Purg names new VP of operations

Purgatory will have a new face at the helm of operations this winter. The resort announced this week that Ed Youmans, most recently of Mount Hood, Ore., will take over as vice president of mountain operations. He succeeds Mike McCormack, who stepped down this spring after 34 years with the resort.

Under his new job description, Youmans will oversee management of lift operations, lift maintenance, slope maintenance, snowmaking, ski patrol, terrain parks, vehicle maintenance and summer activities.

Youmans has worked in the ski resort industry for more than 32 years, starting as a lift operator in 1984. His experience spans a variety of departments, including mountain operations, rentals, snowmaking, vehicle maintenance, risk management, patrol, capital planning and project management.  He has held key positions at several ski resorts, including Diamond Peak Ski Resort, in Incline Village, Nev.; Mount Hood’s Timberline Lodge and Ski Area; and New Jersey’s Mountain Creek Resort.

 “Purgatory Resort is honored to have Ed Youmans join our team,” Purgatory CEO Gary Derck said in a press release. “Ed’s vast experience, strong mountain operations leadership experience, good business acumen, well-grounded demeanor and interest in creating a culture of learning and improving Purgatory will help take the resort to the next level.”

First on his plate, Youmans will oversee the installation of the new “T-3” backside surface lift, which will take skiers between the bottom of chairs 3 and 8. In addition, plans call for re-grading the Legends Bypass to the bottom of Lift 8 as well as making improvements to the snowmaking system. And perhaps most exciting of all, new trail development is slated for the backside as well.

“I’m honored to have been chosen by an outstanding group of professionals to take on this important role at Purgatory,” said Youmans. “I’m excited to be part of the Purgatory team and help improve the overall mountain experience at the resort.”

SNAP benefits at farmers market

Underserved families can now get extra helpings at the Durango Farmers Market under a new statewide initiative.

Dubbed “Double Up Food Bucks Colorado,” the program expands the amount of fruits and vegetables recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) can buy at farmers markets across the state. Currently, residents on SNAP receive on average $1.41 per meal, or $4.23 per day. However, with Double Up Food Bucks, when they use their SNAP benefits at participating farmers markets for fresh fruits and veggies, the benefits will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $20 per visit.

“The new program will get fresh fruits and vegetables to those who really need it, while also benefitting our local farmers and the local economy,” Durango Farmers Market Manager Cody Reinheimer said. “We believe that by coming together, we can make a bigger difference helping Coloradans overcome barriers to accessing healthy, affordable food.”

While Colorado adults have the nation’s lowest obesity rate at 21.3 percent, adults with annual incomes below $10,000 have an obesity rate of 29.2 percent. In 2013, 86 percent of adult Coloradans did not meet recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption. One-hundred-and-fifty thousand households depend on SNAP in Colorado.

Double Up Food Bucks will be available at 30 farmers markets including three in Southwest Colorado: Cortez, Pagosa Springs and Durango. All three will partner with the local nutrition education program, Cooking Matters, to help promote the incentive to qualifying families by providing farmers market education tours.

“This is a perfect opportunity for families with limited resources to access healthy, high quality produce while supporting local farmers,” Erin Jolley, Cooking Matters manager, said. “For the past five years we have been promoting the Farmers Market to our participants as a source of nutritious food, and now there is a substantial incentive for SNAP recipients to make healthy eating a reality.”

Nearly 50 partners have come together to make Double Up Food Bucks Colorado a reality, including LiveWell Colorado, Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Farmers Market Association and Cooking Matters Colorado. It was made possible by a $500,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant as well as nearly $900,00 in matching funds from partner agencies.

– Missy Votel

The USDA FINI Grant brings a half million dollars of federal funding into Colorado, including more than $100,000 in cash incentives alone in 2016. The grant was matched by more than $899,000 from 26 partners committing financial and in-kind support to make this program possible in Colorado.

A list of partners participating in Double Up Food Bucks Colorado can be found here www.DoubleUpColorado.org.

Statewide trails planning meetings set

DENVER, Colo. – As part of the “Colorado the Beautiful” initiative, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife state trails program is preparing a comprehensive 10-year strategic plan. To develop the plan CPW wants to hear from trail users at two public meetings.
These meetings will be held in an “open house” format with stations where trail users can comment on various aspects of the plan. The meetings will be held at the following locations: 6-8:30 p.m., July 21, at the Denver REI Store, 1416 Platte St.; and July 25, 6-8 p.m. at the Ridgway State Park visitors’ center, 28555 US-550, about 20 miles south of Montrose.
The plan includes motorized and non-motorized trails throughout the state. Every year the trails program provides $8-$9 million in grants statewide to government agencies and private groups for construction and maintenance of trails.
The latest draft of the plan to be discussed can be found at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife web site:
Comments may also be provided by e-mail: trails@state.co.us. Public comments on the plan must be received by 5 p.m., July 26 to be considered in the preparation of its final adoption by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission