The American Alpine Club (AAC) has decided to abandon the idea of turning the Eldorado Springs Post Office building into a climbers’ hostel.
Boulder Weekly covered the controversy over the plans to create the lodging in its June 27 issue. Some local residents voiced concerns over the impacts of the plan, while climbers and club officials said there was a genuine need for the accommodations and that most of the perceived problems could easily be overcome.
In a July 10 letter to the Eldorado Springs community, AAC Executive Director Phil Powers wrote that, “after a great deal of thoughtful investigation,” the club “has decided not to proceed with the purchase of the building.”
He added that the decision to abandon the plans did not come lightly.
“We have looked into zoning, parking, traffic, impact on local systems and to the community in general,” Powers wrote in the letter. “We listened to local citizens. We have assessed the demand for lodging from the climbing community.”
In the end, however, he says the club decided that the number of climbers seeking lodging in the area is greater than the Post Office location can accommodate, and that an alternate site farther away from the canyon could be considered.
“As many of you have pointed out, there is simply no room to grow or expand in the Post Office building,” Powers writes. “The demand for lodging from the climbing community suggests that we need a property that can be expanded over time — even if we must delay the project and compromise on our walk-in-distance criterion.”
He adds, “So we will continue our search for something with a little more room to grow, but still within easy carpooling or biking distance from the beautiful place many of you live beneath. I hope we find a great location for climbers who visit the Front Range. If we do, we will strive to be great neighbors there. I also hope we can count on you to come out in support of our plan if we find something that is a better fit.”
One of the opponents of the hostel proposal, Eldorado Springs resident Helene Jennings, told BW that the majority of the town’s population signed a petition questioning the plan.
“We are very grateful to the American Alpine Club for considering our concerns in their decision,” she says. “Everybody’s really happy.”