Talk of the Valley – Welcome SIA folks |

Talk of the Valley – Welcome SIA folks

Janet Day/Talk of the Valley
Winter Park CO Colorado

As I write this, snow is in pretty short supply around here with temperatures creeping into the low 40s last week and storms avoiding Grand County in favor of areas to the south. But with one or two notable exceptions, we haven’t had the brutal wind we’ve seen in the past couple years, so what snow there is on the ground isn’t scouring away and conditions high up are still pretty good.

Snow Show: Wondering why pea green was the to-die-for color in outerwear this year? Think the skis you just bought are the best, or worst, you’ve ever had? Curious about what the future of snow gear technology will be? There will be thousands of representatives from the biggest clothing and gear manufacturers in the world milling around Winter Park and Devil’s Thumb Ranch over the next two days as part of the huge SIA Snow Show that’s been going on in Denver. Be sure to extend a warm welcome if you catch any of them in town or on the runs.

Low Snow: It’s a little alarming to see “Clearance Sale” signs in some stores around the area. They’re usually reserved for the end of the season. Chats with retailers reveal a nearly desperate economic situation for many thanks to the loss of the weekend Ski Train and the lack of snow keeping Front Range visitors away. It’s hard to keep a shop open, and pay a staff, on sales of as little as $50 a day. Many retailers report a drop off in local shopping as well, and that’s one part we can address: if you need or want something, get it locally instead of in Denver.

Sweetheart Time: If you’re shopping or at least thinking about shopping for Valentine’s Day gifts (or lovely things for yourself), head over to the Historic Fraser Church Community Center this Saturday for the Cupid’s Corner gift fair. The annual event is a benefit for Middle Park Land Trust and brings out some of our favorite local entrepreneurial efforts, including Heidi McNich’s beadwork, Martha Hutt’s gorgeous hand-dyed and painted silks, and Francie deVos’s luscious chocolates. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tell Our Story: The Grand County Historical Association is planning to re-open the Cozens Ranch Museum on US 40 between downtown Winter Park and downtown Fraser and is looking for volunteers to staff it. The museum – the valley’s original post office and stage stop – has been closed for budgetary reasons. Volunteers are needed in three-hour shifts between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a little time and interest in history, contact DeDe Fay at

And if you haven’t been in the museum, stop by when it reopens. It’s home to some fascinating items and stories about the area. William Zane Cozens, once sheriff of Central City, moved his family to Grand County in 1874 to ranch and run the stage stop. The family’s home – now the museum – is all that’s left of the original 700-acre ranch.

Good Times: It’s almost time for Mardi Gras, so celebrate locally next Saturday, Feb. 13, with three bands, Hurricane drinks, Creole food samplings and, of course, beads. It all happens at West Portal Station at Winter Park Resort and is brought to you by the resort and the Grand Foundation. Tickets are $30 per person. For details, call 970.887.3111.

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 Follow me and local tidbits at or