New clinic the apple of Weitzenkorn’s eye |

New clinic the apple of Weitzenkorn’s eye

Lynn Burton
Post Independent Staff
Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker

Dr. Dan Weitzenkorn smiles when it’s suggested his new Roaring Fork Eye Clinic interior design is pleasing to the eye.

“It’s kind of corny, but true,” Weitzenkorn said during a short break in his office. “I didn’t see any reason to design an eye clinic without making it beautiful.”

The eye-catching details spread through the clinic’s open floor plan, and include a red floral arrangement in the middle of the main room’s optical display, dark gray carpet contrasting with blond woodwork, track lighting that highlights glass shelves for 1,000 eyeglass frames, custom-designed furnishings in two waiting rooms, a spotting scope pointed west through large front windows, and playfully shaped windows in two-tone exam room doors.

Weitzenkorn rises from his spotlessly clean desk, glides through the office door and heads down the hall past Japanese-style sliding doors that conceal the clinic’s break room to the split-level reception desk at the smoky front doors.

He loves the view that greets patients and customers as they wait at the desk, because their eyes can quickly skip in a line through three sections of the clinic, and on outside through a window to the drive-through for Mesa National Bank next door.

“This is a cool perspective,” Weitzenkorn says, as he eases both hands into his pockets. “There’s a lot of visual interest here. It’s entertaining.”

Weitzenkorn opened Roaring Fork Eye Clinic at 2520 Grand Ave. in July, and held his grand opening last Friday. His “one stop” eye clinic covers 4,500 square feet, and occupies half the downstairs portion of the new Penrose Plaza. Weitzenkorn moved the clinic from 20th Street to Penrose Plaza, in part to expand his eyewear selection and other services.

One of Weitzenkorn’s first stops was at the offices of the Basalt-based Cottle Graybeal Yaw Architects, where he worked with architects Larry Yaw and Alex Klumb.

The two main goals Weitzenkorn hoped to accomplish were a comfortable patient flow through the clinic and optical shop, and creating a visually pleasing environment.

“The floor plan was the nuts and bolts,” Weitzenkorn said.

The plan leads patients and customers into the main room, with the reception desk to the right, the smaller of two waiting areas to the left, and farther to the left the optical shop, which occupies the clinic’s northwest corner.

In the center of the clinic is the waiting area, with comfy couches and chairs, a television and customer Internet access. Surrounding the waiting room in a 180 degree arc are an optical lab, exam and surgical rooms, and office space.

For the interior design, Weitzenkorn wanted to avoid the usual “mountain West” Colorado design.

“We didn’t want to be limited to stone fireplaces and logs,” Weitzenkorn said.

The end result is a contemporary but inviting interior that would be just as home in downtown Denver as south Grand Avenue. Weitzenkorn said he realized going into the project the look might be a little more sophisticated or urban than Glenwood Springs people are used to, “But we were willing to risk they would get it.”

Weitzenkorn was especially concerned his older customers and patients might be alienated by the modern design, but those fears were unfounded.

“Some of the most ebullient comments we get are from little old ladies who just love it, because it’s beautiful and comfortable. It’s very rare for someone to feel intimidated.”

Roaring Fork Eye Clinic’s staffing ranges from 12 to 14 employees. Master optician Tommy Divel manages the optical shop, which carries Gucci, Christian Dior, Lunar, Oakley and other product lines.

At the front desk, Weitzenkorn’s wife, Trish, greets customers and patients, and helps manage the office.

“She’s the perfect fit for that position,” Weitzenkorn said.

Before returning to another busy day’s work Thursday, Weitzenkorn looked around his dream clinic and summarized the philosophy he and his architects kept coming back to during the design process.

“We wanted to do something interesting and exciting for ourselves, and our customers. There’s nothing wrong in being treated better. That was the concept.”

Roaring Fork Eye Clinic is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The telephone number is 945-5444.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.