The charming village of Dolores and a majestic lodge on 30 acres has attracted a new family to the area.
Vince and Mary Kramer recently purchased the Sophia Peace Center, which they have renamed the Sophia Retreat Center.
Hailing from Colorado Springs, the energetic couple have found their dream home on Granath Mesa above Dolores. They plan to continue offering lodging, community events, weddings, reunions, retreats and more.
“We’re here for the long term,” Vince said. “We want to build a legacy and become a part of the community.”
With the change in ownership, the Sophia Retreat Center is no longer affiliated with the Center of Light, a national organization of mystic Christians that hosted spiritual retreats at the lodge.
“Just like before, the Center will be open to everyone,” Mary says. “We want to keep it filled with people.”
The Kramers want to attract outdoor recreationists to stay at their impressive lodge they named Ariluna, a Hopi term meaning “a home for many.”
From hunters, hikers and mountain bikers, to skiers, snowmobilers, boaters, and motorcyclists, the comfortable accommodations are the perfect getaway at the doorstep of the vast San Juan National Forest.
The B&B-style Ariluna Lodge has 25 fully-equipped rooms that start at $69 per night. For retreats and large events, comfortable dormitories and a large guest house allow for up to 65 overnight guests. There is a chapel for weddings, conference rooms, a commercial kitchen, and a full bar with pool tables.
Vince, who is a veteran pilot for United Airlines, also has a background in human development. The couple would like to offer retreats, workshops, and seminars on personal growth and strength of family.
“Training is in my blood,” Vince says. “I help people and families realize their full potential, to see how they are limiting themselves.”
The couple persuaded Mary’s son, Lloyd Calvert, 26, to embark on their family venture. Calvert specializes in information technology, and recently completed ranch-management training.
“I’ve become a jack-of-all-trades, sprucing up the place, and making a lot of plans,” he said.
Greenhouses, goats, chickens and gardens will soon fill the property and help feed the down-to-earth family and their guests. Occasional public events are also a goal, such as community dinners, live music, and film showings.
“I really love the beauty of this area and the smaller community,” Mary says of her new town. “Dolores is very charming, magical. The people have been very welcoming and friendly.”
Local music-and-events promoter Elaine Chick will stay on as a management consultant for the Center.
Contact the lodge at (970) 882-4920, or visit the website at www.sophiapeacecenter.com