established in 2004
Chris and Andrea Greene are the founders and innkeepers of The Ruby of Crested Butte. Andrea is originally from Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up in Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia before settling in Littleton, Colorado. Chris is a native of Nebraska, but grew up in the east valley of Phoenix and the Boulder Valley of Colorado. While they both enjoy traveling in search of adventure, they are both Coloradans to the core (go Buffs!) and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
The Ruby of Crested Butte was originally built as the Crystal Inn in 1994 by a couple looking to retire from long careers in Texas. Soon after moving here, however, they opened a Radio Shack, started a small telecom service business, and opened an antique shop (some of the fabulous antiques you find at The Ruby are from her personal collection.) After six years, they decided it was finally time to focus on retiring, and they shut down the B&B operations, built another house down the street, and only opened the Crystal Inn to their friends and family.
In late 2004, Chris and Andrea purchased the property and The Ruby was born. There’s a little more to the story of how they actually purchased the property and made the move from their beloved Northwest Denver neighborhood of Berkeley Park. In the summer of 2004, Chris had recently graduated from law school at CU-Boulder and was traveling around Colorado helping start small businesses from his post in the Governor’s office. Andrea was spending her days traveling around the country as a human resources manager within an acquisition team of The Home Depot. It had been their dream to open a B&B in Crested Butte since their first visit to the area in the summer of 2000. On their 2004 trip to Crested Butte, they were casually collecting real estate brochures on their way to lunch, and happened to notice that one of them was actually built as a B&B, but had not been operated as one for several years. They were amazed at the property’s perfect in-town location and potential to create an inviting space and unforgettable experience to guests. Before returning to Denver, they made a pact “To not get in our own way and only let something else stop us.” Back in Denver, they feverishly started selling everything they owned to make it happen. By the end of September they had the property under contract, they closed on December 1st, and officially opened The Ruby a few weeks later on January 1st, 2005. Determined not to borrow a dime from family (in order to preserve a couch to sleep on in case the plan didn’t work out), they even tell the story of having to sell their car on the way to closing and walk the rest of the way in order to bring enough money to the table. A little bit of an embellishment of the real story, but not too far off the mark!!
Many guests ask about the origin of the name “Ruby”. Some guess that it was based on the majestic Ruby mountain range located just west of Crested Butte and the source of numerous mining era stories. Others think the name is based on the unmistakable ruby red color of the building itself. The real reason, however, is closer to our hearts - it is a celebration of the life of Ruby Elkourie, Andrea’s grandmother, who passed away shortly before we opened. Ruby herself was a hard working and colorful character who loved the outdoors and walked everywhere. She genuinely cared for people, knew practically everyone, and lived by the motto that “a stranger is just a good friend you haven’t met yet”. She is the embodiment of what we love about this town and our vision of The Ruby – Colorful, Authentic, and Connected. Truly Crested Butte.