Ear to the ground

“I don’t mountain bike anymore. All my free time has to be spent at the bar.”

– A Durango man and new father discussing the perils of parenting

The final round

It’s last call at the Bondad Hill Saloon. The iconic bar/roadhouse celebrates the end of its era this Sunday. The bar located near the Colorad/New Mexico line has been purchased by the Colorado Department of Transportation and will be dozed to make way for an expanded U.S. Hwy. 550.

Business and transportation have long been at odds along the stretch of highway south of Durango. But traffic has grown steadily along U.S. Hwy. 550, and CDOT has to four-lane its way over several existing businesses, including the Bondad Hill Saloon. Owner Guy Kemp put up a good fight and lobbied last year for state funding to have his business moved back from the road and to build a new bar and grill. But “the man” won out in the end, and CDOT will replace the road house with road base.

Prior to its untimely demise, the Bondad Hill Saloon has staged shows from the likes of country outlaw David Allen Coe and achieved cult status in biker circles. “Stop in at the Bondad Saloon,” says the write-up on Bikernet. “The owners are biker-raised, kin to ‘Billy’ at the Iron Horse Saloon in Daytona. You’ll see the resemblance when you head to the back porch and outside bar, where the beer is ‘colder then your ex-ole-lady’s heart!’”

Kemp and the Bondad Hill Saloon aren’t going out without a bang, however. The local band Motivator will play the saloon’s final round this Sunday. Bondad’s last hurrah gets under way at noon and revelers can expect a “blowout.”

Animas in ink

A Durango institution has landed on a list of Colorado’s favorites. The Denver Post recently released its staff picks for the coming ski season, and Animas Trading Co. made the cut.

“Looking for a skiwear bargain?” the story opened. “Long to sleep somewhere that doesn’t cost more per night than your mortgage payment? How about the most raucous après-ski scene on the mountain or the cheapest lunch? A few Denver Post staffers who shred and ski their way around the state each season share their picks for the best the state’s resorts have to offer.”

The Denver Posters went on to spotlight such noted watering holes as Vail’s Red Lion and Breck’s Gold Pan Saloon as well as eateries like Beaver Creek’s Grouse Mountain Grill, “when money is no object.” Locally, the paper shined a light on Animas Trading.

“Animas Trading Company is a funky shop that carries a variety of decor items from several Asian countries, as well as clothing, jewelry, costumes, cards and posters, gag gifts and a bunch of other odd things,” staffers wrote. “It’s just fun to browse.”

In addition to being Durango’s only entry in the who’s who, Animas Trading was the only business this side of Aspen to make the cut.




In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows