With Thanksgiving here already we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to gush about why we’re oh so thankful for Estes and the strength of this community. Where do we begin?!

We are thankful for our guests who put in the effort to leave no trace and for the ones that keep coming back. We are thankful for how our community pours their heart into their businesses. We are thankful for all the ways we can access the outdoors, whether that be through hiking, backcountry skiing, climbing, or even strolling the riverwalk. To name a few.

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And the Estes-love is community wide - here are what a few of the locals have to say.

"What a year it has been! YMCA of the Rockies is overwhelmed with gratitude for so many in our communities, both near and far. We have witnessed our Estes Park neighbors come together to support one another through many tribulations this year. We are thankful for each guest who stayed with us, as they are now part of our 2020 story.  YMCA of the Rockies can continue our more than 100-year tradition of serving families, groups and conferences thanks to the firefighters and many others involved in fire operations who helped protect our property and the Estes Park community during the East Troublesome Fire. There is something special about Estes Park that draws people from around the globe to our little village that goes beyond the majestic mountains. We are proud to be part of, and so very thankful for our community that rises up for one another.​"

-Kellen Toulouse, YMCA of the Rockies

"I am thankful for how Estes Park hugs their neighbors tight, no matter what.  Many times since March of 2020 I've been amazed by the generous ways in which donors, businesses, and friends have reached out to help, including supporting a relief fund so local nonprofits could respond to increased needs.  Living here is a great privilege and responsibility and there is a spirit of gratitude within this community that exists in all seasons."

-Laurie Dale Marshall, Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center

“Everyday I am grateful to have the privilege of living and working in such close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park.  The mountains are a daily reminder to slow down, breathe, and enjoy this one wild & precious life.  The love and support of our community is also something I am incredibly grateful to be apart of because of the love and caring folks give to our family & support of our business.  We are blessed.” 

- Anastacia Galloway, Inkwell and Brew

"After so many years living here with my family in the natural surroundings of our National Park, I have so much to be grateful for. This year I want to express my gratitude for the increased numbers of young adults who have become active in the amazing new energy of our community!"

-Nick Molle, Nick Molle Productions / Rocky Mountain Channel

“I am thankful for being a part of such a wonderful, supportive, caring community of Estes Park. This little town has held my hand and given me hugs through trials and helped me to create and celebrate the good times.”  

- Melissa Strong, Bird and Jim

“Having made Estes Park my home for more than 20 years, I have come to realize that this community is my family. I have found my best friends, my husband, and "my people" here, and I wouldn't trade that for the world. I came for the mountains, but I stayed for the people.” 

- Amy Hamrick, Kind Coffee

“I am thankful for those individuals who over 105 years ago had the foresight to create Rocky Mountain National Park, which we all benefit from today.  I am thankful to live in a community that is comprised of so many individuals who are passionate, active and supportive.  I am thankful to live in a town surrounded by scenic beauty, wilderness and diverse wildlife.  I am grateful for the variety of recreational activities we can experience living here!” 

- Kyle Patterson, NPS

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Often, people come here to sight-see but end up taking just as much away in a newfound appreciation for nature. We love our backyard dearly and find a responsibility to educate ourselves on how to better take care of it. The Rocky Mountain Conservancy strives to instill that feeling of stewardship in visitors by organizing programs and volunteer opportunities. Another way to get involved in the community of Estes Park is to stay connected with the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center. And the simplest option: respect the trails you walk on while you’re here. We think those are some pretty fun ways to show our gratitude. 

It has been a crazy year for everyone. Back in April, our community members had something to say as well. We think it's as good a time as any to bring it back.