NORTH || JUN/JUL 2024 || Rita Peterson

Page 1

JUNE/JULY 2024 $4.95/USA
Peterson Rita Brings the Thunder
Photo by Don Jones, Studio 9 Commercial Photography

WCG CPAs & Advisors has provided worldwide business consullng and tax preparalon from our Colorado offices since 2007.

What sets us apart? Easy! We take a consultalve and planning approach to our client relalonships. We want to put you in a posilon to make informed decisions.

WCG CPAs & Advisors has a wonderful team of over 60 tax and accounlng professionals ready to cross tax returns and tax planning off your chores list.

We protect the client fortress by not doing everything , but everything we do, we do well.

Stop by… have a coffee or a margarita with us! co

Hospitals, clinics, and caregivers all connected to advance health care in Colorado, Kansas, and Utah.

CommonSpirit Health Mountain Region does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, religion, creed, ancestry, sexual orientation, and marital status in admission, treatment, or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment. For further information about this policy contact

CommonSpirit Health Mountain Region Office of the General Counsel at 1-303-673-8166 (TTY: 711). Copyright © CommonSpirit Health Mountain Region, 2024. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-303-673-8166 (TTY: 711). CHÚ Ý: N

phí dành cho bạn. Gọi số 1-303-673-8166 (TTY: 711).

ếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn


Man-made entertainment is fun. It inspires and creates memories for a lifetime. Amusement rides, water parks, attractions to watch/listen/relax with friends, palate-delighting restaurants, nearby vacation spots and the list goes on.

But there is something about nature’s entertainment that cannot be matched by anything we create. A subtle but substantive filling of our soul that comes with a hike, a hammock in the shade, a horseback ride, a scenic lake and that list too goes on.

Life’s challenges exist everywhere: Debt, relationships, job loss, illness or disappointment. But here we have a gift of being within an easy commute to places far away from the weights of life. A choice to take ourselves into the great wide open. When we do, something supernatural occurs. We’re recharged, refreshed and strengthened by an invisible force that can only be found out from under our cares.

An idea: Grab sunglasses and a jacket. Slowly drive to the summit of Pikes Peak. Walk along the perimeters of the Summit. Look south: San Luis Valley. North: Denver. West: The Collegiates. Now, look down at your city. Can you find where you live?

With your situation in hand, recall a time you last felt grateful for moments like this. Free from your situation’s tyranny — hold out your arms in gratitude. Breathe until your lungs are filled. Exhale. Do it again until you feel connection — a confidence that is not of you. Look down at the city again. Your challenges, while quite real, are impossible to locate from this vantage point. Hold tight to the gratitude.

See if this practice helps you observe a sense of renewed hope and optimism, that your life has meaning and purpose greater than can be articulated. Savor the moments. Slowly return to wherever you need to be. Carry the perspective. Endeavor to return there and places like it often.

We need fuel. Not just the kind you eat, drink, buy or sleep away. Rather, the kind soaked in while sojourning in nature — with the Creator, Mother Earth, or whoever you turn to.

Your circumstances will not have changed. Your perspective in confronting them will. Leverage the strength and clarity given to you on your journey to gain ground on what’s happening. It’s not mysticism or a mind trick. It’s reaching out to what cannot be seen and asking for what we so desperately want: to be loved and at peace. These two are all around us. Go get some for yourself – then share it.

Bernard E. Sandoval

NORTH & So. Colorado Business Forum & Digest/TrueNORTH & Business Digest Weekly Radio

Founder & Executive Publisher

Dirk R. Hobbs

Managing Editor Lee Harper

Creative Director

Christopher Tombaugh

Senior Graphic Designer Geraldine Villanueva

Director of Media Sales & Partnerships

Holley Johnson

Website Managers

Sterling McMannis & Angelina Pecoraro

Director of Photography

Don Jones, Studio 9 Commercial Photography

Senior Writers

Pam Bales, Kim Daly, Jeanne Davant, Warren Epstein & Wayne Heilman

Staff Writers & Copy Editors

Olivia Bond, Keri Kahn, Emilie Hagopian, Lucy Richardson, Kay Rowe & Tiffany Underwood

Writers & Contributers

Michelle Bobart, Rachael Degurse, M.D., Marquesa Hobbs, Carriann Johnson, Kristie Nackord, Meegan McCorkle, Jason Watson, CPA , Julie White & T.H. Williams, PhD, CFP®

NORTH Partners

KKTV 11 NEWS, Salem Media, Visit COS, United States Air Force Academy Athletics, Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Springs Airport & YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region

NORTH is published by and is the exclusive property of Colorado Media Group, LLC- A registered C-Corp in the state of Colorado. The NORTH Compass is property of Colorado Media Group, LLC and may not be used without consent. P.O Box 13395 Voyager Parkway Ste 130 - PMB #746 | Colorado Springs, CO 80921 719-330-7448 | Copyright © 2024 Colorado Media Group All Rights Reserved.
James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens won four gold medals in track and field at the 1936 Olympics.
REMODEL • DESIGN • BUILD Stewart Remodel-Design-Build is a locally owned full-service remodeling and design contractor. With our team of home remodeling experts and certified designers, we provide design, planning, product selection, installation, and complete project management for your interior remodeling project. Serving Colorado Springs, Monument, Larkspur CO and surrounding mountain communities since 1999! www. StewartRemodeling .com 719.266.0336
4 COLORADOMEDIAGROUP.COM CONTENTS 14 Father’s Day Gift Guide From Palmer Lake to the Broadmoor, one of these local gems will provide the experience of a lifetime for the father figure in your life. 74 Quirky Huts Reflect Springs’ History Ever noticed the old quonset huts sprinkled throughout the city, and wondered about their origins? We have answers. 66/ HEALTH & WELLNESS Bogey or Birdie from these Tee Boxes 66 Shield Your Skin 76 Prohibiting Polluting Plastic 79 Back in Rotation after Shoulder Surgery 80 82/ REAL ESTATE, WEALTH & FINANCE Direct Indexing: Tax Strategy 82 Home Ownership in a Self-Employed Culture 87 Meet the Blums: Giving Group 89 Staging to Sell 90 Tax Book Updates 92 42/ PEOPLE & COMMUNITY When Lightning Strikes 42 Secondhand Living with Style 48 Lulu’s Downstairs to Downtown 54 Space is for Everyone 60 Empowering Children in Need 62 8/COLORADO LIFESTYLE & HOME If You Can’t Stand the Heat 10 Venture into the Ultimate Man Cave 16 Summer Guide to Events & Activities 20 Happily Ever After Wedding Gifts 26 Statement Piece for Summer Wardrobe 30 Film Explores Threat to Water 34 Want to Cut Your Water Bill? 36 JUNE/JULY 2024 ISSUE VOL. 4 NO. 3 8 Plan Your Summer Staycation Check out some options for short trips that are long in value and entertainment, for families or couples.
Photo courtesy of Angler’s Covey. Photo courtesy of Royal Gorge Route Railroad.

When you’re on cloud 9 before you even take off...

You may ask yourself, “is it weird to be in love with an airport?” But with all of the amenities and conveniences at Colorado’s small airport, we completely understand the feeling. So lean into your affections when you Fly COS, and fall in love with Colorado’s small airport.

NORTH June/July 2024 5
might be in love with your





Start your perfect day by getting your blood pumping at our state of the art fitness center with floor to ceiling views of Garden of the Gods. Each week, we offer over 50 indoor and outdoor classes, created and led by elite, certified instructors, for members and resort guests.


After your work out, enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Grand View Restaurant! With a wide selection of food and incredible views, it’s the perfect location to fuel up for an afternoon on the greens.


6 COLORADOMEDIAGROUP.COM 3320 Mesa Road Colorado Springs CO 80904 |

It’s golf time! Meet up with other members and experience both the serenity and challenge of our award winning Golf Course, with immaculately groomed fairways, bunkers and greens, views of Pikes Peak and towering pines.


After a rigorous game, cool down and enjoy an ice cold cocktail and soak in the views of Garden of the Gods. Our award winning infinity pool is a luxurious and relaxing experience for exclusive members and guests of the resort. This is the good life!


Finish your perfect day enjoying live music from a local musician at one of the club’s restaurants, enjoy incredible food from our culinary experts, and meet other members to connect within our vibrant community.



4 Interested in a free tour? Contact




Vacations are a needed respite from our everyday lives, but sometimes you want a getaway that’s brief, simple and more affordable than a two-week expedition. Southern Colorado offers numerous opportunities for day-long staycations. Here are some destinations only an hour or so from your front door.

Castlewood Canyon State Park

2989 S. State Highway 83, Franktown

This little-known state park offers several hiking trails with views of the canyon’s unique geology and a variety of wildlife, as well as a glimpse of Colorado history. Carved by Cherry Creek, the canyon was the site of a dam that burst in 1933, sending a 15-foot wall of water into Denver. Most trails are pet-friendly and range from mild to moderate, according to the park’s website, and rock climbers can scale the canyon’s 60-foot walls. Stop by the visitor center for interactive displays about the park’s features.

MAKE A DAY OF IT: pack a picnic lunch.

Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands

Office: 27204 U.S. Highway 287, Springfield

Most vacationers head for the mountains. For a different experience, travel southeast to the prairies. The Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands sprawl across Baca, Las Animas and Otero counties. The grasslands have many stories to tell: dinosaurs on the shores of an ancient sea; 1,500-year-old rock art; traders

and homesteaders along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail; rare wildlife species; and wideopen views and spectacular sunsets. Many of these highlights can be seenon a 30-mile, self-guided auto tour, with nature viewing and interpretive and picnicking sites.

SPEND A DAY (OR MORE): Visit Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, a trading post on the Santa Fe Trail; on your way home, stop at roadside farmstands along U.S. Highway 50 for Rocky Ford melons and other fresh produce.

Picket Wire Canyonlands

Within Comanche National Grasslands, 30 miles south of La Junta

To extend your Southeastern Colorado trip, see the largest cluster of dinosaur tracks in North America at the Picket Wire Canyonlands within the Comanche National Grassland. The gigantic reptiles left more than 1,900 footprints during the Jurassic period — 150 million years ago

A picturesque waterfall at Castlewood Canyon State Park. Photo courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

— in what’s now the Purgatoire River Valley. You can also view petroglyphs scratched into the canyon walls thousands of years ago. Other landmarks include the Dolores Mission and Cemetery, built in 1898, and the Rourke Ranch National Historic District, established in 1871, where the Rourke family raised cattle and horses for three generations. The hike to the dinosaur tracks is 11.2 miles over rugged terrain; guided auto tours are offered on Saturdays in September and October. A four-wheeldrive, high-clearance vehicle is required for the eighthour trip. Plan well in advance to get a reservation — the tours sell out early.

Royal Gorge

Cañon City

The highest suspension bridge in the U.S. spans the Royal Gorge, offering sweeping views of the canyon as you walk across 1,257 wooden planks 956 feet above the Arkansas River. Other attractions at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park include the Royal Rush Skycoaster, a heart-pounding free fall from a 100-foot tower; the Cloudscraper Zip Line, a hair-raising ride across the canyon; and an aerial gondola ride that’s included in the park’s general admission fee. For a different perspective (and calmer experience), book a trip on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and enjoy a gourmet breakfast, lunch or dinner while you cruise the canyon.

MAKE A DAY OF IT: visit The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, established by the Benedictine monks who built it in 1886. Now privately owned, the winery lets you sample its award-winning wines in a tasting room and purchase your favorite vintages from its collection.

El Paso County Options

Stay even closer to home with a visit to the Paint Mines Interpretive Park, where native people collected brightly colored clays to make paint. The park, located near Calhan, has several easy trails from which to view its fantastical spires and hoodoos.

A hike in Garden of the Gods Park is an otherworldly experience as you wander past its red rock formations. Start at the Visitor and Nature Center, where you can learn about the history and geology of the park and have a bite to eat at the café. This unique park also is the site of the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, a living history museum that recreates life at the 1875 Chambers Family house.

Art galleries in Downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs host art walks the first Friday of every month, but you can create your own art walk anytime. Some to visit: Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Hunter Wolff Gallery and the Manitou Art Center.

NORTH June/July 2024 9
A couple enjoys the view on the Royal Gorge train. Photo courtesy of Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Get Out of the House If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Part of the beauty of Colorado summers is the freedom to revel in the outdoors. With few bugs and tons of sunshine, we are lucky enough to frequently vacation in our backyards. So it makes sense to make the most of the space offered there, whether big or small.

If there’s available space, one way to embrace nature is with an outdoor kitchen. Create unforgettable meals and celebrate the joys of outdoor cooking with friends and family in your own culinary paradise.

Zack Langston, owner/founder of Freedom Landscapes, offers every size of landscaping feature to create the yard of your dreams. Started in 2019, the company provides everything needed to level up the entertaining game. From

bar tops and storage cabinets to grills and refrigerators, there are tons of options to custom design a space.

Langston says, “Freedom Landscapes was born in the idea that many people feel captive by their yard, like they can’t enjoy it without constant maintenance and upkeep. That’s truly just not the case and we desire to break the chains of the outdoors and let people enjoy their outdoor spaces in freedom.”

Langston is certified in retaining wall block and concrete paver installation and has considerable training in lowvoltage lighting. Freedom currently has three installation crews and a full-time maintenance crew. Outdoor kitchens, part of their Outdoor Living service, embraces the idea that we can live outside for much of the year.


From bar tops and storage cabinets to grills and refrigerators, there are tons of options to custom design an outdoor kitchen space.

(Courtesy of Freedom Landscapes.)

Specializing in custom pergolas, decks, and outdoor kitchens, Freedom Landscapes offers a range of options to elevate your outdoor living experience. Whether dreaming of a cozy cedar pergola, a resilient hardwood deck, or a luxurious outdoor kitchen, they have the expertise and craftsmanship to make it a reality.

Their work is crafted with quality and attention to detail, to seamlessly blend with the breathtaking beauty of the Colorado landscape and provide a captivating centerpiece for your outdoor sanctuary. In addition to outdoor living, Freedom Landscapes also provides retaining walls, patios and walkways, landscape lighting and full-service property maintenance.

Langston says, “The biggest benefit that comes with Freedom Landscapes is the ability to see how things could look and function in an outdoor space. Whether it’s just a formal space to get your ‘smoke’ on or it’s a place to entertain guests in an intimate environment, we can design your space to fit your needs with a beautifully finished outdoor kitchen.”

Whether you prefer the natural beauty of hardwoods or the low-maintenance durability of composite materials, they’ll work closely with you to create a deck that enhances your outdoor space and enriches your lifestyle.

Langston seeks to create a strong presence in Colorado Springs, promoting honest, hard-working trades services with a high level of customer service and professionalism. He also provides opportunities for transitioning veterans looking for a place to “put their hand to the plow” as they get their feet on the ground. While landscaping is not a long-term career for everyone, he has been able to help some folks looking to get their lives back on track.

Located on the East side of Colorado Springs and serve all of El Paso and Douglas counties stretching into Woodland Park, as needed. Freedom Landscapes acquires clients primarily by word of mouth as a referral-based business. Their hope is to be everyone’s relationship-based landscaper.

They can be contacted at: 719-301-3000. Or visit:

NORTH June/July 2024 11
HUNGRY? F o u r r e s t a u r a n t s o n e l o c a t i o n I I

GIFT GUIDE Father’s Day

All photos courtesy of the respective businesses.

FATHER’S DAY presents an opportunity to thank the father figures in our lives and spend some quality time with them. Whether your father enjoys the outdoors, museums, fishing, or food, here are some suggestions for an opportunity to give dads what they truly want — quality time with loved ones.


For the sports-inclined father, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum is offering 50% off admission for fathers on Sunday, June 16th. Take a trip through exhibits, displays and artifacts that tell the history of some of the greatest athletes in the world.

200 S. Sierra Madre Street, Colorado Springs, 80903

If your dad enjoys all things historical, take him on a trip to the museum. The National Museum of World War II Aviation pays tribute to the technological advancements and sacrifices of the men and women in the aviation field during World War II. The gift shop also sells art created by volunteers from discarded pieces of World War II aircraft, which would make the perfect souvenir for dad! Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for military and seniors and $13 for children under 12.

775 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs, 80916

Since 1992, the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum has featured machines and memorabilia from the early 1900s-1970s. Admission to this museum is free, and it’s the perfect outing for the motorcycle enthusiast in your life!

