Janet Day – Fraser Valley suffers without the Ski Train | SkyHiNews.com

Janet Day – Fraser Valley suffers without the Ski Train

Janet Day/ Talk of the Valley
Grand County, CO Colorado

Train to Nowhere: This time it’s final. There will be no Winter Park Ski Train this season. Iowa Pacific Holdings and Amtrak couldn’t reach an agreement and now everyone will suffer.

The effect of cancelling the train for the 2009-10 snow season goes far beyond just inconveniencing tourists and train enthusiasts who already bought tickets. It goes beyond offering transportation alternatives to driving along the wretched Interstate 70 corridor.

Many local businesses, from resorts to restaurants to retail shops, based budgets, staffing, weekend operating hours and inventory on a new Ski Train bringing as many as 1,200 people to Winter Park every Saturday and Sunday for the next three months. With the train’s demise, refunds are being issued to visitors who booked overnight stays based on rail travel. Business budgets have to be revised, income expectations lowered and staffing reduced. That, in turn, may translate into less sales tax revenue for local governments and that, in an already struggling economy, can ultimately lead to cuts in services. The domino effect could be nasty.

It’s just a shame that such an historic Winter Park and Colorado icon was brought down after 69 years of operation and six months of planning by a dispute with a government rail agency that can’t make money on its own business and has been plagued with problems for much of its nearly 30-year history.

Resolve to Recycle: Still looking for a New Year’s resolution, one that’s easy to keep? How about resolving to recycle more this year? Grand County doesn’t make it easy and that’s disappointing if not infuriating, but Curbside Recycling can make it easier for as little as $25 per month. And if you sign up in January, you’ll get the first month free. For details, go to http://www.curbsidegrandcounty.com.

Dog Days: This season’s Winter Carnival is going to the dogs, literally. The annual mid-winter fest in Winter Park, which incorporates the Mary Jane birthday celebration and popular Chef’s Cup this year will have a variety of pet events including dog-sled races, agility shows, a “romp and stomp,” dog skijoring and more. The fun starts Friday, Jan. 22 and goes through Jan. 24. Check the chamber’s Web site, http://www.winterpark-info.com, for details.

Happy Holiday: I know, I know – we just ended a big holiday season. But another one’s right around the corner. That’s right, the most dreaded holiday of all: Valentine’s Day. All that worrying about finding the right gift, setting the right tone for the relationship.

But it doesn’t have to be awful. Middle Park Land Trust will once again be hosting the Cupid’s Corner Gift Show – For the Love of the Land. Local artists, cooks and service providers will gather at the Fraser Historic Church on Saturday, Feb. 6 to offer one-stop shopping from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Look for jewelry, hand-crafted gift items, luscious baked goods and more. If you’d like to be a vendor at the 6th annual show, contact Angela McCormick at the land trust at angela@middleparklandtrust.com.

Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com. Follow me and local tidbits at http://www.twitter.com/DayJan or http://www.twitter.com/DayDreamCraft.