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Old 04-12-2011, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,058 posts, read 12,406,241 times
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Well moving day is tomorrow, so I won't have internet access for a while (how will I survive?). Funny how I moved here before winter and am moving before summer. Everyone I talked to here said I'm just doing it all wrong, but that's me. I've grown to love Ridgway and Ouray County, the San Juans, being able to go for walks in town, seeing herds of deer grazing outside my window and bald eagles nesting outside my patio. The best thing I enjoy is being able to walk to the town park in summer, sit under my tree and read, nap or just watch the people. And gosh I'll miss those whacky tourists. Most of the people here are friendly once they find out you're not wanting to change everything, and some are, well downright strange. But "condo" living with no privacy has grated on me, and I'm looking forward to living in a house on 5 acres in the country in Delta County. So stay tuned for Chapter Deux...a year in Delta County.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:25 PM
 
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Just got the latest issue of the Ridgway paper, and was saddened to see that Drake's Restaurant is closing (after 13 years). Also there's a yard/estate sale for Angel Ridge Ranch (which always seemed a bit dicey to make a living, but is a beautiful place- the owner, or one of them, died).
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,058 posts, read 12,406,241 times
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Drake said he lost $40,000 this past year and just can't make it so Drake's is closed. Also the Chipeta Sun Lodge is up for sale, I heard the Union Cafe may or may not re-open this summer. And I think every other house in town has a for sale sign. Sad for such a neat little town.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:45 AM
 
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I stayed at the Chipeta last time I was in Ridgway (summer of 2009). It seemed to be sort of threadbare around the edges (carpet, etc.) but I still thought it was a neat building and well decorated. It was the only time I ever stayed there. They were just starting into "fractional ownership," which I read as "the beginning of the end).
It occurs to me, maybe Ridgway can't make it as a town, as a destination, as an actual place. Maybe that which is there will consolidate in Ouray, which has genuine town density.
If I remember correctly, for many years, Ridgway was on the chopping block to be flooded for the new resevoir-to-be- the 1960s-1970s? and no one was going to invest in it in any way. Then the resevoir was moved to its current location, rather, that area was flooded instead of Ridgway.
Of course, with gasoline going the way it seems to be (and likely has to and should be) there's a big cut in people both visiting the area and being able to make a go of living there. When I see all the ads for massage therapy and stuff, I wonder just who is supposed to be the customers? As my friend Bill McT said, "There are 4,000 people in Ouray County. Half of them are trying to make a living off the other half. You either accept that or you leave." (Billy did the beautiful ceramic facade on the bar at Drake's).
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:22 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
As my friend Bill McT said, "There are 4,000 people in Ouray County. Half of them are trying to make a living off the other half. You either accept that or you leave." (Billy did the beautiful ceramic facade on the bar at Drake's).
Sort of like this economics joke that has made its way around the internet:

Quote:
The streets are quiet in Smalltown, USA, where times are tough and everyone is in debt. A tourist stops at the motel, lays a $100 bill on the counter, and proceeds to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night.

With cash in hand the hotel owner runs to pay his $100 bill debt to the butcher.

The butcher immediately pays his $100 debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer pays his $100 debt to the feed supplier.

The feed supplier pays his $100 debt to the town hooker.

She then quickly pays the hotel owner her $100 room debt.

Promptly, the hotel owner returns the $100 bill to the counter so the tourist will not suspect anything, and moments later the tourist returns stating that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves.

No one produced anything, no one earned anything, but the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.
"It's all good," unless the tourist doesn't show up . . .
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,058 posts, read 12,406,241 times
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Well...the talk around Ridgway is, people who live there are people who can't afford to live in Telluride. I've discovered a lot of unemployed folks, people who work at home or are retired live there. Several people I know commute to Telluride to work (tips are great) and there's a daily work van that picks up and drops off at the fairgrounds, and lots of folks work in Montrose and commute. It's funny that when I first moved there, a lot of guys were complaining about no work. Well then the Telluride airport expansion started and they were begging for workers and brought most of them from out of state. I asked a supervisor there about that and was told they had over 100 local applicants, but no one could pass the drug test. Ridgway like Paonia seems to have more than its share of burned out middle age hippies. I felt out of place because my hair isn't long and braded in a pony tail, I don't smoke dope and don't spend every evening at the local saloon. The new idea is to have MORE BEER at town concerts and festivals. Yup ignore the famlies with kids but let's have MORE BEER!

