Gallegos Corporation celebrates 50 years with Minturn project
MINTURN — With a love of the local community in mind, workers at the Gallegos Corporation celebrated the company’s 50th anniversary by doing what they do best on Saturday.
The company installed a high-end, beautifully constructed stone patio area at the base of the Minturn Bike Park, adding to the park the touch of quality that symbolizes the company’s identity.
Gallegos Corporation was founded in July of 1970 by Gerald Gallegos, a beloved member of the Minturn community whose stone work would come to adorn many of the most recognizable properties in Eagle County. Known for his expert craftsmanship and knowledge of masonry, his work was unparalleled in Eagle County, but in his later years Gallegos became better known for his philanthropic work.
That’s why those carrying on his legacy at the Gallegos Corporation of today, which remained family owned in the decade following Gerald’s death in 2010, feel that the Minturn project is a perfect celebration of the company’s golden anniversary. It exemplifies both quality and philanthropy.
“We identified this as a key project that would have a lot of meaning for the company,” Gary Woodworth, president and chief executive officer, said from the construction site on Saturday. “With Gerald being raised here in Minturn, and community-minded the way he was, it just means a lot to us to always give back, and maintain that spirit that he instilled in all of us.”
The stone paver patio area is about 45-feet-by-75-feet and contains eight trees. It lies on the northern end of a new bike park which, when completed next month, will be a biking amenity like no other in the county.
The Town of Minturn acquired the land from Vail Resorts decades ago, an 8-acre plot near the town’s Little Beach Park area on the Eagle River. The town earmarked the land for a community park. What that would come to mean in 2020, however, was an otherwise valuable piece of land in an area where working locals are drooling for high-density housing sites. A recent appraisal put a $1.1M valuation on the land alone.
The Town of Minturn persisted, however, and in May of 2019 the council approved the bike park, partnering with the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance to see it through.
“The town took some steps to gauge the citizen’s interest in projects around town, and we’ve put out a survey for the past few years, and overwhelmingly the support of the bike park was obvious,” said town council member Teri Armistead.
Local architects Zehren and Associates donated the design work, and Gallegos Corp. looked to their trade partners for the supplies.
“The concrete was donated by Casey Concrete, the pavers were donated by Pavestone, Webster Sand and Gravel worked with (the Vail Valley Trails Alliance) to get all the road base and the sand here,” Woodworth said on Saturday.
Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance Executive Director Ernest Saeger said the patio area will be ideal for families.
“It will be the picnic area for Grandma and Grandpa, while Mom and Dad and the kids are using the park,” Saeger said. “And when they get tired, it will be an area for them to find some shade and get some rest.”
The project also gave the Gallegos Corporation a chance to show off its skills.
“Normally, you’d probably have a half dozen guys on a project like this and it’d take a week to a week and a half,” Woodworth said.
The company put a dozen workers on the job on Friday, and another 20 on Saturday, to finish the work in two days. Gerald’s widow Suzanne Gallegos was out working on Friday, setting pavers, and Woodworth — himself a former field laborer turned desk worker — was back out on the job site moving rocks on Saturday.
“Feels good to be out here with these guys,” he said of the crew.
Woodworth said Gallegos Corp. also had volunteers out at a Habitat for Humanity site in Gypsum on Saturday, installing granite countertops.
“Every one of these men carry (Gerald Gallegos’) spirit in them,” Woodworth said. “It wasn’t hard to get guys to show up.”
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The tragic incident left a nearby camper wondering if more could be done to remove dead-standing trees from popular camping areas.