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State Bridge Lodge to rise from the ashes

Edward Stoner
Vail Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” A Front Range company plans to build a 1,000-person-plus-capacity amphitheater to revive State Bridge as a concert venue.

Golden Roads LLC of Castle Rock is under contract to buy the State Bridge property, said listing agent Mike Devins of RE/MAX Vail Valley.

Ted Tilton of Golden Roads said the company wants State Bridge to be a sizable concert venue that would donate some of its proceeds to humanitarian causes.



“Our intention, most certainly, first and foremost, is to revive the spirit of State Bridge as it was,” Tilton said.

The historic lodge, built in 1890 on the Colorado River north of Wolcott, burned to the ground in June 2007. The fire was intentionally set, though all leads in the case have been exhausted, investigators say.



The lodge was a noted live music venue. Shortly before the fire, the property was put up for sale by owner Mitch Garfinkel for $2.2 million. After the fire, it was relisted at $1.1 million.

Tilton is a musician himself. In fact, he played keyboard in an Allman Brothers Band tribute group that performed at State Bridge the day before the lodge burned, he said.

“We bring a pretty intimate knowledge of the space and what the spirit of the place was,” he said.

Tilton said he hopes to open the new State Bridge by next spring or early summer.

The outdoor amphitheater would give the audience views of the Colorado River, hosting acts similar to those that are booked at Front Range venues such as the Fillmore Auditorium and Boulder Theater, he said.

A good portion of the acts would be jam bands, Tilton said.

Plans also include rebuilding a restaurant and bar and upgrading lodging, Tilton said. There are now cabins and yurts in the complex. Tilton added that the company is aiming to use solar and wind power at the site.

The group is now refining its business plan as it works to close the deal, Tilton said.

The company is in talks with county planners about the project, Assistant County Manager Keith Montag said.

Investigators believe that an “accelerant” such as gasoline was used to set fire to the lodge in the early morning of June 2, 2007. Evidence shows that someone unsuccessfully tried to pry open an ATM machine before the fire was set, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office says.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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