Living in a bucolic setting along Mitchell Creek, with lots of horses and wild turkeys, Greg and Marilee Rippy are in their mid-50s quite comfortable in their Wrangler jeans and are genuine, nice folks.
You can tell how nice they are right off the bat. We tried to get them to dish out the local Glenwood Springs gossip, but they weren’t biting. They responded with an adage, “Small people talk about people; great people talk about ideas.” Touché!
Greg is the owner of Grand River Construction, and he’s the brains behind Colorado.gov, the state’s official web portal. Marilee has her two feet planted in community activities, from serving on the library board and the Two Rivers Community Foundation to founding the Community Gardens project.
Their love of Glenwood Springs is evident … and infectious. When pressed to share their favorite time of year, they both admit, “It’s all good.” They enjoy relaxing in the pool after a deep powder day in January. They ride the Rio Grande Trail in the spring, when you can hear the sticky casings popping off the cottonwoods on the river. They cherish their full moon summer rides in Glenwood Canyon. And give them any blue sky Indian summer morning in the golden Aspens, and they will have smiles on their faces.
The Rippys may not be willing to clue us in on the local gossip, but they have no problem sharing their favorite spots that make their home special to them.
Good Cowboy Bar: Doc’s, of course. Also a biker bar, a hippie bar and a classic —the Doc Holliday Tavern is the real deal.
Favorite Cuisine: Lunch at Juicy Lucy’s is the best deal around. Order the 7th Street salad with sirloin, medium rare. Then trout pâté at Rivers for dinner (from the appetizer menu) and call it a day.
Best Art Gallery of the West: Main Street Gallery features local artists. Check out artworks by Daniel Sprick, L. Dean Bowlby, Andrea Kemp and Lanny Grant, who has done dozens of covers for Western novels.
Best Bookstore of the West: Book Grove, without a doubt. Proprietor Sheri Scruby is awesome and can find anything for you at this secondhand store.
Best Spot to View Wildlife: It’s everywhere—try not to hit it on the highway. See bighorn sheep within 50 feet on the Canyon Trail in the winter. Lots of turkeys on Mitchell Creek. We’ve even seen bear and mountain lion on our deck!
What historic site do most of the schoolchildren visit? I hope they still go to Doc Holliday’s grave—great field trip!
Do-Not-Miss-Attraction: Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, the world’s largest hot tub. Best deal—the late-night discount entry.
Old West Attractions: At the Hotel Colorado, imagine sitting with Teddy Roosevelt after a day of hunting. Our other favorite attractions include the Coke ovens, Redstone Castle, Crystal Mill, Yule Marble Quarry, Aspen-Midland Railroad Route over Hagerman Pass-Pintado, the Defiance town site and Ute Trail on the flat tops.
Local Radio Personality: “The Coach” a.k.a. Ron Milhorn, the announcer for Glenwood Springs High School Demon football and basketball, and for the morning show on KMTS-99.1 FM. He is the voice of Glenwood.
Avg. House Cost: $487,673.
Avg. Temperature: Winter ranges from 40 to 10 degrees; Spring, from 65 to 30; Summer, from 90 to 55; Fall, from 70 to 40.
Local Historians: “Hub,” with the Frontier Historical Society; Carleton Hubbard has a multi-generational family history. Angie Parkison knows the pool history (after all, she wrote the book on it, Hope and Hot Water). Kathy Rippy-Fleming, author of a book about the ghosts of the Hotel Colorado. And Jim Nelson, who has written a number of books about the Doc and Wyatt days of Glenwood.
Who does everybody in Glenwood Springs know? Everybody knows everybody; there are only two degrees of separation in the valley. That is why you can’t gossip.
Preservation Project: The Hotel Colorado—it just feels real.
Best Kept Secret: It’s a secret.