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Gone to the Dogs stores in Salida and Buena Vista have new owners as of Oct. 6.

Laura and Tony Bussing have retired, “passing the leash” to Sasha and Tom Smalley after 12 years in business.

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Colorado’s Central Mountain Small Business Development Center will host an in-person outdoor industry summit from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 25 at the Salida SteamPlant and Event Center as well as online in live, virtual format.

Two dozen speakers are scheduled to present on topics such as growth and scale opportunities, public land stewardship, sustainable tourism education and funding resources.

Thanks to a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Forest Service and the Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative, the threat of catastrophic wildfire is lessening around Monarch Pass.

Ski Cooper recently announced that it will raise its company minimum starting wage to $15.25 per hour. Recent economic challenges and changes in the labor force and demographics combined with Ski Cooper’s strong financial performance of late, are among the several factors that prompted the increase.

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Town & Country Salida is now The Faricy Boys.

With its flagship store in Colorado Springs, the Salida dealership is the third location for the company.


Local business owner and pharmacist Dr. Lucas Smith will be honored Nov. 4 as this year’s recipient of the Horizon Alumni Award from the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

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Legacy Bank held a public grand opening of its newly constructed building at 106 North Court St. at East Main in Buena Vista on Wed., Sept. 22.

Mayor Duff Lacy and town administrator Phillip Puckett met with Legacy Bank leadership the night of Sept. 21 to tour the new building.

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The Buena Vista board of trustees passed a resolution to adopt updated ordinances regulating short-term rentals toward the end of their regular meeting on Sept. 28.

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After months of anticipation and several delayed start dates, St. Vincent Health officially opened  Lake County’s new hospital last week with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the public. At the event, St. Vincent Health CEO Brett Antczak, along with several other local leaders, offered remarks about the future of health care in Lake County.

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Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center announced Thursday it plans to comply with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination program for hospital staff.

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More than 35 years after it first opened as The Pantry, the natural food store at the north end of Buena Vista continues to grow and evolve—now under the leadership of Adam and Anna Heinauer.

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Fading West held a hiring event at Buena Vista’s BV Square on Sept. 14 for its soon-to-open factory. Over 100 people came to learn more about Fading West and roughly 25 applied or inquired about jobs at the factory, said human resources specialist John Ten Brink.

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The Buena Vista board of trustees held a work session to continue discussion of proposed short-term rental policies Tuesday night.

The session was followed by their regular meeting, in which they discussed the town’s draft master water plan, current openings on advisory board and the Chaffee Housing Authority, the trustee handbook and housing affordability grants.

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Town treasurer Michelle Stoke’s quarterly financial report on Aug. 24 came near the end of a long meeting. “Sales taxes: Doing good; balance sheet balances; the projected fund balances is good. Do you want me to go into more detail?” she asked. Good was something of an understatement.

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One more substantial, residential subdivision development may be taking off in town after all. Property owner Mitch Yellen and Colorado First Land Office broker Julie Kersting said The Homestead, just north of The Farm, will be moving forward soon.

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Buena Vista-based development company Fading West is set to purchase 11 acres of the Railyard subdivision for the purpose of building attainable housing in Leadville.

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Indicators from town sales tax revenues to the Friends of Fourmile annual Memorial Day survey report confirm the impression one gets cruising around Buena Vista — outdoor recreation tourism is way up. How are roads holding up to the increased use?

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Housing construction, described as one of BV’s three pillars of economic growth by town treasurer Michelle Stoke, continues to be a local industry characterized by vigorous activity. But growth alone does not solve an affordable housing crisis.

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Chaffee County has been nominated for a 2021 Governor’s Award in the Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative category, which “acknowledges an activity, event or project undertaken by a community or region to promote tourism in Colorado.”

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Melanzana is expanding its manufacturing operation on Harrison Avenue after Leadville City Council voted earlier this month to approve a conditional use permit application filed by the retailer.

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Chaffee County commissioners approved a resolution for a moratorium of the submission, acceptance, or processing of applications for short term rentals that exceed 6 percent of the housing units available in unincorporated Chaffee County.

Recent Stories

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Chaffee County has been nominated for a 2021 Governor’s Award in the Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative category, which “acknowledges an activity, event or project undertaken by a community or region to promote tourism in Colorado.”

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Melanzana is expanding its manufacturing operation on Harrison Avenue after Leadville City Council voted earlier this month to approve a conditional use permit application filed by the retailer.

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Chaffee County commissioners approved a resolution for a moratorium of the submission, acceptance, or processing of applications for short term rentals that exceed 6 percent of the housing units available in unincorporated Chaffee County.

The Lake County Planning Commission voted to recommend approval to the Board of County Commissioners of a preliminary plan application filed by Alan Elias to build a gated subdivision, AngelView, in Twin Lakes earlier this week. The application was heard by the commission last week.

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Town treasurer Michelle Stoke presented a budget report including April’s town tax numbers at the June 22 Buena Vista trustees meeting.

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SDCEA board of directors candidates Charles A. Abel II and Dan C. Daly were re-elected to their respective board seats during the electric cooperative’s annual meeting at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort last month.

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Construction continues at Fading West’s factory off Gregg Drive as The Farm enters development phase 2.

“As of today we are about 75% complete,” Fading West CEO Charlie Chupp said July 13.

