COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - While there were initial plans to re-open Club Q again, the tragedy's long-term impact has changed that course. Instead, there will be a fresh start with a new name, concept, and location for what was once Club Q.
In the last year since the shooting, the club has weighed all opinions before making the difficult decision to move forward somewhere else.
Healing can come in many forms. For Michael Anderson, painting, and renovating this space has taken on a cathartic release.
"All good things take time," says Michael Anderson, Club Q Vice President of Operations. A time that's healing wounds.
Club Q is starting fresh with a new location in the lobby of the Satellite Hotel southeast of downtown Colorado Springs. Behind the cafe, the club already operates.
It will be known as The Q. A bar and lounge with games and a stage for shows.
"This bar will be operated by survivors, run by survivors, and for survivors, the community, and everybody else," says Anderson.
Anderson is one of those survivors, and he has taken on a leadership role within the Club Q organization in the last year. A year that continues to bring nightmares.
"I looked up again and that's when I saw the barrel of the assault rifle entering into the patio where I was hiding," says Anderson.
Anderson was bartending that night.
"I was just like you are about to die, you have like 10 seconds, that's it," says Anderson.
He says the music was blaring, but there was an eerie silence after the first round of shots rang out. After a few moments, Anderson decided to make a run for the front door. But he wouldn't make it far.
"I remember seeing my friend Derrick lying on the ground at the entryway of the patio door and I think that's when it hit home for me," says Anderson. "I was fortunate to survive in the end. But when you see that kind of injury and just horror to your friends, it's just not fair."
Derrick Rump was also bartending that night. He was one of the five people killed.
"I just remember trying to comfort him and talk to him, but I realized he wasn't going to make it," says Anderson.
One year later, the makeshift memorial for the victims remains, with signs of hope all around. And soon, construction for a permanent memorial will begin.
When it's finished, five pillars will surround a flag pole. And a reflection area with benches will be added, where people can come to pay their respects and grieve.
The Club Q building itself will remain as is, but stay closed. Its future will be addressed at a later time.
"We've heard a lot of opinions over the last year," says Anderson. "Some survivors don't want to go back in there, while other survivors say I want to go back in there please re-open. And no one is right and no one is wrong. These are all valid. After listening we think the least divisive way forward and the most unifying way forward is going to be to open the same type of inclusive environment at a new location."
Over at The Q, paint and electrical work is underway. A sign that things are moving forward. Once The Q is fully remodeled, it will be a place where survivors can reflect.
"It's places like this that help people find healing, peace, and find who they are," says Anderson.
And to find a community that remains loving and resilient.
"We want to make a bold statement, we are not quietly returning, we are coming back loudly, and proudly," says Anderson.
The Q hopes to open in early 2024.
Work at the permanent memorial is also well underway. The new flag pole standing 40 feet high has recently been installed on the east side of the Club Q building, where they hope to raise a progress pride flag. The next stage of construction will include five pillars being built around the flag pole, to honor the five victims.