Mar 032004
Authors: Chris Kampfe

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

the property.

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

and breakfast.

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

other businesses.

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)


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