Changing Conveniences in Leadville Today
Breaking News: Highway 24 Fatality
#SadNews to report from @Leadville Today as officials from the Colorado State Patrol released the following details regarding last night’s fatality on Highway 24 west in an area known locally as Escondido Flatts. The victim has not been officially identified yet, so please be respectful.
“At approximately 10:30 pm on 09-30-21, a jeep wrangler was WB on HWY 24 at approximately MP 172 veered off the right shoulder for 42 feet and collided with a guardrail, over-corrected and went back across the road and went off the road for 119 feet and hit a tree. The 30-year-old female from Leadville was ejected and died at the scene. Excessive speed is a factor for the crash.”
Kum-N-Go, Grab-N-Stop at Altitude
The signs will change – again – but this time regular customers and travelers to Leadville’s convenience stores will see a grateful upgrade to the supply chain of all the things that keep people Kuming-n-Going and Grabbing-n-Stopping in America’s highest city.
“You won’t have to go to Safeway anymore,” joked Sunny Suraj, a familiar face and the regional representative for the Fast Stop Markets, as he assembled and stocked the new, expanded displays at the Mountain View Drive location. In August 2021 the two in-town (former Kum-N-Go) locations were acquired by new owners (again) and will undergo rebranding under the Fast Stop name along with the former Saturday’s Mercantile. While there seem to be a few operating components to these convenience store operations (gas/grocery/retail) for consumers and commuters, it means more of what they need in one place.
While the expanded option of basics is a ray of sunshine it isn’t the rainbow of promises that city and county officials have been serving up residents for years when it comes to grocery options in America’s highest city. Regardless this corporation listened to consumers, saw the opportunity for expansion, and did so. Stop in and see what’s new in their upgraded coolers and expanded aisles. Suraj is the regional manager of the three Fast Stop acquisitions in Leadville and a familiar face at the downtown location. He added that new gas pumps will also go in at the Mtn View location, hopefully, access will improve with a new arrangement.
Welcome Fast Stop! Although locals will likely continue to refer to them as Saturday’s and the ever-iconic downtown Kum-n-Go, where so many late-night stories began in the late 1990s.
New EV Charging Station
Across the street from that location, the thing making headlines is the newly installed EV Charging Station.
That’s right America’s highest city is celebrating National Drive Electric Week (Sep 25-Oct 3), a nationwide celebration created to raise awareness of the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The new station was installed earlier this month but it could be sometime before it’s operational.
“The station is in place but can’t be functional until Xcel makes the connection to three-phase power on the other side of Harrison. As soon as the power is connected, the install crew will come back to complete the installation process,” stated Leadville Mayor Greg Labbe in an LT Facebook conversation.
There is also an EV Charging Station located at the new St. Vincent Health on W. 4th Street in the hospital’s parking lot. Find other electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in communities across Colorado.
Opera House Renovation Revealed
While the EV Charging station may represent Leadville’s commitment to the 21st century, the scaffolding coming down across the way represents its dedication to historic preservation from the 18th century. Yes, as September closes out, the scaffolding at the historic Tabor Opera House begins to come down, revealing the top stories renovations on the facade. The lower-level work will continue on the multi-million renovation.
Circle K in the Pb
A bit further down the avenue, the Circle K has also seen a significant upgrade and not just on the outside. While the Harrison Avenue signage took a while to get straightened out, word on the curb is that the flapping banner may have lit the fire under a much-needed upgrade as it captured executives’ attention during an earlier visit. Let’s get this store in order!
So thanks to Ray-the-Manager and his hard-working crew, customers now have a significant food-on-the-go and basic grocery upgrade. Last year’s gas pump and outside lighting was a welcome enhancement for the welcoming storefront on that end of Leadville’s main drag.
“We’re excited,” said one of the clerks during a seemingly never-ending rush of people and vehicles. The new décor is bright, it’s vibrant and overall looks like a safer shopping experience for the fast-paced lifestyle that is now prevalent in Leadville Today.
And finally, an update on the Big R going into the former Shopko/Alco big-box location on Highway 24 south. In addition to the ongoing and recently ramped-up activity at the building, inside expert Big R crews have arrived to set up displays for inventory, there has been recent communication from the corporate folks as well. Just in time for holiday shopping – Halloween? Thanksgiving? Christmas? Stay tuned – it’s closer than you think!
