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The Hive, a youth gathering space in Durango, looks for a new home

Skateboarders and community members celebrate at the Hive's Farewell Ramp Jam on May 3.
Clark Adomaitis
/
KSUT/KSJD
Skateboarders and community members celebrate at the Hive's Farewell Ramp Jam on May 3.

A space for youth and adults to skate and participate in artistic activities is being forced to move from its downtown location in Durango, Colorado, a town more known for hiking, biking, and skiing.

Skateboarders and community members recently celebrated the space at an event called Farewell Ramp Jam. Skateboarders of all ages and skill levels showed off tricks. They grinded on the metal coping and flew down the ramps at high speeds. After skateboarders hit a trick, onlookers cheered. The encouraging yells echoed off the walls of the indoor skate park.

The Hive isn’t just a skate park. It’s a creative, sober, LGBTQ-friendly hub directed toward youth, featuring free and low-cost workshops on skateboarding, art, music, poetry, and more.

Alex Vick, creative director and co-founder of the Hive, describes what the Hive means to him.

“We should be lucky enough to benefit witnessing that expression. It starts with screen printing your own t-shirt, it starts with building a skate park, it starts with making your own skateboard, these things that we carry with us give us power and show what we are capable of,” said Vick.

The Hive will dismantle their skate ramp and vacate their space on Main Street in Durango by June 30.
Clark Adomaitis
/
KSUT/KSJD
The Hive will dismantle their skate ramp and vacate their space on Main Street in Durango by June 30.

Vick says the Hive’s landlord decided not to renew the lease on their space, and now the organization is searching for a new permanent home.

“The main group of individuals we're working with are facing a lot of adversity and a lot of variables, keeping them from living their ideal life. So providing consistency is medicine for those who maybe have traumatic pasts,” said Vick.

The past year has been a time of transition for the Hive. Once a DIY-music hotspot, it stopped hosting live concerts in the fall of 2023.

The Hive hosted punk, metal, and experimental music acts, sometimes more than once a week.

I have been in the audience of many of these shows. Moshing with a sober but still uninhibited group on the skate park’s floor, surrounded by colorful lights and decorative skateboards hanging from the ceiling, was a joyous and cathartic experience.

Green Lizard, a metal band, traveled from the Navajo Nation to perform at the Hive in June 2023.
Clark Adomaitis
/
KSUT/KSJD
Green Lizard, a metal band, traveled from the Navajo Nation to perform at the Hive in June 2023.

Co-founder Kelsie Borland says she’s looking forward to the future despite the challenges.

“It's really hard being an executive director of a small nonprofit,” said Borland, “going through such big transitions, and not having the revenue we need to be the best versions of ourselves. I have realized this is a great thing. We really outgrew our space in the first year. We're going to find a permanent home where I'm hoping we're there for decades.”

"I am sad about the murals in this space. I'm sad about seeing the park get torn down. I definitely tear up every time I think about it," said Borland.

At the Hive’s farewell Ramp Jam, Chadwick Dixon admires the art on the skate park's walls.

“We've got the coolest graffiti in town—kind of psychedelia. We've got an octopus on the north wall, and there's some scenery of the canyonlands on the wall,” said Dixon.

Dixon helped construct the skate ramp at the Hive three years ago, and he’s sad to see it get torn down.

“(It's) bittersweet. We've watched it grow since we first started building. They're basically my family here at the Hive,” said Dixon.

A skateboarder takes a fall after attempting a trick at the Hive's Farewell Ramp Jam on May 3.
Clark Adomaitis
/
KSUT/KSJD
A skateboarder takes a fall after attempting a trick at the Hive's Farewell Ramp Jam on May 3.

Ansley Cannon is a skateboarder who led weekly Ladies' Skate events at the Hive. At the Farewell Ramp Jam, she felt mixed emotions tonight.

“I’m definitely feeling sad that they're closing down this location. But it's going to be a door into something bigger and better,” said Cannon.

The Hive will vacate its space, including dismantling its skate park, by June 30th.

“It will be difficult to pull all those screws and dismantle some of the like energy that we've had in the space. Me personally, I know I'll need some emotional support on those days as well,” said Vick.

The Hive will host summer programming like youth day camps, musical mornings, and create-a-skate. The City of Durango is helping them secure a location for their programming through August, and the Hive is working on finding a new permanent home.

Clark Adomaitis is a shared radio reporter for KSUT in Ignacio, Colorado, and KSJD in Cortez, Colorado, for the Voices from the Edge of the Colorado Plateau project. He covers stories that focus on underrepresented voices from the Four Corners region, including the Southern Ute tribe, the Ute Mountain Ute tribes, the Navajo Nation, the LGBTQ+ community, the Latinx community, and high school students.
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