Latest News – September 2

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A_Spacer_ThinRunning Race Season Continues, Until the Final Gun!

Thinking about putting those running shoes away? Not so fast! In fact, Leadville and Lake County will see several races this September. Rocky Mountain High Marathon_logo

This Sunday, Sept. 6, the Rocky Mountain High-est Leadville Road Marathon and Half-Marathon will be held in Leadville. This is the sophomore year for the race which is sponsored by GECKO (Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors), a race producer based out of Pagosa Springs, CO.

The race will start at the corner of 6th Street and Harrison Ave. at 9 a.m.,  then head west. This race will utilize County Road 4 out to Turquoise Lake with the full Marathon encompassing the Fish Hatchery loop off County Road 5. For course maps click here: Marathon; Half Marathon.

Rocky Mountain High-est Leadville Road Marathon runners will run along Colorado Highway 300, part of the Fish Hatchery loop road.

Rocky Mountain High-est Leadville Road Marathon runners will run along Colorado Highway 300, part of the Fish Hatchery loop road.

 

The weekend schedule includes race packet pick-up on Saturday from 4 – 7 p.m., as well as race morning, Sunday from 7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. There is a race briefing at 8:45 a.m. at the Start/Finish line with the race starting at 9 a.m. sharp September 6.

The event is also a United States of America Track and Field Sanctioned race.
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Flaming Foliage Relay Comes Thru County Sept. 11-12

The Flaming Foliage Relay (FFR) will most likely find most runners coming through Lake County and Leadville during the night of Friday, Sept. 11 and into the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 12.A_Spacer_Thin
Flame Map

A_Spacer_ThinThe FFR route begins in Idaho Springs and follows the Frontage Road to Georgetown (8,530 ft). Next is an epic climb to the relay’s first pass, Guanella Pass (11,669 ft). After the descent down the Pass, the next four lucky runners will be on single track and dirt USFS Roads, starting on the Burning Bush Trail, finishing with a classic – Leg 11 over the second pass, Georgia Pass (11,585 ft) to Breckenridge (9,600 ft). Next, runners will run on the bike paths through Frisco (9,075 ft) to the thrid van exchange at Copper Mountain (9,712 ft).

From Copper Mountain, runners will continue south, over the third pass, Fremont Pass (11,318 ft), to the fourth van exchange in Leadville (10,152 ft).After a loop around Turquoise Lake (9,875 ft) and back to Leadville, runners will work their way down the Arkansas River Valley and finish in Buena Vista (7,993 ft) where teams can celebrate by enjoying a meal and a cold one.

Runners may NOT see the Fall Foilage over Fremont Pass during the relay race, considering many of the teams could very well be passing through that part of the course at night!

Runners may NOT see the Fall Foilage over Fremont Pass during the relay race, considering many teams could be passing through that part of the course at night!

 

The Flaming Foliage Relay is a form of adventure race.  There aren’t any police escorts or pacing crews; the FFR is an adventure-race format that is self-supported and takes place on open trails and roads.  While detailed maps are provided and the course is very well marked, each and every team is expected to support themselves from race start to race finish.

 

 

 

Latest News – September 1

The Fat Lady Sings, Opera House Closing, For Good?

Seven days, and that’s it. After that, your opportunity to ever step inside Leadville’s historic Tabor Opera House will be considerably reduced.

Governor John Hickenlooper addresses the crowds at the historic Tabor Opera house during his stop in Leadville in August 2015. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today.

Governor John Hickenlooper addresses the crowds at the historic Tabor Opera House during his stop in Leadville in August 2015. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today.

“We are closing the doors as of Monday (Sept. 7, 2015) and we  won’t reopen unless something ‘major’ happens,” said owner Bill Bland in an interview with Leadville Today. “We are going to shut it down until we can get us a buyer.”

According to Bland, next Monday – Labor Day – September 7 will be the last day of the 2015 season, and possibly forever, for this one-of-a-kind venue. However until then locals and visitors can still take advantage of the opera house’s self-guided tours, which run daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Tabor Opera House is located at 308 Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville

For those who don’t know, owners Sharon and Bill Bland have been actively trying to find a buyer for the past several years. But as the summer season draws to a close, there is no deal, no contract, no sale in place for this 136-year-old Harrison Avenue gem. Serious inquiries can be made directly to the owners at taboroperahouse@gmail.com.

