Hey, Spike! salutes a developer extraordinaire | SummitDaily.com

Back to: Columns

Hey, Spike! salutes a developer extraordinaire

Let's face it, Frisco and Dillon, we would not be what we think we are without Larry and Carole Feldman.

Yeah, Larry's a developer, but it's those efforts that make ski-industry towns what they are: centers of growth — residential and commercial.

Larry, and some of his associates over the years, like Don Cooke and Mike Stratton, has brought about big changes in Summit County, Steamboat Springs and Boulder.

It was Larry and Mike who chartered a helicopter to entice Gov. Dick Lamm to fly up from Denver for the ribbon-cutting of the new town hall and Frisco's newly paved Main Street. That was 1982, when Doug Jones was mayor. Spike! was there.

Larry also contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal funds to start the U.S. Forest Service land trade that led to the Peak One neighborhood and the design of the Nordic Center on the peninsula.

Larry's marks of success are seen locally in such developments as Mountainside (condos and patio homes), River Pines, Mountain Pines, The Duck, Ravenwood, Boulevard Bend and the Condos of Main — plus Dillon Ridge Marketplace's tax-generating City Market, Sports Authority, Dillon Ridge Liquors, Bed, Bath and Beyond, the eight-screen Translux Movie Theater, Ruby Tuesday and a slew of others, along with Wendell Square in Breckenridge and Corinthian Hill in Dillon.

Larry figures he's built 450 residences in Frisco alone.

Even when the latest recession challenge was spanking the local economy harshly, Larry was still able to build 'em and sell 'em — at strong per-square-foot prices and keep lots of locals working.

By his accounting, Larry has developed about a third of a billion dollars in residential and commercial results, all of which have sold or are selling and enhance Frisco's budget by more than $1 million annually in real estate taxes, transfer fees and sales tax revenue.

He's worked with Marge Epp Hettenbaugh of Century 21, BJ McCarthy of RE/MAX, Bernie Zurbriggen of High Country Real Estate and now Chuck and Mary Lynn Carner of Coldwell Banker.

Larry holds a degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder School of Law, with a bachelor's in British literature from CSU and animal husbandry and agricultural economic credentials from Cornell University. He came from the East Coast and has not left. His first big deal came in winning a personal lawsuit over a cattle-investment debacle with a Chicago bank years ago.

Larry not only dreams up the developments, gets them approved and financed, but executes them to bricks and mortar — he makes it happen.

"He knows everyone that works for him on every job site and every one of them knows that he's the go-to guy when they need help. He's been known to go to traffic court to help out one of his guys, bail them out, write recommendation letters and issue early paychecks to help his workers out," says Carole.

One of Larry's proudest accomplishments: He's "planted more trees in Frisco than anyone else."

Now, he and Carole are turning 70, celebrating 50 years of marriage and still going strong after the combined 190 years. They are very proud of their son Zach, who is an orthopedic physician's assistant in Louisville and Boulder, and are grandparents to Benjamin, who Larry says is the smartest grandkid ever.

Over in Grand Junction for the Art and Jazz Festival, we saw Bob and Claudia Alster, John and Kristin Winn, Brian and Karen Wray, Kim Dykstra-DiLallo and son Dominick, and "Tie-Dye John" Busscher, now of Carbondale.

Bob and Claudia spend the winters in Florida and summers in Grand Junction. They still have a rental condo here.

The Winns live in GJ and have a townhome in Silverthorne. John is a recording and performing artist — still — at 79. Kristin was the spokeswoman for the city of Grand Junction's public works and is now the director of 70 volunteers at the visitors' center.

Kim, we all know, is the spokesperson for the town of Breckenridge.

The Wrays own Mountain Log Homes of Colorado here in Frisco.

Meanwhile, it's almost time again for the Annual Summit County Picnic on the Western Slope — Sunday, June 9, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with lunch at noon at the Long Family Memorial Park, Grand Mesa Shelter, 3117 F Road, Grand Junction.

It's a potluck, so bring your favorite dish and soft drinks. Cups, plates, silverware, napkins, ice, tea and water (no alcohol allowed) will be provided.

Questions? Call Wanda at 216-2297 or Reba/Pasty at 241-5925, 210-9522 and 261-1880.

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com