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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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April 2013 Happenings in Ouray and Ridgway Colorado

  
  
  

Southwest Colorado Invites you to Celebrate Spring in the Switzerland of America!

boxcanyonfallsSpring is in the air! March 31, 2013 is the official closing date of the Ouray Ice Park, but do not despair! Traditionally one of the quietest months of the year, April is a perfect time to get away and enjoy a truly peaceful vacation. As the snow in the high country begins to melt, hiking trails and scenic drives multiply daily. A short drive up the Million Dollar highway provides a feast of seasonal waterfalls easily accessible from your car. The land trades in her blanket of wintry white for a rainbow of wildflowers and the fresh green of brand new grass. Take a walk up to the Box Canyon Waterfall and experience the full impact of this natural wonder as the cavern resonates with the sound of winters melt off thundering through the canyon right before your very eyes. 

Take advantage of a walk in pottery class at Weehawken Creative Arts, or enjoy an award winning Indy film at the Wright Opera House. Live music abounds on the weekends, and of course there are always the soothing waters of Ouray's natural mineral hot springs.

Activities in Ouray and Ridgway this April:

spring flowers.3Monday, April 1, 2013 - All Day

Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days Registration Opens

Bringing together local government, business, non profit and community leaders together from across the Western Slope, the Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days conference serves as a connection for the State's most influential funders to participate in a three day series of workshops focused on the needs of Western Slope Communities. This year, June 17 through June 19, 2013 is a perfect opportunity for funders and nonprofits to develop relationships and ultimately ensure increased recourses for the Western Slope.

ironton ghost townWednesday, April 3, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Walk-in paint Your Own Pottery at Weehawken's All Fired Up Studio - Ridgway, Colorado

Show your creative flair at the Weehawken Pottery Studio. Choose from a selection of bisque ware, and design to you own taste. Experienced artists share their techniques and guide you to a piece truly your own.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Wednesday night Jams at the Sherbino Theater! - Ridgway, Colorado

Bring your instrument and share talent with everyone at the Sherbino, or just head on down for an evening of live entertainment!

wright logoFriday, April 5, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Welcome to the Punch - Movie Presentation at the Wright Opera House, Ouray, Colorado

This film from the UK tells the story of a former criminal forced to return to London to protect his son, who has become involved in a crime gone wrong. Follow the story as it delves deeper into conspiracies.

Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

weehawkenartsWalk-in paint Your Own Pottery at Weehawken's All Fired Up Studio - Ridgway, Colorado

Show your creative flair at the Weehawken Pottery Studio. Choose from a selection of bisque ware, and design to you own taste. Experienced artists share their techniques and guide you to a piece truly your own.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

weehawkenlogoWalk-in paint Your Own Pottery at Weehawken's All Fired Up Studio - Ridgway, Colorado

Show your creative flair at the Weehawken Pottery Studio. Choose from a selection of bisqueware, and design to you own taste. Experienced artists share their techniques and guide you to a piece truly your own.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

sherbino masthead9Wednesday night Jams at the Sherbino Theater! - Ridgway, Colorado

Bring your instrument and share talent with everyone at the Sherbino, or just head on down for an evening of live entertainment!

waterfalls near ouray colo in julyThursday, April 11, 2013 - Film  - "Split Estate" - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Sherbino Theater - Ridgway, Colorado

Thought provoking documentary on the issue involved with gas and oil drilling.

Friday, April 12, 2013 - Like Someone in Love - Movie Presentation 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Wright Opera House, Ouray, Colorado

This Japanese film tells the story of a young prostitute who develops an unexpected connection to an elderly widower she had originally been sent to as an escort.

Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Walk-in paint Your Own Pottery at Weehawken's All Fired Up Studio - Ridgway, Colorado

Show your creative flair at the Weehawken Pottery Studio. Choose from a selection of bisqueware, and design to you own taste. Experienced artists share their techniques and guide you to a piece truly your own.

snowshoeing2Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Ski with the UWP - Ironton Park

An informal ski/snowshoe event at Ironton Park. Every second Saturday until the snow is gone, join the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership for an exciting adventure with like minded people. Meet at the Visitors Center at 10:00 am or up at Ironton by 10:20 am. No charge, just bring your gear and have some fun!

Monday, April 15 through Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ouray Hot Springs Pool Closed

As if April 15 doesn't already have a bad reputation, the city pool will close for five days for cleaning and maintenance. But not to worry! The tubs at the Box Canyon Lodge will be open and ready to welcome all the last minute tax filers with a soothing soak.

baby.deerWednesday, April 17, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Walk-in paint Your Own Pottery at Weehawken's All Fired Up Studio - Ridgway, Colorado

Show your creative flair at the Weehawken Pottery Studio. Choose from a selection of bisqueware, and design to you own taste. Experienced artists share their techniques and guide you to a piece truly your own.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

million dollar highway.2Wednesday night Jams at the Sherbino Theater! - Ridgway, Colorado

Bring your instrument and share talent with everyone at the Sherbino, or just head on down for an evening of live entertainment!

Thursday, April 18, 2013 through Friday, July 5, 2013 - 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

million dollar highway crystal lakeOtto Mears Exhibit - Ouray County Museum, Ouray, Colorado

Learn about one of the most influential entrepreneurs of Colorado. From mining to politics, newspapres to the Million Dollar Highway the life of Otto Mears is a fascinating journey in living the American Dream. This exhibit was so popular that it has been held over for another season. If you haven't been to the Ouray Museum, this is the time to go, and if you have been before, it is time to visit again!

ouraybreweryThursday, April 18, 2013 - 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Brushes, Beverages, and Beyond! - Ouray Brewery, Ouray, Colorado

Artistic expression has never been so fun! Join your fellow art enthusiasts at the Ouray brewery to create your own masterpiece based on the work of Antoni Gaudi. The price of the class includes materials and a pint at the Brewery. After the class, share your experience over appetizers or dinner at a discounted price!

elkFriday, April 19, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end

Dinner & Karaoke at the Ouray Elks Lodge, Ouray, Colorado

Every 2nd Saturday of the month, enjoy dinner and karaoke at the Lodge. Members and Guests welcome. Menu varies. Price is $7.00 per person.

Friday, April 19, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

War Witch - Movie Presentation at the Wright Opera House, Ouray, Colorado

Follow the story of Komona, a 12 year old girl forced to become a soldier in sub-saharan Africa during a civil uprising.

Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

fly fishing in southwest colorado1Walk-in paint Your Own Pottery at Weehawken's All Fired Up Studio - Ridgway, Colorado

Show your creative flair at the Weehawken Pottery Studio. Choose from a selection of bisqueware, and design to you own taste. Experienced artists share their techniques and guide you to a piece truly your own.

Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm

rigsRIGS Free Clinics: Tenkara fly Fishing "On The water" Rod demos, Techniques & Innovations - RIGS Adventure Co., Ridgway, Colorado

Come explore Tenkara – the fastest growing segment in fly fishing – no reel, just rod, line and fly! Learn more about the latest technique in ultra-light fly fishing, cast rods and watch demos “on the water” while our certified Tenkara Network Guides introduce methods and tactics for Tenkara success. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 7:30 pm to end

maxwagnerMax Wagner Trio - Wrighteous Jazz - Wright Opera House, Ouray, Colorado

Tenor saxophonist Max Wagner and his trio complete the current Wrighteous Jazz season.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 - 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Montrose Community Band - Wright Opera House, Ouray, Colorado

The Montrose Community Band will take you on a musical journey for the afternoon. Enjoy a Blues Brothers Medley and Yackety Sax performed by these talented musicians directed by Toby King. Tickets are $10.00 per person.

earthday (1)Monday, April 22, 2013 - All Day

Earth Day - Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, Ouray, Colorado

Come visit Ouray this Earth Day, and enjoy a green getaway! The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is offering complimentary rooms to anyone who drives their hybrid car to see us on April 22!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Walk-in paint Your Own Pottery at Weehawken's All Fired Up Studio - Ridgway, Colorado

Show your creative flair at the Weehawken Pottery Studio. Choose from a selection of bisqueware, and design to you own taste. Experienced artists share their techniques and guide you to a piece truly your own.

