Tag Archives: Leadville

Latest News – July 29

Sa-WEET Sixteen for MBT: An Ode to Martin 

Happy Sweet 16 to Leadville’s Mineral Belt Trail (MBT)! Today is the popular recreation trail’s birthday. To celebrate here’s the story of how the MBT’s Martin Bridge got its name.

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). 

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, 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.  

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, 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 that 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, owner of The Rock Hut.

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 its completion, planning its Grand Opening on July 29, 2000. Time was of the essence, so operation “Martin Bridge” charged full steam ahead. In the spirit of, just-order-the-signs, it’s-easier-to-ask-forgiveness-than-permission, that MBT crossover was ceremoniously branded The Martin Bridge and the rest is history!

Jim Martin Obituary Photo

Jim Martin

Before he eventually retired to lower elevations for health reasons, Martin often enjoyed the trail, regularly crossing over his namesake. Last Friday-night-of-Boom-Days 2015, Jim Martin passed away at the age of 84. It was standing room only at his service. After all, he was a man who built bridges, helping to guide Leadville through some of its more challenging times in recent history. So be sure to give a little salute in his honor when you pass over the Martin Bridge as you take a birthday lap honoring 16 glorious years of the Mineral Belt Trail!

© 2016 Leadville Today


Latest News – July 28

Saturday’s Show Benefits Local Meal Program

Mark the calendar for some great live music in town this weekend. Flagship Romance will take to the stage at St. George Episcopal Church this Saturday, July 30 at 7 p.m.Spac_50


The duo is touted as “real-life lovers & songwriters constantly touring and engaging audiences with infectious harmony.” According to their website: Flagship Romance consists of recently married, singers, and songwriters Shawn Fisher and Jordyn Jackson-Fisher. To describe their sound, they have coined the term “Harmonic Alternative Folk.” Anchored by Fisher’s unique guitar playing, Flagship Romance compositions are centered around and feature the couple’s unclassifiable vocal blend

Rev. Ali Lufkin runs the Community Meals programs out of St. George. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today

Rev. Ali Lufkin runs the Community Meals programs out of St. George. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today

The benefit concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 (at the door) with proceeds going to the Community Meals program.

St George Church is located at 200 West 4th & Pine Street.

Call Rev. Ali Lufkin at St. Georges Church if you have any questions. 719-486-4731.


Latest News – July 27

Peak Pasta: Leadville’s Fine Dining Food Truck

by Brennan Ruegg, Leadville Today contributor


Peak Pasta at the corner of W. 4th St. & Harrison Ave. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today

Nary a noodle was offered in Leadville after Zichittella’s Italian Restaurant closed in 2013, unless picked up from Safeway and boiled on the stove at home. But that’s all changed now that Eric Laslow and his partner Sandy Nye have opened up Peak Pasta, a food truck serving fine Italian foods on the corner of 4th St. & historic Harrison Avenue. Open from 12 – 9 p.m. daily, and made with the help of family and years of fine dining experience, the dishes are refined and deceivingly simple from Puttanesca to Arrabiata.

Paek Pasta owner Eric Laslow has been cooking all his life, owned six highly successful restaurants, been endowed with accolades and shouldered with some of the biggest names in field. Popping up on lists such as America’s Best Restaurants, Restaurant of the Year in Portland OR, Top 25 Nightspots in the World by Conde´Nast Magazine, his accomplished passion for food has propelled him through life and luckily landed him in the City of the Clouds. After working as General Manager at Doc’s and Consultant for Periodic Brewing, Laslow was implored by all sides to get his own thing going. Something he and his daughter Celina had brainstormed through the years came back to him: start up a foodtruck.


Eric Laslow mans the Italian food truck. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today

Laslow’s response to the question Why Leadville? is as romantic as any Italian restauranteur’s: “Because I’m in love.” Laslow met Sandy, Software Engineer and resident of Lake County for fourteen years, in 2014, and the two have been inseparable since. Along with Celina, who’s grown up in the business “since she was four days old”, and cousin Lucas Ortiz all lending hands, it’s a full-on family affair.

With many directions to take from such a wealth of experience, Laslow finally decided on a simple and authentic carb-heavy cuisine, fit for a racer: Italian pasta.


Sandy Nye at the wheel on a summer evening. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today

With every intention to continue serving through the winter, and an ever-expanding ambition to create all that might be expected from brick-and-mortar dining, Laslow and Nye won’t be taking the truck on the road any time soon. So stop by and try, say Lamb Bolognese, reportedly actor Richard Gere’s pick on his recent visit to Peak Pasta.

