THE SHUTDOWN: The Tomichi Lodge was shut down by Gunnison County on July 14, 2017 until improvements are made bringing the structure up to 2009 Universal Building Code(UBC).
THE RIPPLE EFFECT: The immediate shutdown negatively impacts the break-even, labor-of-love business in three ways...
1- existing reservations must be cancelled and refunded,
2- no new summer reservations may be taken,
3- large cash outflow for county-required improvements.
We will have to stomach a loss of $30,000+ in summer/fall rental revenues.
THE TOMICHI LODGE COMMUNITY: Both local and out-of-state outdoor enthusiasts including hikers and mountain bikers, big game hunters and fishermen, backcountry and cross-country skiers, snowboarders and mountaineers, snowmobilers, ATV'ers and dirt bikers, family reunions, weddings and bachelor-ette parties, educational, religious and outdoor leadership programs have all safely enjoyed the Tomichi Lodge for 4 decades and have created wonderful new friends and memories during their stays.
HOW DID WE GET HERE: In September 2016 there was a small fire in the lodge due to the improper disposal of wood stove ashes. The Gunnison County Volunteer Fire Department thankfully got to the property and put out the fire. In doing so they also captured dozens of photos of the lodge interior for their records. The Gunnison County Community Development Department received these photos containing 'life safety issues' in September 2016 . The GCCDD sat on the photos on file for 9 months - Sept 2016-June 2017 - before notifying the owners that there were any safety issues with the lodge. During this 9-month timeframe the lodge's operations experienced two regular offseason periods where little-to-no guests stay at the lodge, the late fall/early winter of 2016 and the spring of 2017. Instead of the owners receiving prior warning or notice of the 'life safety issues' effectively allowing the improvements to be scheduled during the off-seasons, an immediate 'cease notice' was served during peak summer tourism season, turning away guests with fully-paid, confirmed reservations. The guests have weddings, bachelor parties, family reunions and mountain bike trips planned. Gunnison County did not offer a 'remedy period' to the owners which would allow them to continue daily business operations while the county-required improvements are made. An immediate 'cease order' was served instead.
HOW DONATIONS GET APPLIED: The $40,000+ of improvements required by Gunnison County include the installation of new electrical, rewiring of well pump and septic tank lift station power source, structural reinforcement to roof's snow-load capacity and exterior wall integrity, installation of new propane lines, hot water heater and venting, relocation of wood-burning stoves and rerouting of chimney stacks including building new chase runs. All work must be permitted and performed by licensed contractors.
THE LODGE: Located at 10,300' in Colorado's Southern Sawatch Range the 10.5-acre property provides the perfect location to get away and enjoy the high country without the modern day buzz. The main lodge is a log cabin full of character and charm and offers 2,000+ SF of living space, including 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large great room, full kitchen, indoor plumbing, wood-burning stoves with stocked firewood and cozy beds. The lodge is completely off-grid and currently generates its own electricity via an on-site hydro-electric system.