9News Denver interviews Estes Park business community regarding angry notes

9News Denver interviews Estes Park business community regarding angry notes.

Local story attracting state-wide atttention.

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Yesterday (June 17), KUSA 9News in Denver, an NBC affiliate, did a segment regarding the angry notes that were left on cars with out-of-state license plates at the Visitor’s Center over the weekend. The segment was part of the show “Next with Kyle Clark.”

Specifically, they spoke to President of the Estes Chamber of Commerce, Donna Carlson, and co-owner of Elkins Distillery, McShan Walker.

Estes Park Mayor Wendy Koenig was disappointed by the notes.

“This note and disbursement by an apparent few is extremely unfortunate, disappointing and shameful. In Estes Park we welcome our visitors and appreciate their compliance with safety regulations. We appreciate their part in revitalizing our economy,” Mayor Koenig said. “As mayor, I apologize for these incidents regarding the notes placed on vehicles, and our police department is investigating this situation.”

In a facebook post, Elkins Distillery shared that they would give a free drink to anyone who brought the note into the distillery.

“If you find one of these on your car, please bring it to Elkins Distilling Company. We’ll give you a free drink,” the post said.

Owner, Joe Elkins said that this note could possibly undermine the good work the community has been doing to recover from the lack of visitors.

“Whoever did that is just afraid and they probably should just stay home,” Elkins said. They went through a lot of trouble to create this note and the note is really underhanded. That doesn’t portray the town correctly.”

Elkins likened the note to someone leaving a bad online review for a business.

“A business can have mostly positive online reviews and they can have one person act poorly and it undermines all that good work, I think the town and the note is a similar situation,” said Elkins. “This is the country’s national park, it is not Estes’s national park and this community exist because of the visitors to the park. For someone to leave a note like that is just nasty and it doesn’t reflect the sentiment of the business owners I know in town.”

According to people aware of the issue, the police have been removing and discarding them.

A facebook post from the Estes Park Police Department (EPPD) states, “We’re looking for the individual(s) who did this, because we’d like to remind them that tampering with private property and littering could lead to charges in Municipal Court. If you have information on the individual(s) who did this, please contact the EPPD Crimestoppers tip line at 970-577-3838.”

“Most importantly we want to say this… The pandemic has brought a lot of stress to everyone in the Estes Valley and everywhere — we feel it, too. Let’s remember that everyone is managing this difficult time in one way or another. Let’s adapt together. Let’s strive to be patient and kind, together,” the EPPD post says.

Anyone with information about the person or people responsible for these notes is asked to contact the EPPD CrimeStoppers tip line at 970-577-3838. Callers can choose to remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

The story reached over 16,000 people on our Facebook page and grabbed 989 reactions and 468 comments. To read the various comments and thoughts please go to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/eptrail,

The notes read, “Hi! We year-round residents of Estes Park would be so happy to see you here, any other time. As it is, we are a small community with a lot of retired Sr. Citizens. We’ve been being more careful here than some other places. Having folks from all over the country come here, now, feels disrespectful. We would love to see you back, later. For now though, with all due respect, please GO THE HELL BACK TO WHEREVER YOUR OUT OF STATE LICENSE IS FROM.”

The author or authors of the note do not seem to distinguish between Estes Park residents and the entire state of Colorado, making it seem as though they are fine with tourists from all over the state, but no one from outside of its borders.

The State of Colorado is still discouraging travel more than 10 miles away from places of residence. In Larimer County, businesses are reopened to 50 percent capacity and employees must wear masks. Customers are encouraged but not required to wear masks.

Whoever is responsible for the notes should feel free to contact the Trail-Gazette if they have the desire to articulate their message further with the public. We would be happy to hear your story and help you discuss your opinions in a constructive way.