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Welcome to a new page on the EVRPD website. Each month, a District employee will be featured on this page. The employee may be new or they may be a seasoned worker, but they will always be someone with an interesting story about why they love working for the District.
Our current Employee Focus is Jason Lykins, Facilities Maintenance Supervisor.
Jason Lykins: Tackling a Big Project
On July 17, Jason Lykins stepped into his new role for a newly created position for one of the newest buildings in Estes Park.
But it isn’t a building yet; it is still in the construction phase and that is why Jason is starting now.
Jason was hired by the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District as the Facilities Maintenance Supervisor for the new Estes Valley Community Center. Starting now, while the building is still a shell of its planned structure, will allow Jason to see the inner workings from the inside out every step of the way. The construction crew from Adolfson and Peterson Construction will also be able to teach him about everything going into the 70,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility.
“I am excited to be on the ground floor of the opening of the new community center,” said Jason. “Who could pass up an opportunity to work in a new building. It is going to be an amazing and really impressive facility.”
Jason grew up in the Bay Area outside of San Francisco, Calif. but also spent some of his youth in Colorado Springs and most recently lived in Florida.
While in Florida, he worked as a superintendent for a home builder but the company went bankrupt during the Great Recession.
“I was familiar with Estes Park because my family has a condo here,” said Jason. “That is what drew me back to Colorado.”
Coming back to Colorado during the recession meant it was tough to find a construction job so Jason applied his construction skills to property management positions. His first job in Estes Park was as the Facilities Manager for Rocky Mountain Resorts, a business that owns condos, cabins and vacation homes. Then he worked for Della Terra Mountain Chateau as the Maintenance Supervisor.
“I was excited about this position because of the fact I could use my skills in construction and be hands on,” said Jason. “I like that I will have ties to the community, be involved with the community and be a part of the recreation district.”
When asked what he was looking forward to doing at the facility, Jason said, “kind of everything but I am most excited about all of the technology going into the building.”
The community center will have a building automation system. Jason explained that this is a computer-based system that will monitor everything in the building through software on a laptop. If the heating system is due for inspection, the system will alert him. If the pool filter is clogged, the system will alert him. If the warranty is getting ready to expire on the smoke detectors, the system will alert him.
“It is a daunting task to pull this building together but it seems everyone I will work with has an awesome and impressive handle on their roles,” said Jason. “Their openness and willingness to teach has been wonderful.”
Jason has a strong passion for construction and building things; he recently remodeled a small camper—complete with new cedar siding—a friend gave him for free.
He feels the community center project is a great mix of construction and facility maintenance where he will get to use all of his skills and expertise while learning a little more about commercial construction, which has very different aspects compared to residential construction.
“I enjoy walking and working with all consultants on a project,” said Jason. “I enjoy the problem solving aspect of construction and working with my hands. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.”
It sounds like the accomplishment of EVRPD is getting Jason to join our team.
Outside of work, Jason enjoys camping and hiking but also dabbles in tubing. He currently lives in Estes Park with his girlfriend, two dogs and a cat.
For more information about the new Estes Valley Community Center, visit www.evrpd.com.
Austin has been playing golf at the Estes Park 18-Hole Golf Course since he was a toddler.
His Dad introduced him to the sport and gave him his first lessons until Austin’s first clinic at six years old. He participated every year, progressed into the junior golf program at the age of 9 and continued into weekly classes.
“I loved getting better and seeing results right away,” said Austin, Assistant Golf Professional for the Estes Park Golf Courses. “I felt like the more competitive spirit I had, the better I got.”
But as Austin entered high school, he decided he wanted to play football. That change in direction didn’t last long because he tore his ACL playing football during his freshman year of high school.
“My knee was reconstructed at age 14 so football was out,” said Austin. “I got back into golf and made the high school team my sophomore year.”
Austin played on the high school golf team for his remaining years of high school, where he went to states for two of the three years.
But other interests drew Austin away from golf again as he entered college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Four years later, Austin found himself at yet another crossroads and golf again became the answer.
“I tried accounting for six months but found I didn’t want to be inside at a desk all day” said Austin. “I had worked at the golf course since 2004 in summer seasonal positions. Shortly after the 2013 flood, a position opened at the 18-hole course so I applied. I started my first full-time position with Estes Park Golf Courses in January 2014.”
Today, as the Assistant Golf Professional and a student in the PGA Certified Professional Program working towards his PGA A certification, Austin is the right-hand man to Mark Miller, Manager of Golf Services.
