After record snowfall followed by record drought, Mike and Rose Wenner, owners of Grand Mesa Lodge, are still standing and so is their new building. Their lodge is situated at 10,500 feet in a rustic area adjacent to Island Lake and it was recently reconstructed, virtually from scratch.
Between November 2016 and January 2017 heavy wet winter snows on Grand Mesa reached record levels. Accumulated snow strained the historic lodge and caused its sixty-year-old roof to fail. An article in the December 2017 DCI ("Lodge makes major repairs after big 2016 snow") documents the couple's efforts to reconstruct their building and maintain their business. Throughout reconstruction the lodge stayed open year-round.
Demolition of the old damaged structure began in August 2017 and major reconstruction commenced last year on September 23. Finally, this week on Saturday, September 8, the Wenner's will celebrate their grand re-opening.
"We were busy with visitors all summer," said Rose, "And the final construction inspections were just completed so it was time to celebrate the changes."
And the changes are dramatic. From a pair of rustic A-frame structures connected by a shaky roof (the part of the original building that succumbed to the heavy 2016-17 winter snows) the new building has emerged as a solid reinforced log edifice that blends well with the lodge's alpine setting. Particularly impressive is the lodge's new dining area which offers a panoramic view of nearby Island Lake.
The September 8 event will feature a meet-and-greet open house that extends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The lodge will serve up food and drink specials. There will be door prizes, art displays and demonstrations, and opportunities to meet with the contractor to learn more about the building's restoration.
The lodge has a history of survival. The original structure was built in 1899. That building collapsed in 1950 only to be rebuilt and collapse again in 2017. The new construction is more solid and built to survive the extremes of summer temperatures, hard rains, and future heavy snows.
The lodge is located at 25861 Highway 65 on Grand Mesa. For more information, visit the lodge's Facebook page or call 970-856-3250.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.