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Sustainable living isn’t just about the environment, it’s about smart consumerism

When Alin Turcea and Antonia Pitica recognized the significance of plastic products in their everyday lives, they felt compelled to do something about it. 

Bags for produce, groceries, to-go cups, toothbrushes, water bottles — these items are a part of our everyday lives, and they’re almost always plastic. 

What if they could create these products for people who cared about living more sustainably for the sake of our planet, while also educating consumers everywhere about the importance of our individual actions? 

“We had a lightbulb moment, and we began reading about climate change to see what we could do to develop habits that were better for the environment,” Alin said. “We started EcoRoots when we realized how much of an impact consumerism was having on our lives and the lives of those around us.”

By creating this minimalist, earth-conscious brand, Alin and Antonia aim to encourage an economy that considers the future. They want consumers to have the power to choose, through the products they buy and use, what kind of world they want to live in.

“As we did our research, we realized that we had been making many of our choices out of convenience, without considering the consequences,” Antonia said. “We knew that, in order to ask other people to change, we needed to change first. So, the first step we took toward our new lifestyle was simply refusing what we didn’t really need.” 

Here are some of the reasons that making these small steps can not only change the way you live your life for the better, but also positively impact the environment..

Future generations

Alin and Antonia feel personally responsible to do their part to address pollution and climate change for future generations. Climate change is one of the most significant issues we’ll face in our lifetime, Antonia said.

“We have to consider how devastating the effects of plastic consumption are on our already fragile environment, including our oceans and marine life, but also our own health and well-being, too,” he said. “We can all make changes to ensure that our children and grandchildren aren’t left to clean up the mess we’ve made.”

Small steps are easy

Activities such as brushing your teeth or shopping at a grocery store are habits for most people. We do these things without thinking much about them, but what if the products you used didn’t end up harming marine life or clogging up landfills? What if you could use products as a consumer that actually meant something?

“It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re trying to change habits that you’ve had your whole life, but the key is being patient, and knowing that real change won’t happen overnight,” Alin said. “There are many small steps that you can take if you’re just starting out on this journey, and these small habits will become second-nature overtime.”

Alin and Antonia started their sustainably living journey by bringing reusable bags to the grocery store. From there, they began to avoid plastic-wrapped produce, switched to biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes, began using reusable water bottles and switched to a reusable razor instead of single-use disposable razors.

Becoming more conscious overall

By making these small changes, Alin and Antonia became more conscious consumers everywhere they went. They checked packaging when they went shopping to avoid plastic whenever possible. They realized that while it’s not always possible to avoid plastic entirely, they could use a lot of substitute products such as reusable or recyclable packaging including glass, stainless steel or cardboard to ultimately have less of an impact on the environment.

“After you’ve made changes like composting, packing reusable bags for shopping trips, looking for products that come in recyclable, non-plastic packaging, look around your home and see what other products can be replaced by a sustainable alternative,” Alin said. “Using sustainable products will save you money in the long run.”

Steps that ALL consumers can take

Here are some of the ways Alin and Antonia make changes in their lives by using EcoRoots products. They believe this is a good starting off point for anyone interested in living more sustainably. Visit ecoroots.us for product options.

  • Buy fresh produce rather than produce wrapped in plastic. Check out your local farmers market or another grocery store if yours doesn’t have what you’re looking for.
  •  Unless medically necessary, skip the plastic straws. Because they’re not accepted by most recycling centers, many larger companies are beginning to ban them anyway, so this is one of the easiest to implement. 
  • Call your local recycling center if you’re not sure if something is recyclable, don’t just throw it out.
  • Compost your food leftovers. 
  • Bring reusable bags with you whenever you go shopping so you don’t have to take home any plastic bags.
  • Use a reusable coffee cup and water bottle so you can skip the paper and plastic.
  • Walk, use public transportation, car-pool, or ride your bike to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Eat locally. You’ll know exactly where your food is coming from, and you’ll get to support local businesses and farmers. This is especially easy in the summertime when most towns have weekly farmers markets.
  • Consume consciously. Buy things out of necessity, not boredom, and when you do need to buy something, try to find ethically sourced clothes and other products. 
  • Support small, local businesses.
  • Use alternatives to plastic whenever possible in products for the home, kitchen, health and beauty. 

In Avon, an effort to become more arts-centric goes on display

The Town of Avon is becoming a hub for arts and culture in the valley thanks to a concerted effort to support special community-focused events.

