hand, we’d like to be able to handle the honeymooners, the anniversaries and what we call a ‘staycation’ where you live in St. George and come up for a night. When you come up here for a night, it seems like you’re getting away for three days because, when you come in early, you have the restaurant bring the food right to you, you eat on the balcony, and you either bring movies or watch Netflix on the smart TVs.”

More than 100 members of the St. George Chamber of Commerce attended the business’s ribbon cutting on Wednesday.

“We know (people are) spending money and taking time out of whatever else they could be doing, so we don’t want to disappoint them,” Dorothy Heers said. “We want them to have a great experience when they come.”

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