I saw a letter in the paper by Elkhorn Project, Inc. claiming to be saving the Elkhorn and its history. I’ve read their proposal. They are not saving the property or it’s history. It was never ski slopes. The site of those historical barns will be a parking lot. There will be no horses. The historic public trail created by Eleanor James to Deer Mountain will not be rode as it has for over 100 years. That was the first public trail ever into the nationol park. There was never a big new four seasons hotel, restaurant, bar, shops, ski anything behind the lodge. The historic one-bedroom cabins have been there since the 1800’s. They will be gone and the entire area for blocks covered with man-made material. Skiing has been tried and failed at Hidden Valley. It won’t work at the Elkhorn. Skiing, the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of for that property. It’s shameful to think the town of Estes would get involved in destruction of that historical property. Elkhorn Project, Inc. has failed to hold any informative public meetings. Now intentionally, they may be offering public meetings when large numbers of summer residents are gone. Any meetings now will not have real public input. It will be too little too late.
Project, Inc. claims they aren’t doing the project for money. That project was designed specifically to make money. Who are they trying to kid? That was clear from the start. Money is their only motive. Mass development to make money. Look at Mary’s Lake Lodge. The history was destroyed forever. One of their Project, Inc. people is building condos there that don’t even fit in. I’ve heard him say at board meetings, “Look what I did for Mary’s Lake Lodge.” Go look at what he did. That type of development is not what anyone who cares at all about environment and history wants. Go do mass development someplace else. Not at the Elkhorn Lodge. When they say save the lodge, they mean the main lodge. Not the entire property and its history. They are even destroying the history of the main lodge. The people at Elkhorn Historic Preservation Society have been recovering and saving Elkhorn history. Project, Inc. is not working with them in any way. They respect and know more about the history than anyone. An Elkhorn Project. Inc. board member has told the Elkhorn Historic Preservation Society that they don’t care what they think. Who says that to a group so dedicated to that historical property? They should have been offering to make them a part of the project, not ignoring their efforts to rediscover Elkhorn and town history. Hopefully the RTA grant people will see the many mistakes made by this project and give the grant to a different project. Elkhorn’s Project, Inc. project is almost entirely services, which are non-taxable. Ski lift, non-taxable. Skiing and winter activities, non-taxable. Alpine coaster, non-taxable. Zip lines, non-taxable. Performing arts, non-taxable. And the list goes on and on. They plan to make money off non-taxable services. That doesn’t increase state tax revenue. One last thing. If any group deserves our respect and town support, it is the Elkhorn Historic Preservation Society for their efforts and passion to make the Elkhorn Lodge and Estes Park a Global Historical Destination.