Monte Vista celebrates
new SLV Ski Hi Complex

Hillary Clinton once famously said “It takes a village to raise a child.” On Friday evening, Monte Vista Mayor Dale Becker turned it into “It takes the San Luis Valley to build a building.” He was referring to the $8.6 million SLV Ski Hi Complex, which was christened with a ribbon cutting, music, and food and drinks for the hundreds who showed up in Monte Vista to celebrate the project’s completion.

Karla Shriver and Kathy Woods, who spearheaded the Friends of Ski Hi fundraising efforts, took deserved bows, as did Alcon Construction which was the general contractor on the project and instrumental in working with the Friends of Ski Hi and city of Monte Vista to finish the building. 

Shriver provided a tribute to the late Ralph Outcalt and the Outcalt Foundation, which contributed $4.2 million to the cost of the building. The new building takes on the name Outcalt Event and Conference Center at SLV Ski Hi Complex.

The new regional complex is now the largest events building in the San Luis Valley and is designed and intended to be put to use by organizations and groups from across the Valley. On March 26 it will be the host site for a San Luis Valley community meeting that Douglas County is planning to hold as part of its vetting of a proposal by Renewable Water Resources to transfer water from the Rio Grande Basin to Douglas County.

But on this night it hosted a celebration and Monte Vista beamed with pride.

More news below:


Acequias Institute completes
transaction for R&R Market

SAN LUIS – The Acequia Institute in San Luis moved forward Friday with purchase of the R&R Market, Colorado’s oldest grocery store, as part of its “Healthy Community Foodscape and Food System” initiative that received funding from the Colorado Health Foundation.

The market will be renamed the San Luis Peoples Market, according to Devon Pena of the Acequia Institute. The market will be transformed into a community cooperative and local foods incubator as part of the overall healthy community foods initiative. The market will be remodeled to include a small footprint for a commercial kitchen to serve volcanic rock corn mill for non-GMA tortillas, a deli-restaurant, and a space for nutrition and cooking classes.

The Colorado Health Foundation awarded the The Acequia Institute $1.5 million to get the healthy community foods effort going. Here’s an earlier story on The Acequia Institute.


AG Weiser announces opioid agreement

DENVER – Attorney General Phil Weiser Friday announced the final approval of the $26 billion opioid agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – and Johnson & Johnson. Weiser was in the San Luis Valley earlier this week to talk to local elected officials about the opioid settlement. You can listen to him here on the podcast The Valley Pod.

The companies will start releasing funds to a national administrator on April 2. Money will start flowing to the state and local governments this summer or early fall. Colorado will receive $385 million. The Johnson & Johnson settlement dollars will be paid over nine years and the drug distributor settlement dollars will be paid over 18 years.

“Colorado has already laid the groundwork for distribution of these dollars, with all 64 counties and nearly all of our state’s municipalities poised to work together to address the opioid crisis in our state,” Weiser said. “I am grateful to local governments statewide for their commitment to protecting our residents and that they are, in many cases, already strategizing how these dollars can best serve their communities.” 

The agreement marks the culmination of three years of negotiations to resolve more than 4,000 claims of state and local governments across the country. It is the second-largest multistate agreement in U.S. history, second only to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Weiser led negotiations with Attorneys General Josh Stein of North Carolina and Herbert Slatery of Tennessee, and the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Fifty-two states and territories signed on to the agreement as well as thousands of local governments across the country. 

For more information, go to


Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area
seeks student trainees

ALAMOSA – Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area (SdCNHA) is looking for students to participate in its Caminos de Valle Youth Walking Tours and its Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Camp. 

  • Caminos de Valle Youth Walking Tours: SdCNHA will train six youth, ages 16-18, in group leadership roles that will lead walking tours in neighborhoods and public lands, cultural and historical nature, land and water conservation, nature-based education, walk facilitation, and tourism all within the heritage area. Students will choose the topics and locations they would like to lead tours in as well as becoming CPR certified, trained in public speaking, self-defense, history, culture, and traditions. Each youth leader will receive a stipend at the end of the program for leading guided walking tours in the month of June, 2022. This program is free to the youth.
  • Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area Camp: SdCNHA will host two, one-week camps in June. One for middle school students and one for high school students. This is a unique opportunity for youth to learn local history, heritage, traditions, and culture by visiting a variety of sites within the heritage area as historians will be able to elaborate on such topics and answer questions. This program is free to the youth. FInd the application HERE and return  via email ( or hand deliver to 231 State Avenue.


Railroad federal funding request
gets boost from Boebert

MONTE VISTA – A application by the San Luis Central (SLC) Railroad to help pay for rail infrastructure and safety improvements through the federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grants received a boost of support from Rep. Lauren Boebert of the 3rd Congressional District. “The CRISI grant will help the San Luis Central Railroad Company fund important infrastructure improvements necessary to reduce the risk of derailment, decrease maintenance costs, and increase overall efficiency,” Boebert said.

The CRISI grants are public-private partnerships that require a 25 percent private matching investment. The railroad will provide $375,000 in private sector support if the grant is awarded. The San Luis Central Railroad operates freight service, mostly grains, potatoes and fertilizer, from a connection with the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad at Monte Vista to Center.


SLV Transit Plan seeks public input
on mobility solutions for the region

The Chaffee Shuttle will host in-person events in communities across the San Luis Valley to get input on potential mobility solutions for transportation corridors and communities across the Valley and neighboring Chaffee County. Residents will be asked to rank their top five choices to improve transit/mobility in their communities. The potential mobility solutions are available for review and comment both online at and at planned in-person pop-up events scheduled throughout the Valley in early March. Feedback received at these events will inform the final recommendations for mobility solutions across the region and support the development of an implementation plan.

You can provide feedback on potential mobility solutions, learn more about the project, and subscribe to be a part of the project email list at Input can also be provided in-person at pop-up events to be held in the region: 


Tuesday, March 8

  • Saguache Public Library, 702 Pitkin Ave, Saguache, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Crestone Mercantile, 182 E Galena Ave, Crestone, 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Center Town Hall, 294 S. Worth Street, Center, 4-5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 9

  • Sunflower Bank, 101 Adams St, Monte Vista, 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Lowes, 1215 Grand Ave, Del Norte, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Dollar General, 73 W Frontage Rd, South Fork, 2-3:30 p.m.
  • Kentucky Belle Market, 103 W 2nd St, Creede, 4-5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 15

  • Adams State University Student Union Building, Alamosa 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Jack’s Market, 2 Spruce St, La Jara, 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Chavez Southwest Market, 611 Main St, Antonito, 3-4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 16

  • Costilla County Social Services – 233 Main St Suite A, San Luis, 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Blanca/Fort Garland Community Center, Highway 160, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Lu’s Main Street Café, 609 Main St, Blanca, 1:30-3 p.m.

Those unable to attend a pop-up event can share input at through March 30.