19 N. Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, 80903


Academy Riding Stables

Bring out your dad’s inner cowboy! How about a ride at Academy Riding Stables? Offering one- or two-hour scenic rides through Garden of the Gods, starting at $100/each.

4 El Paso Blvd,. Colorado Springs, 80904

Golf is just a bit more exciting at TopGolf. Enjoy food, drink and virtual golfing games while practicing your


swing. Reserve a bay for up to six players in two-hour increments. Pricing ranges from $83-164.

165 Spectrum Loop, Colorado Springs, 80921

Let Dad put up the “Gone Fishin’” sign for Father’s Day with a Fly-Fishing Experience at Angler’s Covey. Angler’s Covey offers fly fishing classes, private lessons, gear, gift cards and guided trips.

295 S. 21st Street, Colorado Springs, 80904

Take Dad to the races at Overdrive Raceway. Choose between two Go-Kart racetracks depending on your thrill-seeking level. Adult races start at $27. Overdrive also has a sports bar upstairs, so you can enjoy food and drink during pitstops.

196 Spectrum Loop, Colorado Springs, 80921

On Sunday, June 16, the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center is offering a special Father’s Day event. Enjoy a wolf tour, raffle and breakfast burritos. Tickets are $20 for ages 6-11, $40 for ages 12 and up. Space is limited, so call 719-687-9742 to reserve your space.

4729 Twin Rocks Road, Divide, 80814

There’s nothing quite like grabbing a burger (of the meat or vegetarian variety) with your father or grandfather. Colorado Springs offers many great burger joints like Lebowski’s Taproom . Inspired by the “big” film, this restaurant offers local beer, craft spirits and good burgers. In search of a unique meal for your one-

of-a-kind dad? The Skirted Heifer is known for their specialty burger adorned with a cheese “skirt” and conveniently offers two locations in COS. Finally, Ted’s Montana Grill offers great old-school service with innovative sustainability practices, resulting in delicious beef and bison burgers.

Lebowski’s Taproom

3240 Centennial Blvd., Colorado Springs, 80907

The Skirted Heifer

204 N. Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, 80903

5935 Dublin Blvd. #140, Colorado Springs, 80923

Ted’s Montana Grill

1685 Briargate Pkwy. Colorado Springs, 80920

Offering several types of tours, Rocky Mountain Food Tours is a unique experience. Enjoy delicious food and beverage while learning about Colorado Springs! Choose from the original Food Tour, a Craft Brewery Tour, a Signature Cocktail Tour, a Coffee and Culture Art Walk and more. Tours start at $24. You can also purchase a gift card so Dad can choose his own adventure.

Various locations

The scenic Hillside Gardens offers outdoor concerts every Wednesday evening during the summer. Take Dad out for local music, drinks and food vendors. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the perfect summer evening. Admission is $15.

1006 S. Institute Street, Colorado Springs, 80903

NORTH June/July 2024 15
FOOD & DRINK Lebowski’s Taproom Hillside Gardens


Ultimate Man Cave

Our homes function in our lives in ways that are always evolving. And since 2020, when “that thing” happened, more people work from home and desire spaces within the home to entertain in and retreat to.

If you read the last edition of NORTH, I talked about the she shed and its possibilities. And the fact that you can finish an outdoor shed at minimal cost — I completed mine for $1,100.00. So now, let’s talk about the Ultimate Man Cave.

Last year I attended a get-together at the home of a friend. Every space in this large home was filled with furniture, décor, art and various trinkets that told the homeowner’s story. Not only did I learn so much about

this person, but I was captivated and intrigued by the execution and attention to detail!

Then I entered the garage. It was so clean and orderly, it was an extension of the home itself. It didn’t feel like a garage — if a vehicle ever parked in this space, it would have to be just as pristine! There was little wall space, not because it was cluttered, but because of the art and items hanging on the walls. It had a prominent “man cave” feel.

I could visualize the homeowner hanging out in his perfectly painted and themed garage...television on the wall, fridge full of beverages, perfect temperature and lighting, and so well organized — it was something out of a magazine. (no pun intended!)


How many people wish they had a space like this? Well, why wait?! Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us so, it’s a perfect time to execute a new project that has your name stamped all over it. Your ultimate man cave could be a home office, game room, lounge, cigar bar, wine lounge, sports book, home theatre, poker room or even a recording studio. Regardless of its purpose, consider a theme for the space — one that not only makes it fun but provides a solid roadmap for the creation process. Plus, if you have sports memorabilia, photos from your travels, taxidermy animals or other art, this is a great way to display them.

Men and women are so different when it comes to their needs within the home. However, I have found we are similar in appreciating a welldesigned space that is comfortable and purposeful.

You may be inspired to transform your garage, which can be drastically transformed by starting with some basics: an epoxy floor finish, insulation, drywall, paint, exceptional organization and proper lighting. If you can’t dedicate the entire garage to a new space, consider sectioning off a portion for this endeavor. It can be as simple and fun as a themed rug in front of a workbench with two cozy chairs. Space in a basement or a spare room are other good choices but if you don’t have that available to you, consider an attic, separate structure (like a shed), camper, tree house, barn or even a screened porch.

Think of spaces that are usually overlooked, but consider adding floor re-enforcements, drywall, insulation, and lighting if needed to create the perfect foundation for your space. A small portable air conditioner in the warmer months and a space heater in the winter are affordable options.

Make sure you have adequate access, ventilation, and structural floor joists to support any upper story space. Whether your dollars are generous or not, remember: make sure you create a detailed budget before you dive in. As always, your budget should navigate your design. The satisfying feeling of finishing a remodel project with zero regrets is priceless!

NORTH June/July 2024 17

Over 20 years of award-winning, 5-star event catering in Colorado Springs

BIG CITY FLAVORS, ELEVATED FAMILY EXPERIENCES, UNMATCHED SERVICE Events are meant to be unique and focused on the experience–your catering should be too. For two decades, our unmatched service and an all-inclusive offering has made Garden of the Gods Catering & Events synonymous with excellence in event planning and execution. Our team takes pride in crafting the perfect day for you and your guests. If you can dream it, we can create it.

Now Offering Texas-Style BBQ I Check Out Our New Seasonal Menus Online

Anyone Can Cook for You...But We Turn The Ordinary Into Extraordinary

For over twenty years, Garden of the Gods Catering has been a pillar of culinary innovation and unparalleled service in the Colorado Springs community. From humble beginnings, this catering company has evolved into a one-stop shop for all event needs, offering numerous services under one roof, including catering, floral arrangements, and event spaces.

What sets Garden of the Gods Catering apart is our unwavering commitment to crafting new experiences daily. By focusing on continual innovation, we bring a fresh perspective to every event we touch. Our dedication to providing a personalized experience ensures that each client’s vision is brought to life with meticulous attention to detail.

One of Garden of the Gods Catering’s hallmarks is our all-inclusive offering. Clients can enjoy the convenience of having everything they need for their event sourced from a single vendor, from stunning floral arrangements to delectable menus crafted from real, fresh ingredients. This unique approach transforms event planning from a stressful endeavor into a seamless and enjoyable process.

Recently, Garden of the Gods Catering has introduced Texas-style BBQ to our menu, adding a bold and flavorful option that reflects our commitment to innovation and diversity. Drawing inspiration from the vibrant culinary scenes of big cities, we infuse their dishes with tantalizing flavors that leave guests craving more.

However, Garden of the Gods Catering is not just about the food and decor; it’s about the personalized service that sets it apart. Our team goes above and beyond to ensure that each client feels valued and heard, creating an atmosphere of trust and collaboration that is unmatched in the industry.

As Garden of the Gods Catering celebrates over two decades of excellence, we remain dedicated to pushing boundaries and exceeding expectations. Our commitment to providing a unique and unforgettable experience for every client underscores our status as a leader in the catering industry. For those seeking a partner to elevate their events to new heights, Garden of the Gods Catering stands ready to deliver an exceptional experience.

NORTH June/July 2024 19
9633 Prominent Point I Colorado Springs, CO 80924 I WEBSITE SAMPLE MENUS
Now featuring new Texas-style BBQ

Summer Guide Summer Guide

Events + Activities

First Friday, Downtown Colorado Springs

First Friday of every month, 5-9pm, free admission

Features new art, live music, and special events at dozens of galleries, retailers and nonprofits throughout Downtown Colorado Springs.

Downtown Colorado Springs

First Friday Art Walks in Old Colorado City

First Friday of every month, 5-9pm, free admission

Browse through local art galleries and art studios along W. Colorado Avenue in Historic Old Colorado City. Art pieces available for purchase.

Summer Concert Series at First & Main Town Center Fridays in June & July, 5-7 pm, free Join First & Main Town Center for live music, drinks and a good time! Local bands include the SofaKillers, Martini Shot and Wirewood Station.

3305 Cinema Point, Colorado Springs, 80922 summer-concert-series-2

Brunch & Blooms at Gather Mountain Blooms

Every Sun. in June, 10am-noon, cost varies

Sunday brunch amongst the flowers. Mimosas provided at the Garden Gazebo. Stroll the flower fields and cut a beautiful bouquet to bring home.

Venetucci Farm, 5210 S. Hwy 85, Colorado Springs, 80911 workshops/brunch-blooms

Stranger Side of Victor & Spirits of Sunnyside Walking Tours

1st & 3rd Sat., June-October, Tickets: $15; $12.50 per additional person

A local historian will lead a walking tour of downtown Victor, highlighting

some of the strange, little-known history of the town. Learn about the historic buildings that line the streets and discover stories about some of the town’s citizens.

Victor Lowell Thomas Museum, 298 Victor Ave., Victor, 80860

El Pomar’s Penrose Heritage Museum’s Family Exploration Day Sat., June 1, 10am-2pm, free admission Enjoy a day of interactive fun, historic race cars, and a presentation from a Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competitor.

Penrose Heritage Museum, 11 Lake Circle, Colorado Springs, 80906

Colorado College Summer Music Festival

June 2-21, times and costs vary

An annual three-week classical orchestral and chamber music festival showcasing classically trained musicians from around the globe, as well as Colorado College students and faculty members.

Various performance halls and art centers on the Colorado College campus. summermusicfestival


Downtown Summer Fest Celebration - July 27

The celebration kicks off on Saturday, July 27, with the Downtown Summer Fest, hosted by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum and the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation. The event is 11am-4pm. Free to the public. The museum, open from 10am-5pm, will require a ticket for entry.

During the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the museum will continue the festivities as part of the USOPM’s Paris Summer Fest Celebration. Every day throughout the Games, the museum will feature daily programming, including athlete meet and greets, artifact demonstrations

Art on the Streets Scavenger Hunt

Fri., June 7, 5-8pm Passport-guided scavenger hunt featuring art, trivia, an activity, or treats at 12 different sculpture and mural locations around the Downtown Creative District. Registration is required.

Downtown Colorado Springs

Manitou Springs Heritage Center and Museum

Fri., June 7, 2024, Doors Open at 4:30 p.m. Free but registration is required.

Attend the Grand Reopening event of the restored and updated museum sponsored by Ent. New and revised exhibits. Appetizers will be served and the cash bar opens at 5:30pm. Short program will be at 6:00 p.m. Sign up for “Underbelly of the Museum” tours and visit parts of the Museum rarely seen by the public.

and more. The Downtown Summer Fest kickoff celebration on July 27 will have an array of activities. For more information, visit www.

Prior to the event, the second annual Rocky Mountain 5K at America the Beautiful Park will start at 9am in partnership with the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region as part of the Rocky Mountain State Games. The evening will conclude with the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC’s “An Evening In Paris Gala” from 6:30-11pm, celebrating business community’s successes. Registration is now open. Visit to learn more.

Feast of Saint Arnold Family-Friendly Beer Festival

Sat., June 8, 12-4pm, Tickets: $50-$90

“Colorado’s Family Friendly Beer Festival” showcases the best of Colorado’s craft brewers, winemakers, and emerging distilleries on the grounds of the Chapel of Our Saviour Episcopal Church.

Pikes Peak Pride Festival

Sat., June 8, 10am through Sun., June 9, 7pm Sun., June 9, Parade 11am-12:30pm

This community event draws thousands of people together from across the state. Enjoy two full days of vendor booths, food trucks, and a beer garden. Parade begins at Acacia Park and ends at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

Alamo Square Park, Downtown Colorado Springs

Summer Living History Program

Sun., June 9, 1-5pm, Tickets: $4-8 Experience Colorado history at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site. summer-living-history-program

Southern Colorado Juneteenth Festival June 14-16

Southern Colorado Juneteenth Festival is the biggest celebration of inclusion to ever be held. The mission is to bring together people from every background and community for a time of celebration, music and family fun. America the Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs

Victor Gem & Mineral Show

June 14 & 15, 9am-5pm, June 16, 9am-4pm, free

The show will include vendors from across the state selling Colorado-dug minerals. Items for sale will include polished gems,

NORTH June/July 2024 21

hand-crafted jewelry, rough slabs, specimens, cabochons, geodes, Cripple Creek turquoise, and more. There will also be gold and gem panning at the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum.

Downtown historic Victor

Western Street Breakfast

Thurs., June 20, 5:30-9am, Tickets: $5 (kids under 5, free)

Gather around as event organizers close down the streets and cook up a delicious hot breakfast, including entertainment and a western dress-up contest.

At Pikes Peak and Tejon, Downtown Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Fan Fest

Fri., June 21, 5-9pm

Held on the Friday evening before Race Day, more than 35,000 people gather in the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs to experience this 10-block street party.

Tejon Street, Downtown Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Sun., June 23, gates open at 4am, Tickets: $38-$100

International Hill Climb (PPIHC), brought to you by Gran Turismo, also known as The Race to the Clouds, is an invitational automobile hill climb to the summit.

Bemis School of Art

“By continuing to invite artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to lead workshops in our upcoming sessions, Bemis creates an inclusive learning environment that reflects the richness and diversity of the local artistic community,” said Tara Sevanne Thomas, director, Bemis School of Art. 818 Pelham Pl., Colorado Springs, 80903 art-school

Summer Class Session

Member Registration opens Mon. April 22. Public Registration opens Mon., April 29. Classes start Mon., June 3.

Pastel Flower Workshop

Sat., June 8, 11am-3pm

Explore your creativity as we delve into the vibrant world of pastels (ages 16-adult).

Thrift Painting Makeover!

Sat., July 13, 5:30-7:45pm

Upcycle a dated and drab thrifted painting into a stellar new piece of original artwork (ages 16-adult).

Pikes Peak Highway, Cascade The Broadmoor Pikes Peak

4th of July Celebrations

Celebrate American Independence with a series of festivals, block parties, concerts, and fireworks across the Pikes Peak Region.

Signature events include the Star Spangled Symphony & Block Party at 190 S Cascade Ave in Colorado Springs, and a Street Fair & Beer Garden in Monument.


The following locations will be presenting firework displays and other activities, weather-permitting:

Banning Lewis Ranch, Vista Park, 8833 Vista Del Rico Blvd, Colorado Springs

The Club at Flying Horse (members & guests only), 1880 Weiskopf Point, Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (ticketed event), Weidner Field, 111 W Cimarron St, Colorado Springs

The Country Club of Colorado at Cheyenne Mountain Resort (members & resort guests only)

Garden of the Gods-Rock Ledge Ranch, 10am-5pm (ticketed event) holidays/4th-of-july

U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum

Experience the thrill of victory in Colorado Springs at the museum’s extended operating hours. Now open seven days a week, 10am to 5pm. Flexible admissions offered on Peak Days (Fri-Sun) and Value Days (Mon-Thurs). Tickets: $15.95-$29.95 (children under 4 are free). Group rates for parties of 12+. For group visits, contact

Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo

Mon., July 8, Parade: 6:30 pm, free Rodeo: July 9-13, 10am (matinee), 4pm (evening), Tickets: $20-$65 Since 1950, the best athletes in the industry have competed in this Colorado Springs event.

Parade:Downtown Colorado Springs, on Tejon St, from St. Vrain to Vermijo Rodeo: Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, Colorado Springs, 80905

Taste of Pikes Peak

Thurs., July 18, 5-9pm, Tickets: $20$1000

Taste of Pikes Peak brings together restaurants and beverage and industry suppliers to promote the Pikes Peak region’s food and

beverage scene while raising funds to support the Colorado Restaurant Association.

