Winter Park Express starts up in January | SkyHiDailyNews.com

Winter Park Express starts up in January

Weekend passenger train service from Denver Union Station to the slopes of Winter Park has returned.
Amtrak, Winter Park Resort and Union Pacific Railroad have reached an agreement to conduct the “Winter Park Express” train, fomerly called The Ski Train, from January 7 through March 26, 2017.
The round-trips will run on Saturdays and Sundays, with an additional round-trip on Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day.
“It’s something we have worked on for many years,” said Winter Park Resort President Gary DeFrange. “Since the last train went through the tunnel we have been trying to figure out how to do this.”
The new commuter rail line from Denver International Airport to Union Station enables visitors to travel directly from their flight to Winter Park.
The project, which has a total budget of $3.5 million, includes other infrastructure improvements at the Union Pacific siding in Fraser.
Additional funding for the platform includes a $1.5 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), a $100,000 grant from the City of Denver, a $100,000 grant from the Town of Winter Park, and $1,000 from the Colorado Rail Passengers Association. The remaining funds will come from Winter Park Resort.
“The train really is a differentiator,” DeFrange said. “There’s no other ski area in the United States that can create what we’ve got any time soon. It really ties to the city of Denver even more than before. With the train, your travel to the resort is now part of the fun.”
Adult tickets start at $39 each way and go on sale at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, August 30. The 500 passenger Winter Park Express trains will depart Union Station at 7 a.m. and arrive at the resort at approximately 9 a.m. Customers will be able to grab their gear from the storage cars and be on the slopes within minutes. The Winter Park Express train will depart the resort at 4:30 p.m. arriving in Denver at 6:40 p.m.
Reservations must be made and tickets purchased by 11:59 p.m. the day before departure.

Bark Park planning underway for Granby

The Granby area may soon offer recreational amenities specifically for dogs and dog owners.

Earlier in August the Granby Board of Trustees heard a brief presentation on a proposed “Bark Park” for the Granby area. Lisa Jonas, President of Grand County Pet Palls, and Mary Ann Kersteins with Grand County Animal Control (GCAC) gave the presentation to the Board.

“We are just here to let you know how passionate we are about having this dog park,” said Pet Palls President Jonas. “We think all the benefits are not just for residents, but also for people passing through.”

Jonas informed the Board no specific site has been identified for construction of the Bark Park and the project is in the development stage. Kersteins, with GCAC echoed, her sentiments saying, “We just wanted to be here to show you how excited we are.”

While no specific plan has been formalized the tentative idea is to create a dog park somewhere within the larger Granby Trails area, the property formerly known as Shorefox, located north of US Highway 34 and Granby proper. Granby Mayor Paul Chavoustie cautioned against concrete action at this time, suggesting movement on the project wait for action from potential land parcel developers within Granby Trails.

“We need to hold off until we know what parcels developers will buy,” Chavoustie said. “The developers may chip in money for the bark park. We will have to wait until that is essentially under contract, or sold, then we will know what parcels are available.”

Pet Pals President Jonas informed the Board that Pet Pals has purchased a donation tube, seeking donations to support the construction of a dog park, which has been placed at the parking lot for Granby Trails. Jonas went on to inform the Board Pet Pals has no plans to create a temporary dog park for the remainder of the year. “We want to make sure we are thoughtfully researching,” Jonas said.

Granby Trustee Paul Robertson expressed his support for the idea but highlighted the importance of proper regulation of such dog parks. “I moved here from Indianapolis,” Robertson said. “Dog parks are huge there. One thing that is universal, although only occasionally, is enforcement; bad dogs, to put it bluntly. Someone really has to have that dialed in.”

The Board took no formal action on the bark park update.

Sanders: MPHS mountain bike team, first race, classic Winter Park rides

Our very own Middle Park High School Mountain Bike Club has their first race of the year on Saturday in Frisco. These athletes have been training very hard this summer in preparation for the five race Colorado High School Cycling League Race Series. Fortunately they have a great place to train, right here in Mountain Bike Capital USA AKA Winter Park and the Fraser Valley.

The Middle Park High School Mountain Bike Club has a wide range of athletes. As you would expect you have those who are pretty accomplished riders but there are also those riders who are just getting into mountain biking. The great thing about the Colorado High School Cycling League is that everyone is welcome to participate.

