Dear Action Line: With the chaos on Camino del Rio the past eight months caused by the Holiday Inn construction, why don’t the owners make amends by offering every resident in Durango and the immediate part of the county a free night at the new hotel? – Steve Parker
Dear Steve: Holiday Inn’s website is taking reservations at the new hotel for arrivals Sept. 14 or later. Action Line reached out to the hotel’s representatives about compensating residents for pain and suffering caused by traffic delays, but did not hear back.
That’s OK: Just use the Jedi Mind Trick to get your free night. When you check out Sept. 15, wait until the counter person momentarily looks away. Then with perfect elocution say, “I believe that will be free, please.”
The person will turn back, unsure if you spoke but too embarrassed to say anything. Just smile like everything’s fine. The person will awkwardly say, “Oh, go ahead,” and wave you out, not quite sure what’s happening. Guaranteed, you will get a free night.
If not, you obviously did something wrong. Go to Plan B. Plead your case. Talk about the traffic chaos on Camino del Rio, and the world in general. Increasingly raise your voice with the counter help, the manager, the people in the lobby or the people outside after you have been thrown out that, hey, they owe you!
Just don’t act crazy.
Dear Action Line: Can we convert downtown to a pedestrian mall? The pop-outs put in place for COVID-19 are growing on me. Seems like a small step to just permanently close off traffic, plant some trees and call it good. – Car Less
Dear Car Less: There has been talk for decades of turning Main Avenue in Durango into a pedestrian mall, and the first reaction is usually, “Then Durango would be even more like Boulder.” Depending on your political persuasion, the next words are either “gross” or “awesome.”
Either way, it’s a romantic idea. Tear up the asphalt. Plant some trees. Host daily meditations and animal balloon-making classes. Divert the Animas River down Main Avenue so rafts and inner tubes can float past the Strater Hotel.
Then reality sets in. Where would traffic go? What about parades? And if we did divert the river, where would we park our rafts and inner tubes?
Durango would also need to figure out how a pedestrian mall would affect emergency access, store deliveries and utility access, said Tim Walsworth, executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District.
There’s also the potential of having to convert it back, he said. “Recently, Golden fully closed one of its main vehicle routes with this concept in mind, but found it did not work and will no longer close it to traffic.”
In the meantime, what was created this summer in Durango by the city and business district seems to be working very well, he said. “Traffic can still flow, but is slowed down due to the reconfiguration of Main, which makes for an enjoyable experience for everyone.”
Dear Action Line: Now that Lauren Boebert has won the Republican primary against Scott Tipton, I want to know what kind of sidearm she’s packin’? – Carry N. Open
Dear Carry: Action Line forwarded your question to Boebert’s campaign and suggested also answering related questions like “Why that particular model? If you win the general election, would you also plan on wearing your sidearm into the halls of Congress? Can someone even do that? Does anyone in Congress currently wear a sidearm?”
Boebert will face off against Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush to represent western Colorado in Congress. Boebert is known for campaigning with an open-carry pistol and is the owner of Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, a gun-themed restaurant where staff members wear firearms. The restaurant’s website says it is a “VERY safe place to eat.”
Boebert’s campaign initially was receptive to the question, with a staff member emailing July 1, “Thank you so much for sending this. Sounds like a fun idea! Lauren is working on this and we will send it over asap!”
That was the last communication received. While it’s always fun to poke the bear, Action Line pauses when the bear is packin’.
Email questions and suggestions about what makes Durango tick to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Action Line once used the Jedi Mind Trick at a parking garage in San Francisco. Totally worked.
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