Housing Assignments

Tincup Cabin


A Little Bit of History

One of the defining characteristics of RMBL is its funky buildings. We have 3 buildings from the founding of Gothic in 1880, two buildings from an attempt to revive mining in 1914, and numerous buildings constructed after the founding of RMBL in 1928. Seven buildings have actually historic designation by the county of Gunnison: Town Hall (1880, renovated 2003), Swallows Nest (1880, renovated 2004), Mammal Lab (1914, renovated 2004), Ore House (1914, renovated 2005), Barclay (1935, renovated 2009), Richards (1930, renovated 2011), McLeod (1936, renovated 2013). Many of our existing structures will be replaced, but RMBL is committed to maintaining representative structures from each of the various eras and styles.

Housing Fees

There is a wide variety of both cooking and non-cooking cabins. You can view cabin descriptions and fees here.

Designated Summer Housing & Fall Water Shut Off

Due to some cabins having inadequate insulation or heat, certain cabins will not be available outside of the window of June 1 – August 24 without select permission from the Director of Administration: Beanpod, East River, Paradise, Pelton, Schofield, Swallow’s Nest, Sylvanite, and Virginia.

In addition, conditions permitting, our non-winterized water lines will be turned off in the townsite at the beginning of September. Residents can either request a housing change or live in cabins without running water.

Housing Prioritization

We take all housing requests received by April 1 and start filling in spots. When we have conflicting requests for cabins, we prioritize long-term residents (see the section below), scientists with approved research plans, families, research teams associated with priority research projects (e.g., projects with NSF funding which is administered through RMBL or projects prioritized by RMBL’s Research Committee), and individuals with clearly defined special needs. In 2016 we updated the Prioritizing Housing Criteria where we identify our process for assigning housing. Requests that come in after April 1 are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Shared Housing

The majority of housing is shared housing, meaning that most residents will have cabinmates and/or roommates.

Date Changes

You may change your dates once without charge, but after that, there will be a $25 processing fee for each additional change of dates affecting the period between June 1 and August 24. Please notify the Administration Office (admin@rmbl.org) of any changes in your dates. We will do our best to accommodate you.

Any date changes that result in a total reduction in length of stay of more than 7 days during the period of June 1 and August 24 will result in a charge of 100% of the lost revenue associated with station fees, laboratory fees, and housing to RMBL (after the 7 days have been subtracted).

Upgrading Housing Facilities

We are upgrading housing as fast as we can, though we still have a ways to go.

In the fall of 2019 we have finished construction of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) approved cabin now called Crystal. This is a 2-story cabin with 6 ADA spots on the first floor and as many as 8 spots on the 2nd floor. It is located near the Paradise cabin.  With the new building we will take down two designated cabins that are either in disrepair or that are located in a wetland zone. We have taken down the old Crystal cabin and plan on taking down Porcupine cabin.

Based upon a review of cabin occupancy prompted by Gunnison County in 2018, we have eliminated the use of lofts for sleeping in cabins listed in a Memo called ‘Changes to Gothic’s Small Cabins with Lofts’ following this handout. The following cabins have been re-configured so that there will be 2 sleeping spots on the ground floor: Bellview, Lead King, Snowmass, and Whiterock.

We upgraded the McLeod Cabin in 2013, Schofield and Forest Queen in 2015 and Whiterock and Sylvanite in 2016. As we build new cabins, we will be removing older cabins. Cabins which we tentatively plan to remove in the next several years include Porcupine, East River, Enders, Enders Annex, Bellview, Snowmass and Paradise. There is no definite timeline for removal.

If you would like to contribute towards our efforts to upgrading cabins, please contact Kelly Sudderth, the Chief Operating Officer (kelly@rmbl.org). Helping upgrade a RMBL cabin is a wonderful legacy. Even small donations matter!

Cleanliness and Inventory

RMBL is a rustic, high-altitude field station. Although living onsite may be the most convenient, there are certain trade-offs associated with that, including the lack of toilets in most of our buildings. We are making efforts to standardize the level of cleanliness in cabins when residents arrive two weeks after the road opens or later. We will open each cabin and clean surfaces in preparation for arrival. If you have concerns about the state of cleanliness of your cabin when you arrive, please get in touch with the Administrative Office (admin@rmbl.org).

We also ask that you keep your cabin clean throughout the summer. Each cabin has been provided with basic cleaning supplies (broom, dust-pan, cleaning solution). Additional cleaning supplies are available for you to borrow from the cleaning shed on the west side of the Johnson Laboratory. When you move out, we ask that you clean your cabin prior to inspection and leave it in as good (or better) condition as you found it. If cabins are left in an unacceptable condition, we will charge you $50 per hour for a professional cleaner.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do We Decide Who Lives in Gothic?

Each year we set aside 40 housing spots for people participating in our education program. This includes students doing undergraduate research as well as teachers and scientists who have received funding to train with senior scientists. The housing of research teams flows from the lead scientist. The lead scientist submits a research application. Once that is approved, we house the research team onsite if requested. We also have visiting scientists, alumni, and general visitors that we accommodate as we can.

How do we handle mid-summer housing requests?

RMBL operates under a permit issued by Gunnison County. That permit grants us the right to house 180 people on site at one time. We can’t house more, even if we have an open bed somewhere. If you have a visitor who wants to stay on-site, please submit an Alumni/Guest Registration Form in advance. Keep in mind that they or you will be charged for their stay.  If we discover unregistered visitors, you can be fined and/or asked to leave. Go to www.rmbl.org/guests for more information and to fill out the alumni/guest application form.

Can you have a long-term housing assignment?

Under the appropriate circumstances, we allow long-term scientists and residents to stay in the same cabin every year. One way this happens is de facto; if a scientist has an approved research plan, has been consistently using a cabin every year, and will be out for at least 8 weeks, chances are they will get that cabin again. Because space is limited, we are careful to avoid using large cabins capable of housing a family for a single person. But as long as space is being used appropriately, we like to leave people in the same place. In the absence of a written agreement, however, there is no guarantee of a particular housing situation, regardless of how long someone has been in a cabin. Housing assignments are ultimately a judgment call by staff and require consideration of a wide range of factors.

Contact Brett Biebuyck, the Director of Administration (brett@rmbl.org) for information on long-term housing agreements.