There's a move on to try to make Ridgway a destination, the "new wealthy" who moved in wants to turn the town into what they left, the folks who have lived there for years want it left alone. There are tales I was told about various people coming in with money wanting to build this and that, like Dennis Weaver wanting a Knott's Berry Farm type park there.

My suggestion was to keep Ridgway a western town, keep its small town charm, the dirt roads the wooden boardwalk and expand on the western history and the train museum and trains. Market it as a taste of the west. Have people dress up in western attire, stage gunfights in the town park like they did years ago, have stagecoach rides like Silverton, clean up the train exhibits and gave train rides. I was basically laughed at.

Ridgway is a neat little town, and it's sad to me to see all those places closing, and for sale signs on every other home, and like I said before, if I ever win the lottery I'll move back.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:27 AM
ndk
 
Location: Estes Park
68 posts, read 269,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
I asked a supervisor there about that and was told they had over 100 local applicants, but no one could pass the drug test. Ridgway like Paonia seems to have more than its share of burned out middle age hippies. I felt out of place because my hair isn't long and braded in a pony tail, I don't smoke dope and don't spend every evening at the local saloon. The new idea is to have MORE BEER at town concerts and festivals. Yup ignore the famlies with kids but let's have MORE BEER!
The schools here in Estes Park had/have a severe drug problem down to ages younger than I could believe. The problem is severe enough to have a permanent officer on duty at the schools. One of the direct causes of that drug problem is the coincident severe drug problem that many of the baby boomers/early retirees in town have. As I'm looking forward to raising a (healthy) family, this is very disturbing to me.

But as you hinted at, I don't think there are so many places in Colorado -- or even America -- left where drugs aren't a serious problem. I can't think of a town in state where it's not at least a modest issue.

I hate to leave my home state behind, but maybe when we have kids, we should try Utah. The current plan is home schooling.

Quote:
My suggestion was to keep Ridgway a western town, keep its small town charm, the dirt roads the wooden boardwalk and expand on the western history and the train museum and trains. Market it as a taste of the west. Have people dress up in western attire, stage gunfights in the town park like they did years ago, have stagecoach rides like Silverton, clean up the train exhibits and gave train rides. I was basically laughed at.
FWIW, I like your suggestion, but then, I'm not an aging hippie.

I'm guessing that as gasoline becomes less cheap, because we've destroyed a lot of our transportation infrastructure that didn't depend on oil, that this is all pretty irrelevant in the end and the remote corners of the world will just become a lot more remote.

Basically every small tourist town out there that caters to a set less wealthy than the Aspen/Telluride/Vail crew is having the exact same arguments, including Estes Park (see: Elkhorn Lodge, and "our kids hate it here"). I think there probably just is no answer, and the macro trends are bigger than us all, and we should enjoy what we can while we can.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:06 PM
 
13,294 posts, read 25,470,882 times
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When I owned property up in Elk Meadows (twice), some of my tenants worked in Telluride. One set of tenants opened a soul food restaurant IN THE FALL somewhere in Ridgway, destroyed my washer with their industrial linen washings, and went bust very fast.
(I have neverl lived there- am living in eastern Mass. but feel like the Montrose-Ridgway-Ouray area is my second home). I sold a lot in Elk Meadows to a very nice couple. She works for the newspaper group- some work from home? He seems to leave for half the year for seasonal work, something like fire fighter or EMT or something.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:17 AM
 
1,316 posts, read 1,177,912 times
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Someone told me in a bar about 10 or more years ago that Dennis Weaver built a home in Ridgeway out of tires, beer cans, and bottles....Is that the truth or was it the Coors talking..?.....
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:24 AM
 
16,509 posts, read 20,909,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaffeetrekker View Post
Someone told me in a bar about 10 or more years ago that Dennis Weaver built a home in Ridgeway out of tires, beer cans, and bottles....Is that the truth or was it the Coors talking..?.....
Yes. Look up Weaver's website, there actually is a youtube regarding his house. It is affectionately known as the earthship.
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