Jersey Jim auction sets record

The Jersey Jim Lookout Tower rises 55 feet above an aspen-lined meadow in the San Juan National Forest. Enlargephoto

Courtesy photo

The Jersey Jim Lookout Tower rises 55 feet above an aspen-lined meadow in the San Juan National Forest.

It’s no five-star resort, but no doubt plenty of people in Southwest Colorado would much rather spend the night in a 55-foot-high fire lookout than alongside a golf course or a beach.

Add in the charity angle, and here’s what you get: Winning bids of $195 and $205 for a night in the Jersey Jim Lookout Tower northeast of Mancos.

The winning bids, in the online contest to benefit the Mancos Friends of the Library, both came from Jillian and Chris Wenburg of Durango.

The two nights – Aug. 15 and 16 – were auctioned individually.

The bids were records for the auction, which ended Saturday. The standard rate is $40 per night, but reservations aren’t easy to come by. Reservations are accepted starting the first business day of March, and they go within a day or two.

The Jersey Jim Foundation, a nonprofit volunteer organization that takes care of the tower, has donated two nights to the Mancos Friends several years in a row.

The tower – used by the U.S. Forest Service to keep an eye out for fires from the 1940s to ’70s – is in the San Juan National Forest, 14 miles northeast of Mancos.

Herald Staff

The Jersey Jim Lookout Tower was in use from the 1940s to the ’70s. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal file photo

The Jersey Jim Lookout Tower was in use from the 1940s to the ’70s.