Grand Enterprise Initiative helps with 113th new job |

Grand Enterprise Initiative helps with 113th new job

The Grand Enterprise Initiative, now in its fifth year in Grand County, has helped set up 53 new businesses and has announced the 113th new job its efforts have helped to create in Grand County. The grass roots economic development effort has added an estimated annual $4.7 million in annual new sales in the county while having served 245 clients since January of 2013, according to Enterprise Facilitator Patrick Brower. Through the initiative, Brower provides free and confidential business management coaching to anyone wanting to start or expand businesses across the county. The program started in the Granby area in 2012 but expanded to a countywide program in 2013. "We're very happy with these numbers and we feel they show how the Grand Enterprise Initiative has been working well to fulfill its mission of building strong communities by nurturing entrepreneurs in all of Grand County," said Merrit Linke, president of the Grand Enterprise Initiative's management board. The initiative is a 501©3 nonprofit and other members of the board include Marise Cipriani, owner of Granby Ranch and Wally Baird of Granby. These numbers show that we are making an impact by working with local residents who want to start new businesses or improve their existing businesses. Brower and his management team have been trained in the principles of Enterprise Facilitation, a business coaching methodology pioneered around the world by Ernesto Sirolli, the founder of the Sirolli Institute. There are enterprise facilitation projects in place in Australia, New Zealand, across the U.S. and in Europe. The Grand Enterprise Initiative is the first and only project in Colorado. "I work with clients in Winter Park, Fraser, Granby, Grand Lake and Kremmling," Brower said. "My goal is to help entrepreneurs with new business ideas or existing businesses understand what it takes to succeed. I facilitate basic business management." Some recent business successes that were aided by Brower and the Initiative include the new Idlewild Spirits Distillery in Winter Park, Main Street Thrift store in Granby, Momma B's Restaurant in Hot Sulphur Springs, PINE Restaurant in Grand Lake, Fraser Electronics in Fraser, O22you (non-prescription oxygen delivery service), Stillwater Garage Doors, Lion Head Coffee, the opening of Never Summer Brewing Company in Granby and the acquisition of High Country Machine and Fabrication in Kremmling. The program is funded by a variety of public and private sources that include Grand County, local municipalities, and private entities such as Freeport-McMoran and Marise Cipriani. It operates under the non-profit umbrella of Kapoks, an institution founded by Cipriani that is dedicated to building strong communities by nurturing entrepreneurs. Anyone in the county with a business idea or with a business that wants to expand or improve can call Brower at 970-531-0632 or contact him by e-mail at

New Winter Park service connects visitors, local businesses

If you’re a tourist or second homeowner, you may not always know the ins-and outs of the resort community you’re staying in, like where to get a good cup of coffee, or where you can find the best happy hour. And if you’re on vacation, perhaps the last thing you want to do is go grocery shopping. Longtime resident Debbie Harris and DiAnn Butler of Destinations West have teamed up to offer something that will not only help local businesses, they said, but also tourists and second homeowners ” a new lifestyle management service through Destinations West. The new service, dubbed Destinations West Concierge and Lifestyle Management Services, will take the property management company’s already established concierge service to the next level, Butler explained. The idea is to provide visitors and second homeowners with local services to encourage them to shop locally and get the most from their experience in Grand County. “It’s an opportunity to keep the bucks in Grand County,” Harris said. Harris is one of the founders of Businesses Without Borders (BWB), a group of local business owners who meet regularly and help support each other through networking and brainstorming. Harris’ involvement with BWB gives her an edge on what Grand County’s businesses have to offer, and Butler and Harris feel both their expertise will work well in their new endeavor. The lifestyle management service offers visitors and second homeowners services through local businesses, Harris explained, including grocery shopping, dry cleaning, itinerary planning, personal chef services, and “insider” information such as where to go for a massage, a good meal or a good cocktail. “We can now package the services offered here ” so maybe they’re not making that stop at Costco,” Harris said. “Second homeowners don’t always have time to explore what’s in their backyard. We already know.” “It’s an extension to the service we’ve always done, but we didn’t have a name for it,” Butler said. “We’ll get calls asking where do we go for this, etc. With Debbie’s BWB experience, it makes their lives easier.” Butler and Harris have known each other for more than five years. They have viewed each other as two entrepreneurs searching for ways to provide a higher benchmark of service for the guest. This new service was a result of both their visions; by promoting local businesses, everybody profits, Harris pointed out. “The changes in the Valley, as it grows and changes, perhaps the big box is inevitable. So we should better prepare the businesses that are here, so that they’re offering more personalized service ” versus the more corporate type,” Harris said. Butler added that their new business is looking for ways to increase its offerings and encouraged businesses throughout Grand County to call and let them know what they offer. Harris can be reached at (970) 726-8881. “I think Grand County has a lot to offer. We want people to call and let us know what they’re doing,” Harris said. ” To reach Stephanie Miller, call (970) 887-3334, ext. 19601 or e-mail

