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Monks Blessed Land in Leadville on Monday

Monks in Leadville

On a beautiful late summer evening a small group joined Rev. Lisa Giroux (right of Monks) and her husband Jeff (left) as they welcomed a group of Tibetan Monks to provide a Land Blessing for the property the couple purchased on Highway 91 North of Leadville, formerly known as the Hitchin Post Motel. New plans are in the works, story below. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

Land Blessing by Tibetan Monks in Leadville Today

If you hear the sounds of long, sonoric chants coming from the old Hitchin’ Post on Highway 91 north of Leadville Today (Aug. 28), don’t be too alarmed. While the dilapidated building, in its recent state, has been giving new meaning to the phrase “run-down old motel,” that’s all about to change. To mark the occasion of the transformation, on Monday, Aug. 28, the Gaden Shartse Buddhist Monks will be conducting a land blessing at the property located at 3164 Hwy 91, formally  known as the Hitchin’ Post Motel.

Rev. Lisa Giroux has purchased the property with her husband Jeff and they have big plans for the area, including leveling the old motel and remodeling the former caretakers cabin. But first the couple has invited the Monks who are visiting in neighboring Aspen this summer, to conduct a Land and Community blessing. The Land Blessing will be today at 5 p.m., so plan some extra time to get there and get situated.  The public is invited, with an offering being collected by donation. Dress for the weather and attendees are asked to bring their own chairs.

Old Hitchin Post

The old Hitchin’ Post Motel, located north of Leadville off Highway 91 will eventually be transformed into a new space to be used by Rivers and Willows, a new Leadville business owned by Rev. Lisa and Jeff Giroux. Today – August 28 – the site will be the location of a special land and community blessing by the Tibetan Monks. Photo; Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

Rev. Lisa Giroux is a self-described Modern Mystic and is well known as a Reiki Master Teacher, practicing in Lake County for decades. The couple’s newly formed company – River and Willows LLC – will be offering a variety of services, including intimate marriage ceremonies under the name Tiny Weddings.

Questions? Contact Rev Lisa Giroux. 719.293.4157 or lisa@lisagiroux.com.

About The Monks, from their website:

Gaden Shartse Monastic College is situated amid lush green hills and jungle in the remote countryside of southern India. It was founded in 1969 as an effort to re­-establish one of the great monastic traditions of Tibet.  A small group of elder monks and fifteen young boys, all of whom had managed to escape the destruction in Tibet, settled on land given to them by the Indian government in Mundgod, Karnataka. 

Today the college is at the forefront of the revival of Tibetan Monastic education, with more than 1600 resident students, teachers, scholars, and spiritual practitioners.  More than 70% of the members are between the ages of 10 and 25 and 80% of these were born in Tibet. To this day, young monks arrive at the Monastery weekly from Tibet, seeking shelter and education. Due to the success of the academic program and the quality of the teachers at the monastery, Gaden Shartse has established a reputation as being the leader in the field of Buddhist and Tibetan studies.

Leadville Community Market Kicks Off Saturday

The Leadville Community Market is kicking off its 2017 season, on Saturday, Aug. 19 in the First Mountain Bank parking lot in downtown Leadville. The weekly gathering features fresh, seasonal produce as well as crafts and creations from local artisans and businesses. It’s a great place for locals and visitors to meet for a BBQ treat or sometimes, live music!

Leadville Today is a proud sponsor of the Leadville Community Market which continues August 19 thru September 23 on Saturdays from 9 a.m. til 2 p.m. Make sure to connect with them on the Leadville Community Market Facebook Page or email – leadvillemarket@gmail.com. Get ready to come out for some community fun on historic Harrison Avenue!

Tour Businesses Down Shift Schedules

 As the summer season slowly comes to a more manageable pace for residents and local businesses, schedules are adjusted. And so it goes for several tourist-related operations in Leadville. Of course, there’s still plenty of fairer weather before the winter sets in for good, but be aware of the following changes and opportunities when educating visitors about their choices, as things shift into leaf-peeping season.

matchless-mine headframe copy

The National Mining Museum secured a Climax Community Investment Fund grant to restore the Matchless Mine head frame. Work continues this fall; visitors welcome! Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

 The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) announced yesterday that the Matchless Mine will be closed Fridays after Labor Day, September 4. The Matchless Mine will remain open for tours Saturday through Thursday during September, and then will finally close for the season October 8.

Guided surface tours begin at 1, 2, and 3 p.m., and self-guided surface tours are available anytime from noon until 4:45 p.m. when the historic site is open. Payment for tours must be in cash at the mine or by credit card at the NMHFM. Group tours will still be conducted on Fridays during September. Group tours any day of the week must be arranged in advance with the staff of the NMHFM.

The Matchless Mine is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is significant because of the large amount of silver mined there in the 19th century and its association with Silver King Horace Tabor and his wife, Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor.

Visitors will have the opportunity to watch HistoriCorps work parties rehabilitating the 125-year-old wooden head frame September 12-24. The iconic head frame looms above the last remaining open mine shaft at the site and was used to raise and lower miners and materials. HistoriCorps is a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging volunteers in preserving and sustaining historic structures on public lands (including on private lands accessible to the public) for future generations.

