Spirit of the West lives on in Meeker

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The "Hunters Welcome" signs are more than just advertising in Meeker. This town, long known as a premier spot for Colorado hunting, exists for the hunter and goes out of its way to prove it.

"The whole town caters to hunters. That's why hunters return year after year," said Bonnie Kracht from the Meeker Chamber. "Everyone loves the hunters."

She said most of the restaurants open early to serve the hunters and offer sack lunches.

"All the businesses try to anticipate what the hunters need and find a way to meet those needs," she said.

Kracht said hunters have a huge economic impact on Meeker and Rio Blanco County.

"The hunters help keep the government operating, the businesses open and the town alive," she said. "Everyone does their part sprucing up for hunters."

Kracht recommended that hunters check with merchants about their services.

"All they have to do is ask. If they don't have what you need I'll bet they know who does," she said.

Local business owner Clark Urie said the people begin perparing for hunters at the end of hunting season. At his own Bed & Breakfast, The Flying U, Urie said he keeps plenty of coffee, orange juice and donuts available and provides a place for hunters to hang and skin their game.

"We cater to hunters here because they are so important to the local economy," he said. "We also want to show off our home."

He said Meeker is one place that reflects the beauty of the West best.

"You have the mountain, the best elk and deer hunting in the world and the ranch lands all in one place," he said.

Urie also offers the only full commercial gym facility for guests.

"Sometimes you don't get enough exercise when you travel -- we thought our guests might like it," Urie said. n

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