Downtown Colorado Springs

Tails, Tunes & Tastes

Thurs., July 25 & August 29, 6-9:30pm, Tickets: $64.75 per person (age 21+)

Local musicians will set the mood throughout the Zoo. Tickets include unlimited small plates and two drink tickets!

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd., Colorado Springs, 80906

Rocky Mountain Flower Fest

Sat., July 27, 4-9:30pm, Tickets: $27-$55

Enjoy a day with music and flowers at the farm. Flower installations for photos, flower crowns to wear, food trucks to enjoy, lavender lemonade, beer, whiskey tasting, an artisan fair and more!

Venetucci Farm, 5210 S Hwy 85, Colorado Springs, 80911 flower-fest

Walking Tour: On a Cough and a Prayer

Sat., August 3, 10-11am, Tickets: $15

You’ll explore both the reputable and infamous people, places, and treatments that made Colorado Springs famous as a health resort.

Story Coffee, 120 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs, 80903 walking-tour-on-a-cough-and-aprayer

NORTH June/July 2024 23
Elevate Your Business Identity, Sophistication & Style Speaks Volumes 719.661.4470 Colorado Springs

Happily-Ever-After Season


There can be some pressure to pick the perfect gift for a wedding. But the Colorado Springs area offers many great options for wedding gifts. Whether you want to give something functional, something beautiful, or a memorable experience, you’re sure to find something the happy couple will love.


Give the couple the gift of a fun date!

Wines of Colorado Restaurant

This lovely creek-side restaurant in Cascade is the perfect spot for a romantic date. They feature good food and an extensive wine list, as well as wine flights, beer and cocktails.

8045 US-24, Cascade, 80809

Coffee Dates

Pick your favorite local coffee shop and gift the couple a bag of the shop’s beans, a pair of mugs and a gift card to enjoy a coffee date! Shops that roast their own beans include:

Dynamo Coffee

4029 Tutt Blvd., Colorado Springs, 80922

Hold Fast Coffee

360 Montebello Sq. Dr. Suite H1, Colorado Springs, 80918

Loyal Coffee

11550 Ridgeline Dr. #102, Colorado Springs, CO 80921

408 S. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Wayfinder Coffee Co.

6140 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., Colorado Springs, CO 80923


Planning a wedding can be stressful: an activity together is a great way for the couple to relax after the big day.

Camino Massage

Camino Massage has two locations, one in downtown Colorado Springs and one on Garden of the Gods Road. They offer many different packages, including a spectacular couples massage.

1045 Garden of the Gods Rd. Suite J, Colorado Springs, 80907

123 E. Costello St., Colorado Springs, 80903

Soak at Sunwater Spa

Give the couple the opportunity to relax and unwind together at SunWater Spa. Book the private Mary’s Mountain Tub for a secluded soak with stunning views and a private sauna.

514 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs, 80829

Cooking Class at Gather Food Studio

Cooking classes always make a fun date. Gather Food Studios offers a wide variety of classes, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian class options. Give a class or a gift card.

2011 W. Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs, 80904

Sunwater Spa

Home Goods

Every couple needs something unique or uber functional to start their new lives together.

Eclectic Co.

Eclectic Co. is a co-op featuring home goods and decor made by local artists. Find a unique and beautiful handmade or vintage item for the newlyweds. Eclectic has a location in downtown Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City.½ N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, 80903

2518 W. Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs, 80904

CommonWheel Artists Co-Op

Located in downtown Manitou Springs, this shop sells pottery and artwork by local artists. Find something functional and beautiful for the couple’s kitchen or garden.

102 Canon Ave., Manitou Springs, 80829

Sparrow Hawk Cookware

Anything you can think of that might be used in a kitchen you will find at Sparrow Hawk. From strictly utilitarian to beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, they carry a wide range of kitchenware, bar tools, linens, cookbooks and more. Have fun browsing the aisles and put together a fun basket! 120 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, 80903

A Night Away

Even a short respite from the daily routine can help keep a couple close and connected. Gift the couple a local getaway to look forward to after the honeymoon!

B&B Stay

Holden House 1902 is a charming Victorianstyle bed and breakfast located in downtown Colorado Springs.

1102 W. Pikes Peak Ave., Colorado Springs, 80904

Cabin Stay

The Outlook Lodge is a cozy spot in Green Mountain Falls that has several rooms and suites available. Amenities include a hot tub, fireplaces, outdoor fire pit, wi-fi and more.

6975 Howard St., Green Mountain Falls, 80819

Hotel Stay

Cheyenne Mountain, a Dolce Resort, is a luxury hotel with stunning views. Pamper the couple with a stay at this hotel with spa, fine dining and incredible guest rooms and suites. 3225 Broadmoor Valley Rd., Colorado Springs, 80906

While this is far from an exhaustive list of gift possibilities, hopefully it inspires you to consider a gift that supports local artists and businesses. The best part is it gives the newlyweds a chance to get away and connect.

Eclectic Co. Cheyenne Mountain Resort
Marquesa Hobbs Recognized as Top 1% of Realtors by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors, Marquesa Hobbs has helped hundreds of clients achieve their real estate goals. She can do the same for you. Realtor® CNE & MRP 719.238.0330 | 5TH Straight Year
NORTH June/July 2024 29 Discover Unmatched Custom Art Framing and Curated Gallery Selections at Ross Studios. Master the Art of Elegance 2712 North Gate Boulevard Colorado Springs, CO 80921 719-635-5085 AT FLYING HORSE

Statement Piece FOR YOUR SUMMER WARDROBE Local Showcases Must-Have Fashion Staples

The Beauty of Kimonos

Ziba Kimonos by Kiana Kouture is a locally-owned and -manufactured women’s clothing brand offering kimono cardigans and cover-ups. Light, airy and colorful, these kimonos make the perfect summer fashion staple for the modern woman.

Manufactured in Denver by American Made Apparel, each kimono is a testament to local craftsmanship and creativity. The company rolls out new designs biannually, keeping the collection fresh and exciting each year. Every piece is uniquely crafted, and many come with matching hair scrunchies for an extra pop of color.

“I believe that when women feel beautiful, they look beautiful,” says Kiana Geditz, founder of Ziba Kimonos. She first founded the brand in 2018 to fulfill her longtime dream of empowering women through affordable and versatile fashion. She is committed to helping women look and feel their best, regardless of age, size or skin color.

Designed with versatility in mind, these kimonos offer a vibrant, breathable alternative to the traditional cardigan. Pair one with a formal jumper, dress it down with jeans and some chunky heels or throw one over a swimsuit for a chic poolside ensemble.

“Sometimes, all a woman needs is a good ‘statement piece’ to pull her look together,” says Geditz. “So, why not throw on a kimono?”

Kiana Geditz is owner and founder of Ziba Kimonos by Kiana Kouture.

With several stunning designs available, there’s a kimono for every occasion. The formal Doresu is perfect for dressier events, while the Tanoshi provides a shorter, more playful option. The Geisha is another popular option, offering a flowing silhouette that’s perfect for both formal and casual wear. The Kawaii is another great fit for any occasion and is celebrated for its long, versatile style. Looking ahead, the upcoming Hanabi design promises to introduce fun, flowy sleeves that will be perfect for chillier weather and festive gatherings.

Where it All Began

Ziba Kimonos was born from a chance encounter, some fearless creativity and a couple of strong cocktails. The idea first came to Geditz while she was having dinner with her husband in Las Vegas. “I saw a lady walk by me with a black jumper on, but she had a kimono on over it,” Geditz recalls. “I don’t know why, but I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to make a kimono, and I’m going to sell them!’”

Throw on a Tanoshi kimono to spice up your favorite cocktail dress.

Upon returning home, Geditz teamed up with a talented seamstress in Colorado Springs to bring her vision to life. Starting with a basic pattern, they worked together to refine and diversify the design. This led to the creation of their very first kimono.

Launching a fashion line was no small feat, though, and Geditz’s initial excitement was soon met with serious challenges. Just two years after opening, the COVID-19 pandemic put a temporary halt on sales. Suddenly, she was left with a large inventory and limited options. Geditz was quick to adapt, and she pivoted to host popup shops at local boutiques and clubs. Her resilience paid off, and today, her kimonos are featured in prestigious locations across Colorado.

Where to Get Yours

Strata Spa at The Garden of the Gods Club is a proud supporter of Ziba Kimonos. Not only do they carry a wide selection of these summer-friendly kimonos, but they also sell boots and clogs by Lujo Lifestyle, all of which pair perfectly with long or short kimonos.

Paint Nail Bar is another seller of Ziba Kimonos. Offering trendy clothing brands and specialized nail art services, visitors enjoy coordinating their summer ensembles with nails matching their favorite kimono! Geditz’s brand is also currently being featured at The Spa at Flying Horse, and she recently made a pop-up appearance at the Brown Palace in Denver.

“My wish to you is that every time you wear your kimono, you see your own unique beauty,” says Geditz.

As the company continues to grow, these gorgeous fashion staples are increasing in popularity among the forward-thinking fashion lovers of Colorado. For more information on these stylish kimonos, visit: @zibakimonos

NORTH June/July 2024 31
32 COLORADOMEDIAGROUP.COMInternet that gets you

You need fiber internet from Ting.

Everything comes to life with Ting.

Fast and reliable internet is a necessity. The technology that provides the speed and reliability needed today—and in the future— is fiber internet.

Fiber internet is the first infrastructure created specifically for the internet. It uses fiberoptic cable for data transmission. It’s fast, reliable, and has huge capacity for future growth.

Enjoy crystal-clear video calls with family and friends, and

stream shows and movies with no buffering. Uploads and downloads are nearly instantaneous. The result is a completely new online experience.

Plus, get our Ting bundle mobile offer—add a mobile line with unlimited talk, text and data for just $10!

Order Ting Internet now for an incredible internet experience built for the future.

Pre-order now

Get no start-up costs and a free router with your refundable pre-order. It’s just $9! Visit @tingcoloradosprings

NORTH June/July 2024 33


MIRASOL, Looking at the Sun, a documentary produced by Palmer Land Conservancy, is making its debut across Colorado this summer. It highlights water as a finite resource — and an essential one. For farmers, it’s everything.

Palmer Land Conservancy is a Colorado land and water conservation champion that enlisted awardwinning director Ben Knight to explore a national issue, magnified in the American West, around water scarcity.

MIRASOL features a multi-generational Italian and Hispanic farming community living on “The Mesa” in Pueblo, Colorado. Shedding light on their history and heritage, each family shares their agricultural lineage, one that transcends every aspect of their lives, shaping their culture and livelihood.

Realizing an uncertain future due to the West’s diminishing water supply, Williams Family Farm and Seed Store, Musso Farms, Professor Mike Bartolo, and Martellaro Family Farms reflect on their passion to grow and nourish their families, communities and

pastime. Through these voices, the film offers a story about the deep connection and love of the land, family, and the famed Pueblo Chile.

“This land should be like our only child,” states film subject Mike Bartolo. “We should be protecting it with everything we have. We must make a decision — we can grow crops, or we can grow houses.”

Nationally, the U.S. loses 2,000 acres of land each day to development or other rivals. The film explores how rural agricultural communities, and the food they put on families’ tables, are threatened by rapid development, population growth, climate change and competing economies.

One of the most pressing issues of our time in the American West is the dwindling water supply from the Colorado River, which is a lifeline for 40 million people and the $15-million-a-year agriculture industry that depends on it. Analysts say the river is in peril and climate change — resulting in rising temperatures, low snowpack, and drought — has put us in crisis.

“Because loving a place is only the beginning; one must have the courage to protect it.”


The impact extends far beyond the Colorado River Basin as 70% of water supplies from southern Colorado’s largest urban areas in the Arkansas River Basin, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, rely on the Colorado River.

Palmer Land Conservancy’s Bessemer Farmland Conservation Project in Pueblo is an example of solutions that are being developed to balance the competing needs of water between growing cities, agriculture, and the environment.

MIRASOL had its world premiere at the renowned Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana, in February 2024 and was a finalist in the prestigious competition for the Big Sky Award. In April 2024, MIRASOL screened at Carbondale’s 5Point Film Festival as part of the Changemakers Program. The film is set to screen at other festivals across the American West.

MIRASOL is a catalyst for meaningful change — one where citizens can mobilize to protect land and water for the well-being of nature and people. Visit to find a screening near you.

“There is nothing more powerful than storytelling and film when it comes to opening people’s eyes and hearts to an issue. MIRASOL inspires us to protect agricultural communities, the lifeblood of our local food system, and stand up for all the hardworking families and thriving fields on the fringes of cities that are so often taken for granted.”

NORTH June/July 2024 35
Mike Bartolo PhD., one of the film's subjects, in a clip of the KRISTIE NACKORD


CSU invites homeowners to learn about waterwise landscaping

Abluegrass lawn might be the envy of the neighborhood in springtime, but now that it’s summer, that lawn wants to gulp down lots of water — and requires lots of maintenance. A Kentucky bluegrass lawn requires watering three times a week during summer dry spells, says Lance Ackerman, senior conservation specialist with Colorado Springs Utilities. It also needs frequent mowing and fertilizing.

There is a solution for homeowners who are tired of high water bills and hours pushing a lawn mower, Ackerman says — changing out a thirsty bluegrass lawn for a waterwise landscape with native grasses and droughttolerant plants.

“Homeowners can see anywhere from 50-80% water savings for waterwise plant material or native grass lawns,” he says. These landscapes also need fertilizing only once a season and mowing once a month or less.

CSU offers incentives and education for people who want to convert all or part of their bluegrass lawns to more manageable landscapes using native, droughttolerant materials, he says.

The CSU Conservation & Environmental Center at 2855 Mesa Road offers an annual turf replacement program for homeowners, which includes two workshops with in-depth information on how to convert your lawn, plus free highefficiency sprinkler nozzles and native grass seed. The popular program is closed for this season, but homeowners can join a waitlist for next year, Ackerman says.

Homeowners can still get rebates of up to 50% of the costs for irrigation equipment such as rain sensors, smart controllers, sprinkler heads with check valves and highefficiency nozzles that will also save on watering costs.

In addition, CSU offers numerous in-person classes and events, recorded webinars and resources to educate homeowners on waterwise landscaping.

Drought- and heat-tolerant Buffalo grass has a uniform, lawnlike appearance.

High-efficiency sprinklers and Buffalo grass can help reduce water costs.

“We’re really focusing on education and empowering homeowners to make changes themselves or have enough knowledge to bring to their contractor,” Ackerman says.

At 8 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month through October, the Conservation and Environmental Center hosts Coffee and Conservation, where you can explore the demonstration gardens and enjoy a free cup of joe while CSU environmental specialists share watering and landscaping tips.

Experts are onsite at the center daily during weekdays to consult with homeowners.

“Our programs are focused on creating attractive, healthy, resilient landscapes,” Ackerman says.


David A. Joseph Company offers personalized services tailored to the needs of discerning homeowners who need a watchful eye on their investment while they are away.

Whether it is a visual inspection, cleaning, or scheduled maintenance for home systems—to any number of other services—we have you covered.

We’ve been in the Colorado resort home business for over 30 years. Contact us to discuss your individual needs.

Base Package

™ Weekly visits to your home to ensure everything is safe and operating properly

™ Cleaning of your home (hard surfaces and carpet) every six weeks

™ Monthly inspection of all lighting, fireplaces, sinks, toilets, and showers for proper operation

™ Scheduling of maintenance and repairs as needed

Additional Services

™ Additional cleans as requested

™ Linen service and dry cleaning

™ Stocking of groceries, fresh flowers, liquor, etc.

™ Landscaping, pool and spa services

™ Small- and large-scale construction and remodel projects

Luxury Concierge Services  719.238.5339 


Colorado Springs is a place of beauty beyond compare. But residents here understand the danger that lies behind the spacious skies and purple mountain majesties. The greatest threat to the Pikes Peak region is wildfire — what used to be a season has extended to a year-round alert that keeps everyone on the lookout.

Bonsera Consulting empowers the general public to navigate challenges and mitigate risks. Partners with Pikes Peak CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and Team Rubicon, the company teaches Emergency Preparedness classes to Habitat for Humanity homeowners.

Resilience Consultant and Emergency Preparedness Educator Patty Bonsera says, “The tremendous growth in Colorado Springs in recent years has created several challenges with regards to emergency readiness. It doesn’t have to be a forest fire to create an emergency. The spring and summer of 2022 were especially dry and windy. Three urban wildfires, that were not in the mountains, required evacuations, two were human-caused.”

