Winter is well on its way in Montrose, but that doesn’t mean a visit to Horsefly Brewing Company will be strictly an indoor adventure.

Owner Phil Freismuth has found a unique way to keep people using his patio as the cold weather kicks in: Colorado Yurt Company set up a yurt on the patio. The yurt opened Friday, offering patrons a chance to eat, drink and visit inside it.

“We bought the yurt right here in Montrose from Colorado Yurt, and they came out and set it up last Thursday,” he said. “We needed more seating and we have that in the summer with the patio. I looked around at my options and decided to try the yurt.”

Freismuth said the restaurant’s needs are the biggest reason for trying out the yurt.

“In the winter with the patio closed people are coming in and we have no seats and they have to decide if they want to wait,” he said. “But the yurt holds about 22 people, so it is making seating easier. Plus we can use the yurt for private parties. We have a graduation party later this week in there.”

Freismuth said the yurt has been easy to get ready for use. 

“We have put LED lights up in there and we have a propane heater in there right now,” he said. “I have ordered a natural gas heater we are going to install. It doesn’t take long to heat it up.”

Colorado Yurt Company Chief Operating Officer Cliff Connaughton said he has plenty of experience working with businesses to support their needs.

“We have been doing yurts for 40 years and we have plenty set up for businesses,” he said. “Though I think this is the first one we have done with a business here in Montrose.”

Connaughton said the yurts work well for a business with a short-term need for extra space.

“You can put them up and take them down pretty easily. I think this will work well for Phil,” he said. “They can be cold if you don’t heat them overnight.”

Connaughton added the yurts can be more economical for businesses with short-term needs.

“Yurts can be cheaper per square foot than a conventional building,” he said. “They are quick to put up. We had Phil’s ready to go in two days.”

Freismuth said he’s happy with Colorado Yurt and Connaughton.

“They were great to work with. They got it set up in one day,” he said. “Next we will add a TV in it for ball games.”

For now, Freismuth said the yurt has already seen a lot of use in its first few days of being open.

“Friday and Saturday nights it was full,” he said. “It would be good to have a business meeting in because it can be more quiet than the main dining area.”

Freismuth said the yurt will be used through the winter, but he has ideas what to do with it once the weather warms up again.

“We will take it down at the end of March, and I am currently looking for some property to set it up on,” he said. “I will turn it into a little bed and breakfast. It would be a nice place to get away to.”

He noted he’s building a cover over the doorway from the main building to the yurt so people aren’t going out in the elements, adding the City of Montrose was a great help.

“The city was great. They granted us a temporary permit for the yurt use,” he said. “It is good for six months. That is enough time to see how things work and what we want to do after that.”

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