The Benches of Avon project is the Town’s next large scale public art exhibit following last year’s successful Playhouse Project. Various nonprofit organizations have been creating benches, which will be on display along Avon’s Main Street Mall from June 13 to July 20, that represent what they do for the community.

“Creating and supporting these types of cultural and arts-related initiatives nurtures community vitality and creativity,” said Preston Neill, Avon’s Deputy Town Manager.

Trying to become a Colorado Creative District

Avon Mayor Pro Tem Amy Cramer Phillips said the Town began looking into what it takes to become a Colorado Creative District, a designation by the state for the most art-focused communities, several years ago.

“Eagle County as a community has a lot of creative, artistic people, but there’s not a central arts hub,” Phillips said. “There’s an artistic community that’s not supported as well as they could be, and there’s an economic benefit to the Town.”

So far, these designated districts include 23 communities, including Carbondale, Salida, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs and Telluride. The Town of Avon has set its own objective to become one, as well.

“The Town’s cultural enterprise can have an impact on Avon’s business community and help keep our community competitive against other resort communities,” Neill said.

Events like the Benches project are the perfect opportunity for residents and visitors to experience the Town, which has taken great strides over the last decade to create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown.

“Getting people out walking to view all of these benches — we think it’s a great way for people to experience the walkability of Avon,” Phillips said. “That’s been a really big for the Town, to become walkable so people didn’t feel like they had to get into their car and drive from Loaded Joe’s to Bob’s Place.”

New committee focused on arts and events

Avon’s vision is to provide a high quality of life, today and in the future, for a diverse population, and to promote their ability to live, work, visit and recreate in the community. The Town of Avon recently established a Cultural, Arts and Special Events Committee that is tasked with providing guidance and advice on culture, arts and special events programming in Avon. The committee will also provide advice regarding the Town’s Cultural Plan.

“The Cultural Plan will serve as a key step in leading special events, arts and creative growth in Avon,” Neill said. “With the Avon Playhouse Project being so successful last year and with the Benches of Avon Project well on its way to being a hit, the expectation is that Avon will look to host more events like these in the future.”

Avon Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes said the creation of this committee demonstrates the Town’s recognition of the value of arts and culture to the overall community, for both visitors and residents.

“Consideration of the facility needs of performance and visual arts is integral to the planning for Avon’s town-owned properties,” Smith Hymes said.

6 Reasons to Experience Craft Beer in Colorado

(sponsored content)

Colorado has the second highest number of craft breweries (behind California) in the country — and some killer beer festivals to boot — but this powerhouse industry often faces some image myths.

Despite the fact that plenty of bearded white dudes do enjoy craft beer, this is not the industry’s lone demographic. In fact, about half of the guests at Colorado Brewers Guild affiliated festivals — such as the upcoming Vail Craft Beer Classic — are women.

What exactly defines “craft” beer? The Colorado Brewers Guild defines it as beer brewed by breweries that are independent and small, brewing less than 2 million barrels per year.

“The ‘craft’ aspect also incorporates a strong sense of community and centuries worth of brewing tradition,” said Shawnee Adelson, Deputy Director at the Colorado Brewers Guild, “combined with a focus on pushing the boundaries of what can be done with this incredible beverage.”            

Here are some of the qualities of Colorado’s craft beer industry to experience yourself at the upcoming Vail Craft Beer Classic.

Endless variety

From styles of beer including IPAs, ales, stouts and porters, brown ales, wheats, hefeweizens, Belgian pale ales and others, to flavors such as tangerine, coriander, ginger, blood orange, watermelon and many more, craft beers are not easily defined by taste.

“Colorado is a melting pot that brings a wide spectrum of flavors and creativity to the table,” said Andy Jessen, co-founder and manager at Bonfire Brewing in Eagle. “Because it’s such an attractive place to live, we have brewers from all over the country bringing the best of many different recipe formulation philosophies. I think it creates unparalleled variety.”

More than hops

You’ve probably tried a craft beer — or maybe even several — that you didn’t like, but breweries are coming out with new styles all the time. Jessen said people often think craft beer is too hoppy, bitter or flavorful, but he said the variety of styles “is a rainbow with something for everyone.”

Currently, there’s a national industry trend toward producing lighter, lower calorie craft beers.

Tristan Schmid, Marketing and Events Manager at the Colorado Brewers Guild, said if you tried one brewery and didn’t like it, visit another or try a tasting flight to explore all the varieties.

“Some people might feel like craft beer is unapproachable, though if they stop in at their local brewery, they’ll likely find that the bartender will be happy to help them find a beer they’ll enjoy,” Schmid said.