WEDS JAM NIGHTS 233x300Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Wednesday night Jams at the Sherbino Theater! - Ridgway, Colorado

Bring your instrument and share talent with everyone at the Sherbino, or just head on down for an evening of live entertainment!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm 

cimaronWine & Dine for Weehawken - Cimaron Cafe, Ridgway, Colorado

Enjoy a decadent 5 course dinner and wine pairing with entrée choices of chicken, seafood or beef. Dinner is $60.00 per person (tax and gratuity not included)with 25% of the proceeds going directly to Weehawken Creative Arts. A silent auction will be held during this event. Reservations are highly recommended. Please call 970-626-4426.

weehawkenSaturday, April 27, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Walk-in paint Your Own Pottery at Weehawken's All Fired Up Studio - Ridgway, Colorado

Show your creative flair at the Weehawken Pottery Studio. Choose from a selection of bisqueware, and design to you own taste. Experienced artists share their techniques and guide you to a piece truly your own.

mudfest.2Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Ouray County Mud Fest - Ouray County Fairgrounds, Ridgway, Colorado

The Ouray Chamber and Resort Association and Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce present the 2nd Annual Ouray County Mud Fest. Bring your own 4x4, or just come watch the fun as vehicles compete through obstacle courses filled with muddy fun. Activities for the kids, a marathon, and plenty of food and beer will abound for a festive fun day for all!

obrienspubSaturday, April 27, 2013 - 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Live Music - The North Fork Flyers at O'Brien's Pub & Grill, Ouray, Colorado

Enjoy an evening of toe tapping fun with one of Southwest Colorado's most popular performers.

Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 8:00 pm to 12:00 am

The Sherbino Presents: Joint Point!, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway, Colorado

Live music for you pleasure after a day of dirty fun at the Mud fest! Not to be missed.

mudfest.3Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Ouray County Mud Fest - Ouray County Fairgrounds, Ridgway, Colorado

The 2nd Annual Ouray County Mud Fest is just too big for one day! Celebrate Spring and the end of the Mud Season at this festival celebrating all things muddy.

Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 8:00 am

Mud Fest 5K - Ouray County Fairgrounds, Ridgway, Colorado

Race your way out of the mud Season with the first Annual Mud fest 5K! This is the first and newest addition to the 2013 Ouray County Race Series, and what a great way to get your feet wet than a quick 5K to start a great season of marathons!

So, if at first glance you were thinking to yourself that there isn't much going on in Ouray County in April, these are just a few of the great events you will enjoy after a day or evening of soaking and relaxing with us at the Box Canyon! Give us a call and let us help you create a Spring Getaway that will be second to none!

See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Day Every Day at our Ouray Hotel

  
  
  

bighorn sheepAs you may already be aware, April 22 is Earth Day. Unlike many of the new Hallmark holidays we have each year, this one seems a bit appropriate. April signifies the changing of the seasons, from winter to spring; new life abounds everywhere you look; from the splashes of green as the grass begins to grow, to the new born calves and other livestock you can see in the fields on highway 550 between Ouray and Ridgway Colorado. Therefore, what better time to celebrate the planet we live on and its "Ouray" of  wonderful gifts?

Here at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, we try to think of creative ways to reward our guests for being green in their daily lives. This year, we are offering a free night stay on Earth Day, to guests who drive a hybrid vehicle.  We are also very proud of all of our work this past year to reduce our carbon footprint. Granted, we aren’t perfect yet, but every little bit is a step in the right direction. Not to mention, a lot of the things we are working on to make the property more green just make sense.

