For those of you who have been following our adventure these past few years to build a guest ranch out in the mountains, you know of the trials and travails we were presented with these past two years as we proceeded with our rezoning and conditional use permitting efforts with our local county government. TO say that it has not been a challenging road to navigate would definitely be an understatement! However, 2010 is looking very bright indeed!
Just before the start of the holiday season this past month, the Hearing Examiner finally issued here decision to approve our project! The culmination of two years of “process” finally reached its apex with the county. This month we focus on meeting the conditions that are laid out in the twenty two pages of the approval decision. The main condition we need to satisfy comes in the form of asphalt paving the front entrance at the road to make it a commercially viable entrance for public safety. This requires a whole separate permit application, review, and approval process, replete with posting a construction bond and arranging for right-of-way permits. I’m happy to report that we turned that paperwork around very quickly and the county road works staff issued the proper permits for us to construct this apron to the road. So, sometime this week in fact, we should be having a paver come on out to create our upgrade to the entrance.
Finally, we can begin to feel our momentum start to pick up again! Two years is a long time to have to essentially carry our costs with out the opportunity to establish our revenue streams; we can officially open our doors with out the permits after all. Needless to say, the solid cash reserves we did have for further development have migrated over the the county’s coffers instead, to the tune of over $50,000. It’s a very expensive proposition trying to start a business in this country today. Even if your idea is a great one, there are a lot of regulatory stumbling blocks to overcome as we’ve discovered. You would think there would have been some sort of economic stimulus or encouragement available out there for small businesses these days, but I’m here to tell you that those outside resources are few and far between.
Alas, this means that we have refocused our business strategies for a slow and steady growth plan. We’ll have to rely more on generating revenue to pay for improvements, but at least we are well on the way to being able to offer the services to the public that we would like. Certainly, we are entertaining the notions of any angel investors out there that have an interest in our success, so pass the word along!
In the meantime we’ve observed some wonderful changes happening at the local town level of Granite Falls. While our mailing address says we too are Granite Falls residents, in actuality we live a good ways from the town itself in the unincorporated portions of the county; in the mountains themselves! However, we recently saw the influx of new blood infusing the town with a great energy to move forward and capitalize on the tourism opportunities that this area is known for. The town recently elected a new mayor, reestablished its visitor’s center, and has seen membership in the Chamber of Commerce practically tripe over the past year! I tell you all, if our dear president of our country was looking for an example of the local community stepping forth and recovering themselves, the story is out here in this small town of Granite Falls, Washington!
Interestingly enough from our Pac-Nor-West corner of the world, we seem to be experiencing a winter quite different from the rest of the country. While gripped in a solid icy freeze all the way down to Florida, the mountain folk out this way are scratching our collective heads in befuddlement and thankfulness for the very mild winter we have had so far! Really, to say it has been mild is an understatement! Our only snow came in early December in the form of 4 inches which quickly disappeared within a couple of days. Since then, we’ve had a cold snap, but its been a dry one. However, entering into January we’ve seen our temperatures remain so mild that there have been days we beat out Florida for our daily high! That’s right, just yesterday it was sunny and with a tease of warmth in the air that I found myself wearing shorts and a T-shirt outside! In January!
These mild winter days make for an excellent opportunity for tourists to drive the Mountain Loop and see the snow capped mountains (at least there is a snow pack accumulating something at the tops of the ridges!) So, if you are a local to the Seattle area, remember that we’re only an hour’s drive from the heart of downtown; and if you don’t live in this area, but would like to visit, consider staying with us, here at Paca Pride Guest Ranch. We may be a work in progress, but we think you’ll love what you see developing out here in the mountains.
We invite you to visit as we officially open our doors to the public this year. May 2010 be the bright year we’ve all been waiting a long time to experience and may your journey find you travelling along the Mountain Loop someday.