Although our newspaper focuses on Lyons, our neighbors to the north of us, Estes Park, with a population just over 6,000, are also a small town experiencing problems during the pandemic, and I thought some of you might like to check in on them. You can now enjoy dinner and a movie. Here’s some insight into what is happening there:
DEALING WITH COVID-19
In the early months, Estes Park closed themselves down to tourists because they have a high “senior population” (approximately half the people are seniors.) In the summer, it was able to open back up, following the state guidelines, but the tourist influx was much smaller than in past years.
During the Second Wave, Estes Park saw 179 cases in November. In January it had 136 cases, and in February it had 42 cases. It has conducted vaccine clinics a large sites, like the fairgrounds. Salud Clinic has a constant flow of vaccine clients. Estes Park Health (EPH) is the main distributor of vaccines, and did 1,482 first doses and 716 second doses this past weekend.
For general information on what’s happening, including some “discounts,” go to their Visitors web pages: Visit Estes Park
The Estes Park Visitor Center is closed to in-person visitation, but the staff is available by phone (970-577-9900) and email to answer your questions from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10a.m. to 4p.m. Sunday.
Here is a weather web cam located at the YMCA of the Rockies grounds: YMCA Weather Web Cam
ROCKY MT NATIONAL PARK
- Purchase your entrance pass: https://www.nps.gov/romo/
- Rocky Mountain National Park & COVID-19: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/conditions.htm#covid19
- 1/1/21: The National Park Service will no longer require “reservations” to enter the park in “timed entry.”
- The Park will no longer take phone or fax reservations for campsites, but it must be done online only now.
- RMNP celebrated 106th year anniversary on January 26: Read its history in the words of its promoter Enos Mills in this free article in the Rocky Mt. Hikes magazine
- General questions regarding Rocky Mountain National Park: or call 970-586-1206.
The Estes Park theater, Reel Mountain, opened in February, at 25 percent capacity. Management does go into the theater and ask people to move if they are not social distancing (of course, families can stay together). They are showing four recent big Hollywood movies; and are open four days, Friday thru Monday. — There is a free older popular movie on Thursday nights. Some residents say they stop by just to buy some popcorn to take home.
RESTAURANTS NOW OPEN:
Support your fellow small town of Estes Park, enjoy a movie and a meal. Most of their restaurants are open now due to Larimer County’s 5 Star Program (or called Level UP in Larimer County)..Here is a list of the 5-star restaurants that are open (currently 34 restaurants and cafes are open):
Smokin Dave’s BBQ also has a location Estes. Its staff were hit twice by the COVID-BANDIT!! Don’t worry – he/she is a good guy! The person asked “how many are on your staff” and then gave EACH person $200, saying “COVID SUCKS”. Thank you Beautiful Bandit! $
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Distribution of Food for the Hungry 2020
The AMERICAN LEGION Hall has been a bee hive of activity during COVID-19. They stepped up this past year, in providing meals to those in need. They offered a free supper in a box for any individual who needed it. This happened for the entire year. Initially, in the warmer months, cars could pull up and get the boxes. In the fall, it was moved inside, Saturday through Thursday. A team of volunteers, led by Chef John, prepared over 1,000 meals every week for nine weeks.
“Two grants made the meal program possible,” said Kendra Ryan, Vice Commander of American Legion Post 119. “They were obtained by the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center, and we partnered with them to implement them. The first was from The Town of Estes Park and the second was from Safeway Corporation. Many community members also made this possible (Chef John Marshall, servers, and small donations too).”
Laurie Dale Marshall, Executive Director of the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center, secured a $100,000 grant from the Safeway Foundation. The grant also ensured that food was delivered to various sites. The YMCA lent vans to assist with delivery and distribution.
EPNRC contracted the Estes Park Trolley to help distribute breakfast burritos every Saturday for 8 weeks. Nonprofit partners were able to “meet people where they are,” using the hand-off of food as a conversation starter about their needs and what social services are available in the community.
Estes Park residents volunteered for Nourishing Network; cold bags of salads, bread and fruits went out with each hot soup to help round out the meal and stock the pantry. (NOTE the meals have ended).
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AMERICAN LEGION, POST 119: All activities require masks, and social distancing, which also means limited capacity. The building is open to everyone; due to the new tavern license. You no longer need to be with a member to enjoy the facilities.
American Legion Facebook Page For hours and menu: http://Esteslegion.org/ 850 N. St. Vrain (Hwy 36) at the first traffic light as you enter Estes Park; white frame building; parking in back. (970) 586-6118
- Tuesday Trivia and Tunes. Teams of up to six people. Budget friendly drinks and good. 6 p.m. till ?
- Serving our Veterans is a cornerstone of the American Legion. –Benefits assistance, counseling, and emergency funding are some of the ways we can help. –Please call our Services Officer, Terry Rizzuti at 970 599 0850 if you or someone you know needs assistance.
- Member monthly meeting, 4th Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- BINGO is BACK! Sunday nights at 6pm at Circle 119, home of the American Legion.
- WALL of COMMEMORATIVE BRICKS: Thank you to the many volunteers who spent hours conceiving of this beautiful way to commemorate people who serve our community. You can contribute to the vision by ordering a tile for the Honor Wall at com/donors/post119/
- Restaurant style meals every Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. $15 to $20. See their menu page for this week meal. (NOTE, the Nourishing Network meals program has ended).