Over the last year, we replaced all of our windows and most of our guest room doors. Now in winter and summer, our guest rooms are more insulated, providing a more constant temperature for our guests, reducing the amount of adjustment necessary on the thermostats to be comfortable, which in turn, reduces consumption and cost. As always, we used a local company to install the doors and windows for us. Consequently, we received exemplary service, and should say, should a window get broken, we can have it replaced quickly, without having to wait for the glass to be shipped from far off lands. Again, this saves time and money in addition to creating a positive professional relationship, and reducing the amount of fuel used to provide these services to us.

We just finished recarpeting all of our guest rooms. Now, this may not seem like a green initiative, however, in addition to removing a buildup of allergens in the floors, we are also providing another form of insulation to each guest room, again reducing the need to adjust thermostats as frequently. We chose a carpet that was rated as "Green Label Plus" by the Carpet and Rug Institute too.  Of course, it looks really nice too.  

We replaced all of our light fixtures this winter as well. By replacing the older models with more energy efficient fixtures and bulbs, we reduce the electricity consumed daily to light walkways and the rest of the property. The old fixtures were recycled, as was the old carpet (what was salvageable), and windows; all of which were sent to Habitat for Humanity to be re-used.

Long story short, it pays in more ways than one to do what you can to protect the environment. Sometimes, it may seem like a little bit more work, but once it becomes a habit, recycling and conserving energy quickly becomes second nature.

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Green Hotel in Ouray CO Hopes to Influence Both Employees and Guests

  
  
  

bag it movieSo, recently, we added the documentary “Bag It” to our video library at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.  Because of our own green initiatives, and also because the story begins with two of our neighbors, I decided to check it out.

The story begins with a little competition between two Colorado towns to see which one can reduce their use of plastic bags more in a specific time period.  I don’t believe that the names of either town are actually mentioned, but I do know a couple of people who participated in the competition a few years ago. Now, perhaps just because of the natural development of the documentary, or other reasons not specified, we find out the authors wife is expecting, which causes a more in depth investigation on his part into plastic, and the effects it has on our environment. 

I assure you, even if you aren’t concerned right now, and don’t particularly like documentaries, you will start to think twice every time someone asks “Paper or plastic?” or “Would you like a bag for that?” once you sit through even a portion of this film. I know I do. 

Honestly, I have always understood the concept of recycling, and had great respect for people who adamantly do so, but never was very good about it myself. More and more though, perhaps as I realize how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful town as Ouray, recycling seems to be the only proper way to dispose of at least some of our waste. 

Of course, here at the hotel, and other public areas, it is easy to recycle; the bins are clearly marked, and emptied for us, basically all we have to do is….well, nothing. At home, on the other hand, it actually takes a little bit of work. We have to separate our own recyclables, and arrange for proper pick up. Some places actually charge us for the service!  Now, I have a friend who told me the other day that the price of aluminum has recently gone up, and he is madly collecting as many cans as he can to turn in for a little bit of cash. There has also been some talk about adding a $.05 tax to glass containers, and increasing the turn in value for them.  Plastic, on the other hand does sometimes seem to be the redheaded step child in the recycling world. Not bottles, most of which are clearly marked, but all of the other little items we consider to be disposable that just aren’t. 

Now granted, I am not suddenly become a fanatic about recycling, and I certainly don’t obsess too much, but suddenly, as I investigate more and more the value of going green, and the dedication it takes for any business to follow a green path, I must admit, I did leave my groceries at the store and walk home to get my bags the other day. 

About the author:  Maria Ziemba works at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs and raises her daughter in Ouray.  She strives to be environmentally conscious but realizes there are ways to always improve.

