DMR takes over control of Tamarron

Durango Mountain Resort is now in control of nearly all of the resort amenities in the north valley. Tuesday, the resort announced it will now manage the Lodge at Tamarron through an agreement with the Tamarron Association of Condominium Owners (TACO) and The Glacier Club at Tamarron.

Tamarron Resort has long been known for its Arthur Hills-designed golf course, accommodations and its conference and group facilities. In 2002, the resort was bought by Tamarron Properties, and the group started working toward a vision of creating a premier golf club and community, now known as The Glacier Club at Tamarron. To date the new ownership has invested nearly $40 million on renovating the existing golf course, constructing an additional nine holes and a new clubhouse, and remodeling the Lodge. DMR believes that the addition of Tamarron will improve the resort's summer and winter offerings.

"With premier golf facilities, expanded conference and group services, and additional lodging options, the partnership between DMR and TACO significantly improves both our summer and winter resort offerings and represents a great step toward the realization of our mutual dream to create a seamless resort experience for our guests here in the North County," said DMR CEO Gary Derck.

DMR will formally take over the property management contract from Mill Creek Management Company on Aug. 1. DMR says it will begin marketing the Lodge at Tamarron as one of the best destination golf resorts in the Southwest.

DMR General Manager Bill Rock said, "Our hope is to add a significant infusion of high-end golf groups and golf getaways to the many other visitors we attract each summer, plus we will continue to grow our year-round conference, group and family business who will appreciate Tamarron's impressive list of amenities."

The original 18 holes have been modernized and will be available for public play this summer. After the 2004 season, Tamarron will only be open to guests or club members. Guests of DMR-managed Tamarron properties also will be able to play the original Arthur Hills course. Access to the new Glacier nine and the new clubhouse is exclusive to Glacier Club equity members.

Colorado Trail still tied up in court

Efforts to extend the Colorado Trail into downtown Durango continue to be tied up in court. In November of 2002, the Colorado Division of Wildlife soundly rejected attempts to orchestrate a land swap and bring the trail along the edge of the Perins Peak State Wildlife Area and into town. La Plata County filed a lawsuit challenging this decision.

Fully linked-up in the mid-'80s, the Colorado Trail traverses nearly 500 miles on its winding route from Denver to Durango. However, the trail ends 3.5 miles from Durango along Junction Creek Road. Safety concerns and aesthetics have pushed several local agencies, including Trails 2000, a trails advocacy group, and La Plata County, to advocate a solution to the Colorado Trail dilemma.

A reroute of the trail along the edge of the Perins Peak State Wildlife Area and down into the Durango Mountain Park was pitched. Negotiations for a land swap were undertaken and would have transferred the edge of the wildlife area to Forest Service hands and opened the way for the trail. In exchange, La Plata County would have dropped its claim of ownership over Dry Gulch Road, which splits the wildlife area.

However, the land exchange went up in smoke, and the county is now continuing to assert its ownership over Dry Gulch Road in court. The process is proving to be a slow one.

"I don't think any date has been set and there haven't been any further negotiations," Josh Joswick, county commissioner, commented.

Tony Gurzick, DOW area wildlife manager, added, "Both the state and the county are proceeding with legal actions, and it's just a slow process. The county filed a complaint, the state replied to that complaint, and that's where we stand right now."

Crews rescue four from local cave

Crews found four people safe but disturbed after their planned two-hour tour of a local cave turned into a 10-hour ordeal. Last Friday morning, five people entered Bell Cave (also known as Weaver Mine), 15 miles north of Durango. Paul Schmidt, of Durango, had offered to give a brief tour to Timmie Schramm,of Durango, and visiting Tempe, Ariz., residents Daniel Warfield, Emilio Murphy and Anne Murphy. After a going a short distance, Anne Murphy returned to the surface.

Inside the cave, the group became disoriented by side shafts and did not know which path led back to the surface. They devised a plan to check different shafts while not losing contact with each other and took turns using their flashlights to conserve their batteries. But after several hours, they still could not find a shaft that looked familiar.

As evening approached, Anne Murphy grew concerned and called authorities. Members of La Plata County Search & Rescue and Durango Fire & Rescue Authority responded to the scene.There were concerns because the cave is known to have pockets with bad air andno oxygen.As a result, a member of Durango Fire & Rescue Authority with an air testing device accompanied five rescuers into the cave.

At about 8:30 p.m., thecavers were able to see the lights of the rescuers and the two groups linked up and returned to the surface at approximately 9 p.m. Bell Cave has been the site of rescues in the past.In 1986, a harrowing rescue had to be conducted, and the cave was sealed but has since been re-opened.

According to Dan Bender, of La Plata County Sheriff's Office, cave rescues are the most difficult type of search and rescue missions. "Rescue personnel are working in apitch black environment," he said. "They can be subjected to deep pits, slippery footing, flash flooding, cramped spaces, and poisonous air or pockets that do not have enough oxygen to sustain life."

Bender warned thatpeople should not enter caves lightly. "In most cases, people who enter a mine are trespassing," he said. "But the risk they take with not only their lives but the lives of potential rescuers is of a much greater concern."

FLC to host retirement reception

Fort Lewis College will host a retirement reception for President Robert Dolphin Jr. this Tuesday. Dolphin will officially retire June 30 and has been an administrator at Fort Lewis College for 20 years.

He was first hired by the college as dean of the School of Business Administration and professor of finance in 1984. He became the college's acting vice president for business and finance in 1986, and served as vice president for business and finance from 1988-2002. Dolphin was appointed as interim president for the 2002-03 academic year and was reappointed for the 2003-04 academic year.

Brad Bartel, former Florida Gulf Coast University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, will begin duties as Fort Lewis College's new president June 1.

The reception for Dolphin will be held Tuesday, May 25, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Memorial Student Lounge. A campus-wide picnic for the college's faculty, staff and retirees also will be held that day.

Officers led on high speed chase

A high-speed chase ended with road spikes and a taser last Monday night. Donald Vanness, a 43-year-old La Plata County man, was arrested after leading authorities on an 8-mile chase and eventually fleeing on foot.

A La Plata County Sheriff's Deputy attempted to pull Vanness over near Elmore's Corner at approximately 8:15 p.m. The Deputy was aware that Vanness had a warrant from the Durango Police Department for theft and another from ArchuletaCounty regarding stolen property.

Vannessrefused to stop and drove west in his Camaro and at one point was driving in excess of 100 mph. The pursuit continued into Durango at speeds of 75 to 90 mph. Before entering downtown, Vanness turned around and started speeding eastbound on U.S. Hwy 160. When he reached the bottom of Farmington Hill, Vanness drove over road spikes that had been deployed. With both front tires deflated, Vanness continued to drive the Camaroto the Grandview Mobile Home Park where he fled on foot. After a short foot chaseby sheriff's deputies, Vanness resisted arrest and was eventually taken into custodywith the use of a taser.

compiled by Will Sands





News Index Second Index Opinion Index Classifieds Index Contact Index