Tag Archives: Leadville

Latest News – July 30

Museum’s Convention Center Closing . . .  for Hiatus

Reports of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum’s Convention Center closing its doors have proved to be true – sort of.

The Mining Museum Convention Center will be taking a hiatus this winter.

The Mining Museum Convention Center will be taking a hiatus this winter.

“It’s not necessarily a permanent closure,” explained Dr. Steve Whittington, Executive Director of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMFH). “We are putting it on somewhat of a hiatus.”

As of today, the museum will no longer be accepting reservations for the Convention Center, but they will honor their commitments through August, with some exceptions even further into the year. Whittington has also been in touch with groups who do have the facility reserved this winter, seeing if they can find other places for their events.

Dr. Steve Whittington, Director of the NMHF.

Dr. Steve Whittington, Director of the NMHF.

Describing the interim period as “suspended animation,” at least thru the winter, Whittington explained that the during this period the NMHF Advisory Board will look at the Convention Center’s operations to see if there are things that could be done to make it sustainable. The initial decision was prompted when the Convention Center Coordinator recently tendered her resignation for another job opportunity. That action resulted in an initial review of the Convention Center’s operations by Whittington.  

“My analysis had indicated that it really hadn’t been paying for itself for a while, if ever,” said Whittington in regard to the facility. With a staff transition already in place, it seemed a good time to review how the center fits into the organization’s overall mission and whether the NMHF should keep putting money into it.

Ultimately the winter hiatus, “will give us some time to make some decisions about how to run it,” concluded Whittington.

The Leadville Arts Coalition's Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair will be finding a new home for their annual November event.

The Leadville Arts Coalition’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair will need to find a new home for their annual November event.

The NMHF Convention Center is located at 116 West 10th Street and includes The Barber Pavillion (main ballroom), The Longyear Auditorium, The Phelps Dodge Room, The Newmont Room, The Kennecott Room and the kitchen/catering facilities. Since its construction, the Convention Center has been used for banquets, meetings, presentations, receptions, proms, weddings, and quinciñeras.Obit_Spacer_Thin

KW Buys Former Sayer & McKee Building on Harrison

So what’s the latest with the old Sayer & McKee building? Well, the business owner that jumped into action to save the structure from total collapse after last winter’s roof cave-in, is now the proud owner of this iconic downtown building. Kyle Welch of KW Construction and Restoration is now the owner of what is legally known as 615 Harrison Avenue.

A new owner and plan are in place fo rthe old Sayer & McKee Building, including a courtyard, sunroom and observation deck

A new owner and plan are in place for the old Sayer & McKee Building, including a courtyard, sun room and observation deck

“We’re going to fix it up, and lease it out, times two,” explains Welch.

One of the primary obstacles to selling the former drugstore was its size, especially for the historic corridor. It’s a large space to heat and rent, so Welch’s plans include, dividing up the building into different usage areas, and constructing two units of lease-able space.KW-logo-02

While the architectural renderings will be available soon, the plans call for a 25 ft by 55 ft courtyard space directly off the sidewalk which will have radiant floor heat, eliminating the snow removal chore. The next 15 feet in, will be a sun room. From there, the design goes vertical, with a banquet room stacked on the sun room. Above that will be an observation deck with both east and west views from the top floor. The leased space will be divided into north and south units.  Welch is hopeful for a restaurant on the south side, and “something else” on the north side.

So, the good news is that one of Leadville’s Harrison Avenue gems is in the hands of a native son, with family roots and a construction/restoration business. And the great news is that Leadville could be seeing another restaurant, or “maybe even a brewpub,” soon!  Stay Tuned!Obit_Spacer_Thin

Latest News – July 29

Celebrating 14 yrs of MBT and the Martin Bridge!

The Martin Bridge. Do you know where it is? If so, then you’ve been spending some time on Leadville’s Mineral Belt Trail (MBT). In honor of the MBT’s 14th birthday, here’s the story of how the Martin Bridge got its name.

The Martin Bridge crosses over E. 7th Street on Leadville's Mineral Belt Trail.

The Martin Bridge crosses over E. 7th Street on Leadville’s Mineral Belt Trail.

Now, for those who may not be familiar with where this structure is, it spans above E. 7th Street, connecting the MBT over the city road; it’s near the famous Matchless Mine.

And while many regular MBT users  may be familiar with where the bridge is, not many folks know how the Martin Bridge got its name. It is one of those great, old-school Leadville stories. From the beginning, the decision was rooted in common sense; there were no committees, work sessions, studies or grants involved. Back in 1999, the city and county coffers were pretty slim, so those who had stuck around to “serve,” had to “make do”. They had to think smarter; do more, with less.

