There wasn’t much in the way of pit stops in 1948, but one notable exception was Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hoerner’s place, the Sundeck Restaurant, a log-cabin eatery perched on Moraine Avenue, one and a half miles from the Rocky Mountain National Park’s eastern entrance. Digging into the eatery’s signature goulash, prime rib, Rocky Mountain trout, and Dutch apple pie, customers could relax on an open deck and contemplate the evening sun slipping behind the mountain peaks of Taylor, Otis, and the Twin Sisters.
Now for the good news: Today’s customers still can.
Not only is the old Sundeck still open, but today it forms the centerpiece of the forty-eight-room Alpine Trail Ridge Inn. During the family’s sixty-eight years of ownership, the Hoerner family added a seventeen-unit rustic roadside motel—originally called Trail Ridge Inn. It was the first motel to open in the town of Estes Park and the Hoerners expanded it to the complex travelers enjoy today.