Columbine Cabins to add food service area

After years of providing visitors with quaint, historic lodging, the owners of Columbine Cabins are planning to add something new to their menu: a food service area.

Owners Jan Dierks and Lyman Fancher brought plans for a food service building and outdoor seating area before the Routt County Regional Planning Commission on Thursday and received overall support for the idea.

The Columbine Mining Camp was started in the early 1880s and much of it remains today, although the cabins now are used as lodging for recreationalists visiting North Routt County.

Because the owners are planning to rebuild the cabin's water and septic systems in the spring, they decided to construct a central meeting and eating place to coincide at the same time.

"It's been 100 years of the potluck approach," architect Laura Sefton said. "This is not going to or meant to increase business, but it will make the place more economical."

About 10 years ago, new water and sewer lines, as well as a central lodge, were built after the neighboring Columbine General Store became too congested, Sefton said. The lodge includes a laundry room, bathrooms and a gathering place.

The new building will allow cabin visitors to cook as a group in a central location. The water and sewer system update is being done to take advantage of new technology available to ensure the longevity of the utility infrastructure, Sefton said.

"We think it's going to be a good addition to our property and we'll put (it) to good use," Dierks said.

The project received overall support from the Routt County Planning Commission on Thursday night, Planner John Eastman said, and the plan will go before the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 10.

The Columbine Cabins are on the Routt County list of historic places, and they recently became eligible for the National Historic Register of Historic Places.

The owners constantly are working to preserve the cabins' longevity and to have more historic bus tours to the cabins in the summer, Sefton said.

"They are a real amenity for Routt County, and the owners have done a good job in their historic preservation efforts," Eastman said.

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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