down town estes park 2022

Olga Ortega de Rojas

Mountain Home Cafe

Olga Mountain Home Caafe

"Small Businesses Need the Community’s Support

A tax that visitors would pay will help workforce housing and childcare

When my family moved to Estes Park in 1992, we were one of the first Latino families to make this our year round home. Then I started a life of my own. My children were born here, they graduated from Estes Park High School, and my husband Enrique and I are celebrating our 15th year in business with Mountain Home Café. We’re always open to connecting with the community, including our annual Cinco de Mayo feast. We welcomed 500 people this year. During the pandemic, we partnered with Crossroads to give free meals to those in need as well as distributing hundreds of fabric masks. 

We love seeing the faces of regulars come through our doors, as well as meeting visitors from around the world. Travelers and locals alike enjoy sitting on the patio for good food paired with the views of the Rocky Mountains, and we enjoy getting to know them. 

One of the major blows to residents, particularly the workforce, has been the continuing rise in the cost of housing and lack of childcare options. Our beautiful town is becoming less affordable to live in, forcing many young families to move out and commute into Estes Park — or look elsewhere for jobs. Our leadership in Estes Park has been working to find a solution to our affordable housing and childcare crisis, and they’ve come up with a lodging tax extension. 

This is a 3.5 percentage point increase in a tax included in the bill of overnight guests to our town. Something important to note is that residents would not pay this tax. With the increase, the funds generated from the tax will go toward workforce housing and childcare. As a small business owner, I’m optimistic about how this will impact not just my own staff, but many throughout Estes Park.

As my family’s roots grow deeper in Estes Park, it’s important to look to the future. That’s why I’m working to spread the word about the benefits of the lodging tax extension, particularly how it will help small businesses like Mountain Home Café. We’ve tried our best to give back to the community and take part in important moments for 15 years, and we could use your help as a voter to support our workforce. 

I remember making Estes Park my home 30 years ago and raising a family who loves this town. I would love to see this be a reality for more people. On Nov. 8, please vote in favor of the lodging tax extension. Remember, it’s a tax you won’t pay, but one that our town will feel the direct benefits of.'

Pledge to vote in the November 2022 election to demonstrate your commitment to the workforce in Estes Park.