For those who may be interested in the details on their efforts, here is a short documentary about the struggle to maintain the Tabor Opera House of Leadville, made for the Colorado Documentary Project. “Center Stage” was directed by Paul Partridge and features interviews with owner Sharon Bland and locals Glenda Dunn, Howard Tritz and Terry Ryan.

C’mon, Leadville, let’s not lose this gem!
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That Last Tabor Opera House Hurrah: A Wild Life

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Join other Leadville outdoor and environmental enthusiasts to watch 11 inspired short-films at the Cloud City Conservation Center’s (C4) Wild and Scenic Film Festival. The program begins at 6 p.m. with a reception (free beer), and shows start at 7 p.m., including notable films as Delta Dawn, The Great Turning, The Ridge, and Brilliant Darkness.

Tickets are $15 per person with discounts for C4 members. For ticket information and more details, visit the Tabor Opera House website.

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Rusch Raises Funds for Opera House, Others at LT100

Leaders give. They give back with their time, their experience and yes, their money. So when 4x Women’s LT100 champion Rebecca Rusch was in Leadville last month for the race, that’s exactly what she did; she gave back to the Leadville community.

Lt100 Champion Rebecca Rusch poses with Leadville Racing which benefited from her fundraiser at the Tabor Opera ouse. Pictured left to right: Cheyenne Mendoza, Joe Koch, Brian, Rusch, and Emma Collins.

LT100 Champion Rebecca Rusch poses with the Leadville Racing Team which benefited from her fundraiser at the Tabor Opera House last month. Pictured left to right: Cheyenne Mendoza, Joe Koch, Brian, Rusch, and Emma Collins.

As a result, three local organizations benefited. As part of “The Leadville Experience,” with Elden “the Fat Cyclist” Nelson, Rusch hosted a show at Leadville’s Historic Tabor Opera House on August 13. The proceeds from the show were split among three groups: the high school cycling team; Leadville Racing, the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame, and ongoing renovation work at the historic Tabor Opera House. At the end of the night, each walked away with $350 for their causes.

“Leadville is a special race for me,” said Rusch. “It really helped propel my mountain bike career.

On the stage of the historic Tabor Opera House during The Leadville Experience, Rebecca Rusch and Elden Nelson are joined by Leadville Trail 100 Founder Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin.

On the stage of the historic Tabor Opera House during The Leadville Experience, Rebecca Rusch and Elden Nelson are joined by Leadville Trail 100 Founder Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin.

But the thing that really makes it close to my heart is the riders and community. They’re like family to me.”
And for Rusch, being part of that family includes giving back. The special evening at the Tabor Opera House included opening remarks from LT100 founders Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin, as well as inspirational readings from Rebecca’s Rusch To Glory and Nelson’s The Great Fatsby.
Thanks for giving back, Champ! Readers can keep up with Rusch fast-paced cycling life at her website, which includes information about her own race – Rebecca’s Private Idaho – which happens on her home turf of Ketchum, Idaho this weekend, Sept 4 & 5.

Latest News – August 31

Ranger Proposes 10 Year Lease to Nordic Center

The Leadville Ranger District of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests is proposing to issue a 10 year special use permit to Tennessee Pass Nordic Center for the purpose of grooming 9 miles of Nordic ski trails and maintaining 3.7 miles of single-track snowshoe trails on National Forest System lands near Tennessee Pass.

The Leadville Ranger District of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests is proposing to issue a 10 year special use permit to Tennessee Pass Nordic Center located out at Ski Cooper. Photo: Leadville Today.

The Leadville Ranger District of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests is proposing to issue a 10 year special use permit to Tennessee Pass Nordic Center located out at Ski Cooper. Photo: Leadville Today.

The trails are located in Lake County, Secs. 11, 14, 15, & 23, T. 8 S., F. 80 W., 6th Principal Meridian, as shown on the maps found online: HERE

The current authorization for grooming these trails expires December 31, 2015.

