Frontier Drive-Inn: Part Hotel, Part Cinema

An experiment in art and hospitality, the Frontier Drive-Inn is where cinema, luxury, and nature collide in the San Luis Valley.

From the ashes of the past, the Frontier Drive-Inn emerges—a 1955 classic reborn as an overnight sensation. The drive-in theater of yesteryear, once the beating heart of San Luis Valley’s social scene, has evolved into an innovative hospitality hub that’s part hotel, part cinema, part art installation, and entirely unique.

Pioneered by Mark Falcone, founder of Continuum Partners, and his wife Ellen Bruss, this reimagined space pays homage to their love for food, art, architecture, and cinema. The duo, along with their son Luke and daughter Sonya, have skillfully preserved the essence of the original drive-in while introducing modern comforts, cutting-edge technology, and overnight stays.

Here, the accommodations are as unexpected as the valley’s ecosystem. The Steelmasters, prefabricated farm sheds turned luxe living quarters, offer a private haven featuring custom wood-paneled interiors, radiant heated floors, private bathrooms, and semi-private decks with cinematic views. For those craving a taste of the outdoors, the yurts provide an elevated camping experience, complete with queen beds, sitting areas, and cozy-making en suite pellet stoves. All the luxe spaces feature Pendleton blankets, one-of-a-kind rugs, Parachute mattresses and linens, and Boll & Branch towels.

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At the Frontier Drive-Inn, there’s more to the story than a good night’s sleep—there’s curated film screenings under the stars, art installations born from experimental architecture, and communal cooking in the Snack Bar. And when there’s a movie playing on the giant outdoor screen, the popcorn is always free.

Frontier Drive-Inn snack bar
Photo courtesy of Frontier Drive-Inn.

The Cuisine Scene

The Frontier Drive-Inn’s culinary experience is whatever you want to make of it in the Snack Bar, where’s a full kitchen and seating for 25. Prebook a kitchen box filled with utensils and cooking supplies, and conjure up a feast of whatever you fancy. While you’ll need to bring your own food, the communal fridges and tables are yours to share. Future plans for chef-curated weekends in partnership with local farmers promise to add gourmet magic to the DIY experience.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Explore the Area

The Frontier Drive-Inn is a gateway to the San Luis Valley’s eco marvels and an attraction in its own right. From the property, it’s just 45 minutes to the marvel that is Great Sand Dunes National Park, or you could head to Zapata Falls for a refreshing dip. For the artistically inclined, Frontier Drive-Inn’s open-air adobe observatories, designed by award-winning architect Ron Rael and crafted with a 3D printer, offer an unobstructed view of the valley’s pristine night sky.