Planning Cozy Point’s future

I have been the manager of Cozy Point Ranch LLC since 2000 with Monroe Summers and inherited the business when he passed away in 2014.

Since my first day with Monroe, it was clear that Cozy Point was a tremendous community asset. Monroe’s vision for the ranch was giving children of all socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to experience and love life on the ranch as he always had.

As part of that mission, we have run a successful summer camp that brings local children and tourists to their first horse experience. Over the summer we teach more than 1,500 children. In 2011, Monroe partnered with Aspen T.R.E.E to further expand authentic ranching and farm experiences. Thanks to Aspen T.R.E.E., children learn about harvesting food and other farmyard activities. The partnership has helped cultivate more relationships within the community so that more people are able to enjoy the ranch. The successes of both Camp Cozy Point and Aspen T.R.E.E are just as Monroe had hoped: serving children throughout the valley.

We continue to create more community programs. In the past four years, the Aspen Equestrian Team was formed as part of the National Interscholastic Equestrian Association, comprised of students grades six through 12 from every town in the valley. Our team has 22 riders, and their season is September through April. The program makes horse showing more affordable as it does not require horse ownership. I am proud to host the team at Cozy Point and excited to offer this opportunity to young athletes in the valley.

Our six trainers offer a large after-school program of 50 regular students. We also have a large number of adult riders and variety of disciplines. Cozy Point has been accessible to a great cross-section of the community, young to old, haves and have-nots, just as Monroe had always envisioned.

I am proud to say that the ranch currently has 72 horses on property. My clients and I are excited about the improvements proposed to the ranch outlined in the Management Plan. We have all greatly enjoyed the enhancements to date such as the new heating system, arena and barn lights, footing and watering system in the large outdoor arena, and walkway repairs. Having better heating and light systems has also extended our ability to host events, including Aspen Community School’s annual Hoe Down Fundraiser, Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Team winter practices and Aspen Animal Shelter Ski-joring events.

I know there are some against making Cozy Point a multi-use facility; it already is. I am confident that the parks staff is aware of the needs and challenges and has been working on a long term plan to make the Equestrian Center, Aspen T.R.E.E. and Archery Range work well together, as it has for the past six years.

I am very excited for the management plan to move forward and to be approved so we can get started on improving the aging facility and to make plans for the future. My hope is to continue to be a part of it.

Patti Watson