Tag Archives: Saguache Today

Rounding the Corner in Saguache Today

Alamosa builder Greg Van Gieson, Bungalow owners Barry Van Sant and wife Maria Archuelta, and Saguache Chamber Board Member Dave Smalley cut the official red ribbon at the Open House held in Saguache On August 23 at the new Red and Blue Bungalows. Photo: Saguache Today/ Kathy Bedell

You could say that things have turned the bend, rounded the corner so to speak down along the old  “Highway 285 Gunbarrel” in Saguache Today. That certainly seemed to be the news last night as dozens of residents and friends gathered to celebrate an Open House for some new housing options in Saguache.

It was a hearty welcome to the neighborhood to the recently constructed Red and Blue Bungalows located at 840 and 850 Denver Avenue just a block off the bend along Highway 285 where it intersects with CO Highway 114 in northwest Saguache County. The long-term rental units which are now available for occupancy were posted just days ago on the Zillow real estate website and chances are these “beautiful new Craftsman-style bungalows” won’t be on the market for long.

The rental house features include two bedrooms and a large bathroom with a standing tub, Jack & Jill sinks, and a separate water closet with walk-in shower & toilet with a pocket door for privacy. These are highly energy-efficient homes with double pane windows, gas furnace & vented range and a gas tankless water heater.

The new long-term rentals in Saguache Today: The Red and Blue Bungalows!

The rentals include a large kitchen with double sink, garbage disposal, dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator with ice maker. Other amenities include a separate laundry room with GE washer & dryer, a large, covered front porch, and a covered back porch with mudroom and pavement to the stand-alone garage. These beauties probably won’t be on the market long, even at the $1600/month rental fee with a move-in requirement of first and last month rent. Tenants will also pay all utilities.

During the ribbon-cutting sponsored by the Saguache Chamber of Commerce, Van Sant recognized Van Gieson and Company a midsized construction company based out of Alamosa, which built the bungalows.

“These are the guys who get it done,” said Van Sant to a crowd of 50 who gathered to celebrate the new housing addition to an area that needs options as the region grows and the finishing touches on a sizeable new school in town are completed.

“If you want a good job done, give these guys a call,” concluded Van Sant who also serves as the Saguache Chamber President.

ll new appliances and an open floor concept these rentals won’t be on the market for long!

These new Red and Blue Bungalows join the other properties on the lot which are owned and operated by Barry Van Sant. The Orchard House and The Bunkhouse are short-term, Airbnb rentals and have been doing well in the local San Luis Valley lodging market, providing more lodging options in the northwest quadrant of Saguache County.

The Reviews Are In – Barry’s a Superhost

In the Airbnb world “Superhosts” are considered “experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.” So if you haven’t already, it’s time to meet the man, the property owner, the developer, and President of the Saguache Chamber of Commerce, Barry Van Sant.

Saguache businessman Barry Van Sant greets guests to his Open House for the newly constructed Red and Blue Bungalows on Denver Avenue just off the “Highway 285 Gunbarrel”

 In his own words: “I grew up in Los Angeles, California. In 1973 I came to Colorado and never looked back. I graduated from Colorado State University with a Wildlife Biology degree and then entered into a long Information Technology career supporting many government clients including the U.S. Forest Service, several other USDA agencies, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology. My love of the outdoors is why I live here and in Saguache, the hidden gem in the quiet, rugged, and untamed San Luis Valley. Must fish, hunt, hike, ski, and 4-wheel drive with friends and family as much as possible!”

Reflecting on the months that turned into years to bring all of the lodging/rental projects to completion, Van Sant was hesitant to commit to more development on the corner. Not just yet anyway as that entire stretch of the Highway 285 corridor is slated to undergo a major upgrade from the Colorado Department of Transportation, a project the chamber claims as a major focus in 2020. More details on that project can be found HERE.

Residents and friends gather to celebrate and tour the new digs at the “Highway 285 Gunbarrel”

But last night, it was clear that there’s a change in the air and that things are finally turning the corner thanks to a businessman like Barry Van Sant. Come, see it for yourself, make a point to pull off the old “Highway 285 Gunbarrel” and check out what’s new in Saguache Today.