The company insists that emergency readiness is crucial for homeowners and renters alike, especially with the increased density in many areas of the Springs. Bonsera recommends collaboration, communication and preparedness to effectively mitigate risks and protect lives and property.

The following are key areas where residents can take action:

1. Develop a Plan: This plan should include evacuation routes, meeting points, communication strategies, and a list of emergency contacts.

2. Digitize Your Docs: Gather all essential financial and medical documents, including a household inventory and digitize them.

3. Stay Informed: Stay informed about potential hazards including wildfires, severe weather, and other emergencies. Sign up for emergency alerts. Two free apps for both Apple and Android devices are Peak Alerts and FEMA. Peak Alerts is local to our area. Enter your zip code for local warnings.

4. Build an Emergency Kit: Gather essential supplies such as water, non-perishable food, medications, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, and important documents. Know where your keys are at all times and make them easily accessible.

6. Mitigate Hazards: If you are a homeowner, take steps to mitigate potential hazards around your home. This may include trimming trees and shrubs to reduce the risk of wildfire, securing loose objects that could become projectiles in high winds, and reinforcing your home against floods or earthquakes if applicable (one of the few things we don’t have here). * If you rent a single-family home with green space, ask your landlord who is responsible for outdoor mitigation, you or your landlord. If you rent an apartment, ask your leasing office what their protocols are for evacuation readiness for residents.

7. Know Your Neighbors: Whether you live in a subdivision or apartment complex, get to know your neighbors. Building strong relationships within your community can provide valuable support during emergencies and help facilitate a coordinated response.

8. Practice Drills: Regularly practice emergency drills with your household to ensure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.

NORTH June/July 2024 39



Rita Peterson is not your typical CEO of a Department of Defense (DoD) engineering firm. She is a five-foot-one bundle of energy and genuine enthusiasm, with a warm smile; a self-described driver and perfectionist. However, ask employees and clients about her and they’ll tell you about the Native American woman working in a 98% male-dominated field who is always looking for that person others may have overlooked who she knows can do the job. Because that is her story. Caribou Thunder Engineering Services was founded by Rita in 2006 on the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Reservation. The company began as a global services provider offering support to a diverse range of DoD and intelligence programs. Over the span of nearly two decades, Caribou Thunder has experienced significant expansion, providing exceptional high-quality service.

But Peterson grew up in a vastly different world than the one she now inhabits. Raised in a Minneapolis suburb on a hobby farm, she was one of three children with a Mexican mother and Ojibwe father from the White Earth Reservation.

“It made for a very interesting childhood,” notes Peterson. “I did very well in high school, but my parents weren’t encouraging. They were one of the biggest reasons for my success — because they didn’t believe in me. That sounds odd, but I just kept proving to them who I knew I could be. Here I am a young woman of color, religiously raised to believe it was my job to get married, have kids and serve my husband. That wasn’t what I really wanted to do — but I started out doing just that.”

Rita married out of high school, had two children, and started working at an area prison in administration. When the prison opened a sister prison, Rita was asked to help with the layout of the office administration building, buy equipment and set up the office to run as efficiently as the first prison.

“I have a sales- and customer-oriented personality,” explains Rita. “My boss told me I was so much more than a receptionist and I had to get out before I got stuck in the prison industry. We had this great copier rep who asked me to come to work for his company. I’d never done direct sales before, but I became the #1 sales rep, month over month, and that was my beginning in business.”

As her sales career was taking off, she also became a single mother of two teenagers, and both her parents became ill at the same time. So, Rita purchased a larger house, moved everyone in and took on providing care for her family. That is when she began to create her very own company, Caribou Thunder.

“Luckily, I don’t sleep much,” laughs Rita. “I mean, I really think it is genetic for me — I just don’t need much sleep, but I do stay healthy, mentally and physically.”

“We started laying the groundwork for Caribou Thunder in 2003,” says Rita. “My champion, Tom Reichel with Lockheed Martin, said we want to work with you...” However, he knew Caribous Thunder needed numerous certifications in order to be a viable candidate for contracts.

Rita worked out of her basement and figured out how to complete the numerous detailed applications herself. It was important for her to understand all the details, she says. Three years later, Rita and her crew came back to the Lockheed Martin contracts manager to say, “we’re ready to go.”

Connection to her Native American heritage, to people and to this Earth are at the core of this accomplished and caring woman who founded and heads Caribou Thunder.

“I walked into Lockheed Martin in Minnesota with my mentor, into a room full of men, explained what we were ready to do and said, ‘I want your business.’ I got blank stares all the way around,” recalls Rita. “One of the executives told me ‘Life is like a dance. We need to learn to dance together.’ I looked at the group and said, ‘I love to dance! What dance do you want to do? Salsa, Cumbia, Swing!? I am ready right now!’ The group laughed, it broke the ice.” Then she was told, “We will have a contract for you before you get home.”

NORTH June/July 2024 43
Studio 9 Commercial Photography

Caribou Thunder grew to $2 million dollars in sales in 24 months — moving from one to multiple engineering service contracts overnight. And she was just getting started.

“Lockheed Martin launched our company, but ten years prior, I met Rob Watson with Northrop Grumman who worked with us on our first contract, with Brian Castiaux, program manager who sponsored our topsecret clearance,” explains Rita. “He said, ‘I have an opportunity for you in Orlando, but you must be here in two days.’ So, I jumped on a plane, flew down there, and that was our first contract with Northrop Grumman. Then came a team at CACI, Inc. who sponsored our intelligence clearance.”

She credits several of her mentors who believed in who she is and what she can do. She does the same thing in her company and in her personal life.

“I honestly believe in taking chances on people in my own company. Everyone has gifts to bring, regardless of where you come from,” emphasizes Rita. “Look at me — I’m a short, uneducated woman of color who grew up in poverty. When you grow up in poverty, I believe it affects you one of two ways: One, follow a path of drugs, alcohol, and prostitution. Or two, fight for your life to survive. I knew I was going to give my kids opportunities that I didn’t have. I chose to fight for a better life than what I grew up in.”

She’s not impressed or intimidated by powerful people. “I look at each person’s soul, not the façade. I’ve had my share of situations realizing I was completely out of my element, like the first time I was in a White House intelligence briefing,” describes Rita. “I didn’t know you had to put a napkin under your coffee cup, on top of the saucer — but I watched and learned. It’s a silly thing, but you must fit within the groups you work in. I’ve never lost my personality — I am exactly who I have always been. What you see is what you get. I am authentic.”

Caribou Thunder is based in Wisconsin, but parts of it are now following its owner to Colorado Springs. “I’ve lived here for 12 years, and I travel a lot between here, Wisconsin and both coasts,” explains Rita.

She ended up in Colorado Springs during efforts to chase down a lead from Northrop Grumman. After pursuing the rep for years, following him all over the country, he finally told her, under no uncertain terms, to stop hounding him. Shocked but not disheartened, Rita received a call two weeks later when the lead told her, “I wanted to work with you, I could not. We want to


forging into positions or companies in traditionally maledominated industries:


include you on this contract; however, you really need to live here now to support this team. We want to add you to this contract.” According to Rita, “It all turned out how it was supposed to!”

Rita is as passionate about her employees as she is about her clients and says she strives to find the right people for the position (even when they don’t quite see it yet).

She says, “At last year’s holiday party, a staff member commented on how diverse our group was. I’m proud of that. Different backgrounds contribute to different ideas and problem solving.”

Another passion for Rita is exposing children on the White Earth Reservation to professional careers in national security and the intelligence community. This


passion drove her to create the nonprofit organization Indigenous Minds, in 2023. She founded the effort to support students living on the reservations and give them an opportunity to nurture their skills. Last year, Indigenous Minds provided six students with scholarships to travel to Colorado Springs for the first week-long STEAMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, and Spirituality) Camp where they were immersed in a week filled with professionals — from Space Foundation software programming games on Mars and Lockheed Martin Space Systems interactive shuttle launches and virtual reality walks on Mars to Air Force Academy cyber security labs and nature walks through Garden of the Gods and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

“It’s an intense camp,” Rita notes. “We show the students how to present themselves, how to talk to professionals, let them ask all kinds of questions and encourage conversations about breaking out of traditional roles. We’ve even talked with the parents of these students on the reservation. On one occasion, Elder Dr. Mark Bellcourt and I visited one of the schools on the White Earth Reservation. We were a bit nervous about talking with the parents because we knew we were trying to create a change in educational opportunities. About three hundred people packed the little school where we were talking about Caribou Thunder’s Space Camp program. Afterwards, many came up and said that the program was changing their lives as well. The ripple effect is real.”

Surprisingly, this outgoing, funny, and fun-loving lady is not the extrovert many would expect.

“I love my privacy,” says Rita. “I really am an ambivert — which is a hybrid of an extrovert and an introvert. I reenergize by being with myself and by being with my family, my brilliant grandchildren, and a small inner circle of friends. I dance by myself in the dark, and sometimes with my dog, Zeus. I love being on and in the water, boating and hiking.”

Her advice for women forging into positions or companies in traditionally male-dominated industries is: find a mentor who is going to support you and never ever sell out! Be your highest standard of yourself, set your own bar higher than all others, and keep reaching for the brass ring until you grab it. You will miss it many times over; eventually you will grab that brass ring! And when you do, reach for the next one. It will take effort, and with effort — you will achieve!

WHY did you name your company Caribou Thunder?

The migration of the Alaskan caribou is a distinct behavioral trait which is thought to be one of the most impressive wildlife phenomena — migrating in herds of tens of thousands in size. When the caribou run in unison, it creates the sound of thunder.

It is our company’s aim to run in unison as an Executive Leadership Team, with our employees, with our customers, to serve the end customer in support of national security.

More about Rita's front cover photo

Rita’s home is an outward reflection of her inward persona – she is a self-described Earthy Girl, who loves to walk barefoot in the sand and dirt. Her home incorporates all of nature’s elements from the beautiful waved Fiji wood couch, to the water light waves on her walls to the sauipe Brazilian stone in her kitchen and bathrooms. It’s the natural world brought inside.

NORTH June/July 2024 45

June 18 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Keys to Resilience Join us!

Business Lunch: Garden of the Gods Resort & Club

SPEAKER: Michelle A. Mras, PhD


Dr. Michelle Mras is a survivor of multiple life challenges including a Traumatic Brain Injury and her current battle with Breast Cancer. Michelle’s infectious presentations inspire her clients to rise above any negative self-talk and reclaim their inner strength. She is committed to helping others realize a more balanced life that frees them to build healthy beliefs in themselves.



Nominate a Business Professional Today! Hurry! Deadline to nominate is Monday, June 24th, 2024 Tuesday, August 13, 2024 • 11:00am - 1:30pm • The Doubletree by Hilton


She says, “Because of NCL, I have learned that when I am volunteering, I am not only helping others, but getting a feeling of fulfillment and it makes me want to continue volunteering in my community.”

She has loved serving with her friends, and especially with her mom, Staci, whom she considers her biggest influence. “She leads by example and is the epitome of a strong working mom that deeply cares for everyone around her,” says Delanie.

Senior Profile

Shooting for Success A National Charity League

Delanie McMullen follows two key principles in her life: be herself and do things she finds joy in. The Palmer Ridge High School senior says the most important thing she learned in high school is to surround herself with people who make her happy. She feels high school is too short to care about how others perceive her. That powerful outlook has Delanie headed to Kansas Wesleyan University to pursue a degree in business management, and play college basketball.

Basketball has been a passion for Delanie for as long as she can remember and she’s up to play

anytime, anywhere. As combo guard, she splits her game time between point guard and shooting guard. Committing to play at the collegiate level is her proudest achievement.

The business club DECA is another top activity for her. This year, she competed in hotel management role play and marketing campaign writing events. She has advanced to the organization’s state conference every year, and recently qualified for nationals.

She also volunteers as a member of the mother/daughter philanthropy organization, National Charity League. Delanie’s favorite volunteer spot is Care and Share Food Bank.

Delanie is still deciding on a career and is currently considering a prelaw track. Her favorite quote is by Walt Disney: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

It’s clear that Delanie has the mindset and dedication to accomplish whatever goal she sets. Thanks to her time with her mom at NCL, she is also certain to keep doing her part to make the community better.

The Colorado Springs Chapter of National Charity League is made up of mothers with daughters in grades 7-12, who are committed to community service, leadership development, and cultural experiences. Visit www. coloradosprings for membership information.

Delanie (right) with her mom, Staci.
credit: Submitted photo. NORTH June/July 2024 47


Steals with Sustainable Style H

ave you ever unearthed a designer jacket for a song or scored a mid-century modern coffee table that would make Don Draper jealous? Welcome to the world of thrifting! It’s not just about snagging unique finds — it’s about embracing a sustainable lifestyle that benefits both your wallet and the planet.

Lauren Abbott, owner of CORALUN Vintage in downtown COS, grew up wandering through midwestern garage and estate sales with her mom. “She always helped me find the most unique pieces and explained to me the magic behind them,” recalls Abbott.

After focusing on environmental studies in college, she grew to understand the additional value of secondhand goods. “It helps you build an original, creative and unique-to-you wardrobe while keeping your carbon footprint small,” says Abbott. Now she scours estate sales and the community to curate an ever-changing collection of treasures for others to discover.

Kyle Kelly is COO of Platte Furniture, a COS staple established 46 years ago by his dad. Kelly says the thrill of the chase keeps them both going; he never really knows what he’ll encounter daily. “To see a unique item in person or to still find brands today that I’ve never heard of even after I’ve been here 24 years” is thrilling, he admits.

Each piece he purchases for resale has a story but, in time, even the most high-quality furniture requires a little TLC. Platte maintains a wood shop onsite, enabling the store to focus on restoring, renewing and repairing while keeping a piece’s story going. “It feels so good to know we’re helping keep furniture from going to the junkyard,” says Kelly.


While privately owned stores offer one thrifting experience, nonprofit organizations that accept donations offer another — and funnel their profits back into the community. At Silver Key Thrift Store in TriLakes, all proceeds benefit local senior services. “These donated goods play a significant role in our fundraising

In 2015, CORALUN Vintage opened shop in a vintage camper. One year later, owner Lauren Abbott moved the small business into a brick-and-mortar location, increasing her ever-changing, curated collection of unique and creative items.

Peggy Scott, a retired USAF Personnel Superintendent, regularly volunteers at Silver Key Thrift Store, “a community within a community,” says Brieana Weaver, director of retail sales. The organization supports senior services in the tri-county area.

LIFT IT training, one of two no-cost workforce programs offered by Goodwill, prepares students for high-paying IT jobs. Last year, the organization assisted nearly 150,000 individuals with community impact, education and workforce development programs.

efforts, and we strive to minimize waste by effectively managing the items we receive,” says Brieana Weaver, director of retail sales.

They also embrace a thriving community of donors who often have heartwarming memories to share along with their donated goods. “We’re like the ‘Cheers’ of thrift stores,” says Weaver. “A place where everyone knows your name.”

At Goodwill of Colorado, 50 retail and donation locations — including six in the Pikes Peak region — serve as their mission’s engine. According to Brand & Buzz Manager Stephanie Bell, the organization assisted nearly 150,000 individuals with community impact, education and workforce development programs in 2023. They also received, recycled or repurposed more than 248 million pounds of donated items, diverting 84% — or 208 million pounds — from Colorado landfills.

Ultimately, thrifting is like a giant treasure hunt. You never know what hidden gems you might uncover and, according to Kelly, being in a military town brings added opportunity. “I think we have a better selection than most cities because people are always coming and going and bringing stuff from Germany and all over the world,” he says, but the possibilities extend beyond storefronts. Estate sales, garage sales, church rummage sales and even your grandma’s house are also excellent sources of second-hand items.


• Be prepared to dig. Thrifting takes time and patience. Go with an open mind and a willingness to rummage.

• Know your brands. Familiarize yourself with quality labels and bring your phone. Research retail and resale prices to find out if you are getting a good deal.

• Know your price point. Determine whether you are seeking a cost-effective solution that you won’t mind throwing out in a year, or a higher-quality product that will endure.

Grab your reusable shopping bags and explore the region’s vibrant thrift scene. You’ll be amazed at the unique finds, eco-friendly impact and savings you’ll score.

