3G’s horse-drawn carriage saga ends in Old Town
For seven years, no matter what the weather, Mike Solano and his 3G's Front Range Carriage Service provided horse-drawn rides in Old Colorado City to paying
He was also a familiar sight in parades, at special occasions and in Old Colorado City promotions, standing out with his custom-made, Amish-style one-horse carriage and the Victorian-era clothes worn by himself and his employees.
But the 3G's saga came to an end this spring when Solano ended the operation and sold his horses.
“We miss having him around,” said Nancy Stovall, owner of the Pine Creek Art Gallery. Located across Colorado Avenue from Bancroft Park, where Solano parked his carriage while awaiting riders, Pine Creek also housed the 3G's feed box and even sold tickets for him sometimes, Stovall said. “We were his home base.”
The Westside Pioneer has been trying to reach Solano, without luck so far.
It is known that he had been injured when a car struck his carriage in December 2006. And, according to Stovall, the service became less active in the past year after Solano's co-worker, friend and horse specialist Geoff G. Gerdes (note the three Gs), relocated out of state.
In an interview with the Pioneer in 2004, Solano talked about the 3G's style. “We know we're working in a historic district,” he said at that time. “So we wear clothes that fit the image. We want to be presentable at the Broadmoor or anywhere in town.”
Also a paralegal business owner, Solano had started 3G's during a slow period, at the urging of Gerdes, he explained in the '04 interview.
Over the years, Solano kept his horses, Sammy and Rusty, at a stables off 27th and Howbert streets in the Midland area, and they were a familiar sight to neighbors. “I used to say hi to them, and I could notice their ears move when I said their names,” commented Mary Congiusti, who lives near the stables.
Karen Earley, marketing director for the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group, said she would be open to another such service in Old Town, but currently none appears to be available.
Westside Pioneer article