Brief by Central Staff
Tourism – November 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine
On account of its altitude and climate, Leadville celebrates St. Patrick’s Day about six months earlier (or later) than the rest of the world does.
That is, the Irish are honored on March 17 everywhere else, but Leadville holds St. Patrick’s Practice Day on the weekend closest to Sept. 17 — six months away, and generally a better day for a parade in the Cloud City than March 17 (although Leadville also celebrates the original holiday).
So, when we were looking through the Sept. 30 edition of the Herald-Democrat, one story gave us the impression that Leadville had decided to do the same thing for April Fool’s Day — to practice for it six months early, in the neighborhood of Oct. 1.
Here’s the story: Dr. Richard Magovich, a dentist in Strongsville, Ohio, wants to buy the Asarco Black Cloud Mine, which was closed earlier this year.
His plan is to turn the mine, which sits near timberline, into a mushroom farm, where “We can probably grow four or five hundred different types.”
He wants to use the drifts and tunnels for growing mushrooms and to conduct mine tours as a sideline. So far, so good, but he also wants to buy the Apache tailings pile in Leadville and use the Black Cloud’s mill to extract minerals, and then on that site, erect a 1,000-bed hostelry.
It would be called “Heartbreak Hotel” in honor of the Elvis Presley song, and it would presumably attract hordes of Elvis fans from throughout the world.
Any connection between Leadville and Elvis seems pretty tenuous to us, and Leadville has plenty of lore of its own without any need to import some from Memphis. Who needs Elvis when you’ve got Baby Doe and Molly Brown?
But the Herald assured us that this wasn’t an October Fool’s story. Apparently, this proposal is in earnest.