Letters to the Editor
Vail CO, Colorado
State Bridge’s spirit
State Bridge Lodge was lost to a fire on Saturday morning, June 2, 2007 but the spirit is alive and well.
To everyone who has offered goods, services and general help, I and the State Bridge Family extend our utmost gratitude. I have received messages of encouragement from all across the state and the country.
It has been five days since the fire and we are starting to look to the future. Most importantly, my caretaker John Ryder and his hero dog Tatiana are fine and staying in Vail. Although John lost everything, his spirits are high and his dog is receiving awards and accolades for her heroic efforts to wake and save John the morning of the fire.
Ronnie Tamplen, who ran the Boat House, also suffered major losses in the fire as did our chef William Howell and to a lesser extent myself.
Luckily I didn’t have the time to move in completely and the night of the fire I was at Samana Lounge hosting an event, which flooded, but that is another story.
I have been involved with State Bridge Lodge for more than 13 years as a musician, bartender, booking agent, cook, landscaper, security guard, general manager and most recently a managing partner.
The first time I played here with my band, Short Term Memory, I was a recent New Jersey transplant. After experiencing the magic of State Bridge I was hooked on the Colorado summers forever!
There is something about this place that seeps into your blood and beckons you to stay. I know many people shared this passion for State Bridge, not just as a music venue but as a type of non-denominational church for our shared love of music, the river, history and all that is pure about Colorado.
The emergency crews who staked out the site over the last five days commented on how many people stopped by to pay their respects, all types of people.
The greatest thing about State Bridge was and will be the people it attracts. I have often said and even wrote songs about the diversity of the Bridge. Bikers, hippies, river rats, married couples with children, young people, old people, ranchers, yuppies, hikers, cowboys and people living just off the radar all came to drink, eat and dance together. In my years of involvement here at The Lodge I cannot even remember a fight that cleared the room. Everyone got along together in this special place. To me this is the true magic of State Bridge and that magic is alive and well.
There is so much to do and many a rebuilding plan to go over, but right now we are challenged with staying afloat. I firmly believe that State Bridge belongs to the people and I will do everything in my power to ensure the legend will live on!
We made it to June and were anticipating many sold-out shows to cover our bills from the long winter. Now we have to move venues, but the shows will happen!
Our show for the Sunday after the fire was moved at the last minute to Samana in Vail and was attended by folks from Summit, Eagle and Routt counties. The Banyon show was so full of energy, which helped us all feel less of the loss for the night, thank you so much to all that attended.
On Sunday we were able to move the Del McCoury show with help from the folks at 4 Eagle Ranch. They stepped up to the plate and are donating their facility and some liquor proceeds to help us begin the recovery.
A very big thank you goes out to my incredible staff; they put so much love into State Bridge and have offered anything they have to get us through.
I would also like to thank the responding fire departments, Eagle County Sheriff’s office, Det. Beaudette, The Salvation Army and The Humane Society for assisting us so much and working hard to protect State Bridge Lodge.
The show much go on, so we are committed to putting on every show we had scheduled for State Bridge at various locations.
And with some help we will re-open on the June 29 to host the New Orleans RADIATORS. For information on volunteering please visit http://www.statebridge.com. P.S. Jerry the cat made it out!
With love and respect,
Scott Stoughton and the State Bridge Lodge
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