Grand County news briefs: Opens house for Winter Park president March 29 |

Grand County news briefs: Opens house for Winter Park president March 29

Retiring Winter Park Resort President Gary DeFrange.
Courtesy photo |

Opens House for Winter Park President Gary DeFrange March 29

This month marks the end of an era for Winter Park Resort.

At the end of March, longtime Winter Park president Gary DeFrange will say goodbye to his formal role as head of the ski mountain. To help celebrate DeFrange’s long career, Winter Park Resort will be hosting a special Open House event on Wednesday, March 29, at the West Portal Station. The resort is offering free parking in the Winter Park Village Garage for the event.

A press release from Winter Park Resort states, “Winter Park Resort employees, the Grand County community at large, and all of Gary’s innumerable friends are invited to come recognize his nearly two decades of incredible achievement at Winter Park Resort.” The press release goes on to list some of the changes Winter Park Resort has seen since DeFrange took the reins, including, “massive expansions into the Cirque and Eagle Wind Territories, the addition of the Panoramic Express Lift, the creation of The Village at Winter Park, and the return of the Winter Park Express.” The release calls these changes, “just a sliver of his (DeFrange’s) many accomplishments.

The announcement of DeFrange’s impending retirement was made in late January. DeFrange is only the third person to serve as president of Winter Park in the entire 77-year history of the Resort. In a press release announcing his retirement DeFrange called his decision “bittersweet” and stated, “I’m filled with gratitude for the immense privilege of leading one of the county’s greatest resorts for so long.”

DeFrange took the helm at Winter Park Resort in 1997 after spending 27-years in the banking industry.

Deadline for big game hunting license applications looms

The start of the fall hunting season is still five months away but hunters in Grand County should take note of the calendar because a deadline is looming.

The deadline for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s big game hunting license application program is Tuesday, April 4. Applications to hunt all big game species in Colorado including deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, bear, sheep and goats are due to be postmarked by that date. Sportsmen and sportswomen can also file their applications online.

“Our recommendation is always to have people fill out their applications online,” said Lyle Sidener, area wildlife manager for the Hot Sulphur Springs office of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Sidener explained citizens are much less likely to make minor mistakes in their applications when filing online; minor mistakes that can potentially prevent a successful application process.

Sidener pointed out that 2017 is the final year Parks and Wildlife will continue to accept paper hunting license applications. In 2018, the state will require all big game license applications be performed online.

If you are having trouble filling out your license application or have questions about the program the Parks and Wildlife staff at the Hot Sulphur Springs office can help. Sidener said the Hot Sulphur office has computers on hand and can help walk citizens through the online application process if they need assistance.

Randi’s Grill & Pub constructs addition

Residents of Winter Park have been seeing a lot of construction lately as new developments are popping up throughout the Fraser Valley.

Not surprisingly several local business owners have undertaken some construction projects of late, including Randi’s Irish Grill & Pub in Winter Park. The local eatery recently expanded their building’s footprint by roughly 750 square feet with an addition that created a new dining room, a greenhouse, and a lounge/stage area for informal gatherings and live music events.

The addition was constructed in the area that previously served as Randi’s outdoor patio. As such, Randi’s has established a new patio area, around the corner and closer to the street, that is adjacent the new addition.

Randi’s owner and operator Jayson Clark explained he has been kicking around the idea of an addition to Randi’s for about three years and was finally able to pull the trigger on the project. Work on the addition started around Nov. 1 and continued throughout the winter.

For the addition, Randi’s utilized one of the buildings existing walls and constructed three additional sides to enclose the space. A greenhouse roughly 150 square feet was installed in the space. Clark said the goal for the restaurant to grow all of their own lettuce including spinach, arugula and red leaf lettuce. They also hope to grow their own tomatoes, strawberries and any other produce Clark and the chefs at Randi’s want to try their hands at.

“The idea is, once this is up and running, the chefs will literally go out to the greenhouse a couple times a week and pick the lettuce,” Clark said. “It is farm to table, but the farm is right out back.”

The new addition at Randi’s is complete and customers can check out the expanded space, greenhouse area and relocated patio when they stop for a drink or a bite to eat.

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