Thanksgiving celebrations, as we know them today, would be almost unrecognizable to the original attendees of the 1621 harvest meal. Thanksgiving does, however, continue to be a day for Americans to get together around the table and share what they’re most thankful for. The Grand Foundation is no exception. This year, we want to reflect on the people, places, and things we are most thankful for.
• Jerry Groswold, the former longtime Winter Park CEO and Grand Foundation Founder, had as much to do with the growth and success of Winter Park and the surrounding Grand County area as anybody. Jerry dedicated his life to his passion for skiing and service, and for that we are thankful.
• The Ski Train, now called the Winter Park Express, ran continuously from 1940-2009. However, when loses proved too big the service was eventually shut down only to run on a few special occasions. Thankfully, the service has been restored making Winter Park the only ski town accessible by rail in Colorado.
• Who could forget about Skiing! Grand Country has a rich tradition for the sport and was one of the first areas in Colorado to enjoy the sport of skiing. Grand Lake's own Jim Harsh became the first Coloradoan to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team. Since then, a strong record of winning high school ski teams in Grand County has accounted for a remarkable number of skiers who would then go on to take part on U.S. Olympic teams.
• The Western White Houses (The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, Lowry Air Force Base, & Byer’s Peak Ranch) were affectionately known as such because of the time spent there by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower met and married his wife, Mamie Doud of Denver, in July of 1916. When at Byer’s Peak Ranch, President Eisenhower would rest and refocus himself to face the many political issues of his time. Some of President Eisenhower’s favorite past times were cooking for guests at the Ranch, fishing the St. Louis Creek and having "brookies" (brook trout) for breakfast.
• In 1915, Rocky Mountain National Park became America’s 10th national park. The park’s west entrance, located just a couple minutes from Grand Lake, is possibly the parks’ best-kept secret. And, here’s a fun fact: Trail Ridge Road, completed in 1932, is the highest continuous highway in the United States.
Lastly, it is only through your support and the support of the Grand County Community that any of this is possible in the first place. Grand County has a history giving back and working to make the community stronger with each passing day. It is the amazing people of this community that we are most thankful for.
The Grand Foundation