The issuance of this permit is consistent with categorical exclusion 36 CFR 220.6(e)(15): Issuance of a new special use authorization for a new term to replace an existing or expired special use authorization when the only changes are administrative.

The President’s council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) requires that agencies request comments from the public. This opportunity to comment provides the public an opportunity to provide meaningful input prior to the decision on projects and activities related to implementing land and resource management plans.

US_ForestServiceComments may be submitted by email in word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), text (.txt), or portable document format (.pdf) to mlmueggler@fs.fed.us. Please be as specific as possible in expressing your comments so they can be effectively addressed. Comments received, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this project, and will be available for public inspection.

Alternatively, written comments may be submitted to: Leadville Ranger District, Attn: Michelle Mueggler, 810 Front Street, Leadville, CO 80461.The comment period ends September 28, 2015. For more information contact Michelle Mueggler at (719) 486-7409  or  mlmueggler@fs.fed.usThank you for caring about your National Forest!

 

Latest News – August 29

Political Update or What I Did on My Summer VacationDonovan Link
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During Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s (center) July visit to Leadville, he presented a certificate of Candidacy of the Main Street program to representatives from the Leadville/Lake County Economic Development Corporation (left to right Director Nicole Thompson and intern Conor Laing) and City of Leadville’s (right of governor) City Administrator Sarah Dallas and Mayor Jaime Stuever. The Colorado Main Street® Program revitalizes traditional downtown districts within the context of historic preservation.

During Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s (center) July visit to Leadville, he presented a certificate of Candidacy of the Main Street program to representatives from the Leadville/Lake County Economic Development Corporation (left to right Director Nicole Thompson and intern Conor Laing) and City of Leadville’s (right of governor) City Administrator Sarah Dallas and Mayor Jaime Stuever. The Colorado Main Street® Program revitalizes traditional downtown districts within the context of historic preservation.

Latest News – August 28

Reflections and Transitions at High Country Glass

There have been some interesting reports recently about doing business in Leadville. What types of businesses are needed here? How do you make your business grow? What is the formula for success for operating a business in the highest incorporated city in North America?

Well, this report tells the story of the recent sale of a successful Leadville establishment. In the most rudimentary of models, the deal was initiated with a friendly wave, and sealed with a handshake over dinner and beer. And maybe, it’s just that simple.

Don and B Colburn (left) pass the glass cutter to new owners Marybeth Brown and Jake Harrison (right) at High Country Glass and Frame. Photo: Leadville Today

Don and B Colburn (left) pass the glass cutter to new owners Marybeth Brown and Jake Harrison (right) at High Country Glass and Frame. Photo: Leadville Today

It was 1974 when Don Colburn moved to Leadville in search of the ski bum life; where he also maintained a job at the Climax Mine. But it didn’t take long, as you’ll see repeated later in this story, before the love of a good woman settled down this alpine warrior. Enter Diane, or as most know her around town, “B.” The two got married in 1977, established a home in Leadville, where they raised three wonderful children, and grew a successful business known as High Country Glass and Frame (HCGF).

The Colburns bought the business in 1987 from Hank and Mary Beatty, who had started the glass and frame shop eight years earlier. Unfortunately, the Beattys had to move from Leadville because their son’s health was comprised due to the altitude. Since then, “it’s been a great business, look what it’s done for us!” said B.

And certainly, those 28 years have seen some lean times, like when the Climax Mine shut down in the late 1980s and many people picked up and left.  But, like the Colburns, there were also those who stayed and pushed through those “bust” times.

“We really appreciate the support of the Leadville people over the past 28 years,” said Don Colburn in an interview with Leadville Today this summer. “The people and businesses have been great to us.” Colburn went on to add that HGCF did all the glass in the Tabor Grand, the Delaware Hotel, the brew pub on East 7th, and the doors of the courthouse.

Any guesses as to the biggest piece of glass Colburn replaced? It was a 72” x 130” front pane window at the historic Tabor Opera House. About 15 years ago a fierce wind blew it out!

It’s the glass of HCGF, which makes up about 80% of the business. And while Lake County is HCGF’s main area, their service went far beyond into neighboring Rocky Mountain communities.

