Cold reality: Cozens Ranch Museum closes for winter |

Cold reality: Cozens Ranch Museum closes for winter

Grand County, Colorado
The Cozens Ranch Museum, located in Fraser, is one of the many historical, cultural and creative attractions that Grand County hopes to promote through a new tourism program.
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

This is the first time in at least 20 years that Cozens Museum in Fraser will close for the winter, said Yvonne Knox, Grand County Historical Association president.

“We’re not getting the foot traffic in the wintertime,” she said, adding that members have talked about closing it for several years.

Cozens Museum is located on the east side of U.S. Highway 40 between Winter Park and Fraser. The museum closed Jan. 1 and will reopen May 1.

A man in the area used to give tours and drop visitors off at the museum in the winter, but since he stopped giving them the museum hasn’t seen as many visitors or support at the east end of the Valley, Knox said.

She wants to encourage people from the town of Winter Park and Fraser who care about the museum to “step forward” and help.

“We do not have any board members from the Fraser Valley,” Knox added.

Paying the bills

Admission costs aren’t paying the bills, said Karen Wischnack, former Association executive director. She stepped down from her position to save the museum money and is now a bookkeeper and paid hourly.

All of the museums get more visits in the summertime, Knox said.

“People really want it to be open,” Wischnack said. “(We) might as well close it down so we can keep it open when it’s busy.”

The Association received $2,000 from the Town of Winter Park. The funds will pay for heat and electrical bills throughout the winter and security so nothing is damaged or stolen. “We appreciate their support,” Knox added.

The museums are funded by grants, private donations, events and “a lot of hard work,” Knox said.

Kremmling’s Heritage Park Museum, which reopened this summer, also closed for the winter. The only Grand County museum that will stay open during the winter is Pioneer Village Complex, located at the east end of Hot Sulphur Springs on U.S. Highway 40. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

The Association is looking for a volunteer to help run the gift shop, greet visitors or help at events.

“We’re always looking for volunteers,” Knox added.

Museum admission is $4, and Association members get in free, receive discounts at the gift shops and a subscription to the newsletter.

For more information contact the Association at (970) 725-3939 .

” Staff writer Cyndi McCoy contributed to this article.

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