Other Rentals Down on the Corner

The new Red and Blue Bungalows join Saguache businessman Barry Van Sant’s other lodging properties on that corner, both of which are short-term Airbnb vacation rentals. The Orchard House has been redecorated this year and moved to a quieter corner of the property where it now sits right next to the 21 tree fruit orchard!

Just next door is Van Sant’s other rental, The Bunkhouse at The Old Spanish Trail. This Airbnb rental is great for a large group and includes all the amenities of home. Both are close to downtown Saguache and within walking distance to restaurants and shops. Makes a great home-base for those looking to explore the San Luis Valley!

Saguache Could Benefit from “Borderlands” Grant

History Colorado announced last week that a workshop for educators entitled Borderlands of Southern Colorado could be beneficial in keeping history and culture alive in Saguache Today!

The Borderlands of Southern Colorado is made possible through a $168,000 Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency of the U.S. government. Dedicated to supporting education, research, preservation, and public programs in the humanities, the NEH is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. 

“Borderlands exist where multiple political or cultural groups occupy and claim space that is adjacent to each other. During the workshop, educators will explore the complexity, tragedy, conflict and hybridity created by natural barriers and the imposition of geo-political borders,” said Eric Carpio, director of the Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center, the History Colorado museum that is facilitating the workshop. “We believe that the Borderlands of Southern Colorado concepts are applicable across many disciplines and ages, so we invite teachers to participate from diverse subject areas, geographies, grade levels and interests.”

 Through the grant, the Borderlands of Southern Coloradoworkshop content and tool kit will be developed and executed by History Colorado, a charitable organization and an agency of the State of Colorado, which serves as a platform for community connection and diversity.

The seven-day workshop, designed for teachers of grades 6-12, is accessible to any educator with an interest in history, culture, geography, religion and politics. Relevant throughout K–12 humanities curricula, it will critically examine our nation’s complex history, engage in critical dialogue, and share diverse viewpoints. 

Borderlands of Southern Colorado​ is a place-based workshop in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, sharing the multidimensional history of the American southwest through the intersection of geo-political, geographic, cultural, ethnic and religious landscapes. Through the workshops in summer 2020, educators will learn from a diverse and highly qualified team of scholars, mentors, and community members to examine how shifting historic borders and borderlands in the region have impacted individual and community identity, power, government, ecosystems, economy, land and water, religion and spirituality; and how these borderland issues continue to resonate today. ​ 

The Saguache County Museum is located off Highway 285 and houses hundreds of artifacts from Saguache County’s fascinating history!

About the Borderlands of Southern Colorado Workshop

The Borderlands of Southern Colorado workshop will be located in the San Luis Valley at the Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center, Adams State University, and in other communities around the valley. Next month, History Colorado will post a link to the workshop application on its website. A selection committee, comprised of the project directors, teaching mentor and one faculty member, will review applications to select a diverse group of educators representing a range of geographic locations, teaching experiences, grade levels and subject areas. Decisions will be announced in spring 2020; the two week-long workshops will take place in summer 2020. 

The workshop will provide educators with content, skills, a toolkit and an experience to foster historical inquiry and critical thinking, while exploring the following key questions:

  • How does geography intersect with layers of identity such as gender, race, age and class? 
  • How has the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo transformed the country, the people of southern Colorado and the southwest U.S., and how does it continue to be relevant today? 
  • How is the environment shaped by both visible and invisible fences and boundaries? 
  • How do material borders and landscapes inform cultural, political, personal and human borders and landscapes? 
  • How has the sacred connection of landscape impacted life, practices, tragedies, celebrations, and settlement within the region? 

For any educators’ inquiries, before the workshop application and online materials are available in mid-September, please contact Eric Carpio at 719-379-3512 or eric.carpio@state.co.us.

About History Colorado

History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. The charitable organization and historical agency serves as the state’s memory, preserving the places, stories and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, research library, collections and outreach to Colorado communities. With eight museums around the state, History Colorado shares the cultures and stories that define Colorado’s past and present, including History Colorado Center (Denver); Center for Colorado Women’s History at Byers-Evans House (Denver); El Pueblo History Museum (Pueblo); Trinidad History Museum (Trinidad); Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center (Fort Garland); Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin (Leadville); Ute Indian Museum (Montrose); and Fort Vasquez (Platteville). Visit HistoryColorado.org or call 303-HISTORY, for more information. 

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.