UPDATE: Adam Leech has formally declared the end of the 'pit, at least as we know it now.
After 10 years in the converted gas station on North Nevada Avenue, he's going out with a polyphonic bang this Saturday, July 13. An impressive lineup of bands and some truly ridiculous sales will mark the occasion from noon to 7 p.m. as Leech closes up this locale for good.
—-ORIGINAL POST, THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 5:17 P.M.—-
The ongoing saga of Colorado College and the Leechpit's lease may be reaching its end. What Adam Leech's customers — read, avid supporters — want to know is if the departure from its current building also means the end of the Leechpit. Leech wants to know too.
"We really don't know," he says. "We had a few promising new leads for spots, but they fell through and took some of the wind out of our sails."
He continues to look for possible new locations for the store downtown and on the west side, but he readily admits that his own criteria don't help ease an already painful process. The current location has the appeal of personal history that's hard to replicate. Twenty years ago, Leech worked there when it was still the record store Toons.
"We really, really love what we do and where we do it," he says. "We're not going to take risks diluting the brand or compromising what we've created. We've definitely created a challenge for ourselves."
Part of that challenge comes from the terms on which Leech leaves. Colorado College has not renewed the Leechpit's lease in spite of numerous student-led protests, letters, and a petition. Leech has been amazed and gratified by those efforts:
"We love the students and we question the long-term success of their administration."
The efforts of Christian Tappe, who collected more than 400 signatures on the petition, and others reveal a gap between the administration and the student body. After more than a year of fruitless communication with the college, Leech is frustrated by that gap. He's also skeptical of the administration's community-oriented image.
"[The college] keeps saying they're trying to reach out to the community ... but everybody knows that they don't care," he says. "It's time to stop saying they do because it's just patronizing and I really think that the community of Colorado Springs deserves better than that."
By the time of this posting, Colorado College had not returned calls from the Independent for comment.
For now, the future of the Leechpit remains definitely uncertain. Plan B could be anything from selling the vintage stock online from a warehouse to moving on to the next project. But Leech would prefer that the Leechpit live on in a new home.
"I wish I could tell everyone we had a plan," he says. "Don't tell my wife that we don't."
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