This was a year of beginnings, growth and camaraderie in Mancos.
The Western Excelsior fireAt 1 p.m. on May 8, The Western Excelsior plant in Mancos erupted into flames, prompting at least 10 fire departments to send fire engines and crews to the rapidly escalating blaze. Workers were evacuated safely, fire officials at the scene said, and no injuries were reported.
Evidence indicated that a fan’s motor was the fire’s point of origin, Mancos Fire Chief Tony Aspromonte said on May 9. By May 10, employees were being told to file for unemployment. On June 19, Montezuma County commissioners voted to declare the May 8 fire an emergency economic disaster.
The plant’s demolition began in September.
Rosa Sabido gains sanctuaryRosa Sabido likes to say she lives inside a postcard. She loves the scenery, people and quietness of Cortez, where she has lived and worked for 30 years. But that idyllic scene appeared to be coming to an end.
Sabido, a Mexican national, was told in May that her application for a one-year stay of removal was denied by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She was ordered to leave the country or face deportation. Since June, Sabido has lived in sanctuary at the United Methodist Church in Mancos, where she hopes to buy herself enough time to seek permanent residency.
One of state’s 21 Creative DistrictsMancos has long been home to a large number of artists, but 2017 was its first full year as a certified Colorado Creative District. In July 2016, Mancos became one of the smallest towns in the state to be certified.
Schools win bond electionMancos School District won its bond measure to upgrade its campus
Bond Measure 3A, passed in the Nov. 7 election with 72.8 percent of the vote, will increase the district’s debt by $4.95 million for the purpose of school building remodeling, to be paid off with increased property taxes over the next 20 years.
Businesses growThe Mancos Brewing Co. moved to a new, larger space in spring 2017. The new location is about four times bigger than the original pub, on a 2-acre property.The Mancos Inn finished its remodel. After purchasing the Mancos Inn and Hostel in November 2015, owners Amy Holmgren and Sarah Allen worked many 12-hour days and completed project after project to fix up the building.
The Green Table Cafe opened in the spring. The food Kendra Mackenbach serves from her little yellow school bus is from her Green Table Farm in Mancos and is Certified Natural Grown.The Alpacka Rafts company moved to downtown Mancos. Alpacka’s entire operation — from R&D to manufacturing to repairs – has moved to the former Mancos Hardware Store building, just south of the Mancos River on Main Street.