CSU purchased the Helmshire Inn during the 1998-99 school year
with plans of opening a bed and breakfast for visiting faculty.
When the university was prohibited from using the building for such
services, Helmshire was put up for sale.
Though it has not been sold, housing officials say it is still
passively for sale, should a reasonable price be offered to CSU for
For now, the inn serves students’ living needs on a permanent
The inn is directly across College Avenue from the South College
Although it is not uncommon for CSU to purchase real estate off
campus, this was the first attempt by the university to open a bed
The university wanted to work in coordination with the resorts
management department and open the enterprise to the public, said
Jim Dolak, executive director of Housing and Dining Services.
“CSU holds conferences year-round, but during the school year
it’s more difficult to (house) guests,” Dolak said. “(Helmshire)
would have been somewhere we could have housed about 20 faculty
guests during the school year.”
CSU was not able to follow through with its plan because of
intervention from the Colorado Commission of Higher Education.
“With the political climate, we were asked by the CCHE not to
compete in the bed and breakfast industry,” Dolak said. “After that
it sat empty for a couple years.”
Joan Ringel, spokesperson for CCHE, said the commission would
not allow Helmshire to operate as a bed and breakfast because it
would be unfairly competing with similar businesses in the city.
Helmshire would not have to follow as many legal restrictions as
She also said there is a statute relating to higher education
that would prohibit CSU from opening such enterprises off
Following the plan’s dismissal, CSU put the property up for sale
for nearly two years. Without any legitimate offers, CSU decided to
open the building to student housing.
“One of the reasons we didn’t want it to sit empty was because
we had a mortgage to pay on it,” Dolak said. “Allowing students to
live there helped finance that.”
Students have since been living in Helmshire Hall for the past
two years and CSU is taking reservations for rooms in the fall,
said John Haines, area coordinator for Helmshire.
Helmshire is available to all non-freshman students for $2,500 a
semester, which includes 80 meal plans in any of the residence hall
dining centers. The hall provides furnished rooms with air
conditioning, private personal bathrooms, kitchenettes and on-site
parking. In the past Helmshire offered all single rooms, but this
year housing has assigned two people per room for a total of 48
“It’s a step between living in the residence halls and an
apartment,” Haines said. “Most students say it’s a quiet, studious,
mature environment with a good sense of community.”
Rebecca Runrein, a junior soil science major who transferred
from Northeastern Junior College, has similar feelings towards the
“It has a good ratio of transfer students, so it was really easy
to meet people,” Runrein said. “Most people like it because it’s
quiet, but we all do stuff together.”
Helmshire is located at 1204 S. College Ave. and can be reached
through the Residence Hall Assignments and Billing Office at (970)