Winter Park Town Manager on Administrative Leave after Domestic Dispute

Winter Park Town Manager Drew Nelson was arrested following a reported domestic disturbance on Monday night at his Winter Park residence, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.  He faces charges of felony menacing, domestic violence, prohibited use of weapons and reckless endangerment. At a court appearance on Tuesday afternoon, Nelson was released on a $500 cash bond. He will return to court on February 5.

According to Bill Wengert, Town Finance and Human Resources Director, Nelson is currently on administrative leave, pending an investigation of the circumstances surrounding his arrest. During this period, all matters of Town business should be directed to Wengert.


Winter Park Planning Commission reviews initial design of Dimmit II Project

Dimmit II view from HJFollowing the presentation to the Town Council on January 16, Winter Park’s Planning Commission reviewed the design details of the Dimmit II Affordable Housing project at Tuesday’s meeting. Chris Jahn, Design Architect with Davis Urban, presented renderings of the new “dorm style” affordable housing structure to the Planning Commission. Being “cautiously optimistic” in timely receipt of project cost estimates, landscape, structural design, and, variance approvals, Jahn stated that they hope to break ground in June 2018.

The Dimmit II structure will be built on town-owned land located on Lion’s Gate Drive, close to the intersection with King’s Crossing Road, behind the King’s Crossing Center. The proposed plan design will offer 27 units and 104 total beds, of which, two are 2 bedroom units for property “managers”, and, twenty five four bedroom units.

The L-shaped structure will have four floors, with the bottom floor housing 12 foot by 8 foot unit-specific storage units, and the second through fourth floors comprised of residential units in a stacked schematic with the unit’s main level on the third floor and bedrooms either down to the second floor, or, up to the fourth floor.

The 50,000 square foot building will be sided primarily using rusted CorTen steel, with concrete and wood accent elements.  Unit balconies will be on the third floor and of metal grate composition. The building’s roofline falls below the adjacent Hideaway Junction affordable housing complex on Trestle Drive, lessening the visual impact to the surrounding landscape.

The Town has been in negotiation on a master lease agreement with Winter Park Resort, who will utilize the building to provide housing for their seasonal employees. Due to space and landscape limitations, there will only be room for about sixteen on-site parking spaces. Part of the lease agreement will include the requirement that the leasee provide off-site, accessible parking to building tenants. This reduces the likelihood of tenants parking in unauthorized locations around town. Per Town Housing Director, John Crone, the initial lease with Winter Park Resort will be for a period of twenty or more years.

Overall, the Town Planning Commission gave the building’s design positive feedback, but concerns were raised about the limited parking (Town Code requires 35 spaces for this type of structure), and, non-trespassing, permitted pedestrian options to Highway 40. While there is currently a west/east footpath through the property leading to the King’s Crossing Center parking lot, behind Fontenot’s, it is not a town easement and is on private property. The Planning Commission hopes the project can work to obtain an easement that would offer “legal” access to Highway 40 in that “shortcut” direction. The Planning Commission also asked that a Housing representative from Winter Park Resort attend their next meeting to allay parking concerns.

Jahn stated that they were currently awaiting project cost estimates from Big Valley Construction which are due this week. Once received, along with Civil Engineering details from JVA, they will incorporate the Planning Commission’s feedback into the next draft of the project design and will present it to the Town and Planning Commission upon completion.

The Town’s Planning Commission has scheduled their next meeting for Tuesday, January 30, to review the Roam Final Development Plan.


