Dear Colorado College Friends,
It is with sadness in my heart that I write to inform you, that after a full 10 years of proudly serving the music/arts/culture/party needs of the CC Tiger community, The Leechpit will indeed be forced to close its doors this July. As you are all well aware, this is not our choice, but a decision made by the Colorado College administration without seeking, nor dignifying, the feedback of the student population.
In spite of a lengthy and rigorous search, we currently have not been able to secure an acceptable replacement location, so the future of the Leechpit, at this point, is still very much uncertain.
Furthermore, it has come to my attention that your fearless leader, Dr. Tiefenthaler has been spreading information that I feel is factually incorrect, patently false, or, at the very least, intentionally misleading. In a letter sent to me by an anonymous whistle blower, Tiefenthaler stated, in true form, that:
“While the Leechpit has been in business for a number of years, they did not become a tenant on Colorado College property until the summer of 2011, when they signed a two-year lease for use of the property. In September 2012, the College gave them notice that the lease would not be renewed. This occurred after the College had offered to lease them other College property and they declined to move.
CC utilizes a property manager when College-owned property is leased and that manager has had numerous conversations with the owner of the Leechpit. The College is not renewing the lease in order for the property to become available for use by Colorado College students.”
To clarify, we signed a two-and-a-half year lease at the invitation and encouragement of former President Dick Celeste’s administration, starting February 1, 2011. The lease had an option to renew yearly, at the college’s discretion, and we discussed the various scenarios in which we would no longer be welcome, none of which have occurred. Not a big deal, but I thought I should point out Jill’s misunderstanding.
She fails to mention that the building’s furnace was seized and all pipes in the building were frozen when we tried to move in, and it required an additional 10 days before we could occupy the building. After finally gaining access, it took nearly an additional week of deep cleaning to remove the rodent urine and feces (and accompanying odors) before we could begin setting up our store, which she is correct to point out, has served the CC community for over a decade.
Also, they first notified us of this unpleasant situation much earlier than she states in her letter, almost immediately after T’s reign began, in August of 2011 (just six months into our lease). The CC administration sent our property manager from Griffis/Blessing over to simply ask us to leave. Granted, she was very nice about it, and apologized profusely for the unusual expense, but it did seem pretty damn lame, and it made us realize that we should probably not get too comfortable, and the new administration was probably not going to be quite as “kick-ass” as the crew that Dick Celeste ran.
Cheryl approached us at least two other times before the President of Griffis/Blessing himself arrived, with his expensive suit, high-polished chrome dome, and a goon on each arm, asking us to leave personally! He also informed us that Cheryl (the nice lady I told you about) was no longer our property manager, and that the “buzz cut” in a suit to his right would be taking care of us from now on. Cheryl had the leak in our roof fixed in less than 30 minutes flat. Buzz took eight days to have a branch removed from the parking lot after the wind blew it down. Buzz also sent us a letter threatening eviction when we had a food truck pull up for a few days.
Lastly, and most importantly in my eyes, is her claim to have offered us other College-owned properties. Cheryl, upon her first attempt at our removal, had said the college was interested in offering us a new spot, and had offered us the “Solar Shade” building on Cache La Poudre, behind the daycare center, across from 7-11. This building, although perfect for many of the uses the college says they need our building for, would be horribly suited for a retail store like ours. Furthermore, had anyone from the college bothered to visit our business, they would know that sharing a parking lot with the daycare center could present some very obvious problems. This was the only location we were offered.
Besides this one possible new location, we received one offer from CC to buy us out. Well, the offer came in, and it was quite a bit of money alright – but just a bit! Only $6,000 with 30 days to get the fuck out! Don’t spend it all in one place, right? We spent far more than that just to get moved in. My children will be thrilled!
Never once did the college attempt to discuss the situation with us directly.
I’d also like to comment on her claim that the building will be used for student activities, ostensibly, as a replacement for the Carriage House, the Whitney Electric, Cosset Hall and Amphitheater, The Tiger Pit, or a number of other rooms that can and have been utilized by students over the years.
As far as the Leechpit goes, make sure they secure the doors and windows so your equipment doesn’t get stolen, and make them fix the place up a little bit. Students have fought for years to get a dedicated space, so please use it, love it, and appreciate it. There is a lot of “Colo” rock’n'roll history soaked into those walls, and I hope the building will see better days before it sees a wrecking ball. The Conoco building disappeared pretty fast, though…
As someone with intimate knowledge of the building and neighborhood, I can confidently say that you will not want to throw anything that even resembles a decent party in this location. Within visibility and ear-shot distance from both 7-11 and half the walk-in traffic of Weber Street Liquor, any decent party will quickly become a magnet for freaks and weirdos of all persuasions. No less than 15 cop cars drive by every hour! It’s not exactly the ideal spot to party, I can assure you. But I am sure the “powers that be” have thought all of this through.
Anyhow, I’m sorry to feed you my sour grapes, but I just thought I would set the record straight before the Leechpit is gone forever. I also thought you might want to know how how well the people that charge you $56,000 a year for tuition “listen,” and how well they treat the community they are always claiming to be “reaching out” to. The Leechpit was a bridge, and sadly, the bridge is burning.
That said, the Leechpit loves you guys, the kids, and we are going to miss the hell out of you guys when we are gone! And don’t you go worrying about me and my kids…You can keep tabs on us at leechpit.com or on Facebook. Hopefully we will settle down not too far from here, and you will all find it in your hearts to visit us now and then. If we don’t re-open, though, thanks for everything. Not a whole lot of people can say they supported their wife and three children for ten years by selling vintage records and t-shirts…but I CAN!
Keep Colorado College Lame!