Church Park Fire bill exceeds $1.5 million

Fighting fires isn’t free. The massive initial attack that helped firefighters bring the Church Park Fire under control earlier this month cost the U.S. Forest Service an estimated $1.43 million in the first week alone, according to public affairs specialist Tammy J. Williams. By the time the incident is completely wrapped up that figure is projected to reach $1.5 million. The bulk of that cost, Williams said, some 43 percent, was spent on aircraft, including heavy air tankers, helicopters, lead planes, air attack planes, and retardant for a total of $619,163, according to flight invoices. The remaining cost was estimated based on the amount of time each resource worked on the fire each day. “Since we don’t have access to the exact dollar-per-hour cost of each person on the fire, or a particular individual’s cost to government per hour, a national average cost for a person, or a crew, or an engine, etc, is set up in the computer program and then multiplied by the number of hours the resource worked,” Williams said. An estimated 11 percent of the total comprises equipment cost, including fire engines, WIlliams said. Some 23 percent was spent on paying the U.S. Forest Service’s 20-person firefighting crews and another 13 percent paid other personnel, supervisory and overhead costs. An estimated 5 percent was spent on camp support, including food and showers, and some 3 percent was spent on supplies other than food – cache van, fuel, etc. All those costs are being paid by federal agencies, Williams said. The U.S. Forest Service will pick up 93 percent of the bill and the Bureau of Land Management will pick of the remaining 7 percent of the bill, based on acreage of the fire. Grand County paid for all Grand County resources, including personnel and equipment, for a total of about $113,000, according to Grand County Emergency Manager Trevor Denney. Creating a fire tally is difficult, Denney added, because much of the cost is considered “soft,” such as the contribution of two road and bridge bulldozers, the water tender, the ambulance, the county employee time, the Incident Command Post facilities and the park for the fire camp – things that the county owns or wages that would have been paid anyway. Some of the money spent made its way back into the local economy, Williams said. Firefighters purchased their food individually on Oct. 3 -the day the fire broke out. On Oct. 4, all the food was purchased locally, and caterer Sherry Kent of Showboat Catering/Drive By Pies in Granby served three meals on Monday to about 100 firefighters. After that, the national contract requires the Forest Service to use a national caterer. Some cases of bottled water were purchased locally, and City Market donated a truckload of ice. In addition, the American Red Cross paid for two pallets of bottled water at Safeway, and City Market donated the refrigeration truck and 2 pallets of bottled water. The Forest Service also purchased ice from City Market and Safeway. Approximately 25 portable toilets were rented locally. Verizon provided additional emergency cell phone service. All fuel for the duration of the incident was purchased locally for approximately 50 trucks and vehicles. Snow Mountain Ranch’s Neil Willems donated potable water and the disposal for gray water. Most of the fire personnel camped out, but a few hotel rooms were purchased, the Forest Service spokesperson added.