Three Lakes Fishing Tournament Report

Lake Granby finally capped over. As always be safe and check the ice as you go out. The lake is fishing well for all species. Lake trout are eating tube jigs, spoons powerminnows and bait. Try tipping your jig with a small piece of sucker meat for more bites. Last week we caught fish 10′ to 65′ deep. Rainbows and browns are hitting bright colored jigs and spoons tipped with wax worms around the shorelines.  “Should be a great weekend for a Fishing Contest!” according to Bernie Keefe.
Grand Lake, rainbows are also cruising the shorelines eating small bright colored spoons and jigs, look for small flat surfaces in less then 10′ of water. Lake trout have been caught on tube jigs, spoons and bait in 20-60′ of water.
Williams Fork, lake trout have been active in 30-90′ of water. Small tubes and spoons tipped with either Gulp or sucker meat have been working very well. Rainbows are cuising the banks a, small bright colored jigs have been productive.
Bernie Keefe has been a fishing guide in the area for over 25 years, for more infomation please check



Hello All.   A big thank you to all  for visiting the Christmas Train!  We had 2,600 folks come thru and donations of over $4,000.00 A most successful first time in our new home! What a great sense of relieve it was when we closed up on Jan. 4 and all I had to do was lock the door.

We will be open through out the year starting Presidents Day weekend. FRIDAY 16 FEB thru Monday 19 Feb. Hours are 11am to 7pm all 4 days. We have already starting added some more fun stuff to the railroad plus a all new svagenger hunt!  Once again thank you for your interest and support.

Also need volunteers to help finish the visitor center and to help us staff the museum during this summer. If interested please let me know. I will be putting up a summer schedule for the museum by May 2018.  

On another note: We are looking for any and all railroad artifacts that we can display in our new visitor Center slated to open mid July 2018-Pictures-paperwork-lanterns-artifacts- model trains-etc.
Dave Naples – director-The Moffat Road “ Railroad Museum  970-281-9094

Middle Park High School Nordic Home Race

Wear your Panther purple and bring your cow bells to cheer on your favorite high school or middle school Nordic athlete! The event is Saturday, January 27th at the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center. Hit the trails for a ski, snowshoe or fat bike ride after the race, then stop by the Skinny Ski Cafe (in Nordic Center) for a warm beverage, homemade cookies and chili. Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center information: or (970) 531-0845.


Forests seek public input on a Christmas tree permit fee increase

The USDA Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region is seeking public input on proposed fee increases for Christmas tree cutting permits on some national forests in Colorado, including the Arapaho, Roosevelt, Pike, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison. The proposed fee would be $20 per permit.

Revenue from the fee increase will help provide maps, signs and information to visitors; cover rising costs for plowing roads and parking areas; offer portable restrooms in some high traffic areas; extend permit sales; and expand safety patrols and overall Forest Service presence at cutting areas. Other enhancements could include warming areas and educational activities.

For generations, friends and families throughout Colorado have made cutting their own Christmas tree on a national forest a treasured holiday tradition and the program offers them an opportunity to be good stewards of their public lands. The Christmas tree cutting program brings thousands of people into small mountain communities and supports local economies such as restaurants, stores and gas stations during the holiday season. The program is enjoyed by all who participate while helping to thin regeneration growth and meet important restoration objectives. The program also encourages people to get outdoors and discover their national forests.

Comments are being accepted online or by mail through Feb. 16, 2018. To provide input on the proposed Christmas tree permit fee increase, please visit


2017-2018 Veterans Trust Fund has Grant funds available

American Legion Post 88 in Granby, has announced that grant funds are available for Grand County Veterans in need of financial assistance. Funds are made available from the Colorado Board Veterans Affairs (CBVA) through the Veterans Trust Fund (VTF).

The VTF is not an entitlement program nor a VA benefit. It is in place to offer assistance to local Veterans in need, within the strict guidelines set out by the CBVA.

Veterans in need may apply for assistance for necessities, such as mileage for travel to medical/dental appointments, firewood, propane, electric, food, mortgage/rent, mental health services, etc.  For travel reimbursement, you will need to obtain a form from the VSO.  

To apply for assistance, contact Grand/Summit County Veteran’s Service Officer, Duane Dailey.  Distribution of funds will be controlled by the American Legion Post 88, VTF committee.