Craft beers for the Colorado lifestyle

It’s become a tradition in communities across the state to hit the local brewery after a day of skiing, mountain biking, road cycling, mountaineering or whatever the outdoor adventure du jour is.

“This history and integration of craft beer in Colorado makes our industry unique and central to what defines Colorado,” Adelson said.

Community-based

There’s been a shift in the U.S. toward knowing where products are sourced — from produce to meat to seafood, and yes, even beer. By definition, craft beer and its smaller batch production is suited to small-town community vibes.

Craft brewers are also “scrappy, resilient and exceptionally community-oriented,” Jessen said.

“People want products they can see the people and history behind, and craft beer is ideally situated to cater to those desires,” Jessen said. “Try as many beers as you can, and support the breweries that do good things in your community. Most brewery owners/operators are working very long hours for very slim rewards because they’re passionate about beer, the people that drink it, and their respective communities.”

Last year, 67 independent breweries opened in Colorado, with about 50 planned to open this year. Many of these breweries are opening up in communities that didn’t have a craft brewery before, Schmid noted.

Brewers who care deeply about quality

Colorado brewers are constantly learning about ways to produce the highest quality beers through events such as the Colorado Brewers Guild’s annual Colorado Craft Brewers Summit. The Guild also helps brewery owners and managers learn about the best ways to make their breweries and beers approachable and enjoyable.

Jessen points out that peers in the industry are always willing to help spread knowledge about quality practices, too.

“And, to a great extent, it’s a self-policing business,” he said. “If the beer isn’t good, most people probably won’t give it a second chance.”

Friendly competition

Attend a beer festival like the Vail Craft Beer Classic and you’ll immediately notice the camaraderie among the brewers. These men and women are a passionate bunch just looking to share the joy of beer with as many people as possible.

These festivals also offer unique opportunities to get face time with these world-class brewers and enjoy one-of-a-kind beers.

“The Vail Craft Beer Classic is a great spot to meet many of those folks,” Jessen said, “and try a wide variety of what Colorado has to offer, in one of the most beautiful settings in our great state.”

School’s almost out — do your kids have fun things to do?

School might be getting out soon, but most parents’ jobs don’t provide a summer break — that’s why Mountain Recreation wants parents to know it has them covered this summer at its three locations in Eagle, Edwards and Gypsum.

Mountain Rec has made some major upgrades to its summer youth programs, covering more categories and more age groups this summer than ever before.

“We’ve added an entire lineup of camps, called Explorer Camps, through a partnership with SOS Outreach,” said Stacey Todd, Outdoor Recreation Supervisor for Mountain Rec.

There are also new Art (ages 5 to 12) and Gardening (ages 13 to 15) camps on the schedule this summer, including programs featuring mixed media, paper mache, pottery and painting. On the gardening side, Mountain Rec has teamed up with the Colorado State University Extension to provide a robust education component to the one-day-per-week gardening camp.

“The idea behind all of these new camps is that ‘there’s something for everyone, and everyone is doing something,’” Todd said.

Not to worry, the Mountain Rec staples of Sports Camps and Rec Kids Day Camps are still available with the same great programming as previous years.

Just bring a toothbrush

The goal of the Explorer Camps, which are also open to high school students, is to offer as many life-changing experiences in the outdoors as possible. Todd said many Eagle County youth don’t have the knowledge or equipment to access outdoor recreation, so the partnership with SOS Outreach pulls from both organizations’ strengths in order to deliver new options to the community.

Lifelong backcountry learning

“We have this natural progression now with so many camps for all these different age groups — Wee Outdoors (ages 3 to 5), Young Explorers (ages 5 to 8), Backyard Adventure Camps (ages 7 to 15) and SOS Outreach Wilderness Camps (ages 9 to 17) — it creates a progression for kids growing up and being introduced to the outdoors, stepping up their intensity every year,” Todd said. “We are so pleased to see these camps already filling up and many of them selling out.”

To register before they’re all sold out, visit MountainRec.org/camps.

EXPLORER CAMPS (new this summer!)
From single-day activities at Camp Hale to 5-day wilderness trips in the White River National Forest, your child will develop an appreciation for our very own backyard as they learn to navigate and conquer the great outdoors.

Each camp is designed to help build necessary skills and knowledge of the outdoors for kids to safely and properly recreate on their own.

BACKYARD ADVENTURE CAMPS

H20 Camp (ages 12 to 15)
This 3-day camp delivered in partnership with Stand Up Paddle Colorado is designed for youth who want a basic introduction to stand up paddle boarding some of the best water in the area.

