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As humble potato farmers in Derby, Colorado, the Ilg family did not have aspirations to become mavens of hospitality. They were focused on growing potatoes and brewing some of the county's best moonshine (a.k.a. booze) during prohibition. 

As times and jobs changed, the family found themselves wandering to Denver, and doing everything from butchering meat, to fixing cars, to running grocery stores. In 1988, after an eminent domain case forced them to sell the West Hotel, Larry and Jackie plopped into their current location at 1112 Broadway in the heart of Denver, Colorado, just three blocks from the State Capitol, and a block from the Denver Art Museum. 

Unfortunately, the building wasn't the gem it is today. It was gross, dilapidated, totally run down, and being used as a flop house. 

For a few years, the family played around with the building, trying to figure out what to do with such a unique challenge. By 2007, they brought their son, Jim on board, and he decided to convert part of the building to a hostel, since Denver needed one.


In 2010, a kitchen was added on the second floor. In 2016 the patio was refinished and string lights were hung up, and Jim's daughter, Sydney, joined the team. Her job? To rebrand the hostel and redesign it in preparation for a massive renovation.


In 2017, the kitchen moved to the basement and was expanded, but guests quickly outgrew the small space. By 2019, the hostel had pushed the building to its furthest limits, and the renovation of our 100+ year-old building began. From top to bottom, inside out, the building was renovated. 

An elevator was added, the historic storefronts were repaired, new HVAC and plumbing was put into the building, and for the first time in 100-years, the hostel had air conditioning. 

The renovation and historic designation process lasted from November 2019, through the pandemic, to February 2022, exactly 119-years after the hostel originally opened its doors. The process was exhausting and painful, and we spent our days and weekends painting rooms, repairing floors, and doing whatever we could to reach the finish line. 


Now, a state and national landmark, 11th Avenue Hostel serves as a reminder of a former era of travel, while hosting modern guests in an updated setting, full of character and life. 

We are so grateful to be the stewards of this beautiful building, in charge of carrying it through the 20th Century and beyond. We hope you fall in love with the personal details, original woodwork, and our amazing location as you explore the Queen City of the Plains.

A construction photo of a hallway at 11th Avenue Hostel with exposed lath and plaster walls.
Jackie and Larry, 1988.jpg
11th Avenue Hostel at dusk.jpg

11th Avenue Hostel welcomes all travelers from all walks of life, and does not discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or socioeconomic status. All are welcome here. 

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