Grand County covers costs of local business training

In a move to boost local small businesses, Grand County commissioners have agreed to underwrite training by international Destination Business expert Jon Schallert. The county will cover tuition costs for Schallert's 2½-day Destination BootCamp for up to 12 businesses this October. The plan qualifies the county for Schallert's Community Reinvention Program, which includes on-site visits and four months of one-on-one and group consultations for Grand County business owners. The offer of free tuition is for all businesses in Grand County. Businesses that would likely benefit the most from the training program are retail businesses located in a downtown or retail-oriented location. Schallert's expertise lies in helping retail businesses attract and retain customers, to become a retail destination. For more information about registering for the training program, contact DiAnn Butler, coordinator of Grand County Economic Development, at 970-531-1343 or "It's a great opportunity for local businesses," Butler says. "It's a huge value for the business, and it's a tool for them to use." Grand County Economic Development is partnering with Climax Molybdenum to pay for the tuition for those businesses that qualify for the two and a half day training program. Butler compares the county's investment to incentives offered to attract large retailers or other companies to the area. In this case, the money helps existing businesses learn how to develop identities that appeal to far-flung customers. "You get to see the power of what Jon's capable of, the tools and resources," she says." "He can get to the core of your business, those things that are hard to identify. That's what Jon has a talent for." Schallert, who presented a full-day workshop in Granby last year, has worked with small independent businesses for more than 30 years, including a decade at Hallmark Cards where his marketing strategy was known as "The Schallert Method." He started The Schallert Group in 1996 and developed a 14-step Destination Business strategy that he teaches. The Schallert Group is headquartered in Longmont, where Schallert holds his intensive Destination BootCamp. Schallert's Community Reinvention Program has boosted retail sales by up to 40 percent in communities across North America, including helping tourism-focused Rocky Mountain communities. DiAnn Butler, who heard Schallert at a Downtown Colorado Inc. conference, has visited several of Schallert's clients, many of whom have credited him with lifting their companies up through the economic downturn. "Early on, I realized Jon's strategy has an impact in small rural mountain communities like ours," Butler says. "He was able to get people to look at their operations and change things that are doable for small businesses to make them a destination. I was really intrigued by the program he does collaboratively with communities." In addition to the 45-minute on-site personal consultation, the program includes four months of follow-up contact and a 90-minute Destination workshop open to all businesses in Grand County.

Grand County Real Estate Transactions, June 19-25, 2011

Innsbruck-Val Moritz Sub Lot 11, Block 11 – Jeffrey and Laura Underhill to National Residential Nominee Services Inc, $260,500 Innsbruck-Val Moritz Sub Lot 11, Block 11 – National Residential Nominee Services Inc to Bruce and Karen Linder, $230,000 Lane Subdivision Lot C – David and Sandra McWilliams to Ryan and Molly Turk, $276,500 Frosty Acres 1st Amend Lot 28 – Robert and Nancy Borberg to Douglas and Kathleen Salter, $490,000 Fraser Crossing-Founders Pointe Condominium Unit 4365 – David, Mary, Edmund, and Robin Joyce to Pacific Hide Fur Depot, $351,100 SEC 35 and 36 TWP 1N R 76W Partial Legal – See Documents – JGR Ventures to E J R Travel Inc, $80,000 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 85 Timeshare No. 085545 – William B Wahrenburg Trust to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 113 Timeshare No. 113527 – Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association to Mark and Michelle McKibben, $500 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 113 Timeshare No. 113511 – Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association to Scott and Gisele Smith, $500 Kremmling Country Addition Lot 18, Block 6 – GMAC Mortgage LLC to Secretary Housing Urban Development, $183,021.90 East Mountain Filing 1, Lot 13 – Lisa Development LLC to 1801 Wynkoop 506 LLC, $125,000 Winter Park Village Block 10, Lots 7,8 – Wells Fargo Bank NA, Wachovia Bank NA to Susan Baca, $260,000 Cozens Pointe at Grand Park Unit 302, Bldg D – Cozens Pointe LLC to Chesa and Agnes Fercowicz, $415,000 Inn at SilverCreek PH I Condo Unit 317 – Frank and Denise Andrews to Daniel Zoretic, $19,500 Hot Sulphur Springs Lot 8, Block 7 – Jeffrey Douglas to Bank New York Mellon, Bank New York, JP Morgan Chase Bank NA TSTE, Popular ABS Inc Mortgage Pass Through Certificates Series 2005-5, $152,203.70 Colorado Anglers Club #1, Lot 4, Block 8 – RME Holdings LLC to Joshua and Tammie Zygielbaum, $20,500 Inn at SilverCreek PH I Condo Unit 113 – TLC Grand LLC to Robert Knudsen, $30,750 Silverado II Condo Unit 111, Bldg 1, Week 47 – Jordan and Euvgenia House to David and Bessy Ferson, $700 Eagle Ridge on the Summit – PH I, Unit 30, Bldg 3 – Majestic Heights LLC to Timothy and Lori Estes, $289,900 Fairways at Pole Creek Lot 2 33 – Grand Mountain Bank FSB to Bernard and Kimberly Siegel, $625,000 Scanloch Subdivision Lot 8, Block 7 – Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation to Daniel and Renita McGrail, $337,500