This 3-day camp delivered in partnership with Stand Up Paddle Colorado is designed for youth who want a basic introduction to stand up paddle boarding some of the best water in the area.
August 12-14 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Price: $230

Adventure Day Camp (ages 7 to 12)
Participants will be exposed to a variety of activities including hiking, climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, and mountain biking. Activities vary per week.

Session One: June 17-19 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Session Two: July 8-10 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) – SOLD OUT
Session Three: July 29-31 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) – SOLD OUT
Price: $125

Climbing Camp (ages 9 to 15)
This camp will introduce and teach standard rock climbing techniques such as knots, belaying, and the correct way to move over rock.
Edwards: July 24-26 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Gypsum: August 5-7 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Price: $125

SOS OUTREACH WILDERNESS CAMPS*
These multi-day overnight camps concentrate on teaching the fundamentals of backcountry navigation and camping skills. From the basics of camp setup to outdoor cooking to team building, kids will build lasting friendships as they become more comfortable with the outdoors.

Overnight camps leave at 9 a.m. from the Edwards Field House and return to the Edwards Field House at 4 p.m.

Overnight: Intro to Camping, 3 days  (ages 9 to 13)
Session One: June 19-21
Session Two: July 1-3
Session Three: Aug. 5-7
Price: $175

Overnight: Intro to Backpacking, 3 days (ages 9 to 13)
Session One: June 24-26
Session Two: July 8-10
Session Three: Aug. 7-9
Price: $175

Overnight: Flat Tops Backpacking, 5 days (ages 14 to 17)
July 15-19
Price: $295

Overnight: Multi-Sport Adventure, 5 days (ages 14 to 17)
July 15-19
Price: $295

Overnight: Holy Cross Backpacking, 5 days
Session One: July 22-26 (ages 14 to 17)
Session Two: July 29-Aug 2 (ages 11 to 13)
Price: $295

*SOS Outreach operates under a special use permit from the USDA Forest Service – White River National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider and employer.

Art Camps (ages 5 to 12)
Students will create unique works of art and explore their creative potential. Each week we will learn a new form of art.

Session One: Clay Series
June 17 – June 20 (1 to 4 p.m.)
Price: $99

Session Two: Mixed Media
July 8-11 (1 to 4 p.m.)
Price: $99

Session Three: Paper Mache
July 22-25 (1 to 4 p.m.)
Price: $99

Session Four: Pottery & Painting
Aug. 5-8 (1 to 4 p.m.)
Price: $99

Teen Gardening Camp (ages 13 to 15)
Participants will plant and learn how to take care and harvest a garden through fun interactive lessons about plants, insect, and soil and water conservation.

Every Monday from June 17 to Aug. 12 (9 a.m. to noon)
Price: $99 (registration deadline is June 17)

To register before they’re all sold out, visit MountainRec.org/camps.

30 years of Gypsum Daze

The rain was relentless the first year that Pam Schultz remembers organizing Gypsum Daze — it poured down so hard that the entire event turned into a sloppy mess, and all Schultz and other organizers could do was laugh.


“Guys were carrying their girlfriends over their shoulders. Oh my God, the mud was just horrid,” Schultz recalls. “The lightning was popping. We just laughed the entire time — that’s all we could do was laugh.”

Schultz, who has been on the Gypsum Town Council for more than 20 years now, had taken over organizing the event after envisioning making it bigger and better. Up until this time — it was the late 1980s — Gypsum Daze was a small parade at the fire department. There was a baseball game and a street dance at night, but Schultz knew the community could make it better.
So, after laughing off the unfortunate weather situation the first year, she hoped the second year would be smoother.

“Except the second year, the musician we had hired came to start his act and he was drunker than a skunk,” Schultz said. “He got up there to sing and he was foul-mouthed, so we said, ‘you’ve got to get out of here — we can’t have this.’”

So Schultz and the other community volunteers persisted on. They stayed focused on the vision to create a community event that could unite Gypsum, a town with so many wonderful community members but without a Main Street or centralized community gathering place. For this one weekend each year, Gypsum Daze becomes the town. It defines the town.

“From there, it just got bigger and better,” Schultz said. “People had more and more ideas for events and the community was willing to chip in to provide additional family-friendly activities for the weekend.”

Today’s Gypsum Daze
With nearly 30 years since the days when the event began its modern evolution, Gypsum Daze has become so much more than a small-town event for the community. It still embodies that spirit, but now it’s a destination for people from neighboring communities.

