Tuesday appears to be turning into Blogging About Coworking Day here at Boulder Writing Examiner. At least, this will make two Tuesdays running. That’s enough to call it a tradition, right? If only a potentially short-lived tradition?
Anyway, it’s Tuesday. On Tuesdays these days I’m at Fuse at the Riverside. Remember the Library Pub? Same building, only now it’s Fuse, and more.
Fuse is a coworking space in downtown Boulder, and it has some very exciting ambitions:
FUSE offers 7 unique work environments to choose from:
- Private desks in the Fuse Loft with views of the Flatirons and Boulder Creek
- Open seating in the high-energy atmosphere of Bite Cafe
- Comfortable couches in the library-quiet of the Fuse Lounge
- Casual office-style seating with easy cafe access
- A sunny conference room with a view of the Boulder Creek
- The Agora event center’s open workshop space
- An intimate wine bar and lounge, perfect for cementing high-profile deals or just unwinding after work.
Whatever your work style, there’s a place for you at FUSE.
That’s some awesome collection of resources there. The whole set-up, I’ve been amusing friends by saying, reminds me of the nineteenth-century club phenomenon, providing all the same creature comforts (well, not the smoking or billiards, but certainly food and wine and coffee and a nice fireplace surrounded by bookshelves; well, maybe there will be a pool table in the wine bar, I don’t know) but to a very differently focused (and more demographically open) social group. I yearn to go sit by that fire with my pen and journal, a stack of books for reference at my left hand and a steaming mug of tea on my right. I totally want to host a write-in in that creekside conference room.
However, you really have to use your future goggles to appreciate Fuse. This is because the Riverside is under construction, and not all of the spaces described in that exciting list are complete yet.
Don’t be discouraged. Quite a bit is, if not done, then entirely usable in its rough, work-in-progress state.
The loft with reserved desks is ready to go, in use, and advertising vacancies (desk rental available to full-time members only and not included in the price of membership). It’s quiet up there and sunny. Meanwhile, the basement/creekside level open seating area is hopping, though the frequent networking, co-creating and synergizing activities combined with a lack of upholstered surfaces can make things a little noisy for a writer juggling words from time to time.
The conference room overlooking the creek is done and beautiful. The Agora event area I have already attended a swing dance lesson in (there’s another one tonight, and every Tuesday through July 30–see the Events listing).
The Bite cafe counter is finished and the window seating in Bite is almost done. I’m sitting there now. The windowsill work counter got reshaped this morning, but it’s still unfinished wood. It will probably come to look like the cafe counter later this week.
There’s a lot yet to be done. Bite’s kitchen, along with the library and wine bar, are located firmly in the future; they are closed off behind DANGER: CONSTRUCTION signs, while exciting construction noises emanate from within. So for now the amenities are a little catch-as-catch-can. Someone usually brews fresh coffee in the morning, but if you’re into tea you need to bring your own electric kettle. (Which I do.) Also there’s no microwave yet, but there is a refrigerator and a toaster oven. Other spaces still under construction are the smaller break-out conference rooms and the health and wellness center; however, if you’re looking for Yoga, sessions are on the current Agora event schedule.
Which is not to say that it’s not worth a membership yet. Fuse is already the home of a vibrant community, both in itself and in its relations with the rest of the Boulder Coworking Alliance. The open office area features a central “Knowledge Desk” where members can advertise their services while making themselves available as resources to others. And a lengthy docket of Boulder Startup Week events are slated to take place at Fuse.
The best way to get an idea of Fuse’s potential is to drop in for the day–the first one’s free–and let owner Christian Macy give you a tour. You’ll learn about accelerator programs (and why Boulder needs one), about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (and how Fuse loosely incorporates that philosophy), and also about how cool the Riverside is architecturally and historically, among lots of other things. You will probably come away with ideas about how Fuse can work for you, how coworking can work for you, or, at the very least, how you can work for you. It’s that kid of a tour.
Membership and access scales a little differently than at the other coworking environments we’ve explored hitherto. The Day Pass option is similar to what you’ve already seen, though it comes at a slightly fancier cost ($20) to match its fancier options. Full membership costs $300 per month; that gets you 24/7 access to the building and discounts on classes, workshops, food and beverages. The private desk rental comes extra on top of that, from $50/month for an inside seat up to $150 for a window. (There has been talk of an early-adopter discount for membership and desk rental, to thank new members for taking a chance on an environment that’s still very much under construction).
In between those is the just-released “Nights and Weekends Membership” option; for $100 you get 6 day passes and a discount on workshops, classes and additional day passes. With my starting to come in a reliable two days a week and take the swing dance lessons, I’m considering springing for it for May.
So that’s Fuse, and that’s where I’m at for now.