East Colfax Motel Hell Update

Say good-bye to the classic motel signs that line the now infamous strip of East Colfax (profiled in the May 17 feature "East Colfax Motel Hell", which once signified a wealthy gateway to the west but now stand like billboards for homelessness, drugs and prostitution.

Come September 30, the East Colfax motels in Aurora -- across the street from the new Fitzsimons Life Sciences District, will be empty. People like Amy Limon, pictured, are gone; most have headed west into Denver’s stretch of the slums, staying one small step above homelessness.

Limon ended up at the Sands Motel when a neighboring motel, the Dunes, closed up shop and forced her down the street. She was among the last of those living in the Sands motel, which will be the last to close, until she had a heart attack and ended up at a Denver hospital a couple of months ago. She survived, at least initially, but these days she’s not returning phone calls.

Most of the Sands' other dwellers are already gone to make way for the new development of condos and mixed-use space to include retail.

Meanwhile, the Colfax Community Network is shifting some of its resources west to accommodate the overflow into Denver, said the non-profit’s executive director Maggie Tidwell.

The developer of the multi-million dollar project that’ll replace one of Aurora’s worst eye sores, Andy Klein, said that his company is also evacuating the neighboring trailer parks the company bought and that demolition of the properties should begin within a couple of months. -- Luke Turf

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Sean Cronin