Welcome to the Y: The story behind the Estes Park Center's Entrance - YMCA of the Rockies Blog | Colorado
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Welcome to the Y: The story behind the Estes Park Center’s Entrance

If you’ve ever been to YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center, you’ve seen it. When guests wind their way down Tunnel Road eager to begin their next retreat, conference or family vacation, the first piece of their destination they find is the YMCA sign held up by stone pillars at the beginning of the bridge crossing Dorsey Pond before entering the YMCA.

In 1921, the original stone bridge and rock pillars were built. At this time, nobody knew just how large the YMCA of the Rockies would become. By 1962 the Estes Park Center had outgrown the rock pillars—literally.

During the construction of the Longhouse, trucks arriving from Texas hauling the building’s steel beams could not make the turn to get the material into the property, and subsequently, the rock pillars were torn down to allow the massive 100 by 300 foot building to be built.

There was something special about those pillars, though. They weren’t just two rock towers with wooden beams running between them. They were a feeling of closure guests had knowing they made it to their destination, no matter how far they came from.

For this reason, the YMCA of the Rockies knew the grand entrance it once had welcoming guests to the Estes Park Center needed to come back. In 2010, a new street system was completed at the YMCA, and at this same time the iconic pillars were re-built, welcoming the next generation of guests who would come to love the Estes Park Center.

Today, every guest coming to the YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center is greeted by the sign, and on their way out, the sign wishes them off, reading “Happy Trails To You.”

About The Author

Kate Gillum is an Indiana native, spending her summer at YMCA of the Rockies as a marketing intern. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, eating ice cream, binge watching FRIENDS on Netflix and enjoying the outdoors.

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