• A fresh start

    Three local moms frustrated with the lack of healthy options in grocery stores have decided to form their own membership-based food co-op in Clear Creek County.

    With Demeter’s Market, they hope to provide organic, healthy and locally grown foods while offering education to help other moms provide better options for their own families. This isn’t simply fruit and vegetables, but meat, bread, flour, spices and other offerings.

    Meredith Rogers, Dawn Alley and Stephanie Brown met while dropping their children off at preschool in Idaho Springs.

  • County approves Loveland’s expansion plan

    Clear Creek’s county commissioners on Aug. 13 approved a proposal from the Loveland Ski Area to expand and enhance the resort.

    While the plan, which is expected to take five to seven years to complete, has county approval, it still needs approvals from the U.S. Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • A rising concern

    Following her passion for bread of every shape and kind, veteran baker and business owner Kristin Wheelock recently started Mountain Girl Bakery in Georgetown.

    Her bakery, at 401½ Sixth St., may be physically small but is big on the magical smell of baking bread, the power of which drew in customers like a siren song on a recent Friday afternoon.

    Wheelock’s goal is simple: to have her customers experience “the best damn bread around.”

  • New restaurant has nostalgia on the menu

    The area’s newest restaurant, the Tributary at 244, represents a big helping of nostalgia for owner Matthew Vogler. 

    That’s because his mother, Diane Rohr, owned an eatery in the same location from 1980 to 1996 when it was the family-friendly Kermitts Roadhouse at its iconic location at 33295 Highway 6. The restaurant/bar subsequently became known as a biker hangout, and it closed earlier this year.

    Vogler actually took his first steps near the restaurant’s bar.

  • Home-buying incentives could lure teachers

    School officials believe a county-sponsored down-payment assistance program for home buying could give young families the incentive to move to and stay in the county.

    The idea, which school Superintendent Todd Lancaster brought to commissioners on July 9, fits in with an affordable housing plan the county has been discussing since mid-June.

    The goal of both programs would be to have adequate housing available throughout the county for both professionals and other members of the workforce, so they could live where they work.

  • Forest Service accepts Loveland’s expansion plan

    Loveland Ski Area’s master development plan to expand and upgrade the resort over the next five to seven years recently was accepted by the U.S. Forest Service.

    Officials from both organizations are quick to point out that acceptance does not mean approval.

  • Four decades of mountain pies

    This month, Beau Jo’s is celebrating four decades of slinging pizza pies in Idaho Springs.

    Starting as a small, 570-square-foot restaurant with room for about 15 patrons, it grew over the years to become a 10,000-square-foot restaurant and now seats up to 600. Additionally, Beau Jo’s has expanded to eight stores across the Front Range and into South Dakota.

    Beau Jo’s owner Chip Bair bought the restaurant from its original owners for $6,500 in 1973. The previous owners operated the small pizza shop for two years before selling it to Bair.

  • New tourism director has big plans

    The Clear Creek County Tourism Bureau’s new director has been at work for only a week, but already she’s focused on implementing marketing strategies to bring more people to the county.

    Cassandra Patton of Littleton, the county’s first tourism director in nearly six years, has a laundry list of goals, including strengthening the county’s brand and developing a local image, logo and identity.

  • Georgetown Loop sees 8 percent jump in ridership in 2012

    The Georgetown Loop train saw an increase in ridership in 2012, but work on the Idaho Springs Twin Tunnels on Interstate 70 has train officials cautious going into 2013.

    Mark Graybill, president of Historic Rail Adventures, operator of the Georgetown Loop, and a member of the county tourism board, said train ridership was up about 8 percent in 2012. 

    “That’s very strong, so we had a good year. We ended up at 107,300 riders,” Graybill said. When Graybill took over the operation in 2009, ridership was 73,000.

  • Mangia! closes its doors

    After nearly eight years, the Idaho Springs restaurant Mangia! closed at the start of the new year.

    Sharon Bassist, whose family has owned the restaurant for six years, said that in the end it came down to not being busy enough to keep the doors open.

    “We just weren’t busy enough within the restaurant. The catering was doing really well, but the space of the restaurant was a lot bigger than the volume that we had coming through the door,” Bassist said.