OURAY IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS…COME AND PLAY!

Montrose resident Madeline Glatfelder took time to check out the scarves at the Ouray Arts and Crafts Fair Feb. 15. Photo by Cara Fandel Photography.

Montrose resident Madeline Glatfelder took time to check out the scarves at the Ouray Arts and Crafts Fair Feb. 15. Photo by Cara Fandel Photography.

By Caitlin Switzer

OURAY—(February 18, 2014)  The timing is perfect, Ouray Chamber and Resort Association Marketing Manager Heidi Pankow wants you to know.

“We’ve got some great specials going on,” Pankow said. “Ouray is open! Don’t stay away!”

With Red Mountain open for traffic once again, it’s time to bring the whole family for a stay-cation and take advantage of smokin’ off-season deals and great skiing and snowshoeing in the Ironton area. And on March 1 is the last free Kids Climbing College put on by San Juan Mountain Guides at Ouray Ice Park, for ages eight to 17.

“Ouray is the perfect place to learn,” Pankow said, “and to get that cool bucket list picture with ice axes and crampons. The hot springs pool is always lovely, and our restaurants and our shops are open.

“You can get here easily!” she said. “Come for a weekend, or a day!”

After a massive rock slide closed Highway 550 be-tween Ouray and Silverton in January, it took crews until Feb. 10 to reopen the high-way to 24 hour traffic.

“That had a big impact on us,” Pankow said.

For some Ouray businesses, communica-tion with customers helped avert lost reve-nue. “We were pro-active about it,” said Nikki Komar of Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs. “There were a few cancella-tions, but not many. We emailed pending arrivals to let them know, and it really has-n’t been that bad.”

“We’re definitely happy it has re-opened,” Manager-on-Duty “Casey” of the Ouray Hot Springs Pool said. “We’re glad to have the traffic from the South.”

City of Ouray Resource Director Rick Noll said that a perfect day for him consists of skiing on Red Mountain Pass and then soaking in the hot springs pool.

“I am very excited that the pass is open,” Noll said. “In fact, as soon as I am off the phone I am going up to Ironton to go ski-ing. I hear they have the groomer out, and the trails are all set.

“I am just really, really jazzed.”