The Town’s population has nearly quadrupled since the first Gypsum Daze, said Assistant Town Manager Jim Hancock. New development has included a new town hall, a recreation center, a library, an outdoor sports complex, an outdoor theater, eight Pickleball courts, a Costco, three traffic signals and a roundabout — with another roundabout currently under construction — gun club expansions, the Dry Lake Motocross Track and the Gypsum Creek Golf Course.

And the talent this little town attracts for the Saturday night concerts is truly impressive. This year, Brooklyn-based The Lone Bellow is kicking off the concert followed by headliner Scotty McCreery, a country singer who won the 10th season of American Idol.

Talent in past years has included other well known acts such as The Charlie Daniels Band, LeAnn Rimes, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Thompson Square and Rodney Atkins, to name a few.

“The level of talent we bring in for Gypsum Daze is one of the main draws, especially for attendees from outside of Gypsum” said Taylor Slaugh, the Town of Gypsum’s Communications and Marketing manager. “But for the Gypsum Community, Gypsum Daze is like a big neighborhood party and a time to catch up with friends and neighbors. For this reason, it has always been something the Town Council has been a huge proponent of.”

Something for everyone
Most everything at Gypsum Daze is free, except for food that’s for-purchase from various vendors, and the concert tickets. This year, the concert pre-sale tickets ($20 for adult general admission, kids 12 & under are free) will will be available starting May 1, 2019 at www.gypsumdaze.com or at Ridley’s Market in Gypsum or at Gypsum Town Hall. Day of concert tickets from the Box Office will be $30.

One of the things Schultz is particularly proud of is how Gypsum Daze offers something for everyone. It was always a goal to make the event especially family-friendly, and thanks to things like the free fishing for kids at Gypsum Ponds, the Kids Playland and the Youth Talent Show, local kids have plenty of ways to enjoy the event with their families.
For anyone brave enough, the jalapeno-eating contest has become a big hit, with cash prizes for participants spanning all ages.

The Gypsum Creek Cruisers Car Show is open to all classic cars, pickups, off road vehicles, antiques, street rods, muscle cars, racers and toys. This event has become one of the crowd favorites every year, Schultz said.

Experience Gypsum
While the Town of Gypsum might not have a Main Street or a downtown area, the Town has been working on a master plan to help create more walkable paths and town parks all within a 10-minute walking radius.
A lot of the master plan focuses on improving some aesthetics around town. One goal is to improve Gypsum’s “front door,” the entrance to the Town from I-70, by attracting some new development there.

The town’s Master Plan is available for those interested in learning more at http://townofgypsum.com/town-master-plan

Chasing your next adventure? Make sure your RV can handle Colorado’s harsh climate

This sponsored content was brought to you by Humphrey RV

KEYSTONE RV COMPANY COURTESY PHOTO

When you can camp in 80-degree weather at 4,000 feet one day, but move to a site in the snow at 10,000 feet the next day, you’re going to need an RV that can keep up with your wild Colorado adventures.

“These changes in elevation can have dramatic effects on an RV — the amount of oxygen is significantly different, which affects the LP system (furnace, water heater, stove and more), not to mention the temperature swings,” said Paul Roach, general manager of Humphrey RV with locations in Grand Junction and Montrose. “You can jump from 80 degrees to 30 degrees in the same day, relying on your A/C and then your furnace in a few hours. How well your RV is insulated becomes very important.”

All RVs are not created equally, which is why Roach said anyone looking for an RV to use in places like Colorado has to be a savvy buyer.

“Be sure you know exactly what you are buying, because that great deal your Uncle Ned gets you in Texas might be your worst nightmare when you try to take it to 10,000 feet skiing or to Elk Camp and literally nothing works,” Roach said.

Here’s some of his best advice before you buy an RV for adventure trips in Colorado.

Ask yourself these three questions

  1. Where do you plan on going? (Determine the size of RV you need — they range from 10 to 45 feet — in order to get in and out of your destinations.)
  2. How many people will be joining you? (Determine the number of sleeping areas you will need.)
  3. How big is your tow vehicle? (Do you need a new Duramax, or will your Rubicon pull just fine?)

Cold weather considerations

There are some terms in the RV industry that Roach said can mislead people. Many RVs have one of the following stickers plastered on the side: “4 seasons,” “All Season,” “Extreme Weather Package,” or “Polar Package.”

SHUTTERSTOCK IMAGE

“There is no industry standard that defines these terms, and every manufacturer has a different definition for their phrase,” Roach said. “So, one ‘Extreme Climate Package’ could mean it has an extra layer of insulation in the roof. Well, that’s not really going to keep your tanks from freezing when you’re skiing under the lights at Keystone, is it?”