To begin the process, if you have not applied for VTF assistance in the past, you will need to get a copy of your DD-214 to the VSO office.  In addition to veterans, widows of veterans may receive VTF assistance. Requests for assistance will be accepted at the CVSO office, in Hot Sulphur Springs, during regular office hours: 8:30 am – 5 pm. Call (970) 509-9024 for appointment to ensure VSO is in office, or, contact any member of American Legion Post 88.


Rocky Mountain PBS and the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame premiers Historic, multi-episode series about Great Colorado Women in 2018

Photo granby-chamber-penny: Long-time Chamber booster, Penny Hamilton, earned the 2010 Granby Chamber Lifetime Achievement Award which is featured in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Great Colorado Women documentary airing of Rocky Mountain PBS at 8PM on Thursday, Feb 15, 2018. Repeats at 1:30AM MT Friday, Feb 16, 2018 for insomniacs. (Photo Drew Munro)

Photo granby-chamber-penny: Long-time Chamber booster, Penny Hamilton, earned the 2010 Granby Chamber Lifetime Achievement Award which is featured in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Great Colorado Women documentary airing of Rocky Mountain PBS at 8PM on Thursday, Feb 15, 2018. Repeats at 1:30AM MT Friday, Feb 16, 2018 for insomniacs. (Photo Drew Munro)

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF) and Rocky Mountain PBS will debut a new broadcast series, Great Colorado Women, focusing on historic and contemporary Colorado women and their little known, underreported achievements in a five-episode series, beginning on Thursday, February 1st.

Produced by the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF), the multi-season series will feature more than 100 women inducted into the Hall.  These stories provide role models to remind us that we can aspire higher to reach their dreams. The first five episodes feature Marion Downs: “Mother of Pediatric Audiology”; Dana Crawford: “Saving the Soul of Denver”; Grand County local, Penny Hamilton: “Penny the Pilot”; Jill Tietjen: “Engineering Women Back into History”; and, Marilyn Van Derbur Atler: An Incest Survivors Odyssey”.

Episode 3, featuring Penny Rafferty Hamilton, airs on Thursday evening, February 15 at 8 pm. Penny Hamilton has been a general aviation pilot for over 25 years.  She has worked for decades to encourage women to choose aviation as a career and to break down barriers that keep women from taking the skies.   She co-holds, with her husband, a World Aviation Record, set October 22, 1991.  In 1994, the Federal Aviation Administration named a new holding intersection west of Corona Pass (at an altitude of 15,500 feet) after her.  Hamilton is the director of Teaching Women to Fly Research Project, has written several books on aviation and has been teaching preschoolers and elementary children about the history of women in aviation with her “Penny the Pilot” program.  

Several local organizations are featured in the February 15th broadcast on Rocky Mountain PBS: Grand

Photo Granby Chamber award: Celebrating the founding of the town of Granby, Penny Hamilton (center) is awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Gayle Langley and Frank Delay, representing the Town of Granby, Greater Granby Area Chamber of Commerce, and Historic Downtown Granby, in December 2016. (Courtesy photograph)

Photo Granby Chamber award: Celebrating the founding of the town of Granby, Penny Hamilton (center) is awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Gayle Langley and Frank Delay, representing the Town of Granby, Greater Granby Area Chamber of Commerce, and Historic Downtown Granby, in December 2016. (Courtesy photograph)

County Historical Association, Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum, Grand County Pet Pals, Grand County Board of Realtors, Granby Chamber of Commerce, and, Granby Library. Several local residents also appear in the program: Sean Richardson of Maverick’s, Gayle Langley (former Granby Chamber Director), Frank Delay of Grand Mountain Bank, Stephanie Ralph (GC Library District), Cathy Weninger, Dave Lively, Paul Lewis, Margaret Sonnek, Rudy Perez, and the children of Granby Play Days.

Books written by local resident, Dr. Penny Hamilton, are also given air time to include A to Z: Your Grand County History Alphabet, and, Around Granby.