Tag Archives: Twin Lakes General Store

Leadville News – September 12

Autumn Aspen Autobahn: Twin Lakes Side

Praying Angel_Twin Lakes_Fall 2017

An annual Autumn pilgrimage, the Praying Angel has returned in her golden glory at Twin Lakes, for a limited engagement. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

This time of year, it’s known as the Autumn Aspen Autobahn, as Colorado Highway 82 heading over Independence Pass becomes flooded with tourists – and locals alike, from both sides of the mountain – looking to take in that incredible autumn drive. For many, it will be the last cruise of the season, before the snow shuts down the pass until next spring. So if you have plans to take a cruise through Twin Lakes to enjoy the fall colors, here are some helpful Leadville Today travel tips about southern Lake County.

One of autumn’s most beloved Twin Lakes features is The Praying Angel. This magnificent arbor display, kneels proudly throughout an aspen groove, across the way at Twin Lakes Reservoir. And this time of year, the golden leaves really make her shine. The best place to view this unique mountain-scape is at the Praying Angel Fishing Access Spot. Turn off Highway 82 at the Red Rooster entrance, look for the “Boat Tours” sign. There’s plenty of parking, so that you can safely enjoy this special sight, away from the busy highway. 

VW Bus Coffee Twin Lakes

Peace, love and beans can be found at the new VW Bus Java Stop in Twin Lakes across from the visitor’s center on Highway 82. It’s open on weekends through the season.

If you’ve traveled through the village of Twin Lakes lately, you probably noticed the sunshine yellow VW Bus parked along the highway with the big, bold COFFEE sign in its front window. While self-explanatory to most folks, this new mobile java machine will be serving it up hot and fresh on the weekends through the end of the year, according to owner Bob Dalzell. And next summer he hopes to be be grinding up those beans all season! Stop in for your road-weary jolt to get you up over the pass or take in the fall colors in the village.

Did you know that there’s a mechanic in Twin Lakes for all those motorized toys and tools-of-the-trade you’ve been driving around all summer? Started in January of this year, Balltown Mini Motors is located on the corner of Highways 82 and 24, at 160 East State Hwy 82. Owned and operated by JR Fearneyhough, the business specializes in sales and service of utility task vehicle (UTVs) at a reasonable price.

These days, the average price of a brand new utility task vehicle UTV can cost between $10,000 and $40,000.  Balltown Mini Motors offer an option that’s budget friendly. From the John Deere Gator and Kawasaki Mule to other types of mini trucks and more, they have it all.

And when you have trouble with your rig, take it to a mechanic who has more than 30 years of experience in the profession. They also have interest in your old unit, for purchase or trade.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, whether you’re hunting, fishing or just out recreating in the beautiful outdoors, don’t let your trip to the Rocky Mountain get stalled by an unexpected brake down.  Call Balltown Mini Motors, LLC, by phone 719-917-8121 or email: balltownminimotors@gmail.com.


If you’re looking to satisfy those hunger pangs while out taking in the fall colors, stop in to The Twin Lakes Inn which continues to serve up tasty meals through September, open nightly for dinner and lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

According to General Manager Andy Walk, The Inn will continue to take lodging reservation past September, with the restaurant remaining open to accommodate lodging guests, as well as dining guests WITH RESERVATIONS. While the upgraded septic system will allow the establishment to offer more services beyond their busy summer season, the management is taking a  reserved approach heading into the off-season. In other words, reservations are strongly recommended. That said, they already have some Christmas parties lined up!

At your service is the dedicated staff of the Twin Lakes Inn (left to right): Server Steph, Bartender Jim, General Manager Andy Wald, Chef Chris, Chef Jeremy. Photo: Leadville Today.

And finally, news from The Friends of Twin Lakes.

  • Movie Night has been moved to Thursday this week, so be sure to catch the next show tomorrow, September 13 at 6 p.m. at the Schoolhouse.  Please bring your own beverage and snack as Denise Hagerty, a retired professor and screenwriter who formerly taught “Film as Literature,” leads movie-goers through “Dead Man,” a non-traditional western (almost a kind of spiritual western) starring Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Gabriel Byrne, Robert Mitchum and many other excellent actors. The group will explore and dissect the movie’s depiction of the “settling” of the frontier, Native Americans’ “noble savage” myth, and transformations involved in life and death.
  • The Friends of Twin Lakes will have their next Member Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. in the schoolhouse, 231 Lang Street. U.S. Forest Service Leadville/Salida District Ranger Jim Pitts will be our guest speaker.  The Friends have asked attendees to submit questions to Ranger Pitts before Friday, Sept. 21 for the Saturday meeting. 
  • Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. there will be a Fire Mitigation and Chipping Program Updtae. Join the new Wildland-Urban Interface Mitigation Specialist Carrie Howard as she updates residents on fire mitigation assessments and details of the upcoming chipping program where they will use grant funds to cover 1/2 of the cost.

So there’s some news from the Twin Lakes side of Independence Pass. See you on the Autumn Aspen Autobahn! And seriously, slow down and enjoy the fall colors!

Windmill_Twin Lakes_Fall 2017

Photo opportunties abound on the #AutumnAspenAutobahn, like the old windmill and barn setting off Highway 82 en route to Independence Pass. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

Leadville News – July 26

What’s Generally In-Store at Twin Lakes

For many small towns, the general store is a great place to catch up on local happenings. However, this summer, when it comes to Twin Lakes, it’s the general stores that are making the news in Leadville Today.