Report: Alco shutting down all stores

All 198 Alco Stores are shutting down, according to a story in the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle. Presumably, that includes the Fraser store. Company officials have not responded to repeated inquiries from the Sky-Hi News during the past three months. The Wichita Eagle reports: The beleaguered company that used to have its headquarters in Abilene filed for bankruptcy early last month. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas on Thursday approved an order from the company's creditors to close all Alco stores. … The company was founded 113 years ago and had evolved into a discount retailer that served smaller communities. But in recent years, it had faced increasing competition from other discount retailers, such as various "dollar" stores. According to a news release from the company, the federal bankruptcy court "approved an order yesterday authorizing Tiger Capital Group LLC, SB Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC to conduct Going Out Of Business sales in each of Alcos 198 locations in 23 states, including 23 in Kansas." Read more here:

Kremmling " Wolford Mountain ice fishing contest features $11,000 fish

A fish worth $11,000 ” That’s what some lucky angler is going to win during the 11th Annual Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Contest on Saturday, Feb. 16. Hundreds of ice fishermen and women are expected to be on the frozen surface of the Wolford Reservoir, six miles north of Kremmling on U.S. Highway 40, for this year’s contest. Topping the list of prizes to be won during the 2008 Wolford Mountain Reservoir Ice Fishing Contest is $11,000 for the contestant who lands a specially tagged fish. In addition to that spectacular prize, a cash purse of $5,000 will be divided among the anglers landing the top 10 largest fish. Hourly big fish prizes will be awarded, too. Fish will be judged by adding the length and girth together. Competitors can also enter to win a huge prize drawing with incredible giveaways, including hand-held fish sonars, underwater cameras, fishing rods and much more. Children ages 15 and under can compete free of charge in the contest’s Youth Division. They will be competing for gift certificates from Bass Warehouse, EagleClaw, Target, WalMart and local businesses. The Feb. 16 contest runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The awards ceremony will be held in Kremmling’s Town Square Park at 4:30 p.m. Registration is $35 per person. Children 15 and under are free unless they want to compete for the prize money and the $11,000 fish. Competitors can register online at, at the Fishin’ Hole or the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce office (113 Spruce St. Kremmling), or at the Judges Tent on the day of the contest starting at 6 a.m. For detailed information about the event call the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce at (970) 724-3472 or visit its Web site,

Grand County business: Locals buy into ‘ultimate health drink’