He’s seen other examples of these variations in cold-weather packages include things like 2-inch-thick foam walls, but the RV still has single-pane windows.

“There are a few manufacturers that have their rigs taken into a massive freezer and have the temperature brought to freezing for a day or two — this type of test is legitimate,” Roach said. “If the rig survives the night in the freezer, you can trust that it will perform for you in the real world. In general, you get what you pay for. Unless the RV you are looking at has gone through the freeze test and passed, those climate packages are nothing more than lip-service.”

Humphrey RV orders its rigs as specifically tailored to the Colorado style of camping as possible — that means the biggest furnace, the maximum amount of A/C available and as many Enclosed Tank Valves — which prevent yucky situations from frozen tank valves —  as possible.

A full underbelly covering will protect the bottom of the RV from things like mice, snow, cold, magnesium chloride, etc.

“if your RV does have a cold weather package, it will have a few heat ducts dedicated to heating the underbelly, keeping your water lines and tanks from freezing, but some RVs will only use a thin sheet of plastic for the underbelly, nothing more,” Roach said. “The best cold weather rigs will have thick plastic underbelly, then insulation, then tanks and heat. Word of caution: if your furnace is off, there is no heat being pumped into the underbelly and your tanks will freeze.”

Roach said the very best cold weather RV is the Arctic Fox line of campers — “there’s a reason they are named after an animal that thrives in the snow,” he said.

Colorado’s powerful sunshine

Colorado’s elevation means there’s less protection from harmful UV rays. Roach said the sun in Colorado is so brutal that it will do damage to most RV exteriors in a matter of years.

Most RVs have a gelcoat, like a boat, that doesn’t hold up like automotive paint. It needs to be waxed every year or so, and you can have a local paint shop put a clear coat over the gel coat, which Roach said helps tremendously.

The sun can also eat the plastic covers on RV roofs, so Roach recommends storing the RV under cover — preferably in a 14-foot-high garage built specifically for the RV. (For real — this really is a worthwhile investment.)

On the plus side, the harsh and brutal sun can produce tons of solar power.

“Solar panels have improved by leaps and bounds in the last decade and the efficiency is incredible these days. Pair that with a new lithium iron phosphate battery (not lithium ion), and you will be the happiest camper in all the land.”

That’s because the lithium phosphate batteries are the future of RVing, Roach said. They store more power, charge faster, are lighter and can cycle up to 5,000 times. And they can be drawn down to 5 percent, vs. 50 percent for a traditional battery.

“It’s the last battery you will ever need for your RV,” he said.

Down by the river, Eagle’s new community hotspot

Eagle is celebrating the grand opening of the much-anticipated River Park in May

By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by the Town of Eagle

The Town of Eagle is celebrating the grand opening of the Eagle River Park, envisioned to become one of the community’s main gathering places, with a River Jam community grand opening on May 26.
With a robust offering of outdoor recreational opportunities — camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, off-road motorized travel and more — the Town of Eagle has become a hub of adventure in Eagle County. It’s also become a destination unto itself in Colorado.

“It’s super exciting seeing this project come to fruition”, said Eagle Marketing and Events Manager Jeremy Gross. “We’re really proud of our bike trails, our recreational opportunities, and our access to open space. The Eagle River Park is really just the keystone, the last step to elevating what we have.”

The Eagle River Park is a 4.3-acre park that wraps along the Eagle River near the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo Grounds and Chambers Park. It includes in-stream water recreation features, known as the Whitewater Park, and an area called Upland Park, which includes Chambers Park and improvements to the area just north of the water features.

The water features
There are four in-stream water features (Drops 1, 2, 3, and 4) in the whitewater portion of the park. Starting upstream, Drops 1 and 2 are advanced, high-energy features. During peak runoff, Drop 1 will be fast-moving, with a low-slope, bowl effect. It’ll calm down during low-flow months for floaters and tubers.

Drop 2 is also high-energy, referred to as the “Rodeo Hole”. It offers a place where paddlers can practice loops, cartwheels, lunar orbits and other freestyle moves. There’s also a convenient spectator spot for both Drops 1 and 2 on terraced rock benches along the riverbank.

“There’s a bypass channel on river left for anyone who wants to avoid the more advanced Drops 1 and 2,” notes Gross.

Drop 3 and Drop 4 don’t have a bypass route, but Gross said they’re much smaller features, perfect for beginner or intermediate paddlers.