Along with several pastas, they also serve subs and local ice cream and gelati. Check out their Facebook for a menu, give them a call at (719)398-1959, or stop by for buona mangiata.

Brennan Ruegg is spending the summer at Halfmoon Creek with Black Mamba.

Latest News – July 26

Landfill to Provide Paint Disposal Starting August 8

Have you been getting those summer chores done? Well, if you’re like most Lake County residents somewhere in your garage, somewhere in that old storage unit is that left-over paint from some long-ago project that you planned on using for some future project that has now slipped so far off your to-do list that it’s not even funny. So, maybe it’s time to give up the fight and dispose of that old paint?Paint Care cans

But there’s good news for all you painting procrastinators whose good intentions expired along with that paint you’ve been holding onto; the Lake County Landfill will soon be accepting your old paint for disposal.

Starting August 8, a project that Lake County Public Works has been putting together for over a year, will initiate on Monday, August 8, 2016.

“It’s good to know that the paint we will be accepting will be recycled or reprocessed,” explained Michael Irwin, landfill manager. “It will not end up in a landfill somewhere else!”

Lake County Paint Care ListThe county landfill is partnering with the Colorado PaintCare program. And while there are some restrictions and some fees involved, like the household waste round-up conducted in 2014, the PaintCare program is likely to see a enthusiastic participation level.

According to the county website, starting August 8, the Lake County landfill is accepting unused or old paint for recycling up to 10 gallons per day. They will be able to except latex and oil/solvent based products in the original can with label and sealed. Businesses/organizations must be willing to sign the generator certification log and meet the qualifications if they have 25 gallons maximum per month. Please notify the gatekeeper that you have recyclable paint and have it easily accessible for disposal.  

Over 50,000 pounds hazardous material was rounded up at the 2014 Household Waste event. Photo: C4

Over 50,000 pounds hazardous material was rounded up at the 2014 Household Waste event held at the Lake County Landfill. Photo: C4





Latest News – July 25

Twin Lakes: Dining at the Dayton, Drinks at Malamute

Residents who lived in Leadville 100 years ago had it right. They knew exactly where to head when their small mountain community got packed with Front Range denizens looking to get up into the cool mountain air. They headed south, to Twin Lakes!

Pictured outside the Twin Lakes Inn are some of the staff: Bartender Bobbie Adams, Chef Edward, Tristan, Micah (back) Chef Jeremy, Chef Alex (apron front), Ken and Chef Andy (front, right)

Pictured outside the Twin Lakes Inn are some of the staff: Bartender Bobbie Adams, Chef Edward, Tristan, Micah (back) Chef Jeremy, Chef Alex (apron front), Ken and Chef Andy (front, right)

And today Leadvillites are no different. So if you’re looking to get a little elbow room, and take in some incredible cuisine and views, then head south to the Twin Lakes Inn and the Dayton Dining Room.

This quaint historic dining room maintains its original name, dating back to 1800, while serving up the today’s freshest dishes and enticing wines.  

“Our meals feature comfortable Colorado and American cuisine served just the way you love it!” explains Chef Andy, the guy at the helm of the Inn’s restaurant.

Twin Lakes InnIn recent years, this restaurant in the southern part of Lake County has continued to secure its reputation for serving up delicious dishes from salmon crab piccata to slow-smoked pork ribs. And while they focus on dinner service from 5 – 8:30 p.m. daily, they do offer some afternoon bar fare from 2 – 4:30 p.m., including a burger and some salad options.

Guests can relax in the Malamute Saloon with a cold beer or cocktail or outside on the patio overlooking Twin Peaks.   You just might see someone you know or make new friends!

Please note that dinner reservations are strongly suggested at 719-486-7965. Chef Andy notes that once the August race season starts, weekend will be extremely busy, so plan ahead.

However, he added, in September as the season winds down they have some fall fun planned, so stayed connected with the latest happenings at the Twin Lakes Inn via their Facebook Page.

The Twin Lakes Inn, Dayton Dining Room and Malamute saloon are located at 6435 E State Highway 82, in the village of Twin Lakes, Colorado.

Forebay Reservoir located above Twin Lakes in the San Isabel National Forest. Photo: Leadville Today.

Twin Lakes: where the views and the cuisine are pleasures to the senses! Pictured here is Forebay Reservoir located above Twin Lakes in the San Isabel National Forest.