And what better place to think smarter than around a table of hard-working, beer-drinking guys at the legendary Silver Dollar Saloon. One of the regulars at that table was Jim Martin, a former Climax Mine Manager who decided to stick around, and was seeing Leadville and Lake County through some of its shakier days.

Martin was Leadville’s Mayor for 8 years, from 1983 – 1991; he then went on to serve two terms as Lake County Commissioner from 1992 – 2000. Martin also served on the Board of Education and was very involved with Skyline Little League, as both a board member and umpire during baseball season.

The man and the bridge! Namsake Jim Martin (right) poses with good friend and owner of The Rock Hut, Jim Witmer (left) on the MBT's Martin Bridge. Photo: Kathy Bedell/LeadvilleToday.

The man and the bridge! Namesake Jim Martin (right) poses with good friend and owner of The Rock Hut, Jim Witmer (left) on the MBT’s Martin Bridge.

Jim Martin was a hard-core numbers guy. He was known to test people with a series of mathematical equations, to determine their mental prowess. The drill would usually go something like, take the number 6 multiple it by eight, subtract 7, divide by three, now take the square root of that number – and on and on he would go. This mathematical quiz was rambled off at a pretty good pace, and just when you were convinced that Martin himself wasn’t even following the equation, you were challenged to provide the answer. If you were spry enough to keep up with him and come to the same correct answer as Martin’s, then your “street cred,” rose considerably; maybe he’d even throw you a news tidbit.

Local leadership during this time, required that same kind of steadfastness. Things were still in a downward spiral, and most public meetings were held to discuss how to shave a bit more off the budget, rather than, what duplicated non-profit’s efforts should get more funding. Back then, it was a bit more “Shark Tank” and a little less “Kumbaya”.

A guy like Jim Martin was up for the job, and he did an incredible service to this community during that time. It was easy to respect his willingness to serve during the bust cycle. He earned it every day as he kept the Environmental Protection Agency on its toes, and away from encroaching any further onto local lands, an act which was slowly choking economic development in Lake County.

A great sense of humor is one tool that will get you through 20+ years of public service. Jim Martin (left) poses on the bridge named after him, with good friend Jim Witmer, both of whom will be appalled that their picture appears here! Photo: Kathy Bedell/Leadville Today.

A great sense of humor is one tool that will get you through 20+ years of public service. Jim Martin (left) poses on the bridge that bears his name, with good friend Jim Witmer, both of whom will be appalled that their picture appears here!

He was asked one time if it was harder to be Mayor or Commissioner? Martin retorted, “You know what was the toughest job I ever had in this town? Umpire for the Little League. Those parents were brutal! If they didn’t like a call, they didn’t hold back! They’d swear you up one side and down the other, right in front of the kids!”

During one of these famous beer-drinking work sessions – when Martin was absent – the rest of the guys discussed how they might be able to honor him. It was 1999 and Martin was coming to the end of his political career. While there wasn’t a lot of money in the coffers for some elaborate gesture, surely there was something they could do.

It was during this same time that the Mineral Belt Trail was reaching the end of its trail work and would soon be holding its Grand Opening on July 29, 2000. Before long, operation “Martin Bridge” was underway. In the spirit of, “just-order-the-signs”, “it’s-easier-to-ask-forgiveness-than-permission” ways of not too long ago, that MBT bridge was ceremoniously named The Martin Bridge!

Jim Martin eventually made the move down to a lower elevation and today, lives comfortably in the Denver metro area. He makes it up here every once in a while. Only now, you’re more likely to see him with a bottle of oxygen, than a bottle of whiskey. He’s still sharp mentally, even if the memory for names has faded a bit. And yes, the old beer-drinking sessions pick up right where they left off, although they don’t last nearly as long as they used to.

So the next time you walk, jog, bicycle, or ski by the MBT’s Martin Bridge, give Jim Martin a proper salute – cheers! And Happy Birthday to the Mineral Belt Trail, which celebrates 14 incredible years today!


Latest News – July 28

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Latest News – July 27

The Tabor Home’s historic “off-white” color was recently restored and some patriotic bunting added. It looks great! Augusta Tabor (Horace’s first wife) would have liked it! It was “her” home, after all. Photo: Leadville Today.

The Tabor Home’s historic “off-white” color was recently restored and some patriotic bunting added. It looks great! Augusta Tabor (Horace’s first wife) would have liked it! It was “her” home, after all. You can find it on E. 5th Street. Photo: Leadville Today.