Drop 3 is the full width of the river and will evolve from a foam pile at lower flows into a less steep feature during higher water. This drop is the stepping stone between Drops 1 and 2, and Drop 4. Drop 3 is a true beginner’s feature where people can learn to surf, SUP or practice basic paddling maneuvers.

“It’s the perfect place for beginners to learn,” said local athlete Ken Hoeve, who paddled the finished water park features in mid-March.

Gross said the four features work as a system, which gives paddlers variety and encourages progression. For instance, kayakers might end up preferring one feature, while surfers may gravitate toward another.

“Really it’s about finding what works best for you,” Gross said.
Hoeve said the Whitewater Park’s pool drop design offers regrouping points, pooling the river in shallower areas where it would otherwise diminish. The design features a little rapid, followed by a pool, and then repeats. This pattern helps funnel the water.

“There are some nice little currents in there,” Hoeve said after paddling it in March.

Gross sums up the moral of the story: “Come down and surf Eagle — it’s awesome. Also be sure to attend our River Park Jam & BBQ on May 26 to kick things off right!”

In Cordillera, residents find the best of the Colorado lifestyle

Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District
Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District
Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District
Breakout:

Cordillera living

For more information about the Cordillera lifestyle, visit cordilleraliving.com.

Editors Note: This sponsored content is brought to you by the Cordillera Metro District

Cordillera features a strong sense of community and countless amenities

Too often one must compromise in order to find the perfect piece of mountain real estate, but what if you could find everything you were looking for all in one place?

The expansive community of Cordillera — only about 20 minutes from Beaver Creek and 30 from Vail — knows a thing or two about prime real estate in a pristine alpine setting. This community, perched high above the middle valley just west of Edwards, is a rare enclave in a region that can sometimes feel a bit cramped.

Among 7,000 acres of natural Colorado beauty, Cordillera homeowners soak up the mountain surroundings and tranquility.

“No place in the Vail Valley has Cordillera’s combination of great amenities and closeness to nature plus a wonderful sense of community,” said resident and Cordillera Metro District President Dave Bentley.

The amenities

Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District
Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District
Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District

With three golf courses, equestrian center, 33 miles of hiking trails, mountain and road biking, as well as a private athletic center, clubhouse, and fishing waters on the Eagle River, Cordillera is an address like nowhere else in the valley and maybe even in the state, said Jaime Walker, spokeswoman for the Cordillera Metro District and Cordillera Property Owners Association.

“Property owners share in many recreational and social experiences here that inevitably create lasting friendships with a mutual appreciation for and love of Cordillera.”

In the summertime, the community is known for its three private golf courses designed by some of the greatest names in golf: Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin and Tom Fazio. The Mountain Course and The Summit Course make Cordillera a golfer’s paradise thanks to their challenging designs, spectacular views and exclusivity. There’s also a 10-hole short course designed by world renowned short game guru Dave Pelz featuring challenging shots and tight bunkering where players can practice their short game.

If world-class golf isn’t your thing, Cordillera offers a private athletic center where you’ll find residents enjoying tennis or pickleball, swimming in the saltwater pool or enjoying numerous fitness classes while other residents relish in fishing the Eagle River or private ponds.

Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District
Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District
Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District

In the winter, the golf courses are transformed into groomed Nordic skiing tracks. The summer’s best hiking trails throughout the community also become a haven for snowshoers every winter, while the sledding hill and the outdoor ice rink are fun adventure spots for Cordillera couples and families. Residents and guest alike also enjoy open sleigh rides at Bearcat Stables.

The Cordillera Vail Gondola Club, located just steps from Gondola One in Vail Village, connects Cordillera to the world class skiing at Vail Mountain. Offering members a home away from home, this handsome club provides members comfort and convenience, with a daily continental breakfast, ski-in/ski-out access, boot drying, ski tuning, après, ski services and more.

The community

Complementing the amenities, the residents have formed a close-knit community around a busy calendar of events.

“The Cordillera Golf Club has a robust activity schedule year-round with their three clubhouses, including three restaurants,” Walker said. “In addition, the Property Owners Association sponsors many activities throughout the year including guided hikes, wine tastings, community dinners, and a “Meet and Greet” gathering for newcomers and longtime residents as well.”

There are over 800 properties in Cordillera, of which each belongs to one of three distinctively charming neighborhoods: the Divide, the Ranch and the Summit.

Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District
Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District
Photos courtesy of Cordillera Metro District

Each neighborhood has unique design characteristics, which helps buyers seek out the look and feel that best meets their needs and tastes. The Divide community has expansive views of the valley and features European architecture, while The Ranch neighborhood — a former working ranch — features Colorado ranch architecture. The Summit neighborhood sits at the top of Cordillera with majestic views of the Gore Range and features high alpine architecture and design.

