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Why El Paso’s Star on the Mountain Has Gone Dark

Brian Wancho Photography
Brian Wancho Photography

El Paso’s Star on the Mountain.

It’s been a daily part of the nighttime skyline since April 1993.

But if you’ve looked towards the Franklins at night anytime in the last few weeks, you may have noticed its on intermittently.

I reached out to Patrick Espinoza, Director of Marketing and Communications/IT with the El Paso Chamber of Commerce, which is in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of the star, to find out why it’s not being lit every night.

It turns out they’ve been having compatibility issues with the transformer that provides the power and the timer that switches it on and off automatically.

Brian Wancho
Brian Wancho

“El Paso Electric updated some equipment recently that did not interact well with our timers,” Espinoza told me via email. “When they updated that equipment, we had been using a satellite timer that [has] since stopped working.”

“We reverted back to some older timers at the end of last year that have caused several problems with the transformer belonging to EP Electric. We are in the process of updating that equipment. ”

Until those issues are resolved, the mountain will remain dark unless someone has made the $50 donation to light the star.

“The star has power, but we have to manually turn it on and off,” wrote Espinoza, explaining why you’ll see it lit one night and then not again for several days.

(Hey, hiking up the mountain at dusk to turn it on and then returning at daybreak to turn it off everyday be hard!)

The Chamber does not know how long it will take to fix the problem.

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