Well, that’s a wrap for this business report regarding expanded and upgraded conveniences in America’s highest city. Get out and support local businesses and remember the folks behind the counters ARE your friends and neighbors in Leadville Today!
Rains Helps on Ptarmigan Fire
UPDATE: Sept. 30 Media Advisory
Firefighters on the Ptarmigan Fire today continued to focus on using aerial resources to keep the fire from moving downhill towards structures.Three heavy helicopters and a light helicopter dropped water on active areas and a large air tanker dropped retardant to slow fire growth. Aircraft will continue this work tomorrow as conditions allow.
While afternoon and evening rains helped moderate fire behavior, the weather grounded the aircraft. The winds that preceded the storms pushed the fire to the south, leading to additional pre-evacuation notifications. The fire currently estimated to be 85-100 acres with approximately 100 firefighters. There is no containment, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
The latest information on evacuations are available by signing up for Summit County Emergency Alerts (https://summitcountyco.gov/1149/Summit-County-Alert) and at https://www.facebook.com/SummitSheriffCO. A Red Cross Emergency Shelter is in place at the Summit Middle School.
There will be a public briefing tomorrow at the Silverthorne Town Hall, 601 Center Circle, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be livestreamed on the Summit County Government’s Facebook page. Current information is available on Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7857/, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WhiteRiverNF, and from the Ptarmigan Fire Hotline at 970- 668-9700.
UPDATE: Closure of Glenwood Update
The Colorado Department of Transportation has cancelled the planned night closure tonight of the eastbound lanes of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon due to the forecasted weather in the canyon. A closure is still scheduled for Friday, Oct. 1 from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and now planned for Sunday, Oct. 3., to allow work to take place. A safety closure is currently in place on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon between Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) and Exit 133 (Dotsero) due to a mudflow and a Flash Flood Warning.
The overnight closures on Friday and Sunday will allow crews to conduct work that is essential to rebuild the eastbound retaining wall that supports the eastbound lanes. Westbound lanes will not be affected and will remain open. The closures will require that eastbound travelers use the recommended northern alternate route (more information below). The eastbound closure point will be Exit 116/Glenwood Springs.
Although westbound will remain open, motorists should anticipate a permanent one-lane closure at mile point 123.5. westbound the closure is ½ mile long.
Several night closures are identified in the contract in order to perform safety-critical work that would be difficult to perform under live traffic. Those closures will impact one direction of travel at a time.
It is imperative for motorists to drive the posted speed limit through the work zone and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
On July 29 and 31 of this year, the canyon was impacted by several major materials slides, including mudslides. The debris did considerable damage to the interstate at Mile Point 123.5, known as Blue Gulch.
Motorists traveling eastbound are encouraged to utilize the alternate route (please see map below). That route is CO 13 Rifle to Craig, east on US 40 to Steamboat over Rabbit Ears Pass to Kremmling down CO 9 to Silverthorne.
Stay Informed and Connect with the Project:
Project information hotline: 970-319-1887
Project email: I70GlenwoodCanyon@gmail.com
Open House for Gilman Powerline
The White River National Forest and Holy Cross Energy will host a public open house Oct. 4 to share information about the proposed Avon-to-Gilman Electric (115-kV) Transmission Line Project. The open house will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Minturn Town Hall, 302 Pine Street.
The Forest Service’s draft environmental assessment of Holy Cross Energy’s proposed line is currently available for public comment. The Forest Service extended the public comment period through Oct. 22.
“The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the proposal as well as the Forest Service’s process for evaluating the portions that cross National Forest System lands,” said Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Leanne Veldhuis.
The 8.9-mile line would run southeast from a substation east of Avon, pass through Minturn town limits, and terminate at a substation just above Gilman, an uninhabited old mining town on Battle Mountain. Holy Cross Energy is proposing the line to provide increased service reliability as the electrical load increases in Eagle County communities.
The proposed line would cross 3.4 miles of National Forest System lands, about 2.2 miles of which would be above ground and 1.2 miles underground. The Forest Service decision only covers the portion of the proposed line crossing National Forest System lands.
The draft EA and information about how to comment are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57224. Comments need to be received by Oct. 22, 2021.