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Evolving in 150 Issues


East Boulder County needed a voice. Like the colonials writing the first newspapers, that’s how it begun. Printed on an unconventional yellow piece of paper—a color the publisher chose because it was happy—the first issue of YS was delivered door-to-door on foot to 4000 homes. “I was just sticking it in mailboxes,” laughs publisher Shavonne Blades. “I did get yelled at for it, but you know how it goes.”

That workhorse drive is what fuels the creative people in the YS offices in Erie today. In the editorial realm, we aptly refer to a magazine issue as a “book” because of the content and design involved with it. Each book has a connective tissue between the story features. And that glue is Boulder County. When former editor-in-chief Andra Coberly first began, she knew her task, which, as she put it on day one, was “to make the people who live here feel cool about living here.” It’s a motto YS has delivered on since its onset: driving through blizzards, surviving the 500-year flood, and striving through 36-hour deadlines to deliver the monthly book you and I love so much.

The process of accomplishing that can sometimes turn us employees into cartoon characters. Ragtag salespeople, editors, and designers cut through the office like miniature whirlwinds going into the late hours. When Erik Maulbetsch was editor in the early 2000s, YS operated out of a three-bedroom apartment. At 3 a.m., he promptly fell out of a bunk bed he was sleeping in and onto the floor. The occasional midnight prank never hurts, either—the best pulled by an art director who shoved all the office chairs into a bathroom. But in the end, YS is comprised of the most driven people who make books.

“We sorted and distributed all the magazines for mailing ourselves,” says former art director Stephanie Mott, reflecting on YS’s early transitional years. “It’s rewarding to see what talented, motivated people can accomplish.” Today, the publication is an integral voice encompassing all of Boulder County and everything north of Denver under the yellow sun. So thank you, reader, for 150 issues filled with substantial people, and helping us inculcate to metropolitans that incredible stories are not proportional to a city’s size.


2000: The local coupon-cutter known as The Goldmine is hand-walked to 4000 homes in Erie.

2001: The Yellow Scene circulates 26,000 copies throughout East Boulder County. The inside cover shamelessly admits: “We intend to eventually take over the world, of course.”

2002 – 03: The publication continues growing its editorial mark in this Reader Digest-like format printing in full color.

2004 – 08: Distributing at 44,000 copies, the publication transitions into a full-size magazine to accommodate the enormous “Holiday Gift Guide.”

2009: Now with a circulation of 70,000, the newly rebranded Yellow Scene transitions into Boulder with “Best of the West.”

2011: The magazine branches out across the Front Range with Colorado Brides & Colorado Babies.

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