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Reel to Real: Transforming a Classic Drive-In Theater into Quonset Hut Retreat

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A-Model Quonset at night

Nestled in the San Luis Valley in Colorado is a unique property that offers guests 360 panoramic views of the valley. Once a drive-in movie theatre, Frontier Drive-Inn has brought the magic of the movies back along with luxury overnight stays in beautifully maintained Quonset huts.

The Frontier Drive-Inn is conveniently located about thirty miles away from the Great Sand Dune National Park, which cultivates almost half a million visitors a year. If you are looking for lodging near Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Frontier Drive-Inn is a great option. While looking for hotels near the sand dunes, you might also come across the Monte Vista Hotel. Additionally, there are several hotels near Alamosa, CO, which is just a thirty minute drive to the park.

Co-owner and architect on the project, Luke F. states that his family has a long history of visiting the San Luis Valley. And in 2016, he and his family purchased the land and combined their expertise to transform a historic destination into what it is today. Guests can choose to stay in a Quonset or a Yurt and watch a film under the San Luis Valley’s pristine night sky.

Starting with a blank canvas, Luke knew the buildings for the property would need to be able to withstand the extreme weather in the valley as well as match the aesthetic of surrounding buildings since they are in an agricultural hub.

He states, “Quonset huts are part of the language in this area. They are very popular for farm equipment and garages in this part of Colorado, so that is part of the reason we went with Quonset huts.”

Luke states that the efficiency of the buildings was another big selling point for them.

“We are in a wild climate zone where summer can be in the high nineties, and winter is below zero, so we were struggling with how we could provide a building that would perform at those varying levels that would not cost us an arm and a leg,” he concludes.

All SteelMaster buildings are coated with Galvalume Plus, which is an organic spray coating that repels light, keeping inside temperatures ten to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the outside air.

Galvalume sheet has a bright, distinctive spangled appearance which is pleasing in its own right and has very good protective properties in the atmosphere. It can be painted if a painted appearance is desired with many of the paints which are recommended for galvanized sheet.

SteelMaster buildings also have an Energy Star rating, which is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency.

To learn more about the efficiency of our buildings, click here.