After a seven-month remodeling period since closing the sale, the Monarch Crest on U.S. 50 at the top of Monarch Pass is ready to reopen today with many new features.
The right side of the building is focused on retail and gifts, including a new sports shop and a through-hiker lounge with a changing room, hygiene station and space to unpack and repack bags. The sports shop partners with local businesses.
The left side is dedicated to an indoor-outdoor bar and café, Freshies at the Crest, which serves milkshakes and smoothies.
The business, which is owned by Monarch Mountain, does not have a liquor license yet, but expects to have one by mid-June for its grand opening, Crest manager Cait Wilber said.
The front lobby is geared toward educating visitors on the environment and history of the land.
“I’m really excited to kind of bring more focus and attention to the outdoors … and how to protect the outdoors,” Wilber said.
The business partnered with National Geographic to construct large maps of the Colorado and Continental Divide trail systems.
Additionally, a 6-by-6-foot three-dimensional topographic model of the mountains was constructed, covering the mountain ranges north of Leadville south to Salida and from Crested Butte to Cañon City.
With these materials, Wilber said, “we’re trying to provide for the community enjoyment for education, or to experience the terrain even if they can’t physically partake in it.”
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