The best deal that Abbot’s ever snagged? An original, 1970s Louis Vuitton leather suitcase in mint condition, a perfect gift for the person who instilled her love of thrifting. “I knew that my mother collected Louis Vuitton, since I was a little girl,” shares Abbot. “So, I gave it to her for Mother’s Day.”

“It’s really about giving things a new life,” says Bell, “which in turn helps give people new lives and helps our planet. I love being a part of an ecosystem that is all about doing good and creating positive change.”

NORTH June/July 2024 49
Platte Furniture has a revolving inventory of furniture in their large warehouse on Platte Avenue.


Saudra’s Recovery after Devastating Loss

The day that Saudra became homeless was devastating, but she had something to fight for: her children.

“I want them to know I love them — that one day I’ll see them again,” she said.

Saudra came to the United States from Latvia at the age of 19 after marrying an American who was engaging in mission work in a town near her family’s farm.

“It happened fast,” she says. “We met. We got married. We moved to Colorado, because that’s where he liked.”

The two were in love and built a life together. Part of that life was the blessing of children, which they embraced, and over the course of the next decade, the couple welcomed six beautiful babies.

Over time, Saudra grew weary. Her marriage was beginning to falter, and caring for her six kids each day left little time to address her own needs. She began to deteriorate emotionally which created more stress on her relationships, until, in 2020, she collapsed under the weight of it all.

“I wasn’t taking care of myself — and it all became too much,” she says. “I should have taken better care of myself.”

The following years were tough. Relationship problems led the family to become homeless, and after a difficult divorce, all six of Saudra’s children were placed in foster care.

That’s when she came to Springs Rescue Mission for help.

Founded in 1995, Springs Rescue Mission provides shelter, healthcare and vocational training for unhoused COS residents. At the Mission, Saudra got to know staff members and fellow guests who encouraged her to get involved with vocational training programs, address her mental health needs and begin meeting with a case manager to work toward stable housing.

“I got into the Hope Program and things got better,” she says. “It was good. Inspirational and kept me going. It helped me to think about what I want and begin working toward my goals.”

Saudra found solace and motivation in her faith in God and love for family — believing that one day she will be reunited with her beloved children. After six months in the shelter, she began working at a local bakery and moved into a unit at one of Springs Rescue Mission’s transitional housing properties for women overcoming homelessness.

“It’s lovely,” she says. “It’s so nice to have my own place — and some peace.”

Saudra is independent for the first time in her life. Each day, she goes to work, comes home, makes herself dinner and whispers quiet prayers.

“God is there when things are very difficult,” she says. “I feel that my faith was shaken for a little while, but now I’ve come back and it’s growing.”

With plans to enroll in a medical assistant program at a local college this fall, Saudra hopes to one day help others through her work.

Help neighbors like Saudra overcome homelessness by becoming a monthly Good Samaritan Sponsor. For just $25 a month, you’ll help transform a life in your community. Visit to sign up today!



ELEVATE YOUR WORK Conference Rooms Meeting Rooms Dedicated Desks Flex Desks 719-301-5477 6385 Corporate Dr. Suite 200 Colorado Springs, CO 80919 New Altitude Coworking & Office Space is a new coworking space that empowers people and builds inclusive communities. New Altitude’s Membership and Conference Room Rentals support TRE. 16,000 SQUARE FEET OF OPEN, COLLABORATIVE SPACE WIFI PRINTING SERVICES BEVERAGE STATIONS ACCESS TO THE BUILDING NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES INTERACTIVE WALL SPACE AND BOOK LIBRARIES FIVE UNIQUE CONFERENCE ROOMS TWO BREAK-OUT ROOMS GET A FREE DAY PASS


If you’ve never met Heidi Brandon, picture a creative, dedicated advocate and community leader who is an Olympic-level swimmer with a mean spaghetti squash recipe. A self-advocate and member of The Resource Exchange (TRE) Board of Directors since 1990, Heidi is passionate about issues that impact the people served by TRE, a local nonprofit that coordinates care and case management for the disabled community.

“I’ve learned a lot while being on the board,” Brandon says. She emphasizes how important advocacy is for herself and others, noting, “I speak out to organizations or agencies. I try to advocate for other people who don’t have a voice.”

Heidi’s friends often turn to her for guidance on issues ranging from day programs to Medicaid waiver services. Armed with their concerns, she attends meetings, determined to make a difference. “Sometimes,” she admits, “it’s challenging not to be able to help everyone — I wish there were more of me!”

Beyond her advocacy work, Heidi openly shares her personal journey with epilepsy. Her involvement in Special Olympics was rewarding, beginning at eight years old. As an accomplished swimmer, she competed in the 1991 International World Games in Minnesota, securing a gold, silver and two bronze medals.

Today, she is a familiar face at TRE and its social impact business, New Altitude. Within New Altitude’s co-working space in Colorado Springs, The Whispering Aspen contributes to a unique initiative. The store features products created and sold by people with disabilities. Heidi’s specialty is designing vibrant coasters

using diamond art — a technique that involves adhering diamond-like jewels to surfaces, resulting in colorful mosaics. She explains, “Art relaxes me. Working here allows me to be independent and pursue my craft wherever I am.”

Heidi is quick to add her passion about a hot-button issue of the day: transportation. She advocates for more bus lines, especially in underserved and rural areas, to improve accessibility for all. In a world where so many struggle, we could use more advocating Olympians, for sure.

NORTH June/July 2024 53
Top: Heidi shows off her latest diamond art creations. Below: Heidi's swimming medals are proudly framed and hung with a certificate and a photo at the 1991 International World Games in Minnesota.

Surfacing in the Springs

Lulu’s Moves from Downstairs to Downtown

For six years, Lulu’s Downstairs carried the mixed blessing of being Manitou Springs’ best kept secret — a hidden gem tucked in the basement of the former Castaways Inn. With a cool Rat Pack vibe, a hot blend of Americana bands played in a room that once hosted Ray Charles, Tina Turner and other greats from the ’50s and ’60s.

But in January, club owner Marc Benning had to find a new home for Lulu’s.

“I can’t talk too much about what happened,” he says, sitting at the bar of the newly relocated Lulu’s Downtown. “Let’s just say, it was time to go.”

In a few short days, Benning moved the art on the walls and his sound equipment into storage. He had no Plan B. He figured this would be a time to pause, take a deeper look at his life, and decide if and where he might revive Lulu’s.

A couple of weeks later, a realtor friend told him about a newly vacant space on the second floor of 32 S. Tejon, in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs. It’s a space recently vacated by Studio 32 Discotheque, and, before that, the restaurant and nightclub Epiphany. And like Benning’s former venue, the space has a storied — if more recent — musical history. In the early 2000s, it housed the nightclub 32 Bleu which attracted the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Tech N9ne, Cowboy Junkies, Tab Benoit, Taj Mahal, .38 Special, Molly Hatchet, the Wailers … acts even Denver would be lucky to get.

“I’d seen some of those shows back when 32 Bleu was

here, and it had imprinted on my mind what a show would feel like,” Benning says.

He decided to attempt to build on that legacy, and has been working his tail off to make it happen. After getting the keys to the new space February 26, he presented the first concert there just over a week later.

The remodel and construction, which are still ongoing, haven’t been easy. The disco that had been the previous tenant, had left the place mostly bright white, with a pink and white bar.

“There was a bed over there. There was a bathtub,” Benning says with a scowl. “It was a thing. It wasn’t OUR thing.”

His thing is mostly simple — browns and tans to blend with the exposed brick walls and the natural wood floor.

But Benning shows his eccentricity with a wall behind the bar filled with some of the thrift-store chic brought from the Manitou venue — a globe next to a hodgepodge of art prints: a cowboy in snow, a sad dog, a bouquet of bright yellow flowers.

This is exactly the kind of tenant Susan Edmondson was hoping for when the disco moved out. She’s the CEO of the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership and recalls fondly the days of 32 Bleu.

“I feel like LuLu’s was always meant to be downtown,” she says. “It’s such a game changer to welcome this wellrun, well-established live music venue to the heart of the city. Marc Benning is respected in the industry, and we know with this location, LuLu’s can truly thrive. I went to

“Its exciting to be part of that growth. ”
— Marc Benning

my first concert (Hot Buttered Rum) in their new space in late March, and it truly nearly brought me to tears to see the place packed with happy, dancing people of all ages and backgrounds.”

That’s what Benning has hoped for, but he sees it as a work in progress. During this interview, he often had to shout to be heard over the whine of a circular saw downstairs. Holding that saw was Mike Clark, lead singer of the Sugar Sounds and River Arkansas, who performed in the new space during a recent opening party.

“This is a place with pedigree behind it,” Clark says, pausing his work creating new side walls to improve the acoustics. “I think we can bring it back.”

The key, he says, will be the vibe; and, of course, the music. Benning does almost all the bookings himself, and each usually starts with a call from artist agents. They know Benning treats artists well, and that reputation goes way beyond these two iterations of Lulu’s.

Born in Pittsburgh, Benning attended high school in San Francisco; graduated from the Berkeley School of Music; helped found the rock band 34 Satellite (which recorded five albums and toured all over); became a songwriter, record producer, studio musician, label owner, and, finally, venue owner. He moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to his daughter, and named the LuLu clubs after her.

With a downstairs and open mezzanine, the new downtown Lulu’s can fit almost as many patrons as the Manitou club. But while the old venue had booths in back and often had cocktail tables scattered around, the new place has stools along the front of the mezzanine. Benning says to make the economics work for gigs here, most of the audience will have to stand. Younger people, whom he sees as the target audience, want to stand.

Benning has opened his downtown club at a time of growth for live music venues. The nearby 8,000seat Weidner Field has brought in some heavy-hitting rock and country acts, and the 8,000-seat Sunset Amphitheater promises to do the same.

“It’s exciting to be part of that growth,” Benning says. He talks about the mix of upcoming acts, spanning

many genres: alt-country, folk, dance-hall reggae. Some of the upcoming shows include: psychedelia southern rock band Sam Burchfield & The Scoundrels (June 16), folky blues singer Sunny War (June 21); and reggae-ska singer songwriter Kyle Smith with Drifting Roots and Alific.

During a recent performance by singer-songwriter and star surfer Donavan Frankenreiter, Benning stepped out for some air. Walking along Pikes Peak Avenue, he took a moment to listen to the laid-back grooves drifting out the club’s second floor windows. Other folks walking by heard the music and stopped.

Benning smiled — still a ways to go. But Lulu’s is clearly a gem. And it’s no longer a hidden one.

NORTH June/July 2024 55
Chancey Bush/The Gazette Lulu's owner Marc Benning.








NORTH June/July 2024 57 Culinary & Hospitality Capstone Program Creative Technology Media Arts & Theater Tech Production Early Childhood Enrichment Training Visit our website to subscribe to our newsletter for more event information!
open for grab & go breakfast & lunch service. Monday-Friday 9 AM - 4 PM | 1. South Nevada, Suite 110, Colorado Springs, 80903 Simple Gift Playgroups
biweekly playgroups for children birth - 5 & their caregivers, in partnership with Joint Initiatives. 9:30 - 11 AM on June 5, June 19, July 10, July 24 Cafe at the Citizen's Service Center Visit us on the first floor across from the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. Monday - Friday | 1675 Garden of the Gods Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 31 MAY Opus Cabaret
renowned performance artist, Rachelle Fleming, local & regional celebrity artists. Dinner prepared by Opus Creative Kitchen. 7:30 - 9:30 PM | 1. South Nevada, Suite 110, Colorado Springs, 80903 12 JUL Opus Creative Kitchen Culinary Cohort 10 Graduation Ceremony 30 JUN Opus Creative Technologies Cohort 1 Graduation Ceremony 27 JUL Jordy's Jam
open jam session with Jordan Smith, celebrated blues guitarist who has overcome physical challenges. An invitation to all who share these mental & physical hurdles who want to bring their own musical talents to the stage. 13 JUL Mambo Jazz
us for a world premiere jazz composition! Limited themed menu. 7:30 - 9:30 PM | 1. South Nevada, Suite 110, Colorado Springs, 80903 14 JUN Linda's Birthday All Star Concert
Linda Weise & some of the region's most incredible musicians for dinner & a concert. Fundraiser for student support of the Opus Creative programs. 28 JUN Soup & Scrabble
us for an electronics-free afternoon bowl of soup & a game of scrabble for $5. 3:30-5 PM on June 11, June 25, July 9, July 23
I believe that education is the strongest path forward toward promoting change and the betterment of society.”
— Megan Harlan, Head of School

Beyond the Plate

Student-Driven Initiative

Combats Food Waste, Nourishes


estled east of I-25, on 1,100 acres of rolling prairie with stunning mountain views, the Fountain Valley School (FVS) Pueblo revival-style dining hall provides more than a picturesque place for meals. Each Thursday, it turns into a hub of activity for packaging, labeling and delivering leftover food from their private boarding school campus to the volunteers and employees who run the weekly Connections 4 Life Food Pantry.

Founded by FVS graduating student Sage Keller in 2020 as part of her Capstone project, the once-a-week FVS Food Rescue Program both promotes sustainability and benefits the local community. It takes 50 volunteers to help the Connections 4 Life food pantry distribute approximately 300,000 pounds of food to 30,000 families across southern Colorado Springs every year. Thanks to FVS, each of those volunteers can enjoy a homemade meal every Thursday, helping them to help others.

Science Department Chair/Senior Capstone Director Danielle Llewelyn is also an FVS parent who leads the weekly community engagement initiative that brings students and faculty together. She says its significance is multifaceted and, despite a brief pandemic hiatus, the program has maintained its popularity.

“Environmentally, it contributes to a reduction in the school’s carbon footprint by minimizing the waste that’s sent to landfills, and it educates students on the harmfulness of food waste as well as their potential to address the needs of the future,” she says. “Socially, the partnership with Connections 4 Life both helps others and maintains FVS’s presence in the greater Colorado Springs community.”

The Fountain Valley School's Food Rescue Program donates food to the local community each week. Led by Science Department Chair Danielle Llewelyn (far right), FVS’s Food Rescue Program is both an environmental and community engagement initiative.

Megan Harlan, head of school, agrees, saying the program teaches values and inspires students to apply their knowledge and skills to the world around them. “It is easy to impart skills in students, especially when they have the intrinsic motivation to learn … It is a whole other notion to impart values such as responsibility for those who are less fortunate or the understanding of one’s impact, both positively and negatively, on our natural environment.”

The Start of a Legacy

A senior at the time, Keller sought to better understand food waste in America and the role citizens play in lessening their own impact. According to the USDA, food waste in the U.S. is estimated to be 30-40 percent of the food supply. That means 30-40 percent of food that farmers grow is never consumed. Keller recognized an opportunity.

Partnering with Fountain Valley’s Connections 4 Life, a Colorado Springs, faith-based nonprofit, was a lastminute decision, she shares, and one she never thought would outlast her time at FVS. Now, it’s become a legacy, with FVS and its 240 students consistently donating between one and three trays of leftover food from the hot line each week.

“It’s so great to hear that people are still participating in the Food Rescue. I hope that when they graduate they

Each Thursday, the dining hall at FVS turns into a hub of activity for packaging, labeling and delivering leftover food from their campus to the volunteers and employees who run the weekly Connections 4 Life Food Pantry.

will pass on the program and what they’ve learned to others as well,” says Keller, who is now an English and philosophy major at California’s Pitzer College.

Students in grades nine through twelve are critical to the fully volunteer process. Using an assembly line approach, they team up to properly package leftovers, label bags, and ensure the kitchen space is clean afterwards. Meals vary according to FVS’ predetermined menu, but range from blackened tilapia with dirty rice to mushroom stroganoff and egg noodles. Often, there’s also homemade pizza from the school’s onsite brick oven.

Some students come weekly, and others bi-weekly depending on their schedule. Some who are extremely hands on have already inquired about extending the program. FVS’ friendship with Connections 4 Life dates back to an after-school community engagement initiative in 2017. Collectively, the school’s 240 students represent 23 countries, 21 states and the Pikes Peak Region. Its semester-long Senior Capstone, which culminates in a final presentation to faculty and their peers, requires that students dive into a unique passion or interest via in-depth exploration and hands-on experiences with real-life experts and professionals.

