CAST meets in Fraser |

CAST meets in Fraser

The town of Fraser hosted a meeting for the Colorado Association of Ski Towns (CAST) at the Fraser Town Meeting Hall last week. CAST is an organization of 28 municipalities and four counties whose economies are largely dependent on the ski industry and tourism. Members include the mayors, managers, and council members of the resort towns. According to their website, the organization was formed in part to recognize that resort communities face unique challenges in providing municipal services to residents and visitors. At the CAST meetings and conferences, members share their knowledge and experience. CAST members use the “power of coalition” to seek support for legislation that will benefit and sustain mountain communities, according to their website. They support actions that keep mountain communities livable, protect pristine environment, and promote community-based land use, mass transit, affordable housing, and sustain tourism. The meeting of about fifty people included representatives from ski towns such as Winter Park, Aspen, Telluride, and Jackson Hole, Wyo, and more.

Fraser Mayor Philip Vandernail said some main topics of discussion at the meeting were water quality, wastewater management, regional transit, vacation rentals, and the lack of affordable housing most ski towns are facing. Vandernail said affordable housing was a common theme among discussion at the meeting amongst most towns present, especially with the rise of the vacation rental market, such as VRBO and Airbnb, mountain towns are experiencing. Fraser does not currently have any restrictions on vacation rentals except that the owner of the unit must have a business license. Vandernail said he sees both good and bad sides of vacation rentals and the management of them, though he is not sure what Fraser will do to regulate the rentals in the future.

Some towns have implemented regulations on short-term vacation rentals, and are experimenting with the new challenge ski communities are facing: owners not paying appropriate taxes for vacation rentals. Durango, for example, has limited the number of vacation rentals per determined “zone.” People looking to rent out their residential unit must obtain a Limited Use Permit for the property. In residential zones in Durango, only one Limited Use Permit can be granted per street segment.

Vandernail said CAST is a great organization for the betterment of the community and businesses for ski towns. Fraser is definitely not the only town in Colorado facing issues with affordable housing and vacation rental regulation, and CAST is a great way for Fraser to compare itself with, share knowledge and learn from other ski towns across the state.

Gore race preparation

Surf’s SUP at the play wave

Old Schoolhouse Park bench

Shelley Madsen, the art teacher at Fraser Valley Elementary, and her students have completed the permanent tile/art display at the Old Schoolhouse Park sign/bench. The Town of Fraser paid for the supplies and the tiles were set by Don Summers, owner of Summers Alpine Masonry and Tile.

Obituary: William (Bill) Gardner

Long-time Broomfield resident Bill Gardner passed away Aug 18.

He was a frequent visitor to Grand County for many years to enjoy time and events with family. He also enjoyed hiking, biking, canoeing, tent camping, church events, and Nordic skiing at Devil’s Thumb and Snow Mountain Ranch. He first visited Grand Lake in 1961 on his honeymoon.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years Ardy, sons Kyle, Greg (Heidi), Koll (Natalie), daughter Mari Riley (Jim), and 14 grandchildren.

Hometown Homecoming Project

Mountain Family Center announced the shopping kick-off phase of their new Hometown Homecoming Project beginning Tuesday, September 6, and ending right before Middle Park High School Homecoming on Saturday, October 8.

Local volunteers have organized the gorgeous dresses and accessories to include shoes and jewelry at the Main Street Thrift at 222 East Agate in historic downtown Granby.

Any high school girl will be given a 25 percent discount on their purchase of their special and unique Homecoming ensemble.

Local students are encouraged to shop early and often because new outfits are constantly being added to the treasure trove.

Main Street Thrift is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Meet Linneya Gardner, Sky-Hi News intern

Linneya Gardner is a senior at Middle Park High School and will be interning at the Sky-Hi News during the school year. Gardner has a passion for photography and journalism and hopes to pursue this when she attends college next year. She is involved in basketball, soccer and yearbook. She has lived in Grand County all her life and considers it the best home anyone can have. With her passion for photojournalism, she hopes to travel and experience the world by capturing meaningful moments and using them to inspire others.

First day of school, MPHS

Senior girls pose for a picture on Monday, August 29 as they get ready to face a new year. Front row (left to right): Alyssa Fawkes, Erin Emery, Madison King, Maddy Hill, Mackenzie DePlata, and Nicole Mitchell. Back row (left to right): Jaiden Smith, Claire Luque, Ashley Trotter, Makenna Green, Ryleigh Sutcliffe, Jene Hansen, and Karmen Reynolds.

Fall sports underway for panthers

The fall sports season is starting off fairly strong for the Middle Park Panthers.

Varsity teams from Middle Park High School (MPHS) competed last weekend in football, volleyball and soccer with the panthers winning two out of three of the early season competitions.


The fall season kicked off for the panthers on Friday August 26 with the MPHS football team scoring a solid win against the Aspen Skiers. The panther boys took home the win with a final score of 22-14.

“One of the best aspects of the way we won was that our guys had to play four quarters to win. They had to overcome a lot of adversity,” said Brandon Wilkes, Head Football Coach for MPHS. “We played our best football in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line. What makes me happiest is we were tested and we stood up for the test and showed a lot of toughness.”

