Tallie Harmon Hired as PEP Project Coordinator



Tallie Harmon has been selected by Prowers Economic Prosperity as the project coordinator for the county-wide economic development group. The announcement was made official during the September 19th board meeting by Executive Director, Cheryl Sanchez.  Harmon, a life-long Prowers County resident, will begin her first official day on Monday, October 3rd.

The operators of two, new businesses were introduced during the meeting; Kyle Taylor is the general manager of Taylor Implement Company locating their operation in Granada and his father, Tuffy Taylor is the owner.  They described how the company originated in Hoxie, Kansas in 1971 and has expanded their operation into Yuma and Greeley, Colorado with plans to be up and running in Granada by 2023.

While the company has served their areas with John Deere Equipment, Taylor Implement is featuring the CLAAS line of products as well as introducing low horsepower electric tractors for the farm and ranch.  Manager Jory Haynes said the showroom will feature 6,000 square feet of space and the shop will offer 4,300 square feet.  The new operation will be located about three miles west of Granada on the north side of Highway 50.

More specific details about the long-awaited opening of The Cow Palace Inn came to light from Ron Nolde, one of the three principal partners of the organization which includes his son-in-law, general manager, E. J. Carpenter and chef, Ezra Gutierrez.  The family is restaurant oriented with one in operation in Wray since 2000 and The Dish Room in Burlington which offers a large following throughout the region.  “The restaurant in Wray offers more of a mainstream menu reflecting our clientele there and the Dish Room, right off the interstate, features a more diverse, up-scale menu.  Since we’ve been in operation, we noticed that the number of hotel and motel rooms being used in Burlington has gone up about 15%,” he explained to the PEP board.”  He added, “That type of concept is why we decided to bring our hotel/restaurant operation into Lamar using The Cow Palace after we were contacted by Doug Thrall, the owner.”

Their initial plans focused on opening just the restaurant by the summer of 2021, but once they began renovating that section of the building, the decision was made to go all in and renovate the entire complex, top to bottom. The exterior of the building was recently repainted, the old plumbing has been replaced, there’s a new HVAC system and work on a new roof will start in a couple of weeks.  The upstairs conference roof will accommodate 250 persons and a smaller room on the main floor will hold 50.  There will be 82 rooms as well as 14 suites.  Parts for the elevator are expected to arrive in the next several months.

“We plan to have a soft opening for the restaurant in December and start out limiting the number of hotel rooms that we’ll make available soon afterwards.  The full opening will be in mid-February after we’ve hired and trained our staff,” he explained.  New hires can expect to train at The Dish Room in Burlington for several weeks before they are employed in Lamar.  Nolde said about 28 full-time employees are anticipated as well as part-time workers.  This includes some of the management positions, while the cook staff will rotate in from Burlington at the outset.  He added, “We pay well, with low scale employees earning about $34,000 a year, and last year we had about eight or nine who were earning above $80,000.”

The Cow Palace won’t be affiliated with a franchise operation as it will be a boutique operation.  The hotel will maintain the old, familiar name, and the restaurant will be known as the Palace Tavern.

PEP Director, Cheryl Sanchez told the board of plans to combine the fall industrial roundtable discussion the PEP VIP Social, set for October 25th at Lamar Community College at 6pm.  She said the organization is looking forward to meet prospective new members as well as on-going supporters.  Invitations will be mailed out the first week of October.  Additional filming for a marketing promotion video for Prowers County was held Monday afternoon.  “The only non-sunshine day we had all summer for their first visit coincided with the rainy day during the 9-11 Tribute, of which they filmed a segment,” she explained.

The board is putting together a 2023 budget committee and will formulate a list of goals to be discussed for the November 21st meeting.  The next PEP meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 17th.
By Russ Baldwin



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