by Rick Langenberg:
The head leadership torch of the historic Ute Inn has changed hands once again, but the same management team remains intact.
And Woodland Park?s church boom continues, with another bid for a new substantial addition.
These were a few key issues that highlighted the agenda of the Woodland Park City Council in their final session of the year. The council won?t meet again until Jan. 15. With no objections and only a few questions about the business? future course, the WP City Council unanimously okayed a liquor license transfer for the Ute Inn from Teller Hospitality to Never Ending, Inc., headed by Elijah Murphy and Krystal Cote.
During a short presentation, Murphy described the Ute as a family business, primarily run by his wife Karen Murphy and his daughter Krystal Cote and associated family members.
He welcomed the council to visit the establishment and enjoy the improvements in the culinary lineup and overall service. Although not dwelling into details, Murphy indicated the previous head owner since mid-August, Tony Vilgiate, had a variety of other business commitments. During Vilgiate?s brief stint as owner Murphy has served as his silent business partner and played a key role in the management of the establishment.
Murphy received a good reception from the council, who lauded the changes that have occurred. ?You have really cleaned it up,? said Mayor Neil Levy, who complimented the current management on the emphasis on having more of a family restaurant. Murphy made it clear that he and his wife have done much to improve the atmosphere and overall customer experience. He noted that Karen Murphy has worked there extensively for more than 10 years, and has a keen knowledge of the intricate workings of the Ute.
In addition, Murphy cited his friendship with Mike Mueller, a veteran former owner and manager of the Ute for years.The council was somewhat perplexed by the Never Ending name, but Murphy described this as a commitment to the long-term picture of the Ute. ?We look at it as a long-term investment for the family,? said Murphy, who also outlined his detailed service in the military.
In other final council action of the year, the elected leaders approved a new 1,440-square-foot youth accessory building for the Radiant Church (Assembly of God) at 201 N. Boundary Street downtown near the Century Link facility and Carter Realty. With this plan, an existing residential structure will get demolished to make room for the youth building, featuring two classrooms and activities for singing, arts and crafts and story-telling. The regular church will operate at its current 2,020-square-foot building that doesn?t comply with current regulations and is grandfathered in. The church has operated at its current site for years and once served as an overflow facility for a local daycare. But the new modular facility must abide by current rules and had to obtain a conditional use permit due to the fact that an existing residential building is getting removed.
The council approved the request with no reservations. The only concerns raised deal with whether the church was seeking approval for a new school. But church officials stated that wasn?t the case and they were trying to meet the activity needs of elementary students for families that attend the church.