Entrepreneur Spotlight: Carl Schmidt & Bailey Claire, Capitol Hill Mansion Bed & Breakfast
Take a trip back in time and plan your stay in Denver outside the walls of the typical hotel room. Capitol Hill Mansion Bed & Breakfast is one of the last houses built before the silver crash of 1893. Located among an assortment of historic homes, such as Molly Brown, Boettcher, Cheesman, Keating and Moffat, this neighborhood is overflowing with history of wealth and power. In 2001, Carl Schmidt took over the mansion, followed by his daughter Bailey. In addition to the underlying historical significance of the building itself, Carl and Bailey have established their own one-of-a-kind family ambiance.
Denver Style Magazine: What brought you to Colorado and led you to Capitol Hill Mansion?
Carl Schmidt: “I lived in Corpus Christi, TX and was searching nationwide for something along the lines of a B&B. I wanted something that would offer year round business. I found this building…and every time I looked at something else, I kept coming back to this. I guess it was just meant to be, so I bought the building and moved here!”
Enjoy your beautiful room full of wonderful vintage decor, each space named after a different Colorado wildflower. Fresh flowers are placed in every room to welcome guests. In the morning, a fantastic, gourmet breakfast is provided by Carl himself. Spend the morning inside, or relax on the garden patio. After a day exploring all Denver has to offer, kick back and relax with a glass of wine and get to know your hosts and fellow guests.
DSM: How would you encourage visitors to stay here, rather than a hotel?
CS: “Denver has a lot to do with community, it really does. One of the things I do on my website is take a journey through the architecture. People like to discover something when they travel. I think its more welcoming. You get more of a warm feeling. You meet people from all over the world. You get to experience culinary dishes that you wouldn’t normally do for yourself at home I think that is one reason we are highly recommended on trip advisor – people really have fun with the food. You’re not in that sterile environment of a hotel. I think of it as coming home.”
Carl takes pride in the dining experience he provides for his guests. The idea is to create something that most people wouldn’t think to make at home. For example, on an average day, Lamb and goat cheese egg soufflé is not the typical homemade breakfast. Bailey chimed in that their dishes are “uniquely put together, but a familiar pallet at the same time.”
DSM: What is your culinary background?
CS: “I have cooked all my life. I’ve had some things published… I stepped out of the corporate world a bit, because I decided to do this. I’ve always loved cooking, and have had a good time with it. I think anyone can cook if they have a good time with it. I look forward to each morning when those guests go… “wow!”
Carl clearly has a natural talent in the culinary field. Even on a stressful day with a lack of preparation, he has the ability to spontaneously use his ingredients on hand to create a spectacular dish. He values the experience he is able to provide guests with the food he creates, and never fails to impress! For some additional confirmation, I can tell you myself that the experience is outstanding. One of Denver Style Magazine’s past blogger gatherings, Diamonds in the Daytime, was hosted at Capitol Hill Mansion. Carl provided us a wonderful breakfast that each and every one of us was blown away by. The family atmosphere provided by Carl and Bailey made us feel as if we were guests dining at their own kitchen table.
DSM: What is your favorite part of being a father daughter duo?
CS: “We’ve always been close – we’re best friends. We have a good time working together. And you know, we cover each other’s backs. It’s been fun.”
Bailey moved to Colorado in 2008, and began working alongside her father. Needing an extra hand at the time, Carl saw Bailey as the answer. He saw an opportunity to teach her the industry, in hopes that someday she could take over the family business. Another perk for Carl is having the ability to spend time with his granddaughter (adding to the natural family ambiance!).
DSM: What are your interests outside of the business?
CS: “I love to get up to the mountains, and I like to ski when I can. One of the main things I really enjoy is the rodeo. I work about three or four rodeos a year. I handle the livestock, bulls, steers, calves, and I love it. If I can get four or five in a year, I do it. Its something I’ve been doing for years, and I have a great time doing it.”
Carl is the perfect example of a family man who stepped out of the corporate world, and into a life of happiness. One thing I learned during our chat is the importance of enjoying what you do. You don’t necessarily need a degree to be a master chef – you need to have passion and love for whatever it is that you pursue.
Capitol Hill Mansion Bed and Breakfast is available for lodging, dining and events. Make your reservation today!