The club has been training hard. Racing a mountain bike is not just about power or bombing down the hill. You have to have the combination of endurance, power and bike handling skills. In order to improve on all of those skills training takes on a wide variety of aspects. Specific skills to improve braking, cornering and overall bike handling are practiced several times a week. This practice not only helps prepare them for racing but it allows them to become better riders and enjoy mountain biking more.

The Middle Park High School Mountain Bike Club has a distinct advantage over many other clubs racing in the series. They train on some of the best and most accessible trails in the country, which are right here in Mountain Bike Capital USA which encompasses the trails from Winter Park to Granby Ranch. The wide variety of trails is perfect to allow all levels of riders the ability to train at their skill level. Every ride has adults along to oversee the ride. As with any sport this requires quite a few volunteers to make that happen. Part of the reward is seeing the enthusiasm and excitement from everyone involved. Of course just being out on your mountain bike isn’t all bad either. I guess the downside is that as the kids get better the adults have to get better just to keep up! Join me in wishing all of the athletes of the Middle Park High School Mountain Bike Club good luck in their first race of the season!

Winter Park classic rides

Last week I was able to be ride with a couple of writers who came out to sample the trails in Winter Park, Trestle and Granby Ranch. Lee Lau and Sharon Bader are very accomplished writers who came out from the wilds of Canada to see firsthand how great the riding is here. They sampled the trails in and around the Town of Winter Park riding classics such as Leap Frog, Yankee Doodle and Idlewild. The experience had to take a trip to Trestle for some world class downhill fun. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without tossing in a day at Granby Ranch with its combination of sweet singletrack and downhill bliss as well. When you put all of those combinations together you have a mountain bike experience like nowhere else in the USA. Hundreds of miles of cross country trails and two world-class bike parks all in the same area. This gives Winter Park a distinctive marketing advantage in the world of mountain biking and outdoor recreation in general. Lee and Sharon were very impressed with the very high quality of trails immediately accessible from just about anywhere in area. As Lee Lau put it, why would anyone not come here to ride when it’s only an hour and a half from Denver. I’m excited to see the articles they write from this trip. Their enthusiasm and excitement was contagious!

A big thanks to Greg Mazu – Fraser local and owner of Single Track Trails for inviting them out. A big thanks to the Winter Park Chamber for coordinating their lodging and helping make this happen by managing many of the other little behind the line details. There are many others who made this happen as well and huge thanks goes out to all of them.

Beavers Sports Shop does a weekly group mountain bike ride every Friday at 6 p.m. from Beavers Sports Shop at the Best Western Hotel in downtown Winter Park. The ride is open to anyone of intermediate ability and above. The pace and type of trails are determined by the group. Call 970-726-5988 for more info. Looking for more information or want to get involved as a mountain biker? Like Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA) on Facebook. GMBA is your local mountain bike group. Check out Mountainbikecapitalusa.com. Great site by the Winter Park Chamber! Keith Sanders is the President of the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, 3x US National Mountain Bike Champion and owner of Beavers Sports Shop. You can reach me at keith@winterparkskirental.com

Bean: Duck race to fund trail projects

It’s that time of year, time to get all your ducks in a row! This year, Headwaters Trails Alliance is hosting the annual Fraser Valley Duckie Race! Previously, this fundraiser was hosted by Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails (FVPT), a volunteer trail organization dedicated to writing grants, funding materials for trail projects, and serving the interests of the many trail users of the Fraser Valley. FVPT started the Duckie Race Fundraiser in 1997. This fun event was created to fund the materials for maintenance of the multi-use trails in the Fraser Valley.

For years, FVPT has been a very important part of the community with trails and outdoor recreation. In 1994, FVPT started as a volunteer organization for the Fraser Valley shortly after the first trail volunteer organization in Grand County, Grand Lake Partnership for trails. These organizations were created in order to have trail representatives for each end of Grand County. Both volunteer organizations recognized the importance of trails in Grand County, as well as their benefit towards connectivity to the different townships. Some of the wonderful accomplishments of FVPT include the construction, as well as maintenance of the Givelo Trail in Fraser, the start of National Public Lands Day in Grand County in 1995, as well as the start of Headwaters Trails Alliance in 1996.

In recognition of the need of a County-wide trails organization, HTA was formed through the efforts of Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails and Grand Lake Partnersip for Trails and with the support of the Grand County Board of Commissioners, the Grand County Planning Commission, and the individuals and groups who served on the Headwaters Trails Committee.

