What’s News?

Plans announced for Cripple Creek/Black Hawk Days

A bustling year for special events and festivals will culminate with the Cripple Creek/Black Hawk Days in early September, a three-day festival that celebrates age-old feuds and clashes that have gained much allure in the Teller High Country, rounded out with some good old fashioned western brawls.

This will mark the 50th special event for Cripple Creek in 2016, organized by new CC Marketing Director Steve Katzman.

“We love special events,” said Katzman, who has rattled a few heads by unveiling plans for dozens of special events this year, as the town is trying to out-do Deadwood, South Dakota, regarded by some as the most successful town for combining limited stakes gaming with historic tourism.

“With Cripple Creek and Black Hawk getting along so well, this would be a good way to highlight special feuds that have added a little color to our legacy,” said the personable marketing chief. “I am learning real fast that there is no shortage of political battles and in-fighting up here. And I thought Florida was bad.”

Among the festivities include scheduled gun fights and sword clashes between good friends Teller County Commissioner Dave Pal and Woodland Park Councilman Bob Carlson, former sheriff rivals Mike Esmanger and Mark Manriqas, Woodland Park City Manager Dave Butterie and former Councilman Gary Brovatto; and of course, former Creek mayors Dan Bader and Ed Libbie, who are making special visits to the area for this festival. A new replica of Libbieville Five, a $60 million project on the west side of town, will be presented. To top matters off, a mud-wrestling bout will occur between the county commissioners of Teller and Gilpin.

“We just don’t quite see eye-to-eye on most issues of concern,” said Pal, in responding to Gilpin County’s 20th appeal of a claim that it should receive a larger portion of the gaming tax revenue to the detriment of Cripple Creek and Teller County. This has set a new Guinness World Record for legal delays for a case that has extended for nearly 10 years. Concerns also have mounted regarding the latest plans for a 65-story casino in Black Hawk, Amerstar II. “If historic officials from Colorado don’t like what we do, then come sue us,” said Gilpin head government manager Roger Beker.

Violence will be encouraged during the festival, with law enforcement officials agreeing to “look the other way,” unless a person’s life is at stake. “It’s a good way for some of the communities to let off a little steam,” said Katzman.

New Museum and Exhibit Eyed at Heritage Center

The Cripple Creek Heritage Center has announced plans to lease out the bottom floor of its facility for the new Motorcycle Legacy Museum, the latest project unveiled by Jim Ware, president of ProPromotions and Head Royal King of the Salute to American Veterans Rally. This popular event now receives 50 percent of Cripple Creek’ special events budget, with costs expected to hit the $300,000 level for 2016. This bottom section of the Heritage Center also will include special traveling exhibits, including one spearheaded by TMC News.

Besides doing the Salute, Ware promotes the Territory Days in Old Colorado City and other biker gals in Colorado Springs.

The new museum will tout the highlights of biker festivals throughout the Rocky Mountain region, with a special emphasis on the biker and veterans processions in Cripple Creek for the last decade and a half. It may even include a glimpse of the 3,000-plus people Ware has banned from attending any of his events, or has thrown out, including photographers from TMC. When it comes to certain special events in the area, Ware now has more authority than the state police, Colorado Spring Police Department,Teller County Sheriff’s Department, the Hells Angeles and Mussolini combined, according to some reports. That’s a tough act to follow.

“It’s hard to argue with success,” said Chris Hazletti, owner of Ralfs, a big supporter of the Salute and biker rally. “There is even a better party spirit from the Rally than following some of our rowdier city council meetings,” said Hazletti, who was recently elected to another term on the city council. A special Salute Rally microbrew has not been launched at Ralfs.

As part of the museum, a special Dead Rockers’ exhibit will be featured this summer, with the help of staffers of TMC. “Every time any one of us, or our friends, go to a concert of a nostalgic 70s or 60s act, someone in the group dies three months later,” said Rick Langenbart, of TMC. “We are just bad luck for these old rockers.”

This rockers’ dead list, all generated in just the last six months, includes Keith Emerson of Emerson Lake and Palmer and granddaddy of the moog synthesizer, Paul Kantner, co-founder of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship, Glenn Frey, legendary performer of the Eagles, the great David Bowie, no need for descriptions here, and Chris Squire, co-founder and popular bass guitarist for Yes, and a key ambassador of the progressive-rock movement, just to name a few. This traveling exhibit will occur this summer.

Falls De-Incorporation Moving Forward
Green Mountain Falls (GMF) will abandon a town government within the next six months, but will retain its charismatic board of trustees as a symbolic and financial gesture.

That announcement comes from El Paso County Commissioner Sally Clerk, in releasing the results of a $60,000 study that analyzed the future of the scenic Ute Pass community. GMF has encountered a number of financial woes over the last several years.

“We want to take over government services in GMF. But we would be absolutely foolish to do away with the board of trustees. In fact, we plan to charge .50 cents a word for comments made during public comments sessions at GMF forums and workshops and $1 for attorney comments. An extra $5 will be charged, per word, for temper outbursts. These meetings will be a real money-maker for El Paso County and Green Mountain Falls. I wouldn’t be surprised if this results in paved roads within the next five years. We also are planning on charging for use of the local trails.”

For years, many citizens have debated over the prospects of the town giving up its municipal status and having El Paso County take charge of its services. This movement has gained more credence in recent years.

Now, these de-incorporation plans will move forward, and they won’t require a public vote. The new $800,000 town hall may become a new law enforcement satellite office of El Paso County, or possibly a new museum, or both.