The Matchless Mine is located 1.25 miles east of Leadville’s Harrison Avenue on 7th Street/County Road 3. It is an integral part of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. The mission of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is to tell the story about mining, its people, and its importance to the American public. Information about the Matchless Mine and the head frame rehabilitation project can be accessed at the NMHFM website.

All Aboard for Fall Colors Weekends

Coming off one of its most successful summer season to date, the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad is shifting its gears to its one-a-day schedule. During the weekdays – Monday thru Friday – the train provides daily trips at 1 p.m. On the weekends the popular attraction still maintains it’s two trips at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with special Fall Photo Weekends planned for September 9 &10, September 16 & 17, and September 23 & 24.


A popular “last hurrah for summer,” the Stork-Curve Climax BBQ Train Ride is usually a SELL-OUT. This year, this special #EndOfTheLine trek will be Friday of Labor Day Weekend, September 1. #AllAboard. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

One noteworthy special ride is the Stork-Curve Climax BBQ Train Ride on Friday, Sept.1. This ride goes to the end of the line, giving passengers a vantage point and view they don’t get to see on the regular train ride. Add to that some award-winning BBQ for an evening ride and it’s #AllAboard for the last hurrah of summer! Please note that this ride usually sells out, so make your reservations today. The Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad closes for the season in early October, with its last trip on Sunday, Oct. 8.   

“Help Wanted:” Shortage of Workers Hits Home

As the high country heads into the thick of the tourist season, Leadville and Lake County businesses have been experiencing a smaller and smaller labor pool to draw from. And while that may be good news for the workers, for small businesses who rely on the extra help to get through the busiest part of the year, the next several weeks could prove more challenging than they have in years.


One of the busiest businesses on historic Harrison Avenue, City on A Hill Coffee and Espresso is the place to get your java fix and it’s a good place to work! Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

According to the Labor Market Info website, while the national unemployment rate stands at 4.4%, in Colorado that number drops even further to 2.3%. And for Leadville business owners looking to fill their staff positions for the height of the busy tourist season, that number is a stark reality!

“I’m not fully convinced anyone even wants to work anymore for a fair wage,” stated one Leadville business owner whose “Help Wanted” sign has been on standby for its regular window appearance since the beginning of the summer season. “Between a shortage of people who want to work, and a housing shortage for those I can recruit, it’s going to be challenging to get through the rest of the busy summer season and maintain the quality of service my customers expect.”

Statistic from the Colorado Labor Market Information website show that right behind the heavy-hitter employers like Freeport-McMoran’s Climax Mine, it’s the seasonal need from retail stores that have the highest number of job openings. From Safeway, to Kum-n-Go, to Shopko, it’s the re-stocking of shelves and the cashier jobs needed to ring up your purchase that seem to remain unfilled.

One Leadville restaurateur, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that “if I hear one more applicant tell me that they can work at Wendy’s for $13.50/hour plus benefits, I’m gonna scream. While I can’t compete with the bigger companies over in Summit and Eagle, I do offer a decent wage in a local business that treats its employees fair and decent. But I don’t know if that’s enough anymore.”

A quick check with the Leadville Colorado Workforce Center echoed the same sentiments, adding that there has been a decline in a skilled labor numbers. In other words, it appears that the workers available in the local market are often not meeting up with the requirements from job postings. It’s also a good reminder that this local office is a great resource for busy business owners, to help sort out perspective applicants. If you have a job opening, posting it with the Leadville center can cast the net of possible applicants a bit further, in addition to vetting out those not qualified for the position. It’s a time-saver in both the hiring process, as well as the more time-consuming training process for entry level employees. The Leadville Workforce Center is located at 115 W. 6th Street, upstairs in the McGregor Building. You can also connect with them online HERE.

So locals and visitors may need to pack some extra patience when heading out to the local grocery stores or to enjoy a meal at your favorite restaurant. Buckle up, the busy season is here in Leadville Today!

Leadville Shopko Grand Opening July 10 2015_POST_1

The Leadville Shopko which had its Grand Opening in Leadville two years ago on July 10, has been challenged to keep it’s payroll full with stockers and cashiers as mountain communities sees low unemployment rate this summer. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, here is the latest jobs report issued last Friday, July 21, 2017.

Colorado Employment Situation – June 2017

Employers in Colorado added 6,500 nonfarm payroll jobs from May to June for a total of 2,647,000 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 6,100 and government increased 400.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate was unchanged from May to June at 2.3 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 10,300 over the month to 2,969,100 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 10,500 to 2,901,900, causing the number of unemployed to decrease 200. Due to rounding, the unemployment rate was unchanged from May at 2.3 percent.

The national unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in June to 4.4 percent. Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.7 to 34.2 hours and average hourly earnings decreased from $26.80 to $26.75. The largest over the month private sector job gains were in professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. The largest over the month declines were in construction and information.


There is no shortage of “Help Wanted” and “Hiring” signs across mountain communities as the market deals with a low unemployment rate in Colorado.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 54,900, with an increase of 51,600 in the private sector and an increase of 3,300 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in trade, transportation, and utilities, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. Mining and logging declined over the year. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one and one-tenth of a percentage point from 3.4 percent.

The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 83,100, total employment increased 113,300 and the number of unemployed decreased 30,300. The national unemployment rate declined from 4.9 percent in June 2016 to 4.4 percent in June 2017.

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