Junior running back Blake Weimer led the team in offensive yardage, racking up a total of 206 all-purpose yards over the course of the game including 112 yards rushing and five yards receiving. On special teams Weimer managed to drive for 27 yards from punt returns and 52 yards during kickoff returns.

Junior quarterback Sam Colley also helped the panthers significantly Friday night running in two touchdowns of his own and completing a 29-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Mitch Gardner.

On the defensive side of the ball junior linebacker Will Delay led the panthers with seven tackles Friday night. Senior linebacker Benji Jacobs supported those efforts by stopping five drives of his own. Junior Blake Weimer also plays on defense for Middle Park and made significant contributions from that side of the ball as well.

Weimer recorded two interceptions in his role as defensive back, one more than his fellow defensive back – and team quarterback, Sam Colley who managed one interception. Mitch Gardner also had a standout night on both sides of the ball. Along with his receiving touchdown on offense Gardner recorded one solo sack and one assisted sack on defense.

The Middle Park football team’s next game for the 2016 season will be a rivalry game against the Estes Park Bobcats this Friday, September 2, beginning at 7 p.m. in Granby. The game will determine control of the Trail Ridge Trophy for the coming year.


The lady panther’s volleyball teams also kicked off the year with a varsity win as the team faced off against the Faith Christian Eagles Saturday afternoon August 27. It was a bit of a rough start for the panthers Saturday as both the MPHS volleyball C-Team and Junior Varsity (JV) team lost best of three matches against their Faith Christian counterparts. Both the C-Team and the JV recorded one set win each in their respective matches but weren’t able to secure a match win against the Front Range school.

Despite the loss panther’s Head Coach Kate Lapham was proud of the young ladies for their performance. “I thought that all three of our teams showed maturity and composure on the court in their first home match of the season,” Lapham stated. “Even though the C team and JV didn’t pull out a win, they played with heart and determination up to the very last point.”

The panthers Varsity squad faired better though, defeating the Faith Christian Varsity team in four sets. According to the high school athletic statistics aggregation web site MaxPreps the panthers won the first set by a score of 25-18 and the second set 25-22. The varsity ladies dropped the match’s third set, 23-25, but took home the match win in the fourth set with a 26-24 tally.

The panther’s leading scorer on Saturday was junior Bailey Martin who racked up 12 kills. Martin was followed closely by junior Kiera Barr who tallied 11 kills. Also contributing significantly to the offensive side of things was junior Layne Neiberger who served up three aces and was the team’s primary setter scoring 43 assists.

Defensively the panthers were led by Kiera Barr who had 32 digs during the match last weekend. Senior Annalys Hanna was the team’s second leading defender with a total of 26 digs.

“I think that the Varsity team looked like one cohesive unit on the court that connected and communicated really well with each other,” Coach Lapham stated. “Our defense was really scrappy and it seemed as though we were determined to not let any ball hit the floor.”

Lapham went on to explain the lady panthers have, historically, struggled to finish strong during such tight matches but added, “tonight the girls competed at a high level every point with close scores in all four games, and were able to finish on top against a very strong 3A team.”

The MPHS volleyball team’s next scheduled match will be held on Friday September 9 beginning at 6 p.m. in Granby against the Estes Park Bobcats.


The panther boy’s soccer team also competed in their first match of the fall season on Saturday August 27. The match was held in Lake County against the Lake County Panthers. The panther men lost a heartbreaking season opener to Lake County with a final score of 2-3.

The soccer boys will take the pitch for the second time this season today, Wednesday August 31, in Granby against the Sheridan Rams. The match is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

Look for the Panthers Fall Soccer Preview coming soon in the Sky-Hi News.

Obituary: Margaret Jean Alt

After a hard fought battle with illness, Heaven has acquired a very special angel. Margaret (Marge) Jean Alt passed away in her home with her family by her side. She was born in Detroit, Michigan. In 1944 she moved to Denver with her now deceased parents, Lewis and Lillian Hall, and surviving sister, Joan Sweet (Sam) Aurora, Colorado. In February, 1955, she became the loving wife of John A. Alt, who survives her. During their 61-year marriage they were blessed with two surviving daughters, Cindy Greiner, Granby, and Sandy Tillotson, Grand Junction. In 1973, the family moved from Denver to Granby. Marge was elected Grand County Treasurer and Public Trustee. She served in that office from 1979 to 1993. During this time, she was elected to positions with the State of Colorado Public Trustees Association, and was honored as Outstanding Treasurer at both the Colorado State and National levels. Marge was very dedicated and a mentor to many. Along with raising their two daughters, Marge and John opened up their home to foster care for numerous foster children.

In addition to her husband, children, and sister, Marge is also survived by six grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and wonderful friends. She dearly loved each and every one. Her greatest joy was spending time with family and friends.

A “Celebration of Marge’s Life” will be held in Grand Junction, Quartzsite, Ariz., and in West Virginia at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Margaret Alt to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by mail: PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148 or by phone: 800-822-6344.