Friends of Ski Hi Park write final check
By Owen Woods | firstname.lastname@example.org
THE Friends of Ski Hi Park wrote their final check to Alcon Construction, symbolizing the finishing bow placed upon the completed complex. With this payment, the project is officially official.
Karla Shriver and Kathy Woods presented the big check to Alcon Construction during a ceremony in front of the Ski Hi Complex on Wednesday. Before they handed the check over, they laid out the history of the project and the trials and tribulations endured to get it done.
The original idea for the new complex came in 2010 after the rodeo grandstands were constructed. “Various circumstances happened and we just didn’t get it done. The timing wasn’t right,” Shriver said.
Then in November 2017, Woods and Shriver went before the Monte Vista City Council “and asked permission that the citizens take the lead in revamping the building, building a new one, whatever we needed to do,” Shriver said.
“Then you should have seen city council’s faces,” joked Woods.
The Friends of Ski Hi Park then formed.
Shriver said, “Everybody pulled together because we knew how important this facility was going to be not just for Monte Vista, but for the Valley as a whole.”
Shriver noted the “growing pains” of getting things off the ground and organizing it all. “But we made it. It’s not like there’s a textbook on how to do this,” she Shriver.
“Right when we got the ball rolling and felt pretty good about things, COVID came visiting. So we almost canned it,” Woods said.
Shriver highlighted a few of the bumps they had to get over, such as COVID-19 challenges, supply chain issues causing Alcon to get creative, lower-than-anticipated funding, and the-then city manager for the City of Monte Vista moving on to another job in 2021.
Yet, the Friends persevered and got the funding.
“A lot of, just, love came into this,” Woods said.
The group commemorated demolition day back in July 2020. “That was an exciting day, huh, Dale!” Shriver joked.
A successful first Ski Hi Stampede in 2021 and the Potato Grain Conference this year were highlights of the success and importance of the building. Shriver said, “What a great community effort this has been. Everybody should be very proud of what has happened here.”
The total cost of the project came out to $8,927,970.
“We just wanted to make sure we kind of wrap this up and close the door. Everybody got to participate in this, because everybody has a lot of time invested in this. What a great community project,” Shriver said.
Monte Vista City Manager Gigi Dennis provided an update on what’s up next for the Ski Hi Complex.
A grant for stylish, permanent wrought-iron fencing for the complex has been applied for. It will mimic a fencing design that was constructed for 2021’s Stampede.
Dennis said, with numbers still being penciled in, somewhere around 48,000 people have been in and out of the complex since February of this year. Since its soft opening, the facility has hosted close to 200 events, with 100 events already scheduled for 2023.
“This is just so remarkable that you all had this vision, you came together as a community and it’s a true success story of ‘If you build it they will come,’” she said.
Dennis also highlighted a recent congressional earmark included in the 2022 omnibus bill. With help from Colorado Sens. Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper, funds were secured to provide a generator for the facility; 15-18 RV parking spots in the back, and 4 portable showers.
Dennis said the main purpose for these amenities is to allow use of the Ski Hi Complex as a regional emergency shelter.