Colorado. A Love Story.

8.7.2018

We are still a young state – not even 150 years old – yet so much has happened before 1876 and after. Coloradans live in a state with great geographic diversity, pointing with pride to the magnificent continental divide as well as the beautiful ranch- and farmlands with the homegrown produce for which we are equally famous. Statehood is just a small part of our story, though, because we’ve always been an interesting lot who’ve been fortunate enough to call Colorado home.

Some of our first inhabitants left their footprints just west of Denver – the dinosaur tracks at Dinosaur Ridge are fascinating every time I see them. Evidence of the hopes, the challenges and the lifestyles of people throughout Colorado’s recorded history provide a fascinating glimpse back in time – the Anasazi and the cliff dwellings leave visitors awestruck year after year, and the mountaineers and frontiersmen who sought land and gold, left behind abandoned mines, ghost towns and old train tracks as their footprint. Scientists, anthropologists and historians tell us a great deal about those who came hundreds and even thousands of years before us, which makes me wonder what future anthropologists will say about us when they dig up our structures.

They might wonder just why we loved our cars so much that we went out to watch movies while seated in them (has anyone tried to explain the speaker boxes to today’s teenagers?), and went out to eat at restaurants that only had car service, resting the food trays on hand crank windows.

But on the other hand, I hope they will also discover the intentional revitalization and repurposing of structures and neighborhoods that have meant a great deal to us. I love the fact that Eastern Colorado is still largely comprised of smaller, family farms; I lived in Lamar as a small child and still remember – and love – the wide-open sky. I love that the Western Slope is still home to some of the best skiing in the world (although when I first learned to ski up at Winter Park the lift pass was $7.50) yet still retains its simple, natural areas for those who just want to sit and breathe that Rocky Mountain fresh air. My family moved to the Denver area before I-70 existed west of the “valley highway,” so I’m making peace with the increased traffic because the new industries and start ups happening all around are contributing to the vibrancy and dynamic culture of Colorado.

Fewer and fewer of us are native to Colorado, but we understand what compelled you to make Colorado your new home. So those of you who are newcomers to Colorado – welcome. We’re glad you’re here. We hope you will soon take pride in this state’s history and we hope you’ll join us in the caretaking of this land and its natural resources. You are an important part of our ongoing evolution and we’re excited to see where your influence takes us.

Sincerely,
Kim Johnson
President & General Manager