Life of the Summit: Hey Spike! stands corrected on Frisco’s A&W’s franchise status |

Life of the Summit: Hey Spike! stands corrected on Frisco’s A&W’s franchise status

Enjoying a skiing holiday at Copper Mountain Resort’s JJ’s are, left to right, Sherri Bates, Mark McCrerey, Cynthia McCrerey, Gil Bates, and Hayley Bates. The Bates family, from Long Beach, Calif., originally bought the Kokomo Lodge at Lewis Ranch at Copper Mountain from McCrerey Fine Homes, and later Mark built the Lumberjack Lodge for them.
Miles F. Porter IV/Special to the Daily |

Boy, if there’s something a columnist/reporter doesn’t like, it’s being wrong.

Hey, Spike! had an error in last week’s column about the Frisco A&W selling its location, which the buyers say will become an outlet for marijuana in light of the new state law.

The sellers of the highly visible location on Summit Boulevard, Donna and Reuben Drebenstedt of Denver, in a letter to the editor say they still had another six years left on their franchise.

I wrote this: “Back in 2003, A&W corporate talking heads in Kentucky pressured the Drebenstedts to stop mixing floats and religious flotsam on the 30-foot-tall sign.

“They complied for a while, but a higher authority won out — until franchise renewal time came.”

Spike! chatted over the phone with Donna on Tuesday morning and both of us ended on amicable terms — pending my correction. Like most Hey, Spike! readers, the Drebenstedts did not know the plans for the fast-food outlet until the paper hit the streets.

Here is Donna’s letter:

“Shame on you, Miles Porter and the Summit County newspaper, for not checking the facts before writing/printing your article on the A&W in Frisco. One phone call to us or to the A&W corporate office would have cleared your mind and not confused the good people of Summit County.

“Menorah Ministries would like to set the record straight about the selling of our A&W Mission restaurant to counter the lies told in your Saturday, Jan. 4, publication.

“We still have six years left on our current franchise and we ended it on good terms. After the initial complaint you mentioned, the public spoke loud and clear to the A&W corporate office about our sign and Menorah’s other clear witness of our love for Jesus and His Word for these almost 15 years. A&W corporate office quickly embraced and protected our freedom of speech and never said anything again.

“We did not lose our franchise as you stated, it was God’s time to leave and we are excited to move on to new adventures with Him. We pray for God to bless Summit County, the people and you. If you have any questions please do contact us.

“We would also appreciate you doing the right thing as soon as possible to correct this error in print as publicly as you told the lie.

“Thank you for your consideration,”

Reuben and Donna Drebenstedt, Menorah Ministries,

Donna expressed gratefulness to the A&W staff, some of whom had worked there since the beginning, and to the community and supporters.

Donna and Reuben, I apologize and stand corrected.


Meanwhile, Spike! and Mary were in Breckenridge on a snowy Wednesday for a lunch meeting with Judith Pollock of J&M Jewelry Gallery and marketing ace Karin Bearnarth of Events by Bash at the bustling Blue River Bistro.

We met BRB owner Jay Beckerman (Dr. Erin Hay’s husband) and got reacquainted with manager Scott “Scooter” Crawford.

While there we visited with locals Phyllis Martinez and Marilyn Hogan.

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

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