20 Under 40: Justin Fosha becomes steward of Grand County history | SkyHiNews.com

20 Under 40: Justin Fosha becomes steward of Grand County history

Justin Fosha

Justin Fosha, along with his family, is the owner and steward of one of Colorado’s oldest dude ranches, Drowsy Water Ranch. 

While Fosha, born and raised in Grand County, is most often associated with his family’s historic business, he is also a respected and cherished community member who donates his time and energy to other citizens of Middle Park.

“Justin has embedded himself into the county coaching youth sports, and serving on one of the various utility boards that contribute to the livelihood of Grand County,” said Fosha’s nomination.

20 Under 40

Name:  Justin Fosha

Age: 37

Profession: Rancher.

Education: Colorado School of Mines, MBA from Denver University.

Place of Employment: Drowsy Water Ranch.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Hopefully still in Grand County being a contributing member of the community and operating our family ranch, Drowsy Water Ranch.

Who’s your hero and why?

There are heroes all over the world but the list would have to include my parents. Both have spent their life working with passion for something they believe in and value. Their life’s work has never been a job and I’m honored to have grown up with that as my model. They work hard and truly enjoy sharing our life with our guests. 

What is it about your generation that sets it apart?

I think we are still trying to figure our generation out. We’re a generation that grew up along side the technological advances we both rely on everyday and see encroaching on our lives. But I think we sometimes feel less connected than our parent’s or grandparent’s generation.

Why did you choose Grand County?

I was born in Grand County. I am proud of our community’s rural lifestyles, small schools and recreational activities.

How do you like to play in Grand County?

I grew up an alpine ski racer at Winter Park and now enjoy both Nordic and alpine skiing with my wife and two kids in the winter. We all enjoy being active together at home and away and spend our time together riding horses, hiking, biking and traveling. I play volleyball in a few leagues in the county, too.

What kind of future do you see for your industry in Grand County?

Our guest ranch industry is very strong in Grand County and should continue into the future. Originally there were close to 20 traditional dude/guest ranches in Grand County but growth and development has ultimately eliminated all but four ranches.  At the ranch, we see more and more families that welcome the opportunity to disconnect from technology while staying with us at the ranch. Instead, they get to genuinely connect, face-to-face, with their family members and other families from around the world. I see this aspect of our industry being a continued draw in an increasingly noisy world.

If you could change one thing about Grand County, what would it be?

Promote sustainable growth to help keep our county unique among Colorado’s mountain ski and resort towns. We are not Summit County, Steamboat or Estes Park and I don’t think we should strive for that. I want to encourage tourism in our county, but also maintain the unique, small-town feel and agricultural background that makes us different than other areas. 

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