Nowadays, with mass food production and genetic engineering, there’s no doubt why quite a bit of the foods we put into our mouths have mere traces of the minerals and vitamins our bodies need. Enter Superfoods – natural foods found to have properties that are extremely beneficial to the body. Just a few Superfoods to include in your normal diet are nuts, coconut, cinnamon, raw honey, molasses, olive oil, and grass-fed red meat (rather than grain-fed). Doctors and scientists have searched the world for that one perfect consumable formula that would meet the body’s daily nutritional requirements. Some found a tribe in Brazil that had a history of no disease – their secret – the açai berry found in the Amazon rainforest. Now, with the careful harvest of the berry and a tested mix of about 18 other fruits, somewhat of a “fountain of youth” has been made available through a new product line called MonaVie. The açai (pronounced ah-chi-ee) has been prized for centuries in Brazil as a source for health, energy and life longevity. The fruit is also thought to be one of nature’s top Superfoods. Its nutritional makeup contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids like omega-3, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and trace minerals. The berry also contains concentrated levels of anthocyanins, antioxidants that assist in neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals on the body. Many healthy food products and drinks in local grocery stores already boast the fruit in its ingredient list. But the MonaVie line is only available through private distribution right now and there are six Grand County locals who host a variety of the products. (Stacy Strayer, D.B. Daugherty, Denise Cook, Traci Holden, Leah Bishop, and Beth Saffell-Romero.) MonaVie is a blend of fruits that are found in the rainforest with the açai berry as its “superstar.” Just two-to-four ounces a day is the equivalent of consuming all of the antioxidants from 13 fruits and vegetables combined. “It’s the ultimate in health drinks and is completely organic,” said Stacy Strayer, local product distributor. “How can you go wrong, to get all your fruits and vegetables in two two-ounce shots,” for what she estimates is the cost of a daily latte. It can clear the skin, give you more energy, and may lesson the pain of degenerative tissues, she said. The company, which launched in 2005, works with Brazilian companies to harvest the berry so that the plant is not harmed in the process. This ensures that the harvest stage does not deplete the rain forest. The berries are then quickly frozen into a pulp to preserve the full complement of nutrients. MonaVie products are designed for easy absorption in the body. The blend is developed with açai, white and purple grapes, nashi and other pears, acerola, cranberries, passion fruit, bananas, apricots, prunes, kiwi fruits, blueberries, bilberries, camu camu, wolfberries, pomegranate and lychee fruits. There’s MonaVie Original, MonaVie Active (an advanced formula with glucosamine and “esterified” fatty acids to help maintain healthy joint function), as well as convenient portions of MonaVie gels. For more information visit or e-mail,,,, or

Business: Job fair features more than 20 local businesses

For those seeking jobs in Grand County, Saturday’s job fair will have 22 local businesses on hand. The Grand County Job Fair is a free event that claims to offer hundreds of positions. Businesses that will showcase opportunities there include Granby Ranch, Winter Park Resort, City Market, First Student, Safeway and the U.S. Forest Service. The ongoing challenge of finding employees in the county is what drives groups such as the Grand County Human Resource Group to sponsor the semi-annual job fair. The group, made up of mostly human resources personnel of various local businesses, is often looking at ways at to boost the county’s employment pool. “In the 13 months I’ve been doing this, I’ve never been fully staffed,” said Donna Heaton, human resources manager for Resort Management Group. “I’m always 10 to 20 down. These job fairs do help.” Jill Ryall, who works for Granby Ranch, said the problem is common in all occupations throughout the county. The Grand County Job Fair, however, keeps her from having to have her own job fair, she said. “I can usually pick five to 10 good local employees (there),” she added. Cindy Hoover, employment specialist for the Granby Workforce Center, said Saturday’s job fair is for all types of employees ” whether they’re seeking entry-level, seasonal full-time, part-time or temporary positions. It offers a chance for locals to become familiar with the county’s businesses, and for businesses to network with each other. Hoover added that while the job fair offers a lot of service industry-type jobs, it also features architects, plumbers and construction companies. There will also be drawings for tickets and food and beverage vouchers to SolVista Basin during the event. The job fair takes place Saturday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Inn at SilverCreek. For details call the Colorado Workforce Center in Granby at (970) 887-1857. Other businesses planning to attend are FedEx, Starbucks, Allegiant Management Group, Bond Electric, B Jammin’ and Independent Gas. HR Group looking for members Cathy Weninger, vice president of Grand Mountain Bank, said she encourages more businesses to become members of the Grand County Human Resource Group, of which she is also a member. There are no membership dues or fees, and anyone in the county is welcome, she added. The group meets once a month, and each month they discuss a different topic. For instance, an upcoming “hot” topic will be transportation. “All of us agree it’s one of the worst problems we have,” Weninger said. Anyone interested in joining can call Cindy Hoover, employment specialist for the Granby Workforce Center, at (970) 887-1857.