DA Brown Distributes Funds to Assist  Victims

The Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office has begun the process of selecting beneficiaries of the DA5 Charitable Contributions Fund.  The district, which spans the counties of Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, and Summit, accumulates annual funds as a part of its “Plea by Mail” program for transgressors who have committed minor crimes.  Those who enter a guilty plea and settle their cases by mail are required to make a $100 charitable contribution before they can begin the process.  

DA Bruce Brown

DA Bruce Brown

“This program brings in about $70,000 annually.” stated District Attorney Bruce Brown.  “We want this  money to be returned directly to the community in such a way as will benefit our towns and counties by reducing crime and bringing help and support to those who have been victimized by it.”

The office is asking that not-for-profit organizations that either work in some direct way to help prevent crime in their local community, or organizations who work with crime victims, to apply to be beneficiaries of the fund.  Previous beneficiaries include Early Childhood Partners, Speak Up Reach Out, Summit County Advocates for Victims of Assault, D.A.R.E, and Crime Stoppers of Clear Creek County.  

The DA’s office is encouraging all organizations within District 5 who work to prevent crime, especially among youth, or those that provides services and support to crime victims to apply by August 15, 2014.Obit_Spacer_Thin

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Latest News – July 26

Climax Water Treatment Plant Celebration August 7

Climax Mine is hosting a grand opening to mark the commissioning of their new water treatment plant. After a $200 million investment to change facilities and methods in water treatment, water will now be treated in the new plant incorporating modern water treatment technologies.

The Climax Water Treatment Plant is located off Highway 91 between Fremont Pass and Copper Mountain.

The Climax Water Treatment Plant is located off Highway 91 between Fremont Pass and Copper Mountain. Grand Opening planned for Thursday, August 7.

Climax Mine Water Treatment Plant celebration features an exclusive opportunity for guided tours of the plant, attendance by state and national dignitaries and company leaders, educational opportunities, food and festivities.

The Climax Molybdenum Company operations in Colorado date back to 1918 and have played a part in world history as well as Colorado’s own growth.

Registration is required to attend the grand opening celebration and/or guided tour of the Climax Mine Water Treatment Plant. Seating is limited to the first 500 RSVPs. Buses will depart from Copper Mountain every 15 minutes between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tour time is approximately 75 minutes. CLICK HERE to register.


 Gone Fishing!

Here’s the local fishing report brought to you by Tim Hill of Colorado Fly Fishing Guides, located in downtown Leadville.

Upper Arkansas River (Between Leadville and Buena Vista)

FlyFishinFlows continue to recede in the meadows and are becoming even more manageable below the Lake Creek confluence.  This combined with strong hatches has the upper river in excellent shape.  The drakes and stones are dwindling and have been replaced with PMD and quill pattern mayflies as the primary hatch.  Trout are also still maintaining a diet of caddis.  Your dry fly selection should include pmd, light cahill, red or ginger quills, and parachute caddis patterns.  Prince, pheasant tail, and pmd emergers have been taking fish sub surface.Obit_Spacer_Thin

Fire Mitigation Project on CR 17 Canceled

The following information was provided by Lake County Public Information Officer Susan Matthews concerning the Fire Mitigation work which was initially planned for County Road 17 (CR17 – Mountain View Drive):

The Fire Mitigation Project which was planned for August 18 along Mtn. View Dr  has been canceled.

The Fire Mitigation Project which was planned to start August 18 along County Road 17, aka Mountain View Drive has been canceled. Photo: Leadville Today.


Notice of project cancellation—Due to mounting technical difficulties to achieve the overall intent of the CR17 Fuel Break project, inability to meet some of the grant guidance parameters and a host of programmatic issues that only very recently became apparent, the CR17 Fuel Reduction Project is canceled for this year. 

In the future, the county will examine a more board-based approach to fire mitigation involving volunteering home owners associations and individual home owners. Moving forward, the county will work with HOAs and home owners in creating defensible space and FireWise Communities.  Residents are encouraged to read this LINK which outlines the wildfire protection plan, adopted first in 2006, and is currently undergoing revisions pertaining to Lake County. 

The state of Colorado has experienced huge fires in the past several years.  As an outcome of the increased fires, many insurance companies are leaving the state and others are cancelling policies.  Lake County residents are beginning to receive letters from insurance companies cancelling or requesting mitigation efforts.  Mitigation efforts that Lake County will plan and implement can be a helpful tool to show Lake County is interested in keeping our community safe.