Tourism board elects officers, plans for holidays

Tourism Board elected new officers during their monthly meeting on Nov. 20


DEL NORTE — The Rio Grande County Tourism Board elected new officers during their monthly meeting on Nov. 20, and they also previewed local holiday events.
Kim Krahn will be the new president of the board, assisted by newly elected vice-president Josephine Pierce. Britt Jardon will fulfill the secretary role, and Dustin Underwood will remain as treasurer.
Mark Teders from the South Fork Visitors Center shared information about the Second Annual Yuletide Extravaganza, the Winterfest celebration in South Fork on Dec. 7–8 and the South Fork Visitors Center renovation project. Teders anticipated completing most of the work on the building in early December, although murals in progress won’t be available for installation until the spring. Current improvements include new carpet, updated resin counter tops, and a new roommate: The South Fork Chamber of Commerce. Sharing a computerized office with the visitors center will help the chamber expand.
Teders also hopes for colder temperatures in time to open the Visitors Center parking lot for holiday ice skating. In addition to a New Year’s Eve skate party from 6 to 9 p.m., Teders hopes to keep the rink in operation through Valentine’s Day, weather permitting.
Looking ahead, board members discussed the Mountainfilm On Tour film festival at the Vali 3 Theater in Monte Vista on Jan. 24, 2019. With joint support from the Monte Vista and Del Norte chambers of commerce, the event kicks off at 7 p.m.
However, another stop on the tour at Angel Fire RV Resort Clubhouse in New Mexico on Jan. 19 might draw from the potential audience and reduce participation. Next year, the group is considering hosting the festival during the September shoulder season instead.
Marty Asplin provided Upper Rio Grande Economic Development (URGED) updates. Asplin described the Frontier Drive-In redevelopment project northeast of Del Norte, noting sewer line installation and other infrastructure improvements. SLV REC placed the transformer by the road so they can run utilities underground. The company in charge of the project — Continuum Partners — developed the Bel Mar Shopping Center district in Lakewood.
In progress as well, the Del Norte Riverfront Project will continue through the winter. The road has been set. Within the next few weeks, they will cut away the boat ramp and install custom-designed boulders.
Also in Del Norte, the Parade of Lights and Fireworks celebration will follow the “Christmas on the Beach” theme on Friday, Dec. 7.
In recognition for their support of the Monte Vista Crane Festival, the board received a commemorative plaque honoring the 35th anniversary of the event.
Before the meeting adjourned, Asplin described a new mountain bike race scheduled for early June on the Pronghorn Trail System outside of Del Norte. The 12-hour endurance race will be similar to the 12 Hours of Penitence mountain bike race, except for lodging. Racers and fans camped at Penitente Canyon, but with no campgrounds near the Pronghorn Trail course, organizers will direct travelers to accommodations in Del Norte and surrounding towns.
The board will skip their December meeting and reconvene at the Rio Grande County Courthouse on Jan. 15, starting at 9 a.m.


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