COLORADO SPRINGS – It’s been seven years since the Waldo Canyon Fire tore through Colorado Springs, destroying hundreds of homes and the Flying W Ranch.
While much of the Mountain Shadows neighborhood has been rebuilt, it’s taking a lot longer for the ranch, but a major milestone took place at the ranch’s groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday.
Folks who are helping rebuild the ranch say they’re taking this as an opportunity to start over, and it’s all thanks to the support they’ve received from the community, who have been there since the process started seven years ago.
Joy Lundi was in the crowd at the groundbreaking ceremony. She worked there for 15 years, and she even wore her uniform polo as a way to pay homage to the place that brought her so many cherished memories.
“The thing I enjoyed the most is how much fun everybody was having,” Lundi reminisced.
That all came to a halt seven years ago, when the Waldo Canyon Fire tore through the ranch.
“It was devastating, you know,” she said of the aftermath.
“So much of the antique buildings were gone and everything was gone.”
“From that point, a lot of the people that was involved with Flying W Ranch kinda went into a depression,” said Wayne Humphrey, who used to be the Flying W Ranch Wrangler and is now helping with the rebuilding process.
“So we’ve trying we’ve been doing and lo and behold, the day is here.”
This day marks the beginning of a new chapter this historical ranch that, for decades, gave folks a place to enjoy some beloved western-style food and entertainment.
Lundi said she hopes, “After the groundbreaking and they get everything, that it will draw the people to just kinda see what it was all about.”
“You can’t replace the old but you can add to the new and that’s what we’re going to have to do,” Humphrey emphasized.
“It’s never going to be exactly what it was, but it can be better than what it was.”
Better, with the help of their community.
“You just feel the true emotional support from the people that believe in the Flying W Ranch, and everything that we stand for,” Humphrey pointed out.
The ranch hopes to open to the public memorial day weekend of 2020, and they aim to have their website up and running by November so folks can start making reservations.