Sam Kimbriel, owner of Needle Rock Brewing Company, confirmed last week that his real estate firm has a contact to purchase the armory building at the corner of 4th and Grand in Delta.
It's one of several sites he's looked at for a brewing facility. Currently, the four beers that are Needle Rock's are being brewed in Edwards.
Kimbriel said the armory is in a good location and sits in eight city lots, but the building itself is a "disaster."
"Could it work for a brewery? I'm not sure. We're going to hold onto it until we can figure out a plan."
The purchase is evidence of Kimbriel's commitment to the future of Delta County. "Any investments we make, we're going to make here," he said.
After completing extensive renovations of the restaurant building at 820 Highway 92, Kimbriel said, "I'm an entrepreneur and my goal is always to bring value to the community. We want to do what we can to make Delta County a great place to live, attract people to this area."
The armory opened at 355 Grand Avenue on July 30, 1922, one of four National Guard armories built in western Colorado after World War I.
For many years the armory was the hub of the community. The building was used for dances, skating, an indoor rifle range, a basketball court, a stage for theater, annual banquets, the state Lions convention, a Spring Fling, and more. In addition, Company C Colorado National Guard, 157th Infantry participated in drills in the drill room. Because of the convenience of a place to practice during bad weather and in the evenings, recruitment was at a peak.
In 1961, a new armory building was built in Montrose and the Colorado National Guard was asked to close the Delta armory and join Montrose.
After that, the building was put up for bid and was bought by Andy Mallet for $16,000. He turned it into a rug and furniture business. Mallet built a metal building on the north side. He lost the building to a local bank, which turned around and sold it to a California investor for $19,000. The building was sold next to a builder who had high hopes of restoring the armory. He also spoke of converting it into apartments and condos within the next five years. Instead the armory was boarded up.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.