Headwaters Trails Alliance has become the leading trail agency in the County. It is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the advocacy of trails in Grand County. HTA’s mission is to identify, maintain, and expand an accessible, interconnecting trail system in Grand County for appropriate multi-user groups. HTA’s goals include collaborating on local, state and national levels to bring funding and other resources to Grand County for the benefit our local trail system.

In the Spring of 2016, FVPT and HTA decided to merge and combine efforts to fund trail projects and have leading roles of trail funding, management, and the maintenance of the multi-use trails throughout the entirety of Grand County.

This year, FVPT decided to turn the Duckie Race Fundraiser to HTA with the same goals of funding materials for trail projects and the further advancement of trails in Grand County.

The multi-use trails of Grand County are a huge part of the community, bringing tourism to Grand County, supporting the economy, and providing a number of different recreational activities throughout the area. The advancement of trails in the County not only provide better recreational experience for tourists and locals, but also provide a higher economic value to the townships and local businesses.

This year HTA is holding this fun event racing “duckies” down the Fraser River on Saturday, August 27. The proceeds of the duckie purchases will go directly to the trails of Grand County. Your duckie purchases are a great way to give back to the trails and support the community. With your continued support of trails throughout the County we can better enhance and support our economy, tourism and recreational experience for all trail users.

For further information on how to purchase duckies and other ways to support the local trails throughout Grand County, please contact Headwaters Trails Alliance at 970-726-1013 or email us at hta@headwaterstrails.org.

Hamilton: Dental flossing, to rot or not

The people of the British Isles are notorious for having bad teeth, so it is little wonder that the British tabloid press seized on a recent story that dental flossing, of which the Brits have historically done precious little, is a waste of time. Au contraire. Dental flossing is a potent weapon against the build-up of dental plaque.

The mischief in the recent story against flossing stems from a fundamental misunderstanding between the difference between “removing” dental plaque and “preventing” the build-up of the plaque that slowly accretes between the teeth and gums. True, dental flossing is not particularly effective in “removing” dental plaque. That is best done by Dental Hygienists. But dental flossing is highly effective in “preventing” the formation of dental plaque in the first place.

It is impossible to prevent bacteria left over from food or even from kissing from invading the oral cavity. Those bacteria, like all bacteria, are living organisms that seek to reproduce themselves and combine with other bacteria. Even more distasteful, no pun intended, these bacteria produce their own waste material, meaning they are depositing their fecal matter in your mouth. That accounts for that terrible taste. Yuk!

If allowed to accumulate between the teeth and, if allowed to accumulate along the sides of the teeth, the bacteria start to attach to each other (sort of like roof trusses) and they form dental plaque. The most effective way to interrupt the plaque-building process is to run a piece of dental floss between the teeth, splitting the bacteria apart and pushing the bacteria out into the open where they can be removed by the use of a tooth brush, either manual or electronic.

One need not be a dentist or a dental hygienist to understand this phenomenon. All you need are teeth and gums. If you are not flossing your teeth and applying the other standard dental disease prevention techniques on a daily basis, you will see blood in your wash basin, the hallmark of periodontal infection. Unfortunately, the body’s natural response to bacterial toxins breaks down the bones and tissue that support the teeth, resulting in tooth loss. Even worse, the bacteria from periodontal infection can adversely affect the heart and lungs.

All that should be motivation enough for people who still have their teeth to rinse and brush after every meal and to floss between their teeth before bedtime. But here are some additional motivations: The bright smiles of the most attractive movie and TV personalities. Or, watching the many TV advertisements for adhesives to glue false teeth into the oral cavity. Or, by looking at the hole in your bank balance resulting from expensive dental repairs that could have been prevented by daily flossing and brushing.

Have a lot of studies been done to prove that flossing is worth the time and effort? No. But the efficacy of dental flossing has been so evident for so long, it would be akin to jumping off the roof to see if gravity actually exists. Moreover, even fewer studies claim flossing is a wasted effort. So, ultimately, it is up to the individual to stop the build-up of bacterial fecal matter in the mouth, or not.

Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the Army Language School, the George Washington University, the Infantry School, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.

Mind the (Windy) Gap

US Senator for the State of Colorado Michael Bennet toured portions of Grand County on Wednesday August 24 with local officials, landowners and water diverters from the Front Range. The tour focused on the Windy Gap and the proposed Windy Gap Bypass and Windy Gap Firming Projects.

“The Windy Gap Project is a great example of a common-sense collaboration that helps meet our water needs while also protecting wildlife and the environment,” state Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. “We have been working with the community on this for years, and it was exciting to see the site first-hand with such a diverse group of partners. This is another great example of the kind of effort we envisioned when we created the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and we will continue working to support and fund the project.”

