The volunteers at Pioneer Town put the community's best foot forward and served as perfect hosts to a group of car club members on their fall color tour last week.
This area's scenic vistas are being discovered by an increasing number of tour groups driving in their specialty cars or riding their thundering motorcycles across the Grand Mesa.
Last week it was members of the Ferrari Club of America/Rocky Mountain Region that had an appropriately racing-red carpet rolled out for them at Pioneer Town.
A convoy of 30 shiny Ferraris made a loop over the Grand Mesa before making a pit stop in Cedaredge.
The trademark sound of the race-bred Ferraris' throaty exhaust combined with the crunching sound of high performance Pirelli tires grinding against the Welcome Center's gravel parking lot announced arrival of the flashy lineup of sports cars.
Cedaredge was ready for their arrival. The Ferrari Club had passed through Cedaredge on a fall color tour about five years ago but had not stopped here, according to one club member. This year, though, they were alerted by another member that Pioneer Town would make a perfect pit stop for the group's GPS guided tour.
Local Pioneer Town volunteers were waiting to greet their guests with welcoming hellos, questions about the Grand Mesa's fall colors, and, of course, lots of admiring interest in the various Ferrari models on display.
Inside the Stolte Shed, the hospitable hosts had laid out a table of refreshments including an assortment of homemade goodies. The Surface Creek Historical Society's corps of volunteer guides escorted anyone who was interested on a tour of the museum's Main Street displays -- free of charge.
Members of the Ferrari Club seemed appreciative and impressed with the reception and hospitality -- at least as impressed as anyone might be in the middle of a small town parking lot surrounded by 30 world class sports cars which, at $200,000 each, represented $6 million of Enzo Anselmo Ferrari's high-priced Italian iron.
The parking lot display brought gawkers and admirers in from Grand Mesa Drive who probably left with a little different feeling about their prized pickup truck or SUV after surveying the Ferraris. One man said that he was "only a local." His prized possession was at the end of a five-foot leash, and although it was only a dog, in the parking lot that day it was a pretty sporty pooch anyway.
One car club member said the "fastest and most expensive" car in the tour was a trademark red, 2015 458 Speciale. The car is promoted as Ferrari's fastest and most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever. The base model comes in at around $250,000. For budget-minded buyers, that's a monthly payment of around $3,900. The 458 Speciale on display at Pioneer Town included a few options from the Ferrari upgrade list, like a 600 horsepower engine, and had probably cost its owner "north of four," said a club member. Actually, a guy could easily find a nice 911 turbo for less than half that price.
But for pure exciting looks, a truly classic, 12-cylinder Testarossa in the group was impossible to beat. With its rakish louvers running along the doors and rear quarter panels providing radiator cooling air for the mid-mounted monster motor, the Ferrari red Testarossa was a standout among standouts.
The owner of one of the Ferraris was touring with a big, round race number decal displayed on each side of his convertible. They bore the legend "Pacific Coast Region." The car had come from Pebble Beach, said a club member. That, along with some Polo shirt attire showing "Laguna Seca Raceway" logos, lent the entire event a detectable flavor of West Coast sophistication.
Most of the cars in last Friday's tour through Cedaredge were being driven by owners who live along the Front Range.
There was a 1998 canary yellow 355 F1 Berlinetta which, if it had been sitting on a Grand Junction car lot, would have a windshield sticker saying "Good Miles." The owner said it has fewer than 40,000 of them -- not bad for a 17-year-old car. There are guys around this area with Vettes and other domestic exotics like the occasional Viper or Cobra who give their project rides that same kind of baby care.
Meanwhile, back in the Stolte Shed, a friendly couple who spoke with strong British accents (there was a four-door Bentley sedan tagging along on the tour) wanted to see Pioneer Town's Main Street Mercantile, and they were fascinated by the Stolte's upstairs display of vintage fruit packing equipment.
Another couple, nicely dressed, could have been taken for club members. They came walking through the parking lot and with a sweeping gesture of his arm, the man asked, "What's all this?"
"Aren't you members of the club?" came the reply. "The Ferrari boys are out touring fall colors."
"Ferraris?" The woman exclaimed. "We're in the van parked over there in the corner . . . we're from Nebraska!"
"Yeah," her husband added. "We come out here to get away from all this kind of stuff!"
The couple was actually looking for a good winery and they were soon on their way with directions to several local tasting rooms.