A lovely farewell to TLR filming from Creede, thanks to the Mineral County Miner:
Movie crew gone, loop re-opens
Posted: Friday, Jul 6th, 2012
By Toni Steffens-Steward
Photo by Toni Steffens-Steward Local businesses and groups say reluctant goodbyes to "The Lone Ranger" crew.
CREEDE—The Bachelor Loop north of Creede was officially Re-opened June 29 just in time for the Disney production company to avoid paying heavy fines.
Clean-up in the movie filming area does not have to be finished until July 20 when town officials will do a final walk-through. Most of the crew had moved on to their next location by June 29 and all that remained of the once-extensive set was some scattered building material and workers busily returning the area to its original condition.
One person was left on duty at the guard station on Friday, but traffic was able to go cautiously through the loop. Most of the security had left the area by the end of the week.
Mineral County Sheriff Fred Hosselkus said the whole production went “a whole lot better than we were told it would.” The sheriff’s department was not officially affiliated with the guards or any security measures for talent or the set.
Hosselkus did hire one extra person for Memorial Day as he was not sure how that holiday would go, but even that measure proved unnecessary and the production did not significantly increase the work load of the sheriff’s office.
Though everyone was glad to see the loop open to vehicles again, many were feeling sad to see The Lone Ranger finished. Dianna Brown, Creede Underground Mining Museum director, said she was experiencing “empty nest syndrome.” She had come to really enjoy the company of the movie crew and talent.
Brown believes, “this is going to help put Creede on the map.” She said everyone involved with the movie was very gracious and cleaned up after themselves, including the space that was rented in the community center.
Brown said she did receive some complaints that the loop and the museum were closed for the production but, overall, she felt that the museum and community center were fairly compensated for that time.
The movie has brought in revenue for the town, but Visitor Center Director Della Brown said visitor numbers were up for June, even outside of those people brought in for the movie. She said many employees and owners of businesses miss the crews, not just for the additional revenue, but because people in town got to know the crews while they were here.
Many of the people associated with the movie stayed in Creede and South Fork, regularly shopped at local businesses and were welcomed throughout the San Luis Valley.
One particular visitor received a great deal more attention. Johnny Depp, who will appear as Tonto in the film, visited with people in downtown Creede and also sat patiently at a table in town hall for hours meeting people and signing autographs before he left Creede.
Filming of The Lone Ranger continues in Utah and New Mexico and many have hopes that another film or possibly a sequel will come to town in the future.
Hosselkus believes he has learned from the experience and that there are some things he would do differently the next time. Dianna Brown and her husband Ricky, also a director at the museum, agree with many in the area that they “would do this again in a heartbeat.”