State Bridge to rise from ashes? |

State Bridge to rise from ashes?

Steve Lynn
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” State Bridge won approval from county commissioners Tuesday to hold concerts this summer where its lodge burned less than three weeks ago, officials said.

The approval was “the first step to rising from the ashes,” said Scott Stoughton, general manager of State Bridge River Resort.

“Everybody was in my corner, it was a really amazing feeling,” Stoughton said. “The community’s message to the county really got through that State Bridge is important to the community and to Eagle County.”

Commissioners wanted to speed up what is typically a long, bureaucratic process so that State Bridge can do business on the property this summer, officials said.

“I know staff has been instructed to be cooperative and make this happen,” said Justin Finestone, spokesman for Eagle County.

Built in 1890, the main building that burned at State Bridge River Resort in Bond early June 2 contained a bar, office, bedroom, store and stage, where concerts were held.

State Bridge may host concerts with no more than 500 people on the property as long as it gets approval from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and from the Eagle County Environmental Health Department, said Keith Montag, community development director for Eagle County.

Stoughton did not expect that getting that approval would be difficult, he said.

“Everybody in that entire building is pulling for State Bridge,” he said.

State Bridge would hold its first concert since the fire on June 29, he said.

Stoughton said a crew with heavy machinery would remove the burned debris from the State Bridge lodge this weekend.

“By Wednesday, it will be ready to hold a show,” Stoughton said.

By allowing State Bridge to operate, the county is showing that they recognize the value of the upper Colorado River, said Chris Amoroso, owner of the Colorado River Center. The rafting company has relied on State Bridge for its business for eight years, he said.

“I think that by allowing State Bridge to continue to operate, they’ve voted in favor of having places where people can gather and enjoy the Colorado River,” Amoroso said.

Meanwhile, police have no suspects in a fire they said was intentionally set after the lodge was burglarized.

“We have a couple persons of interest that we are attempting to interview,” said Detective Brandon Beaudette of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

Those people “potentially have a lot of knowledge about the incident,” Beaudette said.

With some help from State Bridge’s owner, police have increased the reward to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of a suspect or both. Police want anyone with information to call 328-7007 or 1-800-972-TIPS.

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