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What He Said

Eldora Mountain Resort opened in 1963 to a lean snow season. Today, it’s a locals’ favorite. We caught up with John Waugh, Eldora’s official marketing photographer, to chat about opening day 50 years ago.

What was that first day like?

I was 10 years old. My family had a cabin in the town of Eldora, so on the first day, they said, “Let’s go see this new little hill.” Rather than a chairlift, the mountain had a T-bar. When we got halfway up the mountain, it plunked my sister down and knocked her off. The cross bar went up the back of my coat and proceeded to drag me up the mountain. And that was my first ride at Eldora. Exclusive: More with John Waugh

What’s your most memorable moment at Eldora?

The winter of 1964–1965 we got a big blizzard with a lot of wind and the road was completely snowed over. So we had a couple hundred people spend the night at the ski area and made all the mac and cheese they had. That, and in 1990, I logged 30,000 vertical feet in a single day. That’s doable at Vail, but I think I had to ski 31 runs that day to make it happen at Eldora.

How would you describe the skiing?

Eldora has wonderful diversity of terrain, from little kids’ hills to double black diamonds. If you’re a hiker, they now offer a wilderness access gate that goes west into the Indian Peaks Wilderness—that’s where you can find the mid-thigh stuff. Eldora has gone from a little ski area where you can get bored in a couple of hours to a spot that will give you everything you want in a day of skiing.

What can we expect between now and Eldora’s 100th?

In the master plan they submitted to the Forest Service, they’re going to replace the front two chairlifts with one high-speed chair, which will provide easier access to the back and front sides. They also applied for an on-mountain restaurant so people can have a place to eat finally. But what I really love about Eldora is that there are no plans to put any beds on the mountain. They’re going to keep real estate development out of it. You just go there to ski, and ski a lot. They say, “It’s the big E, where every day’s a holiday.” And that won’t change.

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What He Said

When roots-rock band Dispatch plays the 1stBank Center on September 28–29, it will be a homecoming for drummer/guitarist/vocalist Brad Corrigan. We caught up with the Denver native for a quick chat.

You were born and raised in Denver. What keeps you calling the city home?

I don’t think there’s a cooler city in the country. I love how outdoorsy and laid-back it is. I’m a Colorado boy through and through. My whole family is here.

What can we expect from the 1stBank gigs?

Both nights will be really different. We never want to treat the crowd to the same thing. It’ll be explosive and intimate, with a lot of new songs and new energy.

*** Exclusive: More from our Q&A with Corrigan.

What should we know about Dispatch’s new album, Circles Around the Sun [which releases August 21]?

The album comes out of all the joy and positivity of being back together. It’s a great representation of the best of rock, blues, folk, and world influence. It’s like if you put together Tom Petty, Ben Harper, and the Beastie Boys.

Playing Red Rocks last summer must have been pretty special after growing up in its shadow.

My high school band, the Wood River Bandits, had a picnic on that stage and took pictures pretending we were playing. So to be up there 15, 20 years later having a three-night stand and getting to look up at a crowd I’d imagined my entire life was magical.

Along with Dispatch’s work for education reform, you spend a lot of personal time and effort fighting poverty. Why?

I have the desire to fight for those who don’t really have much of a chance wherever I find them. Their story becomes a part of mine; my story becomes a part of theirs. I don’t feel like I’m fighting causes; I feel like I’m meeting my own family wherever I go—Denver’s Sun Valley, or Pine Ridge Native American reservation in South Dakota, or La Chureca, the trash dump community in Managua, Nicaragua.

What’s your go-to restaurant when you’re in Denver?

Sushi Den is number one. I’ve had sushi all over the world, including in Japan, and Sushi Den is as good as any. The Duffeyroll Cafe is my favorite for breakfast.

Heads up: Brad Corrigan’s new solo album drops in December.