When it comes to highlighting the city’s ranching and range-rider roots, the stagecoach in Woodland Station is right up there with cowboys, horses and rodeos. A project of the Downtown Development Authority, the stagecoach is billed as an art feature for the downtown.
In a variation on horse trading, the DDA, through board member Nick Pinell, approved the expenditure of $8,000 to purchase the stagecoach, a drop from the original $10,500. “If I were to sell the stagecoach in my store, the price would be close to $15,000,” Pinell said, of the metal structure made in Mexico.
As well, Pinell agreed to haul the stagecoach from its location in Denver to Woodland Park June 6. “It was an interesting trip down I-25,” Pinell said on June 7.
When the idea was proposed at the meeting June 4, Elijah Murphy and Ellen Carrick pledged $1,000 and $250, respectively, to help reduce the cost. Pinell, who owns SYS, originally an auction business, donated his commission, $2,500, to the project.
“We’re trying to preserve our heritage,” Murphy said. “That’s why I’m willing to throw some money at it.”
As well, the art feature fits into the DDA’s foundation plan which includes making the town attractive enough to beckon people, preferably paying customers.
But there was one naysayer on the approval vote. Kellie Case, who represents the city on the DDA board, voted against the motion to spend $9,000, the extra for a financial cushion. “I don’t think the funds are available,” she said. “I’m a conservative person.”
While an art feature is not a line item in the DDA budget, Tanner Coy, the board’s treasurer, agreed to write the check for the stagecoach. But Murphy suggested the money be viewed as a loan, to be paid back with donations for the project. DDA chair, Merry Jo Larsen, agreed, with reservations, citing the DDA’s foundation plan to improve the downtown, which would include the stagecoach.
In other news, Shane Cornell’s Lo2 Music Festival June 1 at the Ute Pass Cultural Center was a success, Murphy reported. Murphy, who owns The Ute Historic Inn, is a stone’s throw from the center. “People came from all over the state to the festival,” he said.
Larsen added. “Some drifted down to our store,” she said, referring to The Cowhand.
With the departure of Lynn Jones as the board’s administrative assistant, the DDA held interviews last week for a replacement.