This place we call home... Durango,
La Plata County, Colorado USA on Planet Earth

A BLOG about what's happening around Durango (and a little about real estate) by your LOCAL GUIDE, Jim Wotkyns, Broker at The Wells Group.

STUDENTS – Enroll at Fort Lewis College (FLC) Next Year to Ski for FREE!

January 10th, 2019

In the Winter edition of Fort Lewis College’s Alumni Magazine there is good news…Colorado Lifestyle: Work Hard, Play Hard program.

Next year, all full-time first-year or transfer students starting in Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 will receive a FREE season ski pass from Purgatory Ski Resort. If you know of a college student selecting a school for next year, this could be their deciding factor, so spread the word.



Durango Skiing Right In-Town

January 4th, 2019

With our recent back-to-back snow storms, we have enough SNOW in-town for winter enthusiasts to enjoy downhill skiing and jumps at Chapman Hill, plus cross country skiing, skate skiing and snowshoeing on the groomed ski track at Hillcrest Golf Club which is free of charge (donations accepted). Bring your own equipment.  More details, call 970-375-7395 (Chapman) or 970-259-0424 (Hillcrest).


HomesFund Record-Breaking Year

December 28th, 2018

2018 was a record-breaking year for HomesFund, providing:

  • 47 Mortgage Assistance Loans to 38 households containing 112 people
  • $917,467 in Mortgage Assistance Loans for low- and moderate-income families
  • Homebuyer Education to more than 275 people
  • Homebuyer Counseling to more than 100 households

Visit and click “Homebuyer Education Class” at the bottom of my homepage to view the class schedule. I currently serve on the HomesFund Board and would be happy to answer any of your questions.


Durango to Chicago O’Hare air service on American Airlines seasonally in 2019

December 13th, 2018

American Airlines Announces Seasonal Chicago Service for 2019

The Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) is pleased to announce that American Airlines will add seasonal nonstop service between Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Durango in 2019. One round trip flight will operate each Saturday beginning June 8th through August 17th, on a 70 seat Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft.

Tickets for the new route can be purchased at beginning on December 17th. The route will provide passengers with direct access to the greater Chicago area and other Midwest cities, as well as beneficial connections to the east coast and many international destinations.

“We are excited to see American Airlines responding to traveler’s requests for additional nonstop destinations to and from Durango,” said Director of Aviation Tony Vicari. “Anytime we increase air service options at DRO, it’s a win for our community and for the region.”

Seasonal nonstop service to Chicago further enhances the diversity of the route network available to over 370,000 travelers who utilize the Durango-La Plata County Airport on an annual basis. With service to a fifth major hub in Chicago O’Hare – the nation’s third busiest airport – passengers using DRO will have unprecedented access to connections available both domestically and internationally.

DRO-LAX Seasonal Service to Return in 2019
American Airlines has also announced that seasonal summer service between DRO and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will return again in 2019. DRO-LAX nonstop service will operate on Saturdays from June 6th through September 3rd. Since its initiation in 2016, the route has provided residents of SW Colorado and the Four Corners region with direct access to Southern California, along with plentiful connections up and down the west coast.

In addition to seasonal nonstop Chicago and Los Angeles service, American Airlines continues to operate daily flights between Durango and both Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) on a year-round basis. 

American Airlines flights through Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Phoenix are available for booking at

The 50 Best Places to Work in 2018 by OUTSIDE (November 1, 2018)

November 15th, 2018

It is very impressive that Durango’s own StoneAge Tools (waterblast tools) received an Honorable Mention recognition on this list by OUTSIDE of 50 Best Places to Work in 2018.  Check out the full list:


Speaking of great places to work, after 33 years at the corner of Main Avenue and 9th Street in historic downtown Durango, The Wells Group real estate brokerage is moving 2 blocks north to 1130 Main Avenue on 11/30.  Our “new” beautifully restored old building will be ready for us to show off during our Open House/Holiday Block Party on Friday, December 14th to benefit Project Merry Christmas. SAVE THE DATE and stand-by for more details.

The Wells Group is moving to 1130 Main Avenue (just 2 blocks north of current location for last 33 years) in historic downtown Durango, CO.The Wells Group is moving to 1130 Main Avenue (just 2 blocks north of current location for last 33 years) in historic downtown Durango, CO.


Top Notch Hospice Facility in Durango Serving SW Colorado

November 15th, 2018
Mercy Hospice House with skilled staff providing 24-hour hospice services

Mercy Hospice House with skilled staff providing 24-hour hospice services

A community of our size is very lucky to have a home away from home for hospice patients. Mercy Hospice House and their skilled staff provides 24-hour hospice services in a residential setting designed to comfort body, mind, and spirit. Amenities include large patient rooms with private patios, family gathering areas, gardens, a library, a living room, and even a shared kitchen.  Read more online and view the photos of this beautiful facility that opened in 2017.

Investing in OUR Community

January 10th, 2018

I am proud to announce The Wells Group BROKERS voted to donate year-end funds to these very deserving non-profit organizations serving our community:  La Plata Humane Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, C.O.D.Y. (Communities Overcoming Distressed Youth) funded through the La Plata County 4H and Second Wind Fund, which is an organization that believes every child and youth at risk of suicide should have access to the mental health treatment they need.


Throughout the year, the Owners of our company make contributions to organizations as requested, along with individual Brokers offering financial assistance to their favorite non-profits.

La Plata Humane Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, C.O.D.Y. (Communities Overcoming Distressed Youth) funded through the La Plata County 4H and Second Wind Fund

Your First Step To Homeownership!

January 9th, 2018

The HomesFund is offering a Homebuyer Education class on Saturday, January 20th  from 8:30am-4:30pm.  Register at, or call 970-259-1418 ext. 1.

HomesFund Homebuyer Education class

Festive Holiday Spirit in Durango

December 28th, 2017

There is a festive holiday spirit in Durango while we wait for more snow. The few inches of snow in the high country, along with cold nights for snowmaking, keep our spirits high and hopeful for more moisture soon. The unseasonably warm December weather is creating unique opportunities to ski a few runs on man-made snow, then hike or mountain bike in the afternoon. PURGATORY has lots of events scheduled, including New Year’s Eve festivities:


Silverbell at Purgatory Village

Silverbell at Purgatory Village


Project Merry Christmas

December 22nd, 2017

Earlier this month, The Wells Group hosted a client appreciation event at the movie theater to collect gifts and non-perishable items for Project Merry Christmas. They expect to serve over 450 families in our area this holiday season. Check out their good work online:


Check out all the Durango Lifestyle Blog posts!