New taxi service hopes to bridge Grand County transportation gaps

Some locals don’t bother going out to bars anymore, because of the likelihood they’ll get a DUI. And without a reliable taxi service, finding a safe ride home is a challenge. Sgt. Brett Schroetlin of the Fraser/Winter Park Police Department constantly sees bar patrons driving away in their cars when they’ve had too much to drink, he said. Having options would be beneficial. “I think a local taxi service would definitely be a proactive step towards limiting the number of intoxicated drivers,” Schroetlin said. Two Fraser Valley residents have decided to tackle the problem head-on by opening up a taxi service that caters to locals. Valley Taxi, run by Curt Spencer and Matt Lloyd, will be available for service on Nov. 14. “It’s going to be something the town never had before. We’re focusing on local customers,” Lloyd said, as he sat inside his office in downtown Winter Park. A small paper sign in the window reads “Valley Taxi.” “People want transportation, and we want to provide it.” Lloyd and Spencer are leasing their company from Home James, the only locally owned transportation company in Grand County, owned by Jack Van Horn and Roger Hedlund since 1985. Spencer worked for Home James for the past seven years and managed the night taxi service, but it was difficult for Home James to focus solely on a local service, Van Horn said. “Airport transportation is the majority of our business. Almost all of it,” Van Horn said. “Because of the intensity of that end of the business, at times there were conflicts (between) the local taxi and the airport shuttle. By splitting this off, we can focus on what we do best and they can focus on what they do best.” Van Horn commended the two men for taking on the new service, which they will lease for one year, with an option to buy. “This creates a win-win situation for bar patrons, locals and guests, as well as getting service late at night,” he said. Spencer and Lloyd will hold fundraisers for their company, but they also plan to seek subsidies from towns and local businesses. Most mountain communities with public transit systems are supported financially through federal dollars and other outside sources. The two business owners know they can’t do it alone, especially if they want to expand their hours and service throughout the county. “Towns, businesses and the local community sorta need to help us out to make it economically feasible,” Spencer said. “We need to come together to make this work.” Driving employees back and forth to their jobs is another service Valley Taxi plans to provide. Lloyd and Spencer welcome feedback from residents who need a ride to work, so they can better set the schedule for a regular shuttle system. They plan to provide service throughout the county, and offer discounted rates. This is welcomed news for Cindy Harder, who is an employment specialist for Grand County’s Colorado Workforce. Harder hears about the transportation problem from both ends ” the employee and the employer. It is a common problem. “The complaint we hear the most is the fact that there’s no transportation for people to get from one place to another,” Harder said. Harder said a transportation service will only work as long as people utilize it. With three vans and eight to nine drivers, Valley Taxi has a ways to go before it reaches its desired goal, which is to provide transportation 365 days a year, around the clock, across the county. Lloyd and Spencer realize that won’t happen overnight, but they have the energy ” and some new ideas that they hope will build a bigger local clientele. “We’re longtime locals up here. We want to focus this business on the locals,” Spencer said. “Without locals, we don’t have a year-round business.” For instance, Valley Taxi plans to provide a punch card at a discounted rate, so locals can prepay for shuttle service. That way, when someone is at a bar and they have a punch-card in their pocket, they’ll have more of an incentive not to drive, Spencer said. He also suggested discounted rides for customers in the early morning ” after they’ve used their shuttle the night before ” to get back to their cars. A full-time taxi service may have prevented Fraser resident Kris Knippert from receiving a DUI at Spring Splash this year, he said. He now must attend an alcohol therapy class every week for eight months, and pay roughly $4,000 in fines. At his classes, he hears countless stories from others who’ve had similar experiences. “There’s so many people in my class that complain about not having a taxi service when you need one. And they only run when it’s busy, and it’s hard to get them on the phone,” Knippert said. “I think it would be awesome to have a late night taxi service.” Valley Taxi is located behind the Winter Park Pub in Winter Park. For service (Nov. 14) or more information call (970) 726-4940.