Traffic will finally get re-routed from Hwy. 24 and Woodland will discover a real downtown. (Crackpot Story)
That’s the latest development, and one sparked by former highway consultant and expert skier Ken Torpie, who played a key role in Woodland Park’s original bypass plan in the early 1990s.
With this plan, the entire Woodland Station development will get demolished, along with the Gold Hill Square South Shopping Center and many retail outlets.
“It’s better late than never,” announced Torpie, once dubbed by local journalists as the infamous “lost skier.” Torpie and his original consultant group members were previously hired by former Woodland Park City Manager Don Howel. At the time, Torpie gained national attention for ignoring the pleas of outdoor experts in pursuing a nordic ski adventure near Aspen. Their lost escapade gained national media coverage, with the aspirations of a Hollywood movie. Unfortunately, the Hollywood movie deal neve rmaterialized, but the group’s highway bypass dream lived on.
“I always loved Woodland Park,” said Torpie.
Under the new plan, adopted by the Colorado Department of Transportation, Woodland Station will become a historic memory, along with Gold Hill Square South shopping Center, to make room for a new highway re-routing plan, or bypass, patterned slightly after the highway realignment program initiated in Breckenridge
Also, this plan will set the stage for a recreation of the “running of the bulls” through the downtown this summer. This involves the recreation of an original program orchestrated by the Woodland Park Saddle Club, in coordination with the Chamber of Commerce.
“Let’s finally bring back the old Stampede,” said new president Marry Jo Larson. “I guarantee you, they get pretty fast and aggressive in chasing elected officials.”
“I thought I had enough problem with the obnoxious staffers of The Mountain Crackpot, now I have to deal with our own chamber of commerce,” blasted a frustrated David Butterie, Woodland Park’s city manager and the town’s main community ambassador. “But I guess we could install a diving board the middle of downtown to raise more money for our aquatic center.”
At the time of this writing, the aquatic center project had accumulated $25 million in debt.