“With the variety of things to do while also being close to Vail and Beaver Creek, more and more families are choosing to locate here,” Bentley said.  “We have a 12-year-old son who was born just after we moved here — it has been a wonderful place to raise him.”

Foods of Vail offers grab-and-go, stay and eat options

Editor’s note: This story first ran as a paid feature in EAT magazine.

It was a summer spent in France that inspired Tracey Van Curan to learn as much as she possibly could about the world of fine foods. The owner of Foods Of Vail has put in the hard work and dedication to establish herself and her business within the world she loves, and the Vail Valley thanks her for it.

Foods Of Vail, located in Avon, has been in business since 1981.

The chef-driven establishment never cuts corners, ensuring every ingredient is fresh and from the best possible source. Three words describe what Van Curan has maintained over the years: homemade, convenient and creative.

“Even our stocks are made from scratch,” shares Van Curan.

Drop by and eat on site, choosing from a rotating menu of daily specials. Or pick up a quick lunch, dinner for two or order for a family of 20. Try staple items like the Thai Curry Soup or Van Curan’s Lasagna — made from the original family recipe derived from her New Jersey roots.

In addition to the soups, casseroles and salads readily available every day in this gourmet delicatessen, Foods Of Vail delivers and also has a catering division to service weddings, rehearsal dinners, at-home entertaining and more.

Ski-in/ski-out access and priceless views on Daybreak Ridge

 

 

Your private, heated walkway at 3791 Daybreak Ridge takes you just 25 yards to the Elkhorn Chairlift — and you are whisked away to an inimitable ski day on the slopes of Bachelor Gulch and Beaver Creek Mountains. It’s a rare experience enjoyed by only a handful of owners within the resort. The convenience can only be described as priceless — a lifestyle that few get to enjoy.

Approaching this extraordinary legacy property, one is welcomed through a charming portico into a heated courtyard that introduces the entrance of the home and provides a sense of security and privacy from the resort around you. A beautiful custom water feature frames the courtyard and generates the soothing sounds of cascading water.

Upon entering this special place, it is immediately apparent that this is a home that was designed to showcase the extraordinary views that lay before it. Easterly panoramas of the Gore Range and Red and White Mountains greet one’s entrance and these glorious sights penetrate most rooms throughout this home. The magnificent bronze sunrises and the rose-colored alpenglow sunsets are what set this home apart. The eyes can feast upon these delicious vistas from almost every room on every level.

The soft contemporary interiors, a preferred palette for many of today’s buyers, display an abundance of integrated plaster and dry-stack moss rock that complement the home’s iconic Parkitecture design. Beautiful rustic log timbers bring Western texture to this home that draws the outdoors inside, a trait for which our resort is known. The blend of exquisite designer furnishings, a product of Worth Interiors, combined with these gentle, rustic qualities, bring forth a visceral sense of balance and scale that is impeccable and awless.

While the bearing of the home is quite grand, the ambiance is warmly welcoming.

To enhance the delight in this home’s location is a wealth of remarkable outdoor living space with all the amenities to enjoy these areas year-round. The multi-tiered heated patios boast two firepits and hot tub. As you bask among the mature aspen and pine trees, the spectacular views that go on for miles can be relished over coffee in the morning or cocktails in the evening. And your heated walkway to the ski lift needs further mentioning.

The thoughtfully designed, open indoor space is equal to its surroundings. The main floor master suite and office make one-level living exceptionally comfortable. But when the rest of the family or guests arrive, a dramatic spiral staircase leads to the lower level hosting a second master suite and three additional bedrooms providing privacy for all.

The 12-foot ceilings dramatize the ever-present views from this entertainment level and the large family room with handsome bar area, media room, climate-controlled wine cellar and ski room have equal access to stunning outdoor living spaces.

For true privacy, a sixth bedroom suite, with replace, rests alone on an upper level off the main floor with its own dramatic views of the Red and White Mountains.

The gourmet kitchen — the heart of the home — hosts a double-island, large eating nook, hearth room and butler’s pantry, making this a perfect gathering spot for loved ones. Encased in windows, and a scenic flow to outdoor space, this area will captivate the entire family.

This is a striking show-house that brings together everything living in the mountains exemplifies es: a ski-in/ski-out location with views that bring a gasp with every glance; and, of course, a welcoming home designed for the ages from which to enjoy it.

When a rare home such as 3791 Daybreak Ridge presents itself, this can only be characterized as “priceless.”