Bear Dines and Dashes

“People think we don’t have any chain stores here, but we already kinda did,” said Dan starbucksJansen, mayor of Mountain Village, a tiny ski community a gondola ride up from Telluride Colorado.

“We had a Shell gas station and a Patagonia store.”

But no McDonalds or Taco Bells in the Telluride area, however tastefully designed. In fact no chain restaurants of any kind. So when the upscale little community decided to let Starbucks in last year, it was a big deal.

“A lot of people come here from fancy places and are used to ordering fancy coffees.  Heck, my wife’s coffee order is so complicated I’m embarrassed by it.

“And so it seemed right to let Starbucks in so people could get the coffee they are accustomed to.”

A lot of local folks, not to mention the local coffee roaster and coffee shops weren’t thrilled. But there was curiosity, and not just among the humans.

Telluride, where I’ve been the last few days for MountainFilm, is home to plenty of wildlife including elk, deer, coyotes, badgers, lots of skittering critters and–most notably–bears.

Trashcans on main street are “bear proof”, requiring a twist-and-lift maneuver. There are bear warnings for hikers at trailheads and residents are required to keep trash locked up.

But one night a bear decided he might like to check out that new Starbucks in Mountain Village.

“I’ve even got a picture of the bear print on one of the window,” said a woman at MountainFilm.

No problem at all for the bear to break in for a looksee. The bear was too startled at the coffee prices to order, but cheerfully gobbled up all of the pastries.

Better him than me.

bear

About Karen Ray

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