Twin Lakes General Store_exterior

The Twin Lakes General Store is open daily with everything from food to supplies to gasoline.

By now, readers may have heard that the Twin Lakes General Store has a new owner. And yes, this time it’s true! While early Spring reports buzzed with #sold rumors, it wasn’t until mid-July that the transfer of ownership for the village’s primary retailer was a done deal, as former owners Katie and Carl Bryan handed over the keys to Twin Lakes resident Bob Mathes. Congratulations to all!

For the Bryans, it means moving closer to extended family in Idaho. For the store’s new owner, it’s a dream realized, with the seeds planted some 23 years ago when Mathes bought his now, full-time residence in Pan Ark Estates.

And with one step through the doorway, it’s easy to understand why owning this business would be on someone’s dream list. Stepping into the Twin Lakes General Store, visitors get the sense of a quintessential, main-street shop, where you can find just about anything you need, or may have forgotten.  From items for your camping trip, to restocking supplies along your Continental Divide Trail journey, to a neighbor’s basic need for milk, this store is jam-packed with just about everything you could think of, and then some! And that includes cold beer, fine wine and hard liquor! 

Of course, village regulars and returning visitors will still find that small-town charm that comes with the soft slam of a screen door. However, there will also be some new faces behind the counter this summer. Mathes has a hands-on approach to the business, so expect to see Bob stocking the shelves and counting the inventory. He has also brought his son Carson onto the payroll, making it a family-affair. Rounding out the work crew, local Ryan Varco will be staying on with the new proprietor as well.  A recent trip to the store on a late Monday afternoon saw all three hands-on-deck as the cash register rang steady. The busy season is on and these guys are ready for August!

Twin Lakes Store_Trio_In1_leadvilleToday

The new Twin Lakes General Store (left to right) owner, Bob Mathes has some great summer help with Ryan Varco (center) and Bob’s son Carson Mathes (right). Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

Although Mathes does not have any huge changes in the works, like any new owner, he does have a vision to expand certain parts of the business, all while maintaining the quality customer service that travelers and locals have come to expect. Stay tuned for more good things to come.

The Twin Lakes General Store is located at 6451 E State Highway 82 in Twin Lakes, Colorado. You may connect with them on their website, the Twin Lakes General Store Facebook PageTwin Lakes General Store Facebook Page or by phone at (719) 486-2196.

There’s a New Store at the Junction

No doubt, if you’ve driven south of town, you noticed the new signs off Highway 24, at the turn off for Twin Lakes at Highway 82: Lake Creek General Store. So when Leadville Today saw the OPEN sign flashing red in the little cabin window of the new retail establishment, it was the beacon, calling to take a look inside. The new store is situated in the heart of the Winmar Cabins, with access off Highway 82.

Lake Creek General Store at WinMar Cabins Twin Lakes Colorado_Leadville Today

The new Lake Creek General Store can be found in the heart of the WinMar Cabins located in Twin Lakes. Photo: Leadville Today.

The sign outside reads, “Ice, Snacks, Cold Drinks and More.” Inside, the more ranges from insect repellent, to sun glasses, to chargers for electronic devices. Duly noted are two important advantages this general store offers: hot showers and laundry services. It’s one of the benefits of being part of a lodging business.

In fact, the entire Winmar Cabins operation saw a change in ownership in May 2017, explained Andrew Mehrer, a son in the family business. And these days, it takes a family’s commitment for business success, as the region struggles with a labor shortage brought on, in part, by second home owners buying up a lot of the affordable workforce housing traditionally rented by employees.

“Most of last summer we spent gutting everything,” Mehrer described the hard work his family has put into the renovation process. The Lake County lodging establishment has been a mainstay on the corner of Highways 24 and 82 for decades, having experienced considerable deterioration during Leadville’s most recent, sullen economic times. But that has all changed with the new owners: “We’ve been busting our butts!”

Lake Creek General Store _ Andrew Mehrer_WinMar Cabins_Twin Lakes_Leadville Today

Andrew Mehrer discusses the new Lake Creek General Store that his family business at Winmar Cabins opened in July 2018. The retail store offers “ice, drinks, snacks and more,” at the corner of Highway 24 and 82 in Twin Lakes. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

And it shows, as a quick scan of the small cabin/general store is stocked with seemingly all the right items for guest comfort and traveler’s care. But don’t expect too much – yet! Officially opened for two weeks, the family continues to fine-tune the Lake Creek General Store’s inventory.

This summer, the Winmar Cabins will see their first full season since the renovations, offering ten cabins for short term rentals. The family continues to renovate the other units on the property, using some of them for their own residences. Sounds like they have the two biggest economic deterrents for new businesses in Lake County, covered: labor and housing.

It’s a job well-done, so be sure to stop in and support their efforts by shopping at the Lake Creek General Store! The Winmar Cabins are located at 1525 Highway 24 in Twin Lakes, CO 81251. Readers may check their website for more details, find them on Facebook, or call directly at 719-486-0785.

Winmar Cabins Lake Creek General Store at Twin Lakes

The Lake Creek General Store is open for business and located in the heart of the Winmar Cabins at the intersection of Highways 24 & 82.