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Mountain News

At least now they’ll spell the name right


Compiled by Allen Best

GRANBY, Colo. — If there’s a silver lining to the story from Granby, where a manic bulldozer operator last week crunched 13 buildings before shooting himself, it would be that nobody will misspell the name of the town for a good many years to come, as new reporters for Denver newspapers tended to do.

And from strictly a mercenary perspective, the bizarre story that flashed around the globe also put Granby on the map, a valuable accessory for those hoping to sell several new projects of vacation and weekend homes near Granby. They won’t have to tell people where Granby is anymore.

Located about half-way between the Winter Park ski area and Rocky Mountain National Park, Granby started out as a railroad town, but for about a half-century has been a service centre and bedroom community for the resort areas.

Lately, as land prices skyrocketed hard along Interstate 70, developers have been assembling projects around Granby, hoping to appeal to the middle class from Denver and its suburbs. "Colorado as it Used to Be," some have called it.

And that is fundamentally what Granby is and has been – Colorado as it used to be. The main street, called Agate Avenue, that Marvin Heemeyer bashed with his 60-ton bulldozer fortified into a 75-ton tank, has both a Chuck Wagon and a Longbranch Restaurant, just as most Colorado towns once did. It also had that relic of little-box retailing, a Gambles store. All in all, the town hasn’t change much in 30 years except to become more tired looking.

The newspaper is called the Sky-Hi News, and editor and publisher of the paper, Patrick Brower, was in the office, trying to gather news of the berserk bulldozer operator when the dozer arrived, crashing into the front of the building. Brower had sided with town officials in the zoning dispute that seems to have been the pivot for Heemeyer’s many angers.

Ironically, town voters in April had rejected a badly needed streetscape beautification plan to give some lift to the downtown area. Voters said they didn’t want to spend money until they had it in hand. Now, it looks like they will get some from state and federal coffers.

Sun Valley economy strengthens

SUN VALLEY, Idaho — Although smaller than at many resorts across the West, tax receipts at Ketchum and Sun Valley showed some firmness in April. Sales tax revenues edged upward 3 per cent in Sun Valley and held steady overall in Ketchum. The Sun Valley Resort, the ski area operator, said bookings for the resort this summer are ahead of those from last year, reports the Idaho Mountain Express.

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