Sunday, May 21, 2017

Day 97: Baldpate Staff Tribute: 2001 – 2005

Staff 2001- Jen & Pete
2001 & 2002 were really golden years in my book, as my daughter Jen, and her new husband Pete, each completing their military commitments, decided to jump in headfirst and help with management.  Thankfully we had planned in advance it was to be a 2-year agreement, so when they moved on in 2003, there was no big surprise only gratefulness for their time at Baldpate.

2001 as well marks the beginning of our Baldpate Weitzel family legend of service, when Erika joined the staff on the recommendation of family friends. Spanning the next 11 years we are proud that all five kiddos spent at least one summer with us. Thanks Erika, Breanna, Lindsey, Chelsea and Jason.  To be honest, we weren’t actually sure we could function when you all eventually moved away!

Staff 2002 with tiny Meg!
The birth of my first granddaughter, Megan in 2002 was clearly the highlight! Arriving on the day of a wedding, I did manage to sneak down to the hospital to meet her between appetizers and dinner!  She was put to work of course right away, and our staff that year were all adopted aunts & uncles.

Megan joined Jen & me on our job fair trip to the Midwest in January 2003 for what ended up being quite an adventure. We were traveling on wintry roads from Iowa to Oklahoma when our SUV slipped on the ice and took a roll. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the vehicle was totaled so we decided to spend the night in Des Moines. I was given a list of hotels to call from the hospital, so imagine my surprise when I called and said, "Hello, my name is Lois Smith from the Baldpate Inn and my daughter, granddaughter and I need a room for the night." "Wait...Lois Smith? Baldpate Inn? This is Eric York – I worked for you!" What a small world! Needless to say – we were taken care of with exceptional service!

In 2003, MacKenzie stepped back in as Assistant General Manager as Pete & Jen moved back into corporate America. This job Mac has held ever since, some years more involved on the premises than others, but always in the background as my emergency chef replacement. Don’t get him started telling about his pies or breakfast adventures whenever I was called out of town.

Staff 2003
The fall of 2003 brought the arrival of my first grandson Mason, who has been a frequent helper over the years and along with his cousins, has in the past two years even moved out front to join as waitstaff in the dining room. 
We were delighted to celebrate granddaughter Emily who arrived in January of 2004, now making three on our team of next generations crew that you will see for a few weeks this summer.

It was about that time, that as a means of training for our increasingly out of state staff, we initiated our annual Staff Scavenger hunt as a way not just to locally advertise our opening each year but as well to kickstart their knowledge of all the fun places and activities available in Estes Park.  (As college students, they did always seem to locate The Wheel and Lonigans by themselves!) Each team is tasked to visit our favorite local businesses and local attractions. Creativity and timely completion scores points for prizes, and in the meantime just getting to know each other better, we think has brought harmony to our seasonal Baldpate teams.

Staff 2004
Larry from Oklahoma, who joined as Hotel Manager, was a champion in 2004 stepping up to fill multiple roles when a co-manager left unannounced in the middle of the night!  That doesn’t happen often thankfully, but of course there is also the legend about another staffer, that proclaimed a quick trip to Starbucks, but didn’t ever return (not to worry -- we confirmed that she was safe).

The illustrious 2005 team, is often remembered for the crazy Cabin gals (you know who you are!), our second West Point grad and the ready for whatever Oklahoma “Cowboy” Cooks, Jeff & Adam.

Staff 2005
In those years, our international students came a little further, arriving from eastern European countries, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, and bringing with them even more new cultural learning opportunities.  Can’t tell you how honored we are when these internationals take the time to include a trip to Baldpate in their return trips to the USA!  They almost always timidly ask, do you remember me?   OF COURSE we do, they have each added so much to the Baldpate experience, both for our guests and staff.

And speaking of memories, enjoy our Centennial Staff albums from over the years.

Written by Lois Smith

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