About RAD Hostel

Learn the History of our Colorado Springs Hostel

The RAD Hostel property has a fascinating history, beginning in the mid-20th century when it was a classic 1950s roadside motor lodge. A few decades later, it served as a ComCor rehabilitation correctional facility throughout the 1980s, preserving much of the same original layout but serving the community differently. It then sat vacant for many years, waiting for its next chapter, when it was given new life and transformed into a top-rated hostel in Colorado.

Erin Welch, a longtime Colorado Springs resident, honed her hospitality chops managing motels in the area. After seeing the future RAD Hostel site sit unused for so long, she planted the seed of a dream to start a hostel, combining her wealth of lodging/hospitality experience with a passion for travel and fostering connection.

A labor of love, the long-neglected property was resurrected and reimagined. Along with new bedding and furniture, A/C units, a renovated kitchen, and the construction of a shaded back patio, Welch expanded the different room options to accommodate every type of traveler. Whether you’re looking to stay in a dorm, a private room, or a camper van space, check the availability calendar and reserve the option that suits you best.

RAD Hostel - Reception Lounge

In addition to revamping the building and amenities, Welch also emphasized art and collaboration. Several artists have contributed to RAD’s creative and colorful ambiance, including Michael Beenenga, who painted the can’t-miss mural on the front of the building and several in-room murals; Kay Day and Kyra Wilson, who used the Wildflower room’s walls as their canvas; Paige Weil, Maya Branch, and Kyra Wilson, who worked together on the piece in the 14ers room; Zachary McRae, who did another larger mural piece; and Tommy Tropical, whose distinctive and bright themes add a vibrant atmosphere to the patio area.

Since its opening in 2018, RAD’s dedicated staff has played an integral role in making it the most inviting, diverse, fun-spirited, and well-run hostel you’ll find. Staff members are all fellow travelers, landing in Colorado from coast to coast in the US and from other countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Turkey, and Yemen. If you have a question about your room, want to inquire about renting an e-bike, or need a recommendation for a favorite nearby trail, the RAD crew has you covered.

The heart and essence of RAD Hostel is the communal kitchen area, a gathering place for staff and guests alike. Here, pins mark a massive world map, signifying the US states and far-flung countries from which guests and staff have traveled (currently over 80 countries and climbing). Surrounding that map is a chalkboard with notes from guests in English, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, and countless other languages. As more states and countries are freshly-pinned on the map, new messages appear in various languages, and engaging conversations fill the air, the story of RAD Hostel continues to come into being.



Join our newsletter and keep up with us!

Scroll to Top