“I take on a wide-variety of daily tasks,” said Austin. “I organize tournaments, give lessons, help manage our staff, check people in, work with pass holders, manage the men’s and ladies clubs, manage handicaps, work in the pro shop, help with merchandising and organize marketing efforts.”
Austin’s immediate professional goals are to complete his PGA A certification, which takes three years. He hopes that will open new opportunities for him. He recognizes that the golf industry is facing heavy challenges but hopes that he can continue to give people a good time on the Estes Park golf courses.
“My role here really is to get as many people on the courses as possible, make sure they are having fun, and to make sure they are staying safe,” said Austin. “I want players to go home and tell their friends that our course was a really fun place to be. Our courses have never been in better shape, especially considering it is very tough to have green grass in an arid climate at high altitude. The courses are short but they are a good challenge and that is a great thing for Estes Park.”
Besides playing on the Estes Park golf courses, Austin dreams of playing the St. Andrews Golf Club in Scotland and Bethpage State Park Golf Course in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Outside of golf, Austin also dreams of getting married, having kids and teaching them golf just like his own Dad did for him.
For more information about EVRPD golf courses or to reach out to Austin, visit www.evrpd.com.
Nolan Oberg recently joined the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District as the Recreation Coordinator for Sports and Athletics but his roles within the District and with the Estes Valley community actually started four years ago.
Nolan comes to Estes Park by way of Berea, Kentucky, a small town located 113 miles southeast of Louisville in central Kentucky’s Blue Grass Region.
He first came to Colorado shortly after college to work at Peaceful Valley Resort near Estes Park. He met his wife there. He enthralled her with a first date at McDonald’s. She was smitten.
But a new job took him back to the southeast. This time he went to Louisiana to help residents of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in his new role with Reach Global Crisis Response, a long-term recovery group.
“An opportunity came up with Reach Global Crisis Response back in Colorado after the 2013 flood, and I jumped at the chance to return to Estes Park,” said Nolan. “My wife and I moved back here where I was now working as the volunteer coordinator for Larimer County through Reach Global Crisis Response. I worked as liaison between homeowners, volunteer groups and construction managers. It was a great job because I helped communities from Red Feathers to Bellevue to Big Elk Meadows.”
Between his moves from Colorado, Kentucky and Louisiana, Nolan and his wife, Anna, started a family. His three boys—Gabe, Harry and Boone, now 8, 6 and 4, respectively—were starting to get involved with sports and Nolan saw an opportunity to get back to his love of sports while spending time with his kids.
“I started with EVRPD in the fall of 2014 as the volunteer coach for soccer,” said Nolan. “My love for sports started as a child and then evolved in college where I worked at the Berea College Athletic Complex. After college, I joined the staff at Berea College, served on the athletics advisory committee and helped coach the school’s soccer team.”
His volunteer position with EVRPD bloomed into a part-time position as site supervisor for the baseball summer programs.
“I was still doing flood recovery at that time but that opportunity ended in late 2016 and the EVRPD position opened up in early 2017,” said Nolan. “I jumped at the chance to show how much I could bring to the recreation team.”
In his role as Recreation Coordinator, Nolan provides families and adults with recreational opportunities throughout the year with high-quality and fun experiences.
“There are lots of logistics and hats to wear—volunteer management, scheduling, programming, fundraising, marketing, public relations, web content management, customer service—but every day I feel like I get to use all of my skills,” said Nolan. “It’s really fun and the day flies by. Anybody can put bases down but to do it well you need lots of skills.”
In his new role with EVRPD, Nolan has plans to:
- Improve community outreach by taking recreation to the communities EVRPD serves, such as Big Elk Meadows, Drake, Glen Haven and Pinewood Springs
- Working with leaders of the Spanish-speaking population of Estes Valley to expand recreation opportunities
- Using recreation to build a sense of community through traditional and non-traditional sports
- Build outdoor recreation programs in partnership with local businesses
- Integration with other EVRPD departments for recreation programs
Nolan says he loves living in Estes Park and being a part of such a wonderful community.
“Every day I feel fortunate that I get to live here,” said Nolan. “There is beauty all around us, and that is something I don’t take for granted.”
Outside of work, Nolan and his family spend time hiking, camping and staying active with their church.
For more information about EVRPD recreation programs or to reach out to Nolan, visit www.evrpd.com.