Bennet and his staff are currently campaigning for Bennet’s reelection to the U.S. Senate. This November Bennet faces Republican challenger Darryl Glenn, currently serving as a County Commissioner in El Paso County.

Grand County Real Estate Transactions, August 14 to 20

Hillside Townhomes Unit 2 – Michael and K Isabel Conger to Paul Smith and Julie Stephens, $247,480

Hillside Townhomes Unit 1 – Michael and K Isabel Conger to Paul Smith and Julie Stephens, $210,680

Iron Horse Building D, Condo Unit 4044 – Forest Fischer and Deborah Page to Leslie Demiranda and Jeffrey Preston, $140,000

Old Park Filing #5, Lot 10, Block A – Susan and Robert Sterkel, Thomas and Janine Erickson, Sallie T Dembeck Trust, Dembeck Family Trust to Robert and Susan Sterkel, Dembeck Family, Trust, $55,000

Shadow Mountain Yacht Club Unit 4, Bldg Wescott; Shadow Mountain Yacht Club Garage No 5 – Brian and Jean Liekhus to Joseph and Paula Greer, $365,000

Old Park Filing #2, Lot 2, Block F – Brian Driscoll to Yee Leng Xiong, Kham Pheu Xiong, Kham Zoota Xiong and Seng Zeng Xiong, $68,000

East Mountain Filing 4, Lot 15 – Mary and Kenneth Hamon II to William and Syndy Lee, Guo Ping Li, Shu-Yi Wang, $675,000

Lakeview Waterside West Condos As Built Unit 304, Bldg A, Garage Unit 1 – Patricia McGinity to Nicholas Reiland and Kellie Slater, $349,900

Granby Ranch Filing 1B, Lot 33 – Michael S Humphrey Revocable Trust and Rebecca C Humphrey Revocable Trust to Clint and Chrystina Tasset, $820,000

Grand Lake Estates 1st Filing Lot 1, Block 7 – Dona Kneifl to John and Sara Roberts, $620,000

Grand Lake Estates 1st Filing Lot 19, Block 9 – Robert and Tammy Hawkins to Jon Hamilton and Christa Fruchtl, $272,500

Fraser Crossing-Founders Pointe Condominium Unit 4179 – Maryann Casey to Daniel Bartholomew, $219,000

Creekside at Winter Park Condo Unit 302 – Robert and Rebecca Barnes to Adam and Laura Heese, $272,900

Soda Springs Ranch Filing 2, Unit A3, TRT F – Michele Bean to Philip and Shelly Knight, $170,000

Crooked Creek Complex Unit R7- Harold and Kathleen Fobes to TJ Mountain Investors LLC, $120,000

Lennon Subdivision Exemption Lots 1,2,3,4; Lennon Subdivision Exemption Open Space; SEC 1 TWP 1S R 76W Partial Legal – See Document – Ronald Jones to Michael Repucci, $500

East Mountain Filing 4, Lot 4 – Larry E Fast Living Trust to Jeffery and Emily Poore, $737,200

Winter Park Ranch 3rd Filing, Lot 32, Block 1 – Adam and Veronica Gould to Rosemary Feldman, $497,500

Casa Grande Estates Lot 17 – David and Cynthia Boyes to Curtis Metcalf, $26,000

Zephyr Mountain Lodge Condo Bldg 1 & 2, Unit 2108 – Scott and Sherrie Houghton to Brian and Virginia Buege, $235,000

Lot 4 SEC 8 TWP 3N R 75W Partial Legal – See Document – E 2 Holding LLC to Robert Jackson Parfet Living Trust, $95,000

Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 100 Timeshare 100604 – Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association to Donald and Denise Nelson, $500

Hi Country Haus Bldg 24, Unit 1 – David Smith and Ronald Leff to Gavin and Jennifer Malcom, $155,000

NAPA Autoparts Administrative Replat TRTS A,B – TCR Property LLC to 240 West LLC, $423,750

Winter Park Lodge II Bldg F, Unit 301 – WP Lodge II F301 LLC to Scott and Rachel Graham, $159,900

Fairways at Pole Creek Unit 2 26 – Charles and Ann McConnell to Thomas and Sandra Henry, $173,000

Meadow Ridge Lodges Court 1, Unit 1 – Carl and Jennifer Outzen to Bradley Nace, $163,000

