The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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November 25, 2012

New Mexico camp a case study for the Summit


OAK HILL — Pizza, ice cream and soda pops

“If you have a pizza place, tell them to get ready,” says Cimarron Clerk Administrator Mindy Cahill. “The Scouts seem to love that pizza. And hamburgers.”

“They come to town and it’s hamburgers, pizza and ice cream,” says Valerie Kutz, whose Cimarron Art Gallery contains an old-fashioned soda fountain popular among Scouts.

The junk food, she says, is a refreshing change from what they’ve been eating.

“They’ve been on the trail for 10 days eating dehydrated food.”

It has become something of a rite of passage for Scouts to make a meal of pizza in Cimarron after their rigorous hike at Philmont is over.

Simple Simon’s Pizza is their go-to dinner spot. A franchise with locations across the southern Midwest, Simple Simon’s sells the usual pizza, calzones, wings and sandwiches in “a fun-filled, family atmosphere.”

They are also open year-round, which locals appreciate during the winter months when crowds dwindle.

“We have everything from fine dining to fast food,” says local innkeeper Deb Saunders of Cimarron’s restaurant landscape, but she admits there aren’t a ton of options.

She has capitalized on the situation by partnering with a local restaurant, The Porch, to offer catered meals and sack lunches to the Scouts who stay at her inn.

Offering “some kind of food that’s native to your area” near The Summit would be smart, she says.

Given Cimarron’s southwest flavor, perhaps it’s no surprise that Burrito Banquet is another popular place for local meals.

Its owner sells burritos during lunch hours from a food truck for three summer months out of the year and makes enough cash to help support her life as a potter the rest of the time.

Beds and bunks

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