Year in Review – Business

Revolving door of businesses
Barbara Lawlor
Peak to Peak

Each year, Nederland loses some businesses and gains some. Perhaps the biggest hit this year was suffered by the marijuana dispensaries, which were forced to close because of strict permitting laws. It had seemed like a great profitable venture until regulatory agencies attached, in many cases, insurmountable fees and paperwork.
Realtor Mary Ann Rodak broke her affiliation with Century 21 and went on her own with Peak Performance Realty.
Celebrating its 10th year, the Frozen Dead Guy Days Festival was larger than ever. Its move to Chipeta Park proved to be safer and easier to control and businesses thrived for the weekend. At the end of the summer Amanda Macdonald purchased the event from the Nederland Area Chamber of Commerce and said she will keep costs down this year, hoping to keep more money in town. Last year’s parade marshals, winners of the Look-a-Like Contest at the Blue Ball, were Julia Rutherford and David Holtvoight.
After reviewing the proposals and environmental studies, the United States Forest Service decided to approve the Eldora Mountain Resort’s application for its master plan, which includes expansion of trails and addition of lifts. General Manager Jim Spenst said the changes are to “Enhance EMR’s snowsports experience.”
The resort plans to extend Corona and Indian Peaks lift and add the Moose Glade express with seven new trails and two new glades. Opposition to the expansion claims that the construction will disrupt wildlife in their migratory corridor as well impact the residents of Eldora.
EMR closed a week early last year due to relentless high winds and a decrease in visitors. The last visitor rode up the lift on April 10.
Resham Gurung’s Kathmandu Restaurant celebrated its 12th-year anniversary and in the summer, Resham’s sister Suku Ghale and her family, moved into the recently vacated Artists’ Niche and opened the Thai Restaurant. The businesses are both thriving.
Tom and Mark Campbell opened the Wildlife Center in a bay in the shopping center, featuring rescued snakes and other reptiles as well as families of rats. Rare lizards attract the attention of many visitors who tour the shop for the price of a donation.
Another addition to the shopping center bays is the Tadasana Mountain Yoga, owned by Diana Underhill, a long time Nederland resident who remodeled the old Peak Health Club.
The Gold Hill General Store was put on the market. Hugh Moore has owned the small store and restaurant for 15 years and said he wants to travel. The historic building was constructed in 1870.
After two years of having everything a tourist might need to hike the wilderness area, Debra Nichols of Ben’s Emporium closed her doors, saying it had been a successful venture, but she wanted to return to teaching.
The Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery won the Boulder County Health Department Award for Food Safety. The smokehouse was the first restaurant in Nederland to receive that award.
Dawn Dennison, former owner of the Acoustic Coffeehouse, jumped into the pizza catering business with her portable pizza oven. The business, named Crust, consists of a copper oven on a trailer, fresh organic ingredients, including homemade cheese and the convenience of having the pizza come to you.
The Calvary Chapel celebrated 25 years of spreading the word of Jesus. Pat and Doug Gibney, pastor of the church, were thrown a surprise anniversary party with many original leaders and members of the church present, ready to share ‘Back in the day,’ stories.
The Caribou Preschool celebrated it 21st year. Irene Pritzak, director of the school, helps younger children prepare for their kindergarten experience. The preschool is part of the Boulder Valley School District.
After resigning from his position as Nederland Public Works Director Tim Underwood moved the Wild West Mercantile into the former antique store in Rollinsville. Later his partner Mary MacWilliams opened the Clothing Outpost across the street. Both of them said they are each married to their shops.
After four decades of owning the Pioneer Inn, Bunny Spangler sold the historic restaurant and bar to Dave Lyons and Cindy Shaw of Rollinsville, who have been long-time customers.
With fire mitigation in mind, Kathleen Gilgannon of Gold Hill has nurtured a herd of goats and is offering them for leasing. Keeping the grasses and vegetation at bay around one’s property is an effective way of protecting buildings from wildland fires.
Voodoo Toys moved into the shopping center bay just in time for the holidays. With make-your-own-buddy stuffed animals and hundreds of wooden toys as well as fort kits and Legos, there were plenty of gifts for children available.
In the past two weeks, Whimsy Square, a gift and flower shop, opened in time for Christmas with an abundant array of party items and gourmet chocolates.
With three new storefront shops in the shopping center, the Caribou Mercantile Company could be the business indicator of the economic thermometer.