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Local businesses are reporting high traffic through the holiday weekend and the summer season in general. Owners and managers also report varying levels of concern over staffing and supply chains.

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Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center recently announced the addition of new providers of gastroenterology services.

HRRMC has partnered with Colorado Springs-based Associates in Gastroenterology (AG) to offer gastroenterology services locally, according to a press release.

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Realtors are in agreement: BV’s residential real estate market in 2021 is great for sellers, with unprecedented price increases in the past year. Growth trends in home prices can be traced back as far as 2014. The only difference swinging out of the pandemic is that the steady growth of home and lot prices has gone into a steep climb, with no clear end in sight.

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Jim and Daphne Myers, owners of Sasquatch Outpost in Bailey, recently went to extrordinary measures to provide both transportation and housing for a pair of new Bailey residents.

The most recent affordable housing project began June 15 with groundbreaking for Salida Ridge at Confluent Park, adjacent to the U.S. Forest Service Office on U.S. 50 east of Salida.

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South Main’s first business will change hands this fall

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Robin Vega of Clean Republic explains how her business debuted early in the COVID-19 pandemic and thrived in Buena Vista.

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Despite moving to Buena Vista in mid-November last year, Doug Marsh didn’t have the opportunity to explore the surrounding area right away. He worked full-time as a professional ski patroller at Ski Cooper.

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The Little Engine Eatery opened for the season May 2. Located outside the BV Heritage Museum on East Main Street, the train engine-themed food trailer serves quality hot dogs Thu-Sun from 11a.m.-4p.m.

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St. Vincent Health is set to open its new hospital in mid-July after years of planning and recent construction delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 26,500-square-foot facility, which sits adjacent to the current hospital on West Fourth Street, will offer a slew of services that Lake County residents now must drive out of the county for, including general surgery and therapy and recovery services.

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Salidan John McGowan gave a counter presentation to the Nestlé Waters North America economic impact study and Tom Bomer of Unbottle Chaffee County gave comments during the 1041 permit hearing Tuesday.

Commissioners also heard from representatives of Bonfire Entertainment, which is seeking a permit for a 2-day music event to be held Sept. 24-25 at the Meadows in Buena Vista. The company produced Campout for the Cause in prior years.

Chaffee County Economic Development Corp. announced Wednesday that Jake Rishavy will assume the role of executive director effective July 1.

Sales tax returns for March 2021 were 42.46% higher than in the same month last year, according to town treasurer Michelle Stoke.

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The Salida Hospital District Board of Directors heard a presentation May 18 on a new program designed to assist those with lingering effects from COVID-19.

The Post COVID Rehab Clinic is a multidisciplinary program geared to “provide a pathway of relief for community members suffering from lingering COVID symptoms and restore quality of life.”

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The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce staff, membership coordinator Jon Cobb and executive director Melissa Traynham, stand outside their new offices in the Wedge building at East Main Street and Cottonwood Avenue.

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A new regional option for mental health care in the rural central mountain region was one step closer to reality as ground was broken Thursday for Solvista Health’s Regional Assessment Center on the Heart of Rockies Regional Medical Center campus.

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Q How would you describe what your business is/does? 

A local bakery creating plant-based, better-for-you baked goods, snacks and custom orders with organic, quality ingredients and gluten-free options. 

Colorado-based Collegiate Peaks Bank is pleased to announce its Community Heroes Campaign, providing a way for its customers and the public to nominate the nonprofit organization of their choice for a $3,000 donation from Collegiate Peaks Bank that will go directly to the cause.

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Included in the application for the Meadows’s Outdoor Theater is the result of an economic impact study of the largest event to be held on the property – the Seven Peaks Music Festival.

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Chaffee County entered the post-dial phase of its COVID-19 pandemic response April 16, as the county public health department announced a new public health order in response to the statewide devolution of the dial system implemented last fall.

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Buena Vista code enforcement officer Grant Bryans submitted a report on short-term rental activity in the first quarter of 2021 to the town board of trustees Tuesday, finding that 118 total licenses for STRs were issued in town.

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The Surface Transportation Board denied the notice of exemption filed by Colorado Midland & Pacific Railway to lease the 163.1 mile Tennessee Pass line between Parkdale and Sage from the Union Pacific March 26.

The line stretches through Fremont, Chaffee, Park and Eagle counties.

The Midland filed the request with an eye toward passenger and freight service.

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Through this month, the staff of the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce will be moving their headquarters from the historic St. Rose of Lima church to another historic building.

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On April 8, Angel of Shavano Recycling will terminate its contract with Chaffee County and close its Poncha Springs recycling plant, according to a news release Tuesday from County public affairs specialist Beth Helmke.

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SOIL Sangre de Cristo membership awarded its second round of zero-interest farm/ranch loans Badger Creek Ranch and Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy, LLC. To date SOIL Sangre de Cristo has awarded $20,000. in its first year.

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As new homes in Poncha Springs pop up like spring crocus, the retail and commercial landscape has been nurturing change as well. Here’s a roundup of what’s new in Poncha Springs:

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Buena Vista treasurer Michelle Stoke presented the first sales tax reports of 2021 to the board of trustees this week, and for the 29th month in a row, returns were up in January 2021 compared to the same month last year.

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Next Wednesday, Buena Vista’s craft beer lovers’ long sentence will have been served as the Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar reopens for the first time since it closed its doors on March 16, 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic mandates.