Telluride Hospital District: Next Steps for New Facility

Telluride Hospital District: Next Steps for New Facility

The Telluride Hospital District (THD) is taking the next step towards a new medical facility when they issue a formal request for a Property Evaluation/Site Selection Due Diligence Information Sheet from five regional stakeholders and their corresponding private and governmental jurisdictions for proposals to locate a new medical facility on their municipal or private property.


The five potential sites for a new regional medical center have been identified through a comprehensive and exhaustive process over the past five years and include a location in Telluride, two in Mountain Village, and two in Lawson Hill. One of those sites, the Telluride RV Lot on Mahoney Drive, joined the list of viable options only after Proposition 2D, which designated the lot as one to be used for public use, was passed by voters this past November.   

“We’re fortunate to have options to evaluate,” said THD President, Larry Mallard. “We’re grateful to the voters in Telluride who made a location in Telluride possible when they passed Proposition 2D.”

Proposition 2D, passed by a vast majority of voters, designated a parcel of the Pearl Property to be rezoned for a public purpose including a medical center, education facilities, recreation facilities, affordable and employee housing, community center, general governmental services, open space administration and maintenance facilities, or festival parking.

“We’re still very hopeful about keeping the Telluride Medical Center in town, nothing has changed there, but we have a basic fiduciary responsibility to our community and taxpayers to build the most appropriate medical center, at the most responsible location, that will meet the needs of the community for years to come,” said Mallard.

The Telluride Medical Center property lease expires in 2032, however, the THD Board of Directors points to space pressure and an inadequate aging structure that is ill- suited for a medical facility as reasons for a new clinic and emergency room.

The Telluride Medical Center, a 10,000 square foot remodeled residential building, was constructed under the 1978 Universal Building Code. It’s estimated that to bring the entire facility up to the 2014 Medical, Life Safety, Building and Energy Codes would increase the facility to approximately 17,000 square feet, without adding any patient care capacity. Even then, the current location would not include sufficient space to accommodate future population growth.

According to Telluride Medical Center Executive Director, Gordon Reichard, in planning for future growth, a 25,000 square foot building is required and would include two additional exam rooms and a procedure room to the Emergency department, as well as three new Primary Care exam rooms and visiting specialists’ rooms. This facility, anticipating future needs, would also include one overnight observation bed, a surveillance area (built jointly with the Towns and County), and a larger imaging department possibly including MRI and Mammography, along with support space for the added patients and staffing needs.

All five properties identified by the THD for the Property Evaluation were evaluated on how they met the requisite criteria of sufficient size with room for future expansion; emergency vehicle access for ambulances and helicopters; ease of access by patients; and cost of site construction and adequate parking.

“Our priority is to find a parcel of property that can best house a facility that will serve our community for the next 50 years,” said Mallard.

To that extent, THD has structured the Property Evaluation process to be as collaborative as possible. “We’re very grateful for the Telluride Foundation’s Health and Wellness Survey. This reaffirmed our community’s support for a new facility.”

The Telluride Foundation’s recent Health & Wellness Center Initiative retained three national consulting firms to assist them in a study that concluded that a new medical center is needed and supported by the community. The initiative also identified four of the five parcels that are included in the Property Evaluation process.

“It’s been made clear, this community, its leaders in government and owners’ associations appreciate the value of having great local medical care” said Mallard. “We’re indebted to the Towns of Telluride and Mountain Village, the San Miguel County Commissioners, the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, the Lawson Hill Owners Association and Big Dog Holdings for their support of our Medical Center and for participating in this due diligence process.”

The Property Evaluation/Site Selection Due Diligence Information Sheet was designed with input from Frauenshuh, a Minneapolis-based commercial real estate group that evaluates sites and develops medical facilities across the country. Based upon a careful evaluation of the submissions from the five identified parcels, the THD will identify the optimal location “consistent with the health needs of the community,” according Reichard.

Property stakeholders interested in having their respective parcels considered by THD have until June 16 to submit a Property Evaluation sheet. Evaluators have until August to consider and announce the preferred site.

The complete Property Evaluation Information Sheet will be posted online at


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