Winding River Villa Lot 14 – Elaine Gazdeck to Ashley Chase, Matthew Reed Tolonen, $75,000

Hot Sulphur Springs Lot 12, Block 21 – Kathy Burke to Karen Losli, $139,000

East Mountain Filing 1, Lot 77 – Michael Bauer to Mark and Michelle Zettle, $1,370,000

Shadow Lake Villas Subdivision Lot 8 – RME Holdings LLC to Jesse and Lindsey Siman, $1,100,000

Grand Country Estates 1st Addition Lot 87 – Susan McCallum to Matthew and Misti Heberling, $312,000

Open Mic

Every now and again Thursday’s Open Mic crowd at the Crooked Creek Saloon in Fraser is treated to a pop-in performance of Tara Hendricks and Mike Utley (one band name they were considering was “The Hay Bandits”).

Firewood permits on sale from USFS

Permits to cut firewood on the Arapaho National Forest’s Sulphur Ranger District are available fom the district office at 9 Ten Mile Drive in Granby. Permits are sold on a per cord basis and cost $12 per cord with a minimum first time purchase of two cords (a cord measures about four feet wide by four feet high by eight feet long; or two pickup loads full).

Permits are good for the calendar year (January – December) in which they are purchased.

Permits come with a map that shows areas open to firewood cutting on the district. Firewood cutting permit rules include no felling of standing trees, live or dead; keeping vehicles on Forest Service roads and not blocking traffic; and not damaging roads, trails, or other improvements on Forest Service land or adjacent private property. While out in the forest, be mindful of your surroundings and watch out for falling trees. For additional information contact the Sulphur Ranger District at 970-887-4100.

Dalrymple: Ask a Banker

I’ve often wondered: why are lenders so concerned about the borrower when they have a mortgage on the property, and , if the borrower doesn’t pay, can take the house and make a chunk of money when it’s sold?

This could be the oldest, and certainly the most erroneous, myth in lending and finance. Cheops probably needed some cash to conquer some neighbor, and pledged the pyramids to a money lender from Phoenicia. He conveniently forgot about the debt, and the poor lender was scratching his head, wondering who would ever want those piles of rock.

Back in the last century, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan did a duet, with the refrain, “There ain’t no good chain gang”.

There ain’t no good foreclosure either, at least not from the standpoint of the lender. Not ever.

Seems kind of counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Say that the property sells for $200,000, and the borrower puts thirty percent down to buy it. That’s a $60,000 cushion for the lender, right? So, the borrower defaults, and foreclosure starts. At that point, it’s very likely that the $200,000 house isn’t worth anywhere near that figure.

And, if it gets to the point where the lender is the successful bidder at the foreclosure sale, then it’s dead certain that there’s a loss on the loan, and probably a big one. It takes months for a foreclosure action to be completed. During that time, the borrower owns the property and can sell it to cover the debt and make a profit, if there’s one to be made. If no buyer has stepped up, that seventy percent loan to value ratio loan is above 100 percent LTV, and probably more.

By this time, that dream home has probably been trashed, so on top of attorney fees and other costs, the lender has to put even more money into the dead horse to bring it back to some semblance of life.

And then the real pain starts. I once worked for a very wise man who counseled me that, “The loss that you book on a foreclosed asset, between the loan amount, and what you actually sell it for, is just the tip of the iceberg. The major loss is in time and lost opportunity”. Meaning that every minute spent on managing a bad asset, a foreclosed home, is a minute that the lender can’t spend making money in its primary business line.

Lenders aren’t real estate investors or developers. Their business is lending and every dollar that’s tied up in foreclosed real estate is a dead dollar. The last thing that a lender wants is a borrower’s house.

This is just the business downside of defaulted loans. If your business happens to be a bank, with insured deposits, then you have the bank regulators piling on. If a bank is deemed to have an excess of REO (Real Estate Owned) then the regulators hit the bank with a plethora of penalties and restrictions which make it almost impossible to do business at much of a profit.

I’ve been in the real estate lending business for over half a century. I have yet to see a good foreclosure.

How do I know all this? I thought you’d never ask. I am a proud graduate of the best, but most expensive, college on the planet: the U of E; the University of Experience.

Pat Dalrymple is a former bank president who has been making mortgage loans in western Colorado since 1967. He’s currently an advisor to Grand Mountain Bank’s Mortgage Lending Outreach Initiative. He welcomes your questions on lending and banking, and can be reached at dalrymple@sopris.net.