The Dee Hive is no more.
The building at 506 Harrison Ave. has been sold, and the sign removed.
It had been owned by the Ray Cline family since 1970, but actually dates back to 1879 when it was part of a 16-acre parcel owned by H.A.W. Tabor.
New owners of the building, as of several weeks ago, are Tim and Barbara Klitch of Austin, Texas. They were in town Oct. 4, to remove the sign and give away the remaining contents of the building.
The Klitches haven’t decided yet what will go in the store space. They may open a business or they may rent the space to someone else.
“Our first goal is to find a productive use that is consistent with the culture of Leadville,” Tim Klitch said. “Secondly we do not want to compete with any of the existing merchants, given Leadville’s size. We are looking into opening an art studio/gallery or some other business that will help support the Leadville community.”
But they do have initial plans to renovate the two upper stories into a residence, which they will occupy when they are in Leadville.
Tim Klitch has an interesting story of how they discovered Leadville. They were visiting Denver in the summer of 2018, experienced the heat and decided to look up the coldest place in Colorado and spend a few days. Not surprisingly, the coldest place was Leadville.
“It was a race weekend and hard to find a place to stay, but we found an Airbnb outside of town,” Klitch said. When they came downtown and walked down the main street, they began to suspect that Leadville was a real town and not another ski resort town. They said Leadville reminded them of old Austin
They were especially taken with the Mineral Belt Trail. Tim, a cyclist, has ridden it and his wife, Barbara, has hiked it.
Tim Klitch told the Herald that the two have always wanted to live in a place where they could walk to dinner.
The couple plan to work closely with the Leadville Historic Preservation Commission in restoring the building.
No strangers to historic preservation, the Klitches have lived for the past 26 years in a residence formerly owned by Lyndon B. Johnson in the Austin area, saving it from real estate developers, Tim Klitch said.
Tim Klitch said the couple looks forward to melding into the community as it is and not trying to change it to be something else. They are especially looking forward to experiencing the snow.
Tim Klitch, former president of Comerica Bank’s Austin market and managing director of its Texas technology and life sciences group, is currently a real-estate developer and CFO for start-up companies raising debt and equity investments. Barbara, his wife of 30 years, is a long-time wills and trusts lawyer in Texas for her father’s firm, Stanley M. Johanson, P.C