“I believe that education is the strongest path forward toward promoting change and the betterment of society,” says Harlan. “I see hope and potential in my students. This, along with the belief that what I am doing can make a difference, motivates me each day.”

NORTH June/July 2024 59

Space everyone is for Renovated Space Foundation Discovery Center Opens

for anyone who pays close attention to the impact felt on Earth by advancements in space — it’s apparent that their future is IN space.

Inspiring youth to become the next generation of innovators who will advance science and technology, defend U.S. assets and benefit humankind throughout the cosmos are key themes discussed amongst professionals in all sectors of the space community.

Yes, exposing kids to STEAM education is important for the future space workforce, but it’s also just plain fun. Kids lucky enough to live in Colorado don’t have to go far to partake.

The Space Foundation Discovery Center reopened this summer after closing late last year for a $3.5-million expansion and renovation project. As nonprofit Space Foundation’s hub for space education, this is a spot where everyone can learn about the possibilities space and science offer to us earthlings.

“It’s really to get the message out there that space is for everyone and to open the public’s eyes that, with space, all things are possible,” says Zakary Watson, senior manager for Media & Public Affairs for the Space Foundation.

Hands-On Experience with the Technology That Impacts Life on Earth

Since its 2012 inception, the center has been the only hands-on interactive space and science center in the region. The 2024 transformation was led by Coloradobased architecture firm RTA Architects and General Contractor GH Phipps.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the project is the introduction of two cutting-edge labs for hands-on discovery with emerging technologies which impact our daily lives: the Boeing Additive Manufacturing Laboratory with 3D printers and the Drone Zone.

“The public can come in and you can pick a project and our staff will help oversee it with you and walk you through it,” says Watson about the 3D printers. “You can walk away with something fun you created at the Discovery Center.”

The Drone Zone, she continues, is a place complete with obstacle courses where “visitors can come in and, with the help of our Discovery Center staff, fly their own drone.”

With over 3,000 square feet of additional exhibit space, state-of-the-art flooring and electrical system improvements, the renovation also features a redesign of the Space Education Center’s Lockheed Martin Mars Robotics Laboratory and the Northrop Grumman Science Center’s Science On a Sphere® system. Watson


says this is a room-sized global display system which projects visualizations of planetary data on a six-foot diameter sphere.

In keeping with the center’s community theme, local artist Molly McClure produced mural art in the Drone Zone, Mars Robotic Laboratory and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory, and local artist Juls Mendoza created the Buy a Star mural in one of the classrooms

“The one in the Drone Zone covers the history of flight,” says Watson. “It has Orville Wright, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride, Robert Goddard, Bessie Coleman and Wilbur Wright.”

Space Education is for Everyone

Over the past decade, the Discovery Center has hosted more than 300,000 visitors, nearly 2,000 field trips, 1,900 homeschool days and over 1,000 special workshops — all to educate and prepare the innovators of tomorrow.

Whether you’re a student on a field trip, a family with children or young adults toying with the idea of a STEAM career, prepare yourself to be inspired and awestruck by more than 1,800 artifacts and over 20 exhibits about science and space missions.

Education is very important to the Space Foundation because, as Watson points out, there is a shortage in the space workforce.

“We know at the center we can get space in front of the students. We can expose them to all different aspects of the space workforce,” she says. “We have not raised the prices. It’s staying the same right now and we really want to make it accessible.”

Left: The $3.5-million renovation of the Space Foundation Discovery Center has created a more immersive experience for guests, as well as greater capacity for educating even more people on the possibilities in space.

Below: Colorado muralist Molly McClure brought the history of flight to life in the Drone Zone with this image of Orville Wright, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride, Robert Goddard, Bessie Coleman and Wilbur Wright.

Explore the Cosmos this Summer

The Space Foundation Discovery Center’s hours of operation are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 AM - 4 PM and reservations are not required. Ticket prices are designed to be affordable and accessible to all.

4425 Arrowswest Drive in Colorado Springs

 Adults (16+ yrs) $10

 Children (4-15 yrs) $5

 3 yrs and under FREE

 Museums for All (up to 4 tickets per EBT Card) $3

 Seniors $7.50

 Students (with college ID) $7.50

 Military 50% off adult admission with valid ID

Year-long admission passports are also available for $20 per student, $35 per individual, or $50 per family. More info at

Accessible pricing is made possible by Space Foundation’s donors, as well as supporters of the renovation project which include the Anschutz Family Foundation, Boeing, the El Pomar Foundation, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.

NORTH June/July 2024 61


This year, CASA of the Pikes Peak Region celebrates its 35th year in action. Founded in 1989, the local nonprofit organization has dedicated itself to advocating for the rights and well-being of children who have experienced abuse and neglect.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a national association that advocates for children within the legal system. As passionate advocates for the most vulnerable members of our society, CASA volunteers ensure that their clients have a voice in court proceedings, and a guide as they navigate the legal system. Children and their families receive personalized advocacy, guidance and the support they need to thrive.

CASA of the Pikes Peak Region continues this legacy locally. With an unwavering commitment to its mission, this organization has served more than 20,000 children, providing them with vital support inside and outside the courtroom.

“We’re doing amazing work for the kids,” says Executive Director Angela Rose. “But the really hard part for me is that we’re still not serving all of the kids that need a CASA. Last year, we served over 657 children in the dependency and neglect program, and at any given time, we think there are about 800 children who need a CASA. So, we’re working really hard to try to fill the rest of that gap so that none of these children are left without a voice.”

The local office is fueled by a team of more than 500 volunteers, each driven by a passion for making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. These committed volunteers serve as advocates, mentors and allies, ensuring that the interests of the children they represent are first and foremost.

Volunteers’ impact extends far beyond the courtroom. In addition to its core advocacy program, the organization offers a range of services aimed at addressing the multifaceted needs of children and families. One such program is the Supervised Exchange & Parenting Time (SEPT). This court-ordered program protects children

during supervised visitation time. SEPT volunteers supervise during visits between children and their parents, providing a safe and neutral environment for these exchanges. “We just make sure that it’s a really safe space for those children,” says Rose.

Also, Milton Foster Children’s Fund program offers success-oriented resources to foster children, such as life skills classes and educational workshops. “We’re doing our best to prepare them the best that we can, especially if they’re going to be out of the system at 18,” says Rose. “How do you budget? How do you go grocery shopping? How do you fill out a job application? We teach them survival skills.” This program also offers access to a boutique called The Hanger, where foster teens can shop for clothing, shoes, accessories and toiletries, all completely free of charge.

CASA of the Pikes Peak Region is more than just an organization — it’s a community of compassionate individuals committed to serving local children in need. From retired schoolteachers and tutors to doctors and nurses, volunteers from all walks of life are welcome to join the mission. “Really, the only thing that somebody needs to be a volunteer here is a love for children,” says Rose.

Community members interested in learning more about the program can attend an informational session; and applications are available on their website. To learn more or to apply for a volunteer position, please visit:



Pioneers Museum Gears Up For Summer Reopening

An exhibit honoring women artists of the Pikes Peak region. A display of fashion accessories that adorned Colorado Springs residents in the city’s bygone days. And a refreshed interactive camping exhibit set up especially for kids. Those are among the new features that visitors to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum will enjoy when it reopens this summer.

The museum, housed in the former El Paso County Courthouse, has been closed since July 2023 for a $6.2 million renovation project that included replacement of the historic building’s HVAC system and a new roof.

Matt Mayberry, Colorado Springs cultural services manager and director of the Pioneers Museum, says an official opening date will be announced on the museum’s website and Facebook page. He expects the grand opening will happen midsummer.

The city undertook the renovation because the HVAC system was failing, he says. It was leaking into some of the galleries and didn’t reach parts of the building at all. The new system provides stable temperatures and humidity throughout the building, which is essential to

protect the museum’s collection of historic materials.

Other than a more comfortable environment, visitors won’t notice the improvements, but they will again experience classic displays like COS at 150, which tells the city’s story through 150 artifacts, and City of Sunshine, which explores the region as a premier health destination, as well as the new exhibits.

One of the building’s third-floor courtrooms has been converted into a new gallery that will display parasols, shawls, jewelry, footwear and other fashionable items from the museum’s collection. Another new exhibit, which the museum is curating with three Ute tribes, will be housed in an existing third-floor gallery, Mayberry says.

The women artists exhibit will display historic art and will also celebrate women artists through the present day. In the lobby area, new displays will honor Charles Craig, architect of the building, and the late Mary Mashburn, a patron of the arts and founder of the Imagination Celebration.

“I can’t tell you how eager we are to welcome the public back here,” Mayberry says.

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 2013. (Photo by Rob Miskowitch)
NORTH June/July 2024 65



Golf continues to flourish, stretching beyond traditional demographics and heralding a new era for the sport that’s characterized by diversity and accessibility. Colorado Springs offers new and seasoned players some of the most scenic, challenging and historic courses in the entire state of Colorado. There are many public courses, private courses, resort courses and indoor practice facilities for golfers of all levels.

City and Family-Friendly Courses

Patty Jewett Golf Course is one of the oldest golf courses in the United States, with stunning views of Pikes Peak. It is a golf hub with old world charm, mature tree-lined fairways, attractive clubhouse amenities and high-quality food and beverage services. PJ, as it is called by locals, offers a variety of options with 27 holes of regulation golf, a lighted driving range on Friday and Saturday evenings

and a year-round restaurant.

PJ’s sister course, Valley Hi Golf Course, offers magnificent scenic views of Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain. It was constructed as a private club in 1956, and purchased by the city in 1975. The 18-hole, par 72 course offers some of the best manicured greens in the area. This easily walkable, traditional design offers challenges for all ability levels. After a round of golf or a lesson, the restaurant is open yearround for cool drinks and a bite to eat while enjoying the amazing view and sunsets from the patio and dining room. Valley Hi also hosts the First Tee of Southern Colorado, which features clinics and golf camps for front range kids.

First Tee of Southern Colorado is a youth development organization that enables kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, they create active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence and resilience that kids can carry to everything they do. First Tee also has indoor practice facilities and virtual bays for rent available to the public. For golfers looking to give back, First Tee - Southern Colorado is always


looking for volunteers. Call 719-597-1932 or email: staff@

An excellent family and beginner course can be found at World Golf Sand Creek Golf Course, family-owned and -operated by Colorado natives. It is a nine-hole executive golf course, designed for both beginners to learn the game as well as for experienced players looking for a challenge. You’ll find some unique ways to carry your clubs here as well, from traditional rental pushcarts to rental cycle boards (similar to a powered skateboard) and golf/e-bikes (bikes with electric power or pedal-assist).

Private and Resort Golf Clubs & Courses

Seasoned golfers love getting onto private courses, and there are ways into those courses; find a friend who is a member, play in a charity tournament or take a staycation at one of the resort courses like The Broadmoor, the Garden of the Gods Club and Resort (Kissing Camels Golf Course), Cheyenne Mountain Resort (Country Club of Colorado) or the Flying Horse Resort (Flying Horse Golf Club)

Links Magazine voted The Broadmoor a Top 25 Golf Resort of the World in its Silver Anniversary edition. And in April 2023, the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame moved to The Broadmoor. “It’s a great privilege for The Broadmoor to feature the distinguished men, women and golf championships that have had such a profound impact on

golf in Colorado,” notes the Broadmoor’s PGA Director of Golf Russ Miller.

Across the city is the private Kissing Camels Golf Course. “While we are mainly considered a private golf club for our members and their guests, we do allow resort guests staying at the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club access to play golf at Kissing Camels,” says Rich Parker, PGA, TPI, Director of Golf. “We are unique in that we have 27 holes of golf and rotate our courses daily. So, if you choose to stay with us at the resort for multiple days, your chance of playing all three nines is good.”

COS Boasts Two Military Courses

Hit up your military golf friends to get onto the exclusive Blue and Silver courses at Eisenhower Golf Course on the Air Force Academy campus, two of the most challenging and stunning courses in Colorado Springs. Only Department of Defense ID card holders can use Eisenhower. DoD card holders can bring guests, but only card holders can schedule a tee time.

Previously named the top golf course in the DoD by Travel and Leisure Golf magazine, the Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed Blue Course stretches almost 7,500 yards and offers wide fairways and challenging greens.

A demanding course, the Silver Course places a premium on accuracy rather than length. In addition to open play, a full tournament schedule is slated for spring, summer and fall months.

However, Cheyenne Meadows on Fort Carson is a great course to check out as well and open to the public.

If you’re just getting into golf, look for tournaments throughout the summer and fall. It’s a great way to get to play private courses while supporting charitable causes. Find three friends to sign up for a foursome or sign up as a single golfer and see who you meet!

Indoor Golf Facilities

Finally, there are several indoor golf facilities in the city, including X-Golf and TopGolf. These facilities are great on a rainy day and in the winter.

“I teach what I call experiential golf,” says Rebecca Bradley, LPGA Class A, director of instruction at TopGolf Colorado Springs. “Learning the right thoughts to make your body move in the most efficient way to advance the golf ball towards your target.”

Check out NORTH’s list of courses and clubs on page 69 discover all the golf that Colorado Springs and Pueblo have to offer.

NORTH June/July 2024 67
East Course 4th Green at The Broadmoor.


Elevate your golf experience to new heights with Garden of the Gods Resort and Club’s exclusive membership offerings. Nestled in the breathtaking beauty of Colorado’s landscape, our 27-hole Kissing Camels Golf Course beckons to those seeking not just a game, but a lifestyle. Embrace extraordinary experiences, exclusive access and benefits, and a vibrant community. Become a part of our Garden of the Gods community today and leave no sense unturned.


27-hole, championship golf course with mountain views

Access to all pools, including renowned infinity pool

Vibrant community and social events

Access to all 3 restaurants, including award-winning Grand View



Antler Creek Golf Course 719-494-1900

Broadmoor Golf Courses 719-634-7711

Cherokee Ridge Golf Course 719-597-2637

Cheyenne Shadows Golf Club 719-526-4102

Colorado Springs Country Club 719-634-8851

Country Club of Colorado 719-538-4080

Eisenhower Golf Course 719-333-2606

Elmwood Golf Course 719-561-4946

First Tee of Southern Colorado 719-597-1932

First Tee of Southern Colorado give kids a safe place to grow with trained coaches.

Four Mile Ranch Golf Club 719-275-5400

Hollydot Golf Course 719-676-3341

King’s Deer Golf Club 719-559-4500

Kissing Camels Golf Club 719-636-2520

Patty Jewett Golf Shop 719-385-6963

Pine Creek Golf Club 719-594-9999

Pueblo Country Club 719-543-4844

Rockrimmon Golf Club 303-981-7914

Shining Mountain Golf Course 719-687-7587

The Club at Flying Horse 719-494-1222

The Country Club at Woodmoor 719-481-2272

Top Golf Colorado Springs 719-653-0857

Valley Hi Golf Course 719-385-6911

Walking Stick Golf Course 719-553-1180

World Golf & Sand Creek Golf Course 719-597-5489

X-Golf 719-633-2727

NORTH June/July 2024 69

Discover the Difference

Part 2

Elevating Medical Aesthetics


At Pearl Skin & Body Rejuvenation, our mission is to empower your personal transformation through expertly tailored aesthetic treatments. At our Colorado Springs med spa, it begins with a thorough consultation, ensuring that the approach aligns seamlessly with your unique needs and medical background, helping you rediscover a renewed sense of self. Let’s explore how your journey at Pearl is meticulously designed to reflect your identity.

Tailored Treatment Plans

This physician-led approach ensures that each service — from advanced skin tightening to weight loss and injectables — is safely tailored to your needs. Commitment to the highest standards in the medical aesthetics industry ensures that my medical expertise not only elevates your standard of care but also enhances the effectiveness of each treatment.

Guest-Centric Approach

Understanding the challenges of finding time for self-care in today’s busy world, we offer flexible scheduling, including weekends, to accommodate guests’ diverse schedules. We also prioritize your comfort, safety and results, adapting treatments to serve you efficiently and thoughtfully. Your well-being is the cornerstone of our practice.

Transforming Experiences

By listening empathetically, I ensure that every evolution exceeds your expectations with precision and compassion. Our commitment is to provide not just treatments, but transformations, empowering each guest to renew their sense of self and confidence.

Join us at Pearl, where your beauty journey is personalized to your individual needs, ensuring you receive care that truly reflects who you are and who you want to be.

