Leadville News – December 7

Melanzana Shuts Down Online, Mail Orders

Okay, okay, calm down everyone! If you’re just hearing this news now, it’s understandable that your holiday shopping duties might have taken a terrible hit. Especially if you’re on online, phone-it-in, kind of elf.  


Melanzana Founder Fritz Howard (left) poses with Leadville students during a 2015 tour of his microfiber manufacturing business. The shop will see a major expansion in 2018, but until then, the corner of 8th Street and historic Harrison Avenue will be the only place fans can buy their favorite Melly as all online/phone orders have ceased, for now! Photo: Neysha Gibson.

So yes, it’s true. Everyone’s favorite Leadville-made, microfiber hoodie can only be purchased in-store. Melanzana has ceased all online/mail/phone orders, for the time being. Here’s the news direct from Melanzana Founder Fritz Howard.

Mail Order Shutdown – and a new future! With sincere apologies to everyone craving a new Melly, we have CLOSED web and phone orders until spring. We regret the terrible timing of this move, with the holidays approaching, but something had to give.

Melanzana Hoodie

The Melanzana Hoodie.

You can still buy our fuzzy fleece in Leadville at our store! We will continue to cut and sew like crazy, and build up a sweet stockpile of hoodies for everyone who makes the journey. We are engineering a triumphant return to online sales later in 2018 with a brand new format. Don’t despair, far flung internet shoppers!

What led us to make this drastic move? First: Unpredictable skyrocketing demand from across the country that simply outpaces our ability to grow our manufacturing. Second: Soul crushing 6-month delays at Polartec, our high-end fabric supplier, as they moved their factory from Massachusetts to Tennessee. Combine these factors, and you get constant out-of-stocks, low (or no) inventory, and a shopping experience that has been unfulfilling, to say the least. We desperately want to stop disappointing people, so we are taking some time to refocus on our core business by building up inventory in our brick-and-mortar store in Leadville.

In the past few years we have doubled our production to 2800 garments a month, but it’s still not enough. To take us boldly into the future, we are in the midst of a major 2000 square foot expansion project. More space, more sewing machines, more awesome employees, more cozy hoodies.

We will continue to honor our values, and to exist as something rare: a TRUE local apparel company. Thanks so much for your support and understanding! – Fritz Howard, Founder

Holiday Gifts With A Leadville Twist

So, after that shocking news, if you are looking for that extra special Leadville gift here are some suggestions that still keep it local. At the top of the list, is a reminder that Leadville’s Rocky Mountain High Reading Council (RMHRC) is holding their annual Book Basket Raffle on December 13, from 4 – 6 p.m. at West Park Elementary. Just in time for holiday gift giving!  Help promote literacy in Lake County by buying raffle tickets.  Tickets are a $1 a piece or six for $5. Contact Mona Cloys at the high school for more details: 719-486-6980.

LAC_Holiday Fair 2017_18

While there are plenty of new photographers moving into Leadville Today, most times when people say photography and Leadville in the same sentence, they still mean Steve Sunday. And that’s why you should buy his annual calendar. The 2018 cover photo alone is worth the purchase. Sunday knew just where to position himself for the money shot when jets came streaming down Harrison Avenue to kick off last summer’s Boom Days Parade. Between that local knowledge, and his real job at the US Forest Service, Sunday knows his stuff, everyday of the year! You can buy the calendar at the family’s Harrison Avenue shop, Fire on the Mountain, a pottery shop run by Sunday’s wife Elise and often-seen teen-aged daughters. Or head over to the Steve Sunday website for more info on how to pick up your 2018 Leadville calendar.

 To stand in the exact location as your grandparent is no small experience. To capture the scene with a photograph, in one of Colorado’s most historic cities, leaves an even deeper impression. The result is what you’ll find in “Leadville: Then and Now” by Kathleen Fitzsimmons. Using her grandfather’s wonderfully preserved, 100 -year old photographs, Fitzsimmons has re-created historic photographs with their modern partners.  The collection contains side-by-side photographs illustrating the constancy and change of the Leadville and Lake County area over the past century.  

The paperback book is for sale for $25 at The Rock Hut (706 Harrison) and Wilde’s Green Hour (313 Harrison), The Book Mine (522 Harrison) or contact Fitzsimmons directly at (719) 486-1754. For those who love Leadville and its history, this book is sure to be a great addition to any collection.


First time Leadville author and native daughter Kathleen Fitzsimmons proudly displays her newly released “Leadville: Then and Now” which highlights her grandfather’s old photographs of the area, along side her own.

The Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad is having a Christmas sale that could be just the gift you need for that hard-to-buy-for train and history lover on your holiday list. From now until December 24 the train is offering discounted tickets for next summer’s train-riding season. So if you’ve got a relative or friend that comes to visit and always looking for something fun to do during the summer or fall months, take advantage of this special. Regular train tickets are being offered at a 14% discount. #AllAboard for savings! For more details and to purchase tickets online: LINK

Parade Light_Leadville Today_Diana Lange_2

While the children enjoyed the train ride in the Parade of Lights, real train lovers should take advantage of the Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad’s holiday sale. Summer’s not far off! Photo: Leadville Today/Diana Lange.

If you see the trail, let me know,” it’s everyone’s new favorite movie line from 2017. And yes, it has a #Leadville connection. The  “Blood Road” movie tells the story of 4x LT100 MTB Champion Rebecca Rusch as she takes fans on her emotional journey, pedaling 1,200 miles on the Ho Chi Minh trail in search of the crash site that claimed the life of her father during the Vietnam War.LeadvilleScreeingBloodRoad_poster_11x17_TDL copy

Since this film opened at the Sun Valley Film Festival in April 2017, it has been not only touring the country from coast to coast to sold out audiences, but also around the world in places like Vietnam, India, Morocco. And there’s a reason that it has racked up some pretty impressive film awards along the way. Maybe it’s time you found out why?

If you missed the exclusive Leadville showing last August, now you can get your own copy, buy it for your favorite cyclist-in-training and experience this one-of-a-kind film experience that had summer movie-goers from around the world, saying “Wow, How did you do that And how did you film that?!”







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