Census data debunks myth of rapid Grand County growth
Growth? An acquaintance turned me on to a fun little chart on Wikipedia. It’s based on U.S. Census data and shows that all of Grand County’s incorporated towns except Winter Park lost population between 2000 and 2006. I guess all those new homes are being bought by part-time residents. Or maybe it means the bulk of new residents are moving into unincorporated Grand County (I couldn’t find a comparable chart showing population change in unincorporated areas).
While I was getting agitated over what such statistics could possibly mean, I realized the actual losses total 10 people here, a dozen there, and are probably not significant. Nonetheless, the data show:
Fraser’s population (within the town limits and thus not including much of Winter Park Ranch and other areas) dropped 1.2 percent from 910 residents in 2000 to 899 in 2006. Just an 11-person difference. That population makes Fraser the 148th largest municipality in Colorado.
Grand Lake saw its population drop 2.2 percent from 447 residents in 2000 to 437 in 2006. That 10-person loss ranks it 202nd of the state’s 271 municipalities.
Hot Sulphur Springs lost two residents ” 0.06 percent of its population, from 2000 when 520 people lived in town to 518 in 2006. The tiny town along the river is the state’s 191st largest. I think I know those two people ” they bought a lot in Winter Park Highlands a year or so ago and moved there.
Winter Park gained a comparatively whopping 8.3 percent in population from 2000 to 2006, according to the chart, when an additional 155 people moved to town, increasing the population from 662 to 717, making it the 169th most populated town in Colorado.
My favorite statistic about Fraser when I moved here 5 years ago was that the number of full-time, year-round, permanent residents within the town limits totaled fewer than were in my building in New York. But I know and like more of the people in Fraser than I ever did in my building on Third Avenue in Manhattan.
Signs of the Times. Have you noticed the new U.S. Forest Service signs around the trails? The posters tell visitors about the dangers of falling trees, a special hazard this summer and for years to come as the beetle kill trees start to fall. The juxtaposition of the sign on the way up Meadow Creek and the surrounding dead trees really drives the point home. And as if to reinforce it even more, a thin tree fell over onto the new Ranch Creek Spa at Devil’s Thumb Ranch last weekend. No damage was done, but it certainly startled the staff and guests.
Would You Like a Bordeaux With That Bike? This sounds like fun ” Women, Wheels and Wine at Devil’s Thumb Ranch on July 6. It’s an all-day mountain bike seminar just for women and includes professional trail-riding instruction, lunch, tips on bike fit and maintenance, yoga classes, use of the sauna, steam room, hot tub and pool, goodie giveaways, and end-of-day wine by the pool. All abilities are welcome. Reservations for the $85 program can be made by calling 726.8231.
Winter Park Resort is offering a lot in the way of mountain bike instruction this summer as well. Ski and Ride School instructors who are just as skilled on mountain bikes will offer tours, clinics and private lessons every day of the summer season, conditions allowing. Stop by the Mountain Adventure Center or go to http://www.trestlebikepark.com for details.
The Moose is Loose. Actually, this one isn’t going anywhere. I’ve grown to like the new statue in front of the Chamber of Commerce in Winter Park. It’s big, kind of peculiar looking and in some ways obtrusive ” just like a real moose. And it’s an easy landmark for giving people directions.
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.
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The response to my column two weeks ago about the crisis Grand County is experiencing in housing and employment has been strong.