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Boulder Elks Lodge and Events Center Reopens After Flood With a Brand-New Dance Floor

Boulder Elks Lodge and Event Center's new 3,000-square-foot dance floor
Boulder Elks Lodge and Event Center's new 3,000-square-foot dance floor Mark Wood
The past three years at the Boulder Elks Lodge and Events Center have been tumultuous, to say the least. The lodge shut down most of its programming during the pandemic — though you could still swim in the heated pool while social distancing — and then faced a water leak that destroyed its iconic dance floor in 2022. Now celebrating its grand reopening on Saturday, March 11, the lodge is poised to return with its historically groovy grace intact.

Founded in 1900, the 123-year-old lodge has been serving the Boulder community for longer than most remember. Part of the Elks National Foundation, the lodge is much more than an event center and has several community programs that constantly give back to the city. Jan Stull, a fifteen-year Elks member and chairwoman of the board, was drawn to the organization because of its Medical Equipment Loan Program, which provides temporary use of needed medical equipment to members of the community, free of charge. "I had some surgery; I needed a walker, and the hospital told us to go to the Elks," Stull recalls. "So we got one, and I realized what a great organization it was. I was retired, and I thought I should volunteer and help."

The Medical Equipment Loan Program is just one example of the organization's community-focused work. The Elks Lodge has an extensive high school scholarship program and partners with the Veterans Community Project to assist with projects like Longmont's upcoming "tiny village," a small community of homes for unhoused veterans that is set to open in the next couple of months. "We do an awful lot of stuff for the community, and I've met some wonderful people over the years," Stull says, emphasizing that the work the Elks do in the community is why she enjoys her position.

Stull also holds the title of chief cook and bottle washer for the lodge, which hosts a dinner two Fridays a month. Stull helps with the cooking, providing a hearty, all-you-can-eat meal for a small fee. The dinners have morphed into a community open-mic night, as well; musicians will snag the stage to perform and even teach other, less musically inclined guests how to play. Older members of the lodge are eager for the opportunity to interact with Boulder's diverse community members at intergenerational dinners, warm summer evening barbecues, heated pool swims and, of course, evenings spent spinning on the dance floor.

Hazel Miller & the Collective will perform at the lodge's grand reopening party on Saturday, March 11, providing groovy tunes that will help members break in the new spring-loaded dance floor. Miller played at the Boulder Elks Lodge in the ’80s, and after a thirty-year hiatus from the venue, returned in January to see the new floor. "She saw this 3,000-foot dance floor and her knees got weak. I had to hold her up," Mark Wood, the lodge's events and marketing coordinator, recalls with a chuckle.

Both Wood and Stull agree that the lodge is expected to return with a bang; with the new dance floor and the return of local talent — and, of course, Stull's cooking — they expect the venue to be more popular than it was before the pandemic.

Elks Lodge Grand Reopening with Hazel Miller & the Collective, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 11, Elks Lodge, 3975 28th Street, Boulder. Tickets are $20-$25.
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