20 Under 40: Nick Kutrumbos balances owning landmark restaurant, public service
One would think that owning the longest continuously running business in Winter Park doesn’t leave much time for anything else, but native Nick Kutrumbos somehow manages to balance owning Deno’s Mountain Bistro with his position as Winter Park Mayor Pro-Tem and seats on the boards of more than one local nonprofit.
According to Kutrumbos’ nomination, he’s known for his “never say no” mentality when it comes to supporting fundraisers and community functions. Through his work with the town, he’s also contributed to bringing back the ski train, building the Rendezvous Event Center at Hideaway Park, and more recently, focusing on finding solutions to the housing crisis.
“Growing up in Winter Park, he has seen the challenges that come from living and working in a seasonal economy and has dedicated much of his time to combating the woes that face so many of his fellow local business owners,” his nomination read.
Name: Nick Kutrumbos
Profession: Restaurateur, Public Servant.
Education: Daniels College of Business, University of Denver.
Place of Employment: Deno’s Mountain Bistro.
What problem would you like to solve?
One imminent problem is our aging population. It is a crisis locally, and globally with a myriad of issues. How does this impact our community? Simply put, our youth are leaving Grand County. We lack diversity in mid to high paying year-round jobs. County and local governments need to work together to incentivize and ensure that infrastructure is in place so that young entrepreneurs and professionals can establish themselves.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
At 46? Hopefully, sitting on a beach somewhere.
Who’s your hero and why?
Anthony Bourdain. It was a gut punch when I found out he passed. It was remarkable how he used food to break universal class barriers. He wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. Also my wife, she continually challenges and encourages me.
What is it about your generation that sets it apart?
We have lived through some painful and horrific experiences, such as 911, global genocide, global migration, and global warming. My generation is the first to grow up with computers and the internet in households. It is our responsibility to create a plan to mitigate these issues with the use of technology.
Why did you choose Grand County?
I was surprised that I came back to Winter Park. Now I realize it was the best decision of my life.
How do you like to play in Grand County?
Beyond the draw of the mountains, Ashley and I love entertaining, especially when people visit for the first time.
What kind of future do you see for your industry in Grand County?
I hope to see continuous improvement, quality, and choices in Grand County.
If you could change one thing about Grand County, what would it be?
I would like to see more young people participate on local and regional boards. It’s vital that creative, smart and open-minded individuals are leaders in our community. We must collaborate and work together to solve the apparent challenges we face. Like; Health and human services, Environmental issues, attainable housing, seasonal economy, education, and Job creation.
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