Janet Day – Holiday crowds in Winter Park were welcome
July 5, 2009
Playing – I don’t like big crowds and I don’t like heavy traffic, but it was good to see both this past weekend as tourists and weekend warriors poured into the Valley for the holiday.
My unofficial analysis of the crowds from Winter Park (bumper-to-bumper traffic) to Grand Lake (nowhere to park) determined that most visitors were from Colorado with a few from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas in the mix. I don’t yet have a full sense of what the hoards meant to businesses, but I’m assuming the visitors spent some money, tolerated the rain, enjoyed the activities and went home happy to return again
The holiday weekend launched some fun new activities and events at Winter Park Resort, including Freeride Fridays. The Zephyr Express chairlift and a couple base activities are staying open until 7pm on Fridays through Sept. 4, so take your bike after work and enjoy the trails. A bike lift ticket is just $15 for riding between 4 and 7pm.
If downhill mountain biking isn’t your thing, head out to the resort anyway to play a round of mini golf, listen to live music or enjoy a movie in the village after sunset.
How about dinner at the top? The Lodge at Sunspot is staying open until 7pm on Fridays for outdoor barbecues and live entertainment. Imagine what these recent colorful sunsets must look like at 10,700 feet. If the sunsets aren’t stunning enough, the wildflowers are. I don’t recall ever seeing thick carpets of purple lupine like what we’ve got now. Newly blooming paintbrush add a nice touch of red and white to the mix.
This past weekend also kicked off some new mountain bike camps that sound like fun, including the Gravity Goddesses Downhill Camp just for women and camps just for kids age 10-16. Details at http://www.skiwinterpark.com.
Working – Welcome Susanne Jalbert back to the Valley. The fearless traveling economic advisor is home for an extended period after a few years of long and sometimes harrowing work in Iraq and a stay in Turkey.
Jalbert began her economic efforts in Japan and Western Europe but soon shifted to focus on developing countries and challenged economies, all of which turned out to be training for working in war-weary Baghdad. We spoke briefly last week but I’m looking forward to a long chat to hear her stories, successes and challenges.
Creating – Jalbert was one of a few hundred people to stop by the Art out of Thin Air Member’s Show opening reception at the new Pole Creek Golf Course clubhouse last week. What an amazing turnout and great party to support local artists!
And many thanks to the Bistro 28 kitchen and staff for offering so many terrific appetizers. I’m not sure what was in the meatballs and dipping sauces, but can I have some more?
The show and sale of work by 26 local artists continues at the clubhouse until July 23.
Reading – Former Fraser resident Chance Conner will be at the Fraser Valley Library this Saturday to launch his new novel, “Career Killer: A Journalist’s Wild Ride with Scotch, Sex and the Sundance Kid.” He will speak, read from the book and sign copies from 1-3pm. The novel, mostly written at the Fraser library, is a fictionalized tale of the heady days of the Denver newspaper wars in the 1980s and 1990s when the whole world was watching events in Colorado: the Oklahoma City bombing trial, JonBenet Ramsey murder, Columbine High School shootings and more.
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