Flushing toward improvements at Aspen’s Cozy Point Ranch
August 17, 2009
ASPEN – The Cleveland Street Cabins, which once served as housing for ski bums, have gone into the toilet – literally.
The Aspen City Council last week approved renovating two small, semi-historic cabins into public restrooms at Cozy Point Ranch outside of town.
Although the cabins didn’t hold official historic status, they were part of the early ski resort, and the owner, Chuck Tower, offered to move the cabins to the city-owned ranch at his expense.
The three cabins were located on Cleveland Street, between Cooper Avenue and Spring Street. They were moved to make way for recently built luxury townhomes.
The long-term vision for the cabins was to use them for the ranch’s operations, which now includes renovating the degraded interiors, as well as building restrooms, and meeting and office space.
The public bathrooms will be the single-most important upgrade since there is only one, 28-square-foot restroom in the main arena at the ranch. There are no restrooms or washing facilities located within 200 yards of the historic red barn, and there are between 100 and 300 people a day using the ranch.
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The ranch is used by kid summer camps, Four Leaf Clovers, 4H Club, nonprofit groups, horse trainers, and people who board their animals there.
Most users, including dozens of children, use a port-a-pottie on a daily basis.
“Bathrooms will be key,” said ranch manager Patti Watson.
There also is no public meeting space at the ranch for programmed activities or operations. Space in one of the cabins will be converted for that purpose.
The office at the ranch is a converted 108-square-foot closet, which only accommodates one person and there is no room for files, equipment or computers. One of the cabins will become a functional office for ranch staff and the public.
The money for the renovation was approved by the council in 2007, but nothing has been done because Pitkin County stalled the permitting process. All of the approvals have been issued, and the work will begin shortly.
The project cost of $235,663 will come out of the city’s parks and open space fund.