|ON THE COVER
Durango photographer Ron Martin took this sunset portrait of Snowdon Peak in mid-summer from the west side of Little Molas Lake looking south. The 13,077-foot mountain is in the West Needles Group of the San Juan Range.
"A sign that our local economy is improving is that we're seeing unemployment decline and labor force increase," says Roger Zalneraitis, director of La Plata Economic Development Alliance. "That means folks are starting to look for work again."
Construction is a big part of the employment boost; indeed one of the most visible signs of recovery. For the first time since 1997, Durango has built two new hotels -- the 78-room Homewood Suites by Hilton in Bodo Park, still under way, and the newly opened 116-room Holiday Inn & Suites on U.S. Highway 160 just west of town.
Another visible construction project is on the Animas River behind the Durango Mall. Mercury Payment Systems, which processes credit cards, has had phenomenal growth...
Not Your Father's Roller Derby ~ Durango Teams Define Newest Sport for Women
Founded in 2009, the Durango Roller Girls have become a staple at the Chapman Hill skating facility, where they compete during the summer months. As an apprentice league of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, the Durango Roller Girls are self-organized and -operated. The local league treats itself like any professional athletic team, holding tryouts, training throughout the year and traveling hundreds of miles to compete. As any roller girl will tell you, this sport is tough, both on and off the track...
Rich in Appreciation ~ Durango's Million Dollar Art Collection
Currently valued at around $1.2 million, the artworks enhance the beauty of many communal spaces, including the river trail, airport, city parks and many public buildings...
Ben Nighthorse Campbell ~ The Best is Yet to Come
Featuring tools that were handed down to Nighthorse from his father, the museum will be an educational look into the history of Native American jewelry making. The museum is close to 200 square feet and includes photos and displays explaining the process of jewelry making and Nighthorse's evolution as a master jeweler. For Nighthorse fans, this is an intimate look into his past. According to the artist, "In the early days, if you wanted to make a piece of jewelry, you had to make the tools first."...
The focal point of Durango since 1881, the railroad annually kicks off summer the first Saturday in May, when daily excursions begin to the historic town of Silverton three-and-a-half hours north. With narrow tracks wending beside the Animas River through canyons and steep-sided mountains, the giant black steam-powered locomotives pull their passengers behind in bright-yellow open-air gondolas...
Durango Mountain Resort (DMR), 25 miles north of town, continues to grow its summertime offerings. Beyond the Alpine Slide, Purgatory Plunge Zipline and Bungee Trampoline, the resort offers well-maintained hiking trails, bike rentals and mountain-bike trails. Visitors are exploring the new Water Runners, which allows guests to float, walk, run or roll on water without getting wet. Sky Hike Adventure is a ropes course on family-friendly terrain...
The Pinkertsons owned a ranch along the Animas River south of Baker's Bridge, where, according to the La Plata County Historical Society's Animas Museum, they raised dairy cattle and sold their products locally. There were said to be several hot springs on the 240-acre homestead as well...
Diversions ~ Selected Area Events
The decision to semi-demolish the fronts of two buildings in order to move a wood-fired oven three blocks is less impetuous than it might seem. If the hearth is the heart of the home, then the wood-fired oven surely is the soul of the restaurant, especially this Italian-style pizzeria, Fired Up. Owner Tad Brown is a pizzaiolo (a genuine, certified pizza specialist) who trained to make authentic Neapolitan pizza with the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association. Later, he hired the Ferrara family in Naples, Italy, to spend three months crafting a special oven for him out of lava from Mt. Vesuvius. After traveling by boat, train, truck and forklift to Durango, three more blocks seemed a small price to pay for an oven that reaches 900 degrees Fahreneit and cooks a pizza in roughly 90 seconds...
Getaways ~ Day trips and adventures from your Durango base
LIVING IN STYLE
"It was like a movie set," says Patti Zink of her visit to a small wetlands on an adjacent property. "There was the red-winged blackbird, the deer...the animals all came around. I saw it as a message. This should be our legacy, so that 20, 50 years from now, somebody will enjoy the wildlife on our wetlands."
And thus the journey began...
Pomeroy graduated in 1968 from Arizona State University and began his professional life in Southern California in business with older brother Leason; then, soon, younger brother Lynn. After time working in California and Hawaii, the architect began looking for more inspiration. He headed for Santa Fe but actually found what he was looking for in Durango...
Giving In Style
A complete alphabetical listing of every supporter in this edition includes the page where their advertisement can be found. Under Marketplace, advertisers are listed by their product category and include links to individual websites, as well as address and phone listing information.