No stop lights. No mailman. Ouray is a town of 1010, and it bills itself as the Switzerland of America, nestled in the heart of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, with towering Mount Abrams in the distance. Just look at these photos.
Ouray is reliant on a recreational economy. Hot springs, jeep tours, hiking, biking, climbing, fishing, ghost towns and more bring tourists to Ouray. Small businesses have grown up along those eco attractions — clothing boutiques, sports gear specialists, coffee houses, restaurants, arts and crafts shops, along with breweries and distillers. As you might expect, the town has struggled to attract visitors during the pandemic.
Headwinds is a new video series of films produced by New Belgium Brewing Co. and Fat Tire, centered around the impact of COVID-19 on the small mountain town of Ouray. The first mini movie follows Andrea Iuppenlatz, co-owner of Red Mountain Alpine Lodge, as she tours the town. Iuppenlatz was the first positive blood test for COVID-19 in Ouray.
The five-minute-plus film is beautifully shot and definitely aims to poke you in the heart. It reminds me of the company’s Finding Common Ground campaign in its high quality.
These stories are being promoted on Outside Online and YouTube with plans to do a second round of promotion in a few weeks. I reached out to New Belgium to get more info, and this is what they sent:
Headwinds is a series of films produced by Fat Tire, centered around the impact of COVID-19 on the small mountain town of Ouray, Co. There is one longer piece that introduces the story and then four shorter pieces that follow individual storylines. The goal of the series was to portray the impact of shutting down a town completely reliant on tourism and tell the stories of the residents affected. The call to action is to support mountain communities during this hard time by pre-booking a trip or buying gift cards. Fat Tire started promotion on Outside Online and YouTube and plans to do a second round of promotion in a few weeks. One of the smaller films follows two black cousins who lost work in the service industry while navigating the racial injustice movement at the same time. This piece promotes a project called Inclusive Journeys which Fat Tire supported with a financial contribution.
The timeline release for the rest of the videos:
- 7/28: A Global Reality in a Small Town
- 7/30: Bridge the Gap
- 8/1: Seat at the Table
- 8/4: Ride It Out