These oversized promotional posters which hang on the wall of the historic Tabor Opera house were beautifully restored and framed by B Colburn. Photo: Leadville Today.

These oversized promotional posters which hang on the wall of the historic Tabor Opera house were beautifully restored and framed by B Colburn. Photo: Leadville Today.

However the framing component to the business, not only provides a valuable service to the local community, but B’s experience and education has allowed for thousands of historic photos and documents to be preserved. She recalled two particularly meaningful projects, one involved restoring and framing hundreds of historic photos from the Masonic Lodge in Leadville.

More recently B framed the huge promotional posters found during recent renovation work at the Tabor Opera house. The multi-piece advertisements were used to showcase upcoming acts at the famous venue.

So what does the future hold for the Colburns, what would their billboard look like? It’ll be traveling, going to see the grandbabies (their fifth is due in October) . . . and B adds firmly, maybe not shoveling as much snow!

Selling a Leadville Business

The Colburns had High Country Glass and Frame listed on and off for four years; three of those, “very non-eventful years.” And while they had several people look at the business, it wasn’t for them, explained Colburn.

“We wanted the right people,” explained Don Colburn. “People who appreciated Leadville, who wanted to service Leadville, and enjoy being here.” On June 18, that handshake over dinner and beer was formalized with the transfer of ownership of High Country Glass and Frame.

So, Leadville, if you haven’t already, meet Jake and Marybeth.

Jake Harrison and Marybeth Brown are the new owners at High Country Glass and Frame in Leadville.

Jake Harrison and Marybeth Brown are the new owners at High Country Glass and Frame in Leadville.

Jake Harrison and Marybeth Brown have lived in Leadville nearly two years. They have been married for five years, with one rescued, blue-heeler named Casey to complete their family. Prior to Leadville, the couple lived in Lake Placid, N.Y.

This is where the aforementioned parallel ski-bum-meets-good-woman-and-settles-down story the former and current owners share comes in. However, for Harrison, the ski-bum thing turned into a professional athletic career, spending years on the skiing circuit in Lake Placid, N.Y., culminating at the Winter X Games VI, VII, and VIII. But like Colburn, it eventually led to the “love of my life,” Harrison explained.

Enter Marybeth Brown, who many may recognize as the face behind the local pharmacy counter for the past 1 ½ years. However what some may not know about is her background and passion for fashion and textile design. It’s these creative talents that will lend themselves well to the framing part of HCGF.

Eventually the two married in 2010, and set their sights on moving to Colorado, maybe back to Summit County where Harrison had lived before.

“Come to find out that Summit County has become way over populated and way too expensive,” said Harrison. He added that during a working stint at the “Copy, Copy” in Frisco, he remembered that the people from Leadville who came into the shop were always so nice, so patient. That’s the kind of community I love, that’s where I want to live in!

So the search for home and business began, in Leadville. The couple shared that while they did engage with some of the economic development/relocation services in place locally, in the end, it was a friendly wave hello that stopped Jake and Marybeth in their tracks at the corner of 6th and Poplar Street.

“Don was sitting at the desk, with the front door open, and when we made the stop, he looked up and waved so friendly, with a big smile,” recalled Jake Harrison, imitating the former owner. “And that was it,” he added with the hindsight of knowing how it all turned out. “We’ve just clicked from the beginning.”

The couple does not plan to change any of services that High Country offers, although Brown did mention that she would like to add glass etching and stained glass, a much-needed craft in an old Victorian mining community like Leadville. Eventually Brown will work full-time at the shop, however the new and old owners are currently helping with training and learning the ropes. B will continue on at High Country Glass, to assure a smooth change of hands, as well as share her framing knowledge.

The transition of ownership has gone seamlessly so far, but as Marybeth explained, it’s not just the “passing of the baton,” professionally, but also making time for those personal introductions to people in the community, that make a difference.

“To have them give their blessing to the community, you can’t buy that! It helps us start off on the right foot, because they’re putting their trust in us,” concluded Marybeth Brown.

And that’s certainly a big part of doing business, In The ‘Ville.

Welcome to the wonderful world of business ownership in Leadville! All the Best to You, Jake and Marybeth! And a multitude of gratitude to Don and B Colburn for all their years of service to our community!