The story published on March 2 was one in a weekly series on havens, localities that have caught the eye of second homeowners.
The story can’t help but draw even more attention to what locals have already recognized is a fast-changing town.
“I thought it was a good article,” said Peak to Peak Bicycles owner Randy Charrette. “I thought it was good for the town. Obviously, as a business owner the more tourism we can get in here, the better for us. I think they did a good job and highlighted some nice businesses.”
Tammy Tuttle, owner of the True Grit and the Galloping Goose, as well as vice-president of the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce, also predicted that the story will bolster tourism.
“It will encourage tourism, but it won’t encourage growth,” she said. “How can you not fall in love with this area? Will it increase tourism? Absolutely. We’ll be thrilled about that.”
Alan Stapleton, owner/broker of the Ridgway Real Estate Corporation, enjoyed the piece, saying, “I thought it came across very well. The article was very, very positive for the Ridgway area and the community as it sits. Clients of mine north, south, east and west called me.
“I was tickled it was written and very pleased,” he added. “It didn’t dwell on the negatives.”
In her story , titled “HAVENS | Ridgway, Colo.; A Mix of the Old and New West in the Rugged Rockies”, reporter Cindy Hirschfeld noted Ridgway “serves as a portal to Colorado’s southwest corner, but it has recently had a serious growth spurt, attracting young families priced out of Telluride as well as urban refugees and second-home buyers seduced by the gorgeous scenery, rural setting and smorgasbord of recreational options.”
She goes on to state that the area boasts “the panorama of the serrated Sneffels Range to the southwest, dominated by 14,150-foot-high Mount Sneffels, and the Cimarron Range to the east rivals any in the state.”
After a history lesson on the town, Hirschfeld goes on to say, “[Ridgway] retains an Old West flavor. Roads in the historic downtown — where east-west streets bear the first names of the town founders and north-south streets the names of their wives and daughters — are gravel, though paving is planned.”
In the rundown of positives and negatives for those seeking a haven, Hirschfeld cites, as the primary positive, “recreational opportunities…in the nearby Uncompahgre National Forest, fan out in every direction. In winter, residents go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. The nearby Ouray Ice Park lures ice climbers – and spectators – from around the country, while the San Juan Hut System draws hardy backcountry skiers. Downhill skiers and snowboarders head to Telluride or to Silverton, an hour south.”
The cons in the area, according to the Hirschfeld, include, “Ridgway has a small grocery store, but the nearest large supermarket is in Montrose, 25 miles north. The closest movie theater is there, too. As for night life, an evening’s highlight for many can be getting to bed early to rest up for the next day’s outdoor adventure.
“Overdevelopment is a fear in the area,” she continues, “[And] despite Ridgway’s historic commercial buildings, many houses in town were built in the last 20 years, with several new subdivisions.”
Hirschfeld closes her article by highlighting a few places to stay overnight and to grab a bite to eat, mentioning “The adobe-style Chipeta Sun Lodge and Spa…[and] The Ridgway-Ouray Lodge & Suites has 52 motel rooms, [as well as] The Doghouse BBQ Bistro, a two-level restaurant and sports bar decked out in vintage mining equipment, is a popular spot for entrees like North Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches and dry-rub baby-back ribs.”