Historic Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park closed because of bats

Posted at 2:01 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 16:01:26-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- An historic lodge built in the 1920s has been closed to the public because of bats.

Baehrden Lodge, a 27-room home-turned-lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park is undergoing restoration. For the past few summers, two of the lodge's restored rooms have been open to the public. However, Jefferson County Open Space had to cancel the tours because of bats in the building.

"The unique features of the structure have made it difficult to find all the access points," Jefferson County Open Space said in its monthly newsletter. "Bats are wonderful creatures but when they are in buildings they present health risks and harbor pests that can affect humans and in the interest of protecting our visitors, we have decided that closing Baehrden is our best course of action."

Baehrden Lodge history

William A. Baehr, president of Chicago’s North Continent Utilities Company, vacationed in Colorado in 1925. He fell in fell in love with the Pine Valley area and had a summer home built there.

Baehrden Lodge was built by a crew of 60, working around the clock for 90 days. Construction finished in 1927, at a cost of $1.5 million.

After Baehr's death, the ranch was sold in 1956. It was used as a private vacation and fishing retreat until 1975, when it was sold and became as a conference center and family resort for about 11 years.

Jefferson County Open Space purchased Pine Valley Ranch in February 1986.

Read more about the history of Baehrden Lodge.

Take a slideshow tour of the lodge.


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