Greeley man presents treasure hunts across northern Colorado
March 16, 2017
When Bree Martinez saw a Facebook post about a treasure hunt going on in northern Colorado, she was curious.
She checked out the page, Northern Colorado Treasure Hunters. Then the posts started.
As soon as Martinez saw the picture of the Greeley treasure, she knew where it was hidden.
She took off to Epple Park.
"I grew up Frisbee golfing at Epple Park, and the flood gate is a recognizable landmark," Martinez said.
When she pulled up, so did one of her mom's friends. They decided to split the $20 cash prize in half. Another car pulled up just after they'd claimed the prize. Since that first hunt, Martinez has been just a step behind other hunters.
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"I always show up just as someone else is leaving," she said.
Matt Donnelly of Greeley came up with the idea for a real life treasure hunt. He hides cash in various cities around northern Colorado, takes a picture and posts it to the Facebook page.
The cash is usually wrapped in something colorful and stashed near a landmark. He posts the name of the city to help folks narrow it down.
It's not supposed to be extremely difficult to find. It's just for fun.
But the competition is fierce.
"If you don't know where it is and you can't get there quick it'll probably get picked up by someone else," Martinez said.
For now, Donnelly uses his own money for the hunt. He hopes to get financial backing from local businesses so he can hide larger cash prizes.
With already more than 3,500 likes on Facebook, that kind of sponsorship could be possible.
He wanted to keep his own identity quiet for as long as he could, but local news outlets picked up on the buzz. The Loveland Reporter Herald reported that Donnelly came up with the idea while watching the Super Bowl.
He remained reluctant to give us a full interview.
"I'm looking to have a positive thing in northern Colorado that families can do and have fun doing it with a little incentive at the end of it all," Donnelly said in a text message.
Kyleigha Sheridan, of Loveland, also scored $10 after a hunt. The Facebook page came up as one she might like.
She was at work in Berthoud when she saw the post.
She ran to her boss to see if he knew where it was. He told her to go look for it. She drove around but nothing seemed to match. She wound up a park. Finally, she saw it.
She bought some toys for her kid.
"It was definitely an adventure," Sheridan said.