"In many ways, this development is much like a library, airport or hospital, in that it is one of those things a growing town needs to attract new employers and residents," said Larry Day, the developer of the project.
The spacious clubhouse, constructed in the vein of Western Colorado elegance and embellished similarly, features a pro shop, cart and bag storage, library/conference room, great hall with plush seating arrangements, as well as Remington's bar and restaurant, which opens to the public on Sunday with a special Mother's Day brunch.
The dining area is adjacent to a 13,000-square-foot outdoor patio overlooking holes 17 and 18 with stunning views of the San Juan Mountains. The clubhouse also includes several guest suites on the second level, available for weddings, business and golf retreats, and other functions.
The Montrose community has already given the Bridges' clubhouse and restaurant a warm welcome, even though the facility has not yet opened to the public. According to Thomas Blassingame, Remington's award-winning chef, 200 reservations for Sunday's Mother's Day brunch had already been taken by Tuesday. (The restaurant has a 300-person maximum capacity.)
"We've gotten a huge response from the local community," he said. "I think people are looking forward to a new restaurant in the region that serves innovative, healthy cuisine."
Remington's menu will focus on organic and locally produced ingredients, with an emphasis on free-range meat and poultry. An Austin, Texas transplant, Blassingame said he hopes to bring some of that city's "hip" tone to the tables at the Bridges. "As a chef, my thought on food is that it's a responsibility of mine to feed the soul, using nutritious, balanced, inventive meals," he said.
The menu for the Mother's Day brunch includes cheese blintzes with three-berry lavender compote, tomato Benedict with roasted jalapeño hollandaise, sugar cured grilled salmon, and maple baked ham.
The Bridges' General Manager Randy Burross said that, from a diner's perspective, one simply can't find a more scenic location to have a meal in Montrose. "The views from virtually any table in this dining room are truly one-of-a-kind in Montrose," Burross said.
Opening last September, The Bridges golf course has enjoyed a deluge of praise from regional golfers as well as nationally recognized golf publications.
It was named one of Golf Magazine's Top Ten New Courses in 2005 and received Celebrity Golf Magazine's top honor of #1 New Course for 2006.
The challenging course is punctuated with numerous water features, including ten lakes, spanned by 17 golf cart and walking bridges. Water comes into play on 16 of the course's 18 holes, making for a distinctive Western Slope golf experience. Golfers busy trying to avoid the water may find themselves in the sand, with 85 bunkers dotting the landscape.
Hazards aside, the course does provide a reprieve for those who struggle to find the fairway, with five different tee options offered on each hole. They vary the total length of the course from amicable, at 5,300 yards, to arduous, at 7,200 yards.
"Whether you're a senior or beginning golfer or the best golfer in the world, you can play this course and it's going to be challenging and fun," Day said.
The completion of the clubhouse and restaurant marks the beginning of what Day anticipates will be a long and fruitful relationship between The Bridges' and surrounding communities.
"It is a one-of-a-kind, top shelf place that we really do advertise as being a part of the Telluride region," Day said. "People who come to the Western Slope looking for a place to relocate that is close to Telluride can find a more affordable option in Montrose, and a premier residential golf community in the Bridges. We also hope to welcome the Telluride community to come discover the Bridges, and help get folks to the point where they know what this community is all about."
For tee times and restaurant reservations, call 252-8899; for more information, visit www.montrosebridges.com.