Visit our website to book a free consultation or to learn more about Pearl Skin & Body Rejuvenation.

@pearlskinbody drrachaeldegurse

This series aims to illuminate the critical role of medical expertise, in not just achieving beauty, but ensuring lasting wellness and confidence. Join us as we explore the uniqueness of physician-led medical aesthetics, a cornerstone of excellence in care!

NORTH June/July 2024 71
NORTH June/July 2024 73


Quirky Huts Reflect Springs’ History

Scattered around the Pikes Peak region are small, rounded structures topped with pointed roofs. You can spot their octagonal forms in backyards, incorporated into the entrances of homes or attached to businesses.

These quirky structures harken back to a time when Colorado Springs was a sanctuary for tuberculosis patients. They were part of one of the largest sanatoriums in a city that was full of these specialized hospitals.

“It’s an Easter egg when you find one,” says Leah Witherow, curator of history for the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. One sits at the entrance to Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site and two more, cobbled together, form a shop in Manitou Springs.

Tuberculosis was a terrifying plague that caused victims to cough incessantly, develop a ghostly pallor and waste away. It was the leading cause of death in the United States and Europe in the late 19th century. The most often recommended treatment was a regimen of rest, fresh air and plentiful food.

The American West’s wide open spaces, bright sunshine and dry air attracted patients to states like Colorado, where sanatoriums sprang to life to house them. The first Colorado Springs sanatorium, Bellevue, opened in 1888, and eventually became Memorial Hospital. Other major sanatoriums were Glockner, opened in 1890 by a TB widow and known for reasonable

prices; Cragmor, the toniest — nicknamed The Sun Palace; and the Union Printers Home, which served members of the International Typographical Union. The city’s chamber of commerce ballyhooed the area’s ideal conditions and reputation as a health resort, branding it “the City of Sunshine.”

This was a successful marketing pitch, making TB treatment a leading industry in Colorado Springs. In the early 20th century, 17 sanatoriums of various sizes operated, and many boarding houses and private homes hosted TB patients.

“Colorado Springs saw itself as America’s greatest sanatorium,” Witherow says. “It just became wildly popular.”

Well-to-do patients could afford long stays in exclusive sanatoriums like Cragmor, but middle- and working-class people also came in search of a cure.

“We see glimpses in the newspapers of people who were able to check into Glockner for a short time,” Witherow says. “But they couldn’t sit for a year — they had to go to work. They’re the ones who were working in the hotels and restaurants and on the railroads.”

The Modern Woodmen of America sanatorium was a latecomer, opening in 1908, but it grew to be the largest in the city. Established by a fraternal organization that provided benefits for its members, it was built on a site 10 miles northwest of downtown Colorado Springs. It consisted of 180 small cottages; more huts were added later.


The building that houses Totally Nuts & Company in Manitou Springs is made from two former TB huts.

Top: Interior of a patient cottage at Modern Woodmen Sanatorium. Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

Bottom: Tuberculosis patients at Modern Woodmen Sanatorium spent most of their time outdoors, even in winter. Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

These structures were designed by Dr. Charles Fox Gardiner, an early Colorado Springs physician, who modeled them on the tents of the Ute tribe, Witherow says. Originally, tents were used at some sanatoriums, but that was impractical in the winter. At Modern Woodmen, the huts were constructed of wood, modestly furnished and heated with a wood- or coal-fired stove. Each hut housed one patient.

The days were regimented. They arose at 7 a.m. and spent the day resting, preferably outdoors, until bedtime at 8 p.m. They ate six times a day — three hearty meals, plus three “luncheons” in between. Outdoor rest was prescribed even in the winter, when patients would recline outside their huts in Adirondack-type lounge chairs, swathed in blankets. Mostly they were kept isolated, but there were opportunities for socializing, visiting with friends and relatives, entertainment and trips into Colorado Springs.

Force Base and today is the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center.

The grounds of the Modern Woodmen Sanatorium are the site of the Franciscan Retreat Center.

After the Woodmen sanatorium closed in 1947, the huts were sold. “I don’t know the exact number still extant, but I’ve seen about a dozen,” Witherow says.

Antibiotics developed in the 1940s finally afforded an effective weapon against TB. Colorado Springs’ sanatorium industry waned, but vestiges of the TB era lingered.

“What’s remarkable is that so many of these structures still exist,” Witherow says. Glockner Sanatorium became Penrose Hospital — still a health facility. Cragmor is now part of UCCS’s Main Hall. The National Methodist Sanatorium on East Boulder Street became Ent Air

A display featuring one of the TB huts, set up as it would have been in the early 1900s, has been one of the most popular attractions at the Pioneers Museum for decades, she says. It will be on display again when the museum reopens this summer after renovations are complete.

Additional information for this story came from an article by Colorado Springs Cultural Services Director and Pioneers Museum Director Matt Mayberry.

NORTH June/July 2024 75

Essential Strategies for Summer Protection Shield Your Skin

While the sun can be a nice way to enjoy being outside, too much sun exposure increases the risk of getting severely sunburned or even developing skin cancer. Most types of skin cancer are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays that can damage skin cells. In fact, UV rays can be especially harsh in this part of Colorado, and cause serious damage even on cloudy days.

Thanks to the high altitude, Colorado’s sun can be harsh. Here, UV rays tend to be strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daylight saving time, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time. Checking the UV forecast (part of the weather forecast on most apps) is a great way to determine how strong the UV rays expected to be in the area at any given time.

While it’s best to protect your skin whenever exposed to UV rays, if the index is three or higher in the area, it’s even more important. Keeping an eye on the UV index can help as a guide, but it’s important to be well-versed in proper skin protection methods.

Stay in the Shade

Stay under an umbrella, tree, or other shady shelter as often as possible. But keep in mind that shaded areas still contain UV rays. Even while lounging in the shade, it’s important to wear sunscreen or protective clothing.


Wear Protective Clothing

When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and skirts that provide protection from UV rays. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric are best. Wearing a hat that has a wide brim all the way around and can shade the face, ears, and the back of the neck offers the most protection. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works the best to provide shade from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. Sunglasses can also protect your eyes as well as the tender skin around the eyes. Wrap-around sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. Most sunglasses in the U.S. meet this standard.

Sunscreen protection levels are categorized using a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates how well they block UV rays, with higher numbers indicating more protection. Dr. Todd Kobayashi, a dermatologist with Optum in Colorado Springs, recommends using a broadspectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher.

Make sure to check the sunscreen’s expiration date as well, as shelf life diminishes over time. As a general rule of thumb, any sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no longer than three years. The shelf life can also diminish quicker if the sunscreen container has been repeatedly exposed to hot temperatures.

Apply Sunscreen

Applying a thick layer of broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays is important before going outside or exposing skin to the sun. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend sunscreen for babies who are six months or younger. It’s best to keep them out of the sun midday entirely, and use protective clothing when they are in the sun.

Make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours while you’re in the sun, especially after sweating, swimming or toweling off.

Talk to Your Doctor

It’s important to make regular appointments with a dermatologist, especially if you have any suspicious moles or spots. This is especially important for older adults. Studies have shown that less than half of older adults protect their skin from the sun when outside for an hour or more on a warm, sunny day. Nearly 18% of older adults and 15% of sun-sensitive older adults say they don’t use any kind of sun protection regularly.

For more information on skin protection or to schedule an appointment with a local dermatologist, contact Dr. Todd Kobayashi with Optum in Colorado Springs. Call (719) 228-0400, or visit: colorado/optum-colorado.html and search Todd Kobayashi under Find Care.

Dr. Todd Kobayashi, with Optum in COS.

NORTH June/July 2024 77

Prohibiting Polluting Plastic


It’s been almost six months since the statewide Plastic Pollution Reduction Act took effect (House Bill 21-1162 passed by voters in 2021). NORTH wanted to know more about the legislation and what readers think of it.

Plastic bags have been ubiquitous with commerce in the U.S. since the ’80s, first introduced in 1979. Colorado’s legislation states that stores and retail food establishments, on and after January 1, 2024, are prohibited from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. (Stores could allow customers to purchase them until the end of 2023.)

Retail food establishments operating solely in Colorado and having three or fewer locations are the exception — they may provide single-use plastic carryout bags.

The act also prohibits a Colorado retail food establishment from distributing polystyrene products for use as a container for ready-to-eat food. Any of these establishments that purchased expanded polystyrene products before January 1, 2024, are allowed to use the products until their supply is depleted.

Why was a ban ever proposed to voters? Mostly health reasons. Per “Polystyrene (often referred to as Styrofoam®) food and containers and cups are made from styrene, which is considered a carcinogen by the Department of Health and Human Services and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.”

As for 40 years of plastic bag use, says: “They are one of the most common pollutants found in Colorado’s rivers, and never biodegrade — they only break down into smaller and smaller plastics and get into our water and soils, or are consumed by animals, ultimately ending up in the food we eat.” Translation: the plastic ends up in our bodies. No bueno.

Legislation to protect citizens is not new; there are multiple government agencies designed for the purpose of ensuring laws of this type are followed. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration are two of them.

“I love the people who took single use plastic bags and turned them into reusable large bags. I bought reusable plastic bags 10 or more years ago and still use them. I also like paper, since I can compost them. As for food containers — I’ve worked in restaurants that used Styrofoam since it holds in heat well, but a few have found decent cardboard containers.” — KH

“I understand it is better for the environment but if you are reusing them I don’t see a problem. For example, they are great for disposing of diapers, cat litter and dog poop. If I don’t get them when I buy groceries I need to buy them for this purpose, so no help to the environment.” — SH

“It’s not a problem for me. I usually put everything in the shopping cart and unload it into my car.” — EF

“I’m glad this is being done. We wouldn’t have so much going into our landfills that are already overflowing. Also, since recycling isn’t really being done, those items also end up in the landfill.” — PC

Local governments are currently prohibited from requiring or banning the use or sale of specific types of plastic materials or products. This prohibition comes to an end on July 1, 2024. From that point forward, a local government may enact, implement, or enforce an ordinance, resolution, rule, or charter provision that is as or more stringent than the requirements stated in the act.

For more information, please visit:

NORTH June/July 2024 79


Tips for Recovery from Shoulder Surgery

Are you scheduled to have shoulder surgery? Here are six at-home success tips to help you prepare and make the most out of your recovery.

Follow your Doctor’s Instructions

After surgery, your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your shoulder. It’s essential to follow these instructions to ensure that you recover as quickly as possible. Some of the instructions may include initial physical therapy exercises, pain medication recommendations and keeping your shoulder immobilized with a properly fitted sling. Instructions vary per procedure, so be sure to diligently read through all information provided to you.

Consider Which Arm Your Surgery Will Be On

As most people do not practice skills in an ambidextrous fashion, everyday tasks such as brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, drinking from a cup, eating or opening doors may require a learning curve for the first few weeks. Practicing these types of tasks prior to surgery may help ease the frustration of postsurgery challenges.

Prepare to Get Dressed

Throughout the first few weeks after surgery, you may experience limited mobility when lifting or extending your arm in multiple directions. To help with this, we recommend loose-fitting shirts, button-downs and zipups for use after surgery. There are post-surgical shirts available at various online retailers as well.

Build Your At-Home Recovery Supply

Many patients find a few everyday items can make a big difference during shoulder surgery recovery. These may include a long-handled back scrubber, detachable shower head, shower chair, frozen meals, suitable clothing or a pillow wedge.

Get Plenty of Rest & Reduce Stress

Getting plenty of rest is crucial to a successful recovery. Your body needs time to heal, and rest is the best way to facilitate that process. It’s normal to experience fatigue after surgery, so be sure you rest whenever you feel tired. Sleeping in a recliner or propping yourself up with multiple pillows can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Focus on Nutrition & Hydration

Following a whole-food nutrition plan is essential and will ensure you receive all of the vital vitamins and minerals necessary for proper healing. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Hydration is also a very large component of ensuring a full recovery — approximately 60% of our bodies are composed of water. Consuming enough water helps to avoid any potential complications, such as infections, and helps to boost the immune system which is typically weakened after surgery. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommend adults consume between 92 – 124 oz of water per day. This equates to about three or four 32-oz. bottles daily. Most importantly, remember that recovery takes time. It requires patience and perseverance. Taking it slow during this period doesn’t mean you can’t do anything; it simply means for the first few weeks you’ll want to opt for light activities. With doctor-guided permission, you can gradually increase the intensity of everyday activities. This time is temporary and ultimately will be the vehicle to get you back to living pain free. Focus on these few tips and you’ll be back to the swing of things before you know it!

Call us today at 719-632-7669 to schedule your appointment & let’s get you on the road to recovery!

NORTH June/July 2024 81 16 B oard C ertified o rthopaedi C S urgeon S Physical & Occupational Therapy • Orthopaedic Express Care • MRI & XRay Imaging Orthotic & Prosthetic Services • Ambulatory Surgery Center | 719-632-7669 CHRISTOPHER JONES, MD Sports Medicine Specialist COMPREHENSIVE ORTHOPEDIC CARE for your individual needs JOHN REDFERN, MD Sports Medicine Specialist CRAIG YAGER, MD Sports Medicine Specialist
Medicine Specialist
Medicine Specialist JAMIE FRIEDMAN, MD Sports Medicine Specialist


Direct Indexing: The Most Tax-Efficient


You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

In today's rapidly evolving investment landscape, high-net-worth households increasingly seek personalized strategies to optimize their portfolios. Direct indexing, an innovative financial strategy, offers investors tailored solutions for tax efficiency and portfolio customization. According to Cerulli Associates, direct indexing is expected to surpass $1 trillion in assets within the next few years. Here’s an overview of how direct indexing and tax-loss harvesting are transforming the investment landscape.


Direct indexing empowers investors to own a selection of securities through a separately managed account (SMA) replicating a market index, such as the S&P 500, rather than buying

into an index fund or ETF. Asset managers strive to replicate the index’s performance while enabling investors to fully customize the strategy according to their preferences, like dividend yield or growth, or exclude undesirable stocks.


The most compelling feature of direct indexing is tax-loss harvesting, a powerful technique where portfolio managers strategically sell securities at a loss to offset gains and significantly minimize tax liability. This differs from traditional index investing through an ETF or index mutual fund, where profitable years bring aggregate returns but also unrealized taxable gains.

For instance, an investor who chooses an index fund or ETF in a taxable, non-retirement account at the beginning of the year may be


pleased with their year’s end growth in value but would also accept the corresponding unrealized taxable gains. However, whereas a direct indexing strategy would result in a similar overall year-end value, it would be coupled with the benefit of realized losses that could be used to offset other portfolio gains or gains from the sale of other assets.

Asset managers leverage deep technological resources to apply tax-loss harvesting efficiently across hundreds of stocks, potentially yielding higher after-tax returns than traditional index funds. The amount of tax losses harvested is not guaranteed, and performance may deviate from the target index. Yet, by separating the losses and gains through a representative sample of index stocks, direct indexing seeks to provide greater after-tax results than holding an index strategy alone. These higher after-tax returns are often called “Tax Alpha.” Again, it's not what you make; it's what you keep.


• Tracking Error: Tracking error measures how closely a direct indexing portfolio's returns follow those of a chosen index. A smaller tracking error means the portfolio closely matches the index, while a larger tracking error indicates a greater difference. Tracking error can be adjusted. Allowing for higher tracking error may enable investors to realize more losses earlier in the strategy, albeit with a broader disparity in performance.

• Lifespan: Direct indexing strategies typically start by selecting a representative sample of stocks to replicate the target index. Over time, as more stocks move into a gain state, the opportunity to harvest losses diminishes. While five years is a common rule of thumb for the strategy's lifespan, reinvesting dividends, adding cash or investing in a new index can extend longevity.

• Experience Matters: When selecting a manager, experience is crucial. Few asset managers have more than five years of experience in direct indexing, and only a handful exceed ten years. Investors should carefully evaluate a manager’s track record, as newer entrants may struggle to deliver.

• Platform & Technology: Scaling direct indexing across thousands of accounts requires significant

computing power and sophisticated algorithms. Choosing a skilled portfolio manager with deep technological resources and efficient platforms is essential.

• Concentrated & Appreciated Stock: Some managers offer tools to help investors gradually sell appreciated and concentrated stocks by iteratively offsetting gains with losses from other securities within the direct indexing portfolio.

• Potential Regulatory Changes: Changes to tax laws, like modifications to the "wash-sale rule," could impact the tax benefits of direct indexing strategies.


