Come and get it

Like many restaurant in the county, the Platte River Saloon has temporarily transitioned to a take-out business and is now awaiting specific guidance from Governor Polis on exactly how and when they may reopen. Once restaurants like the PRS reopen, challenges include drawing in tourist business which may decline due to fear, fewer summer events and economic hardship. (Photo by Lori Bennett/The Flume)

Like other businesses in Fairplay, Ellen’s Place Platte River Saloon at 517 Front Street in Fairplay has been hit hard due to the cornoavirus.

Owner Ellen Canchola said, “It’s been terrible, but we are doing the best we can.”

Switch to take-out only

When the mandatory closure of restaurants happened, the saloon switched to all take-out. They continue to offer lunch, dinner and their adult beverages to go.

Canchola is extremely appreciative of the loyal local customers who have continued to support her business and also understands how many customers who have lost their jobs no longer have extra income to spend at restaurants.

Small business loan

Canchola heard about the possibility of a small business loans from the federal government called the Paycheck Protection Program, often referred to as the PPP. Upon learning about this program, Canchola immediately contacted her bank and applied as soon as possible. Upon receiving the loan, she hired back her entire staff of eight.

The goal of some of the small businesses relief programs is to help small businesses pay their rent, mortgage, keep their utilities on and pay staff.

Salado restaurant, also on Front Street, posted on Facebook that they also applied for a loan and received it from the PPP program.

Earlier this month, the Town of Fairplay hosted a webinar presented by Town Attorney Paul Wisor that reviewed some of the options for small business under the new federal government stimulus program.

During the webinar, Wisor explained that the PPP can help business owners pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs plus items such as paying utilities.

Reopening plans

Canchola contacted the Town of Fairplay to ask what their restrictions are and guidance regarding reopening and was informed that Fairplay will follow the plans set forth by the Colorado governor.

Canchola is awaiting the official guidance from Governor Polis as to when they can reopen, as well as social distancing and other hygiene guidance that will be given.

So far, she understands that the restaurant and saloon might be able to open in mid-May.

The saloon now has a liquor license for their outdoor patio, which offers pristine views of the lake and snow-capped mountains.

Summer in the Town of Fairplay brings tourists from Colorado escaping the lower level altitude heat and visitors from all over the world for the annual Burro Days event, the last weekend in July. For some businesses, the Burro Days festival is their bread and butter.

Canchola expresses concern about drawing in customers if these events are cancelled, as well as concern for other small businesses who rely on summer tourism.

For more information, visit the Platte River Saloon on Facebook or call to order at 719-838-3461.

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