About the movie: :  Bag It -- on Public Television  Find a Broadcast Screening Near You!  

About the lodge:  We strive to be a green hotel and realize there are many areas where we can work to improve but we continuously look for ways to save green by being green.

Drive Your Electric or Hybrid Car to Ouray, Colo. and Stay for Free!

  
  
  

Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs OurayBe green, and earn some green. That’s the motto at Ouray’s Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs this Earth Day (April 22, 2011). Every guest who drives his or her electric/hybrid car to the lodging property on Earth Day stays for free that night. That means nearly $100 greenbacks in your pocket.

The Earth Day promotion is just the latest in the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs’ environmental initiatives. The lodge, which has earned the Four Key Rating from well-known eco-rating program, Green Key, has four natural hot springs on site. Not only does this water heat naturally to provide a rejuvenating soak for guests, but also the same geothermal hot springs water is used to heat the motel during the winter months and provides year-round heating to bathing water and laundry facilities. Since 2007, the property has reduced its gas consumption by 70 percent.

Avery adds that there are several other energy-efficient initiatives at the motel, such as additional insulation, energy-efficient light bulbs, low-flush toilets and showers, a towel/linen reuse program, and in-room recycling. Additionally, two new Continental Girbau washer-extractors help conserve electricity and water and consequently reduce drying times by 30 percent. New vinyl double-paned windows were installed in fall 2010 to conserve electricity. (The old windows were recycled.)

Gilcrest and Soames BeeKind body lotion and conditioning shampoo, which are free of parabens, phthalates and artificial colors, are offered in the guest rooms. The product comes in a paper bottle, resulting in a 92 percent reduction in waste compared to plastic.  Also, the property uses Green Seal certified cleaning products.

Finally, notes Avery, Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs use local suppliers and those that demonstrate a commitment to the environment and to the community, where possible. Breakfast consists of pastries from a local caterer and coffee from a local roaster, for instance.

There are many ways to get up close and personal with Mother Nature while you’re in Ouray.  Hire an expert from San Juan Mountain Guides to help you channel your inner Spiderman on the rock walls in Ouray. Venture into the backcountry for some spring skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling. Or, simply mosey down the National Historic District downtown to shop for the perfect gift. Be sure to leave plenty of time to soak up Mother Earth’s beauty in the four hot springs tubs onsite at Box Canyon Lodge after your day of exploring.

About Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs:   The Box Canyon Lodge is located in beautiful Ouray, Colo., nicknamed “Switzerland ofAmerica.” Box Canyon Lodge, a hot springs motel boasting four, all natural hot springs tubs, offers a peaceful location, clean, comfortable and nicely decorated rooms, meticulously-maintained grounds and warm, personal service. The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has been recognized by a variety of publications, receiving the “Award of Excellence”by the Colorado Connoisseur and Travel Holiday magazine and listed as one of Sunset magazine’s “Best of the West.” Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs has also earned the four key rating from Green Key, a well-known eco-rating program.

Geothermal Heat Exchanger - Part II - Completing the Project

  
  
  

Once the Box Canyon Lodge had addressed the initial obstacles of the geothermal project, the project team was able to move forward towards a greener solution.

  • The second modification we had to make was installing a drain-line from the geo-tank to the river. We wanted to constantly fill the tank with new hot water so we had to dump cooler water from the tank.
  • The third modification involved getting city water to and from the geo-tank back to our building. This modification involved installing about 620 feet of pipe in an existing culvert under the street between the manganese mine spring location and a man-hole on the far side of the Box Canyon Lodge property.
  • The fourth modification involved digging a trench and installing plumbing from the man-hole into our building and the final modification involved the plumbing required to interface to our domestic hot water and room heating systems.
  • The final modification involved the interfaces to our existing domestic hot water and heating infrastructure.

Our eco-friendly project team had done it! The Box Canyon Lodge now has a fully functioning, green, & economical geothermal heat exchanger.

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