• Event center offers the rustic and the luxurious

    Rustic decorations, antiques, historical photos, a luxurious 3,200-square-foot lodge on 22 acres: The newly opened Blackstone Rivers Ranch aims to provide guests with an unforgettable experience.

    Rachel and Zuri Betz opened the event venue in August to provide a unique location for weddings, retreats and conferences at 3673 Chicago Creek Road off Highway 103 outside Idaho Springs.

  • Burgeoning traffic bringing tourists — and dollars — up I-70

    During a trip up Interstate 70 on any summer weekend, an observant motorist with a list of the 50 states could cross off half the names before reaching the Eisenhower Tunnel.

    Vehicles bearing license plates from across the country — from Texas to Alaska and Indiana to California — make their way up the mountains alongside Denver area residents looking to escape the heat and the city.

  • Business heats up this summer in Springs

    With Labor Day receding in the rearview mirror, Idaho Springs merchants are reporting an unusually busy summer.

    Merchants and officials largely attribute the boost in sales to a noticeable reduction in construction on Interstate 70, while others suggest better advertising and the hot weather in the metro area, combined with the county’s recreational opportunities, induced tourists to make a westward migration to cooler climates.

  • New store adds spice to Springs retail offerings

    The Spice & Tea Exchange in Idaho Springs aims to bring a dizzying variety of sugars, spices, teas and mixes to residents and tourists.

    The business, which opened this month at 1634 Miner St., is bursting with robust aromas and enough ways to liven up dinner to please plenty of palates.

    “We have over 30 salts from around the world, different smoked ones. … We have a Pinot Noir salt, an olive salt, a chocolate salt,” said Clay Freeman, shop owner and founder of the Spice

    & Tea Exchange’s parent company.

  • Adams hired as executive director of Idaho Springs chamber

    Longtime Idaho Springs public servant Phyllis Adams has been hired as executive director of the Idaho Springs Chamber of Commerce.

    Adams, who served as a city council member and city administrator, was appointed earlier this month and is the first chamber director since 2012. She hopes to rejuvenate the organization and help the chamber board refocus its goals for the city.

    “I had the time and the knowledge and hopefully the skills that will help them,” Adams said.

  • K-Goat moves to Historic District

    KYGT-FM moved into the Majestic Building at 1630 Miner St. this week.

    The nonprofit radio station, formerly located in a historic cabin on the east side of Idaho Springs, had to move by March 1, 2017, to make room for the expansion of Courtney-Ryley-Cooper Park. It decided to move early because the space was available in the Majestic Building.

  • New owner of Empire School plans gas station, convenience store

    The new owner of the former Empire School wants to retrofit the building for a gas station and convenience store by the end of the year.

    Owner Joseph Shunta is waiting to get estimates on costs and time frames for the project, hoping the business will be open in four months, and he’s excited to cater to Empire residents and tourists traveling through the town.

    Shunta, a Texas businessman who owns other property in Empire, bought the building and land from the Clear Creek School District for $300,000.

  • Sale of Echo Mountain Resort pending

    A 27-year-old businessman and University of Denver graduate is under contract to buy Echo Mountain Resort, which is in bankruptcy, for a reported $3.8 million.

    Peter Burwell is the CEO of Burwell Enterprises and SkiEcho LLC, and if the deal is approved by the bankruptcy court, Burwell would also own the resort’s equipment, vehicles and snow-making machines.

    Echo Mountain’s website says it will be open for the 2016-17 ski season.

  • Thrills on the hill at new adventure park

    In addition to rafting, thrill seekers visiting Clear Creek can now climb a cliff, navigate a towering rope obstacle course or toss themselves head first into a giant transparent hamster wheel and go barreling down a mountainside.

    The new attractions are part of the recently opened Lawson Adventure Park, which aims to attract families and people interested in taking their recreation beyond being strapped into a roller-coaster.

    Last week the new park had a soft opening as the final touches were put on the grounds and construction began on seven cabins.

  • Loveland Ski Area wraps up banner season

    Loveland Ski Area is reporting one of the busiest years in its 79-year history.

    The ski resort closed for the season Sunday, but despite a slightly shorter-than-average season, spokesman John Sellers said 2015-16 was "exceptional."

    "It was a great season for us," Sellers said, "and anecdotally what I've heard from other resorts is, it sounds like everybody did well along the I-70 Corridor."