Mil and Rich Holzwarth were named Pioneers of the Year by the Winter Park-Fraser Chamber of Commerce during the Chamber's annual banquet on Friday, Nov. 9.
The Pioneer Award is given to individuals who have lived in the Winter Park-Fraser community for the past several decades and who have made an imprint on the way the community has developed.
Receiving the award was "very exciting and unexpected," said Mil Holzwarth.
Mil and Rich Holzwarth have owned and operated the Arapahoe Ski Lodge for almost 39 years since they moved here from Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1974.
Mil has served on the Winter Park Town Council as well as numerous other committees in the community and Rich served as treasurer of the East Grand Fire District Board and as a volunteer ambulance driver for the community.
When the Holzwarths moved here the town of Winter Park was called the Village of Hideaway Park and people were still tying up their horses outside of the Swiss House, said the Holzwarths' daughter, Jan Roman.
Roman serves as an executive assistant at the National Sports Center for the Disabled at Winter Park Resort and helps out around the lodge when she isn't working at the NSCD, as do her two sons.
The Holzwarths' three children all have left the county at some point but they all returned and now serve the community in different ways.
Their son Todd Holzwarth serves as the fire chief for the East Grand Fire Protection District #4 and their other son, Brad, serves as an assistant fire chief.
"We've had a lot of fun over the past 39 years," said Todd.
Mil and Rich have seen a lot of changes to the area over their 39 years of being residents of the community.
They taught their children how to ski at Idlewild before Winter Park and Mary Jane were around.
They even saw the slow change from communication being run through a switchboard to the days when everyone carries their own cell phone.
The Holzwarths have no plans for leaving the county, which is good for local taste buds, as Mil is rumored to be the best cook around.