Direct indexing offers investors an opportunity to personalize their portfolios while optimizing for tax efficiency and aligning with their investment values. As the industry expands and competition increases, careful evaluation of providers is crucial. Direct indexing can be a powerful tool for achieving financial goals with the right strategy and provider. Should you have any further questions about this strategy, please reach out to T.H. Williams by e-mail at


NORTH June/July 2024 83
Investment and Insurance Products: Not FDIC Insured / No Bank Guarantee / May Lose Value Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company PM-11102025-6617370.1.1
Private Wealth Financial Advisor Virtuent Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
Your Relocation Specialist IT’S NOT JUST RELOCATION, IT’S THE RIGHT LOCATION! REALTY TM Join us for an information gathering Discovery Tour of our exciting communities of the northern corridor of Colorado Springs and El Paso County. Register online or call 719-886-4800

Homeownership in a Self-Employed Culture Maximize Tax Benefits while Ensuring Mortgage Approval

In today’s dynamic economy, where self-employment and gig work are on the rise, more self-employed individuals enjoy the freedom and flexibility of managing their own businesses, along with various advantages like deducting business expenses.

However, this strategy can complicate the process of purchasing a home due to traditional mortgage guidelines, which typically prioritize taxable wages over gross income. Fortunately, solutions are emerging to allow entrepreneurs to maintain self-employment tax benefits while achieving homeownership goals.

Understand The Challenge

Traditional mortgage products require proof of steady, taxable income, a challenge for many selfemployed borrowers. In addition, when facing a low-inventory housing market where the speed of financing approval is essential, self-employed individuals can face heightened competition and a longer approval process when trying to secure mortgage financing. In such situations, leveraging streamlined specialty products can offer distinct advantages. These products consider the specific financial circumstances of entrepreneurs, enabling them to qualify for a mortgage based on alternatives to taxable income.

Cash-Flow Analysis Options

Some mortgage products analyze cash flow over 12 to 24 months,

providing a comprehensive view of the borrower’s financial stability and repayment ability. By focusing on cash flow rather than just taxable income, self-employed borrowers enhance their chances of mortgage approval while still benefiting from tax deductions.

Asset-Based Lending Programs

For self-employed individuals with substantial reserves, asset-based lending programs offer another strong alternative. These programs consider the borrower’s assets as a basis for income, assessing liquid assets like savings, investments, and retirement accounts to determine loan repayment capacity. This approach is advantageous for selfemployed borrowers with significant assets but irregular taxable income.

Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) Mortgages

Many self-employed Americans are generating income through property investments. A DSCR mortgage evaluates the income of the property being financed instead of the individual’s traditional wages. This approach is advantageous as it may allow borrowers to qualify for higher loans amounts than they otherwise would since it considers the property’s potential rental income.

Achieving homeownership and maximizing tax benefits as a self-employed individual or gig worker may appear challenging. However, common sense mortgage

products provide a solution, enabling borrowers to strike a balance between deducting business expenses and qualifying for mortgages. By leveraging innovative income verification and underwriting methods, selfemployed individuals can access the financing needed to purchase their dream home while retaining tax advantages. Contact me today at (719) 820-3533 to explore how these tailored mortgage solutions can optimize your real estate wealth strategy.

Michelle Bobart is a Certified Mortgage Advisor with CrossCountry Mortgage and is licensed in all 50 states.

“In my 25+ years in the mortgage industry, I’ve partnered with over 3,500 clients and real estate agents to create customized mortgage solutions to fit each individualized portfolio in every economic situation.”

Michelle Bobart NMLS 137164

Michelle Bobart Branch NMLS 1806506

Michelle Bobart Company NMLS 3029

Failure to pay on your Bridge Loan could damage your credit standing and result in the loss of your home through foreclosure. Equal Housing Opportunity. All loans subject to underwriting approval. Certain restrictions apply. Call for details. All borrowers must meet minimum credit score, loan-to-value, debt-to-income, and other requirements to qualify for any mortgage program. CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS3029 ( See for a complete list of state licenses. 312-953-7365

NORTH June/July 2024 87

West Valley at Forest Lakes


Nestled deep in the West Valley of Forest Lakes, you'll nd an extraordinary opportunity to build your Colorado dream home.

Featuring new homes from the $700s.

e West Valley at Forest Lakes is located west of I-25, just o of Baptist Road and Forest Lakes Drive. As you travel through Forest Lakes, on your way to the West Valley, you’ll revel in rolling hills, open space, and a 65-acre private lake. Upon completion, the West Valley will showcase 180 homes situated adjacent Pike National Forest and built by local Colorado based homebuilders, Classic Homes and Vantage Homes.

719-419-8232 |

Forest Lakes Model 15725 Timber Trek Way, Monument CO 80132

719-494-8112 |

Forest Lakes Model 4585 Mesa Top, Monument, CO 80132

New Lots & Quick Move-in Homes! The
Pricing and availability subject to change without notice.

“We like the fact that we’re able to impact different types of nonprofits, not just one organization.”


Mark and Kasia Blum have called Colorado Springs home for just two short years. But they certainly didn’t waste any time getting plugged into the community.

The two had joined the Giving Group — a national non-profit, volunteer-based organization — when they lived in Arizona, and wanted to find a way to replicate the experience in the Springs. The Giving Group describes itself as passionate about giving back to local communities and helping make the world better by healing hearts and helping one neighborhood at a time.

When they moved to Colorado Springs in 2021, they discovered there wasn’t a chapter in Colorado Springs. So, they planned for a year, ironing out the where, when, how and who aspects of the group. The first event was held in January 2023, and the local group now meets at the Bristol Brewing Company at Ivywild once a quarter.

“We like the fact that we’re able to impact different types of nonprofits, not just one organization,” explains Kasia Blum. “I enjoy meeting people at the Giving Group who share similar goals and values, too.”

The Blums started the group with their friends. Soon after, their friends’ friends joined in, and so on and so

forth. Everyone is welcome at The Giving Group.

Each person donates $100 per quarter, for a grand total gift of $400 per year per person. The quarterly meetings allow members to network, meet new people and just have fun while donating to good causes. All donating members receive a “ticket” on voting night. Three worthy nonprofits present their organizations, the members vote, and, after votes are counted, the winner is announced that night.

To date, the local chapter of the Giving Group has donated $10,400 to different charities, including Safe Place for Pets, Reigning Hope Therapy Services Farm Clinic and the Stranded Motorist Fund, which was the first-ever winner. The goal is to grow the group to 100 members, which would amount to a $10,000 check for some lucky charity!

To learn more about why Mark and Kasia Blum immediately jumped into giving in the Colorado Springs community, upcoming events and how to get involved, go to Or donors can give through a secure online portal. There are more than 35 local groups around the country and Giving Group’s parent organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Submitted photo.
NORTH June/July 2024 89

Stage to Sell

Does Staging a Home Really Matter?

Properties at The Platinum Group

You’re ready to list your home for sale. You’ve cleaned, made minor repairs and decluttered — so that’s it, right? There are some other simple things you can do to help potential buyers fall in love with your home. Staging a home is important to help significantly impact the speed of the sale, the quality of offers and the selling price.

Staging involves strategically arranging furnishings and decor to showcase a property’s best features and potential. This practice is not just about making a home look attractive; it’s about allowing potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. It is important to realize we aren’t in the same market as a few years ago when inventory was low and demand was high.

There’s a difference between staging a home to sell and home decorating. Home staging helps make a home appeal to the widest range of buyers possible to generate strong offers, while decorating focuses on customizing a home for a homeowner’s personal taste.

A well-staged home creates a neutral environment that can help highlight a property’s strengths and minimize its weaknesses. Through careful arrangement of furniture, decor and lighting, staging makes each room appear more functional and appeal to a broader range of potential buyers. This visual enhancement helps buyers imagine the space as their own, which can generate emotional attachment and lead to quicker, more competitive offers.

Moreover, staging a home can effectively neutralize the space, allowing a broader range of buyers to see its potential without the distraction of personal items. In today’s digital age where the first showing is often online through photos and virtual tours, staging ensures that a home appears in the best light possible. This is crucial in drawing more interest from potential buyers.

Statistics consistently support the efficacy of staging, showing that staged homes tend to sell faster and for

higher prices compared to those that are not, thereby making the investment in staging a wise financial decision for sellers aiming to maximize their return.

• 82% of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home (National Association of Realtors, NAR).

• Staged homes spend 73% less time on the market compared to non-staged homes (Real Estate Staging Association).

• 23% of buyers’ agents and 18% of sellers’ agents stated that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1% and 5% compared to similar non-staged homes on the market. In competitive markets, staging can increase perceived value by as much as 10% (NAR).

• 31% of sellers’ agents said they stage all sellers’ homes (NAR).

• 42% of sellers’ agents do not stage but do have sellers declutter (NAR).

If you would like to learn more about staging your home to sell or would like some staging tips, please reach out: 719-238-0330

Marquesa Hobbs, Realtor® & MRP, CNE. Top 1.5% of Realtors® in the area. Peak Producer 2019 - Present. Host of American Dream TV, Colorado Springs.

NORTH June/July 2024 91

[ Tax Book Updates ] FROM A PROFESSIONAL!

CPAs are finally out of tax season after compiling stacks of notes with mostly good ideas for next year. Here are some of the highlights:


Business owners who no longer materially participate in the business activity can now be considered passive investors. Seems easy, right? You would like to be considered a passive business owner to either:

• Have passive losses be deductible against your newfound passive income,

• To avoid having to pay yourself a reasonable salary in an S Corp environment (and only take shareholder distributions), or

• Have your income avoid self-employment taxes in a sole proprietor, single-member LLC or partnership environment.

Keep in mind that it might be difficult to claim passive business owner status. Your recent involvement in the business and the material participation tests have a 10year lookback.


WCG encourages short-term rentals to be owned by partnerships (e.g., a multi-member LLC). Why?

First, the historical audit rate of partnerships (Form 1065) is 0.4%. Super low compared to individual tax returns (Form 1040). When you have a big cost segregation depreciation plus your big startup expenses such as furniture and supplies, and you then have a big tax deduction against your big W-2 income because your passive losses are no longer limited with your big material participation, it increases your audit risk a ton.

Putting all this rental action into a partnership tax return reduces the risk to an acceptable amount.

Second, with a partnership tax return, we can mechanically show your capital contribution (at-risk money) including recourse loan debt. Let’s say you invest $250,000 into a new business, and that business loses money. The IRS sees your “partner basis,” the $250,000, on Form 7203 which is filed within your 1040 tax return, and suddenly the $100,000 first-year loss doesn’t seem so out of whack. Conversely, rental property activities reported on Schedule E Page 1 of your 1040 tax return do not present the same way.

Third, all rental activities, including short-term rental (STR) activities, within a partnership tax return are reported on Form 8825. This is another layer of cloaking within the 1065 tax return and allows your rental income and deductions to fly just a little closer to the ground as compared to Schedule E of your 1040 tax return. There are three degrees of separation… the 1040 to the K-1 to the 1065 to the 8825, all wrapped with a nice 7203.

Downsides include the additional tax return preparation fees and perhaps unnecessary state taxes such as California’s franchise tax and LLC fee which can be summarized as money-grabs or pleasure to do business in our state fees. You need to consider your exposure versus the cost of reducing your exposure and therefore subsequent risk.

There you go! Some updates for your summer reading pleasure.

Jason Watson, CPA, is a partner for WCG CPAs & Advisors, a progressive boutique tax and accounting firm with seven partners and 64 people located in northern Colorado Springs. Our book “Taxpayer’s Comprehensive Guide to LLCs and S Corps” is over 350 pages of pure reading pleasure. Want a copy? Send me a note. 719-428-3261 •


The Bar Cart Cheat Sheet

LONGER & WARMER DAYS make the perfect setting for enjoying great cocktails. Whether entertaining groups with barbecues and evenings on the patio or simply soaking up the sunshine on your deck, these three cocktails from 1350 Distilling will not disappoint.

June is National Bourbon Month, so we have a couple of recipes to impress the whiskey drinkers. Of course, we would be remiss if we did not highlight our Minuteman Vodka for Fourth of July gatherings.


The 38th Parallel is where North and South Korea was split post WWII. The U.S. Coast Guard helped to protect South Korea and develop their Coast Guard. This is where the name of our signature cocktail is derived.

All of our simple syrups are from Colorado Springs’ Pikes Peak Lemonade Co. You can purchase their products or make your own. The mint simple syrup can easily be replaced for a common simple syrup. For the drink, start with ice in your glass, then add:

• 2 dashes spicy orange bitters

• 0.5 oz. blackberry simple syrup

• 0.25 oz. mint simple syrup

• 2.0 oz. Guardian bourbon

Fill remainder of glass with Ginger Beer and stir ingredients. The lemon makes a great garnish, but because of the ingredients, it also can make a totally different cocktail when squeezed into the drink. Pick your favorite version.


A refreshing and lightly sweet cocktail, Liquid Charms was one of our very first cocktails showcasing our Minuteman Vodka. It was created before seltzers were “a thing” but this original definitely falls into that category, with a little more elbow grease for the bartender. You don’t need to destroy the mint and citrus when you muddle, just a few presses will get the mint oils out and the juices flowing. A highball glass is best to keep the drink cold. In order, add:

• 0.5 oz lavender simple syrup

• 6 mint leaves, a lemon and lime, then muddle

• ice

• 1.75 oz Minuteman vodka

• fill rest of glass with soda water

Add a cherry in glass, stir, and garnish with mint. The mint in the glass gives flavor. The mint as a garnish provides aroma that is tasted throughout the drink.

SEA FOAM SOUR (Whiskey Sour)

A whiskey sour is perfect for warmer weather, but honestly, it is good anytime of year. Our original Guardian bourbon was dedicated to the U.S. Coast Guard, and because of this, our whiskey sour is named “Sea Foam.”

The key to a good whiskey sour is a great froth created with egg whites. The egg does not create any flavor, but it makes a creamy mouthfeel like no other. (Not a fan of eggs, then try Aquafaba, a chickpea water.)

Fill your glass with ice and cold water to chill it, then in a shaker with ice add:

• 2.0 oz Guardian bourbon

• 0.5 oz simple syrup

• 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice

• 0.5 oz egg white (fresh or in a carton)

Shake to chill and froth. Empty ice water from glass. Strain and pour the cocktail into the glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge for extra sour, if needed.



Advertiser Index


1350 Distillery

Amy Newland Agency

APG: Advanced Printing & Graphics

Classic Homes

Colorado Springs Airport

Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber

Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Colorado Springs Utilities


Club at Flying Horse

Dad's Donuts

David A. Joseph Company

Ent Center for the Arts

Flying Horse Realty


Falcon Stadium Force Broadband

Forest Lakes

Freedom Landscapes

Garden of the Gods Resort/Strata

Garden of the Gods Catering & Events

Grass 365

Greg Unseth Painting & Exteriors



Lifestyle Golf Carts

Marquesa Hobbs/Platinum Group

Michelle Bobart/Cross Country Mortgage

New Altitude Coworking & Office Space

Opus Creative Industries

Pearl Skin

Pine Creek Dental

Q-102.7/Salem Media

Rick's Garden Center

Ross Studios

Southern Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce

Stewart Remodeling

The Resource Exchange

The Pinery North

TING Internet

Virtuent Wealth Management

WCG, Inc.

Bernard E. Sandoval

French and U.S. teams will play a commemorative game in Apremont, France, August 7, a centennial celebration honoring the opening match of the 4th Olympic Polo Tournament at the 1924 Paris Games between the United States and France. Polo was discontinued from the Olympic Games in 1936.

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER Thank you to each and every advertiser listed herein. You are greatly appreciated for helping make Colorado Springs an amazing Community. Subscribe to NORTH WITH US cmgnorth @NorthbyCMG @COMediaGroup colorado-media-group
NORTH compass star
hidden on the cover! Tag us and post a pic on your social with #northstar! DID YOU FIND IT?
Inside Back Cover: Discover e Unbridled Majesty of Flying Horse. Classic Homes, Best Homebuilder Gold Winner, 16 years running | 719-722-3865 Flying Horse, Best New Community Gold Winner, 8 years running The Grandview Model, The Village of Turin at Flying Horse 2409 Parma Court, Colorado Springs, CO 80921

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.