Who’s There: Patrick Armour
It’s the end of Labor Day weekend, and with a few trees and shrubs on the hillsides already gilding toward autumn gold, fun hogs and adrenaline junkies from Summit County and around the country are out looking for one last session of summer fun.For 14-month Summit County resident Patrick Armour, that means a spirited round of mini golf at Keystone with his friends, Jochen and Davey.”It’s a great way to relax,” Armour says with a friendly smile before lining up his putt through one of the obstacles and sinking the ball with a smooth stroke over the green.
“The key to mini golf is that you play every hole like it’s a par three. And the other guys owe you a dollar if you make a hole-in-one,” Armour says, explaining the friendly wager that spices up the game for the threesome. Armour, 32, comes to Summit County by way of Lancaster, Penn., and Boulder, where he worked in the high-tech industry before packing up his gear and making the move to the High Country a little more than a year ago. “Best thing I ever did,” he says. “Life has never been better. I could be making a lot more money in the city, in Philadelphia or somewhere, but it’s about the lifestyle. It’s about being able to sleep at night,” he says. “My degree in anthropology isn’t really paying off, except in recreation points,” Armour says, explaining that he landed a job here with a small company called Water Solutions, Inc.”We manage water systems for some of the smaller districts that aren’t associated with a municipality; Mesa Cortina, Dillon Valley, Hamilton Creek and Arapahoe Basin,” he says. “We make sure they have clean drinking water. It’s a lot of chemistry and monitoring distribution systems,” he explains.
The company also maintains fire hydrants in the county, Armour says. This year, they’ve checked 400 hydrants so far. “A lot of times they get hit by cars. They look OK, and you can’t really tell they’re damaged until you check them,” he says.His stint with Water Solutions, Inc. has made one thing clear to Armour, a lesson he’s willing to share with the rest of the county.”When it comes to water, we don’t have nearly as much as it looks like we have,” he says, adding that he’d like to see much more Xeriscaping as a way to conserve the precious resource. He points out areas like Hamilton Creek, where outside watering is minimal but says residents are surrounded by beautiful native plants, shrubs and trees that don’t require excessive amounts of water.
“Water usage awareness is definitely not where it should be,” he says.As for pet peeves, Armour says he simply can’t stand watching locals being rude to tourists, and he says he goes out of his way to talk with visitors and make them feel at home and at ease. And after taking all last winter off and ski-bumming it for the season, spending plenty of time mingling with visitors, he says he has one simple message for improving tourism in Summit County: More taxi cabs, especially late, when the Summit Stage transit system has stopped running.”The county should subsidize taxi service so there are more available at night when you need them,” he says, adding that people could then enjoy the nightlife a little more without drunk-driving concerns.
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