This year was challenging, to say the least, for existing businesses in South Park due to the pandemic and subsequent forced closures. Sadly, some businesses closed their doors permanently, including, but not limited to, Dream Stream Cafe in Fairplay and Bla Bla Blah Cafe in Lake George. Other businesses expanded and a few new ones opened for the first time.
Otto’s Cart and Kiki’s Peak Produce kept locals and travelers alike fed with fresh food in Alma. The Al-Mart General Store provided its goods and also implemented special anti-virus cleaning procedures early this year.
Park Bar, Platte River Saloon (Ellen’s Place), Salado restaurant, Silver Scoop Creamery, and Millonzi’s on Front Street in Fairplay all suffered temporary closures and lack of business due to cancellation of Burro Days and other events.
Fairplay’s Soup Pot and Continental Divide Winery adapted quickly with curbside service early in the spring. Soup Pot even had a complete no-contact system where the customer would call in the order and the staff person would place the completed order on top of the barrel outside.
Despite the pandemic, Millonzi’s in Fairplay gained international television fame with its filmed remodel, courtesy of Restaurant Impossible by The Food Network.
The Woolly Moth retail store, Sweet Bakes Pantry and Eagle Rock Ranch all opened their new businesses in Fairplay this year.
KB’s Kakery and Dorothy’s Tamales expanded their business to include more sit-down dining options.
Prather’s Market handled the increase in patronage with style, grace and smiles underneath masks. Because so many restaurants were closed, the demand on grocery stores increased dramatically.
Snitching Lady Distillery served the community by making hand sanitizer. SND sold the sanitizer with a warning not to drink it.
South Park Brewing established a new export of its beer and began sending it to Russia.
Hotels, such as Hand Hotel and Riverside Inn, lost a considerable amount of business due to the cancellation of special events and governmental restrictions.
South Park Mercantile and Badger Basin Convenience Store and gas station in Hartsel kept residents in toilet paper, milk, eggs and gas, and conversation for some lonely souls. In fact, it was noted that when toilet paper was missing from shelves throughout Colorado, the Mercantile still had a regular supply.
Additionally, Bayou Salado Trading Post saw an increase in their rockhound business beginning in June and lasting through the season. Per owners Lark and Dave Harvey, digging for rocks in the quarry is not only a fun activity, but one that affords the opportunity to be outside in the mountains and also to maintain social distancing.
These are just a few of the businesses in South Park and some of the challenges they faced this year. The Flume and readers wish them all a successful 2021.