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Small Colo. town fights for revitalization

10:40 PM, Sep 8, 2012   |    comments
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There, you'll find the tiny town of Saguache.

In 2009, the Colorado Preservation Society labeled Saguache's downtown as one of the most endangered places in the entire state.

"Things were just disappearing, people were just moving away," said David Winter, a handyman who sits on the town's Main Street most days. "It's gotten a shot of life since then."

Winter's talking about a renewed effort by some of the town's 471 residents to make sure Saguache doesn't become a ghost town.

Marge Hoglin, 69, is one of those leading the way.

"I sold my business in the summer of 2007 up in Allenspark and just kind of got in the car and started driving around looking for a community where I could get involved," Hoglin said.

Hoglin and her business partner Lindy McDaniel, 64, have teamed up with a group of Old Lady's Exercising, or OLE!, who meet three times a week.

They've also created the BEBOP studio for yoga, dance and exercise classes in the back of one of the town's old buildings.

"Three and a half years we've been doing this," McDaniel said, as she led the group on a recent weekday.

Hoglin and McDaniel heard talk about doing something around town. So now, they're actually doing something.

They are in the process of renovating, refurbishing, and renting two apartments.

"We bought the building in May," McDaniel said. "It had been vacant for a long time."

The BEBOP exercise studio sits in the back of Saguache's new Welcome Center, opening Sept. 15.

The Welcome Center also doubles as the town's newest art gallery.

"The changes that have been made are incredible," said Sara Fernandez, a resident who's also helped with some of the town's revitalization.

Now, with a reopened theater, a bakery, and an eye on boarded up buildings, the challenge is getting people off the highway and back on to Main Street.

"Not enough people know about it," Hoglin said. "There's an awful lot of people who drive through here, going somewhere else, who never stop."

If you're looking for something to do next weekend, Saguache is having its annual fall festival on Sept. 15.

The town will hold also hold its grand opening of the new Welcome Center on the same day.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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