Saturday, September 22, 2018
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Shocked…

I think people will be shocked at how busy this Christmas and New Year’s will be in Crested Butte. There will be people in and around town for a couple of weeks starting just before Christmas and staying until after New Year’s. That is always a relatively busy time but it honestly hasn’t been that busy the last few years. I think we’ll see a big bump on the slopes and in the businesses this year and people will get a taste of July in December.

In that same box, I think people will be shocked at how slow March will be. The two big reasons appear to be the timing of out-of-state school breaks and Mardi Gras falling in mid-February. As of now, March looks to be a lot less busy this year than last. Now, people are working to correct that and there is still a good amount of time to rectify the situation but it just demonstrates the fluidity of the season.

I think people will also be shocked at the big buildings on Crested Butte’s horizon. When the new affordable housing apartment complex goes up this coming summer next to True Value, people are going to be blown away. Despite assurances from proponents, it will be big and it will define the entrance to town. If and when they happen, Sixth Street Station will not be small, nor will the Center for the Arts expansion. Now granted, the big building corridor will at least touch on three positive things that can add to continued Crested Butte success—art, commerce and places for employees to live—but the scale will impact some of the vibe.

I think people will be shocked at how the United States government tortured people in the name of safety. Once again I give great accolades to Colorado’s U.S. Senator Mark Udall for doing his best to keep us aware as citizens about what the government is really doing. He has been a consistent critic of the government’s attempt to spy on its citizens. As he leaves the senate after losing the election last November, he wants to make sure that we do not forget what we as a country did in the name of fear. It was not pretty and Udall is a courageous voice in Washington.

I don’t understand why some people are shocked that a “perfect” use of the Whatever, USA $500,000 gift wasn’t reached. Understand that one man’s “perfect” is another woman’s “awful mistake.” I mean, in my mind, it was pretty good to touch on three projects that could be completed and benefit a swath of the community. And the three-deal solution addressed recreation, trails and affordable housing. But let’s all be real and understand there is no perfect use of the gift and remember, it is a gift. I suppose the two councils could have given $100 to everyone who lived in either town and $50 to people who lived in the county but not in the towns and $25 to anyone who has ever visited here—but focusing on three things that can actually get done is a pretty good deal. And I really liked councilman’s Schmidt’s observation that the two municipalities probably spent the last month spending literally millions of dollars in the town budgets and not many people came to chat about that money. The attraction of the blue Bud Light money just shows the emotion associated with the whole shebang.

It may come as a shock to some that the town and valley population is changing. I’ve recently met people who moved here in the last year or five and they come in a couple of different demographics. We still attract the young ski bums looking for work in a cool ski town and we still get those looking to escape the real world for the mountains. But we are also now attracting those who want to make Crested Butte their real world. There are the older conservative types who like the outdoors and the art and cultural opportunities. Then there are the younger, well-to-do family types with kids in school. The Crested Butte Community School is a huge draw and a significant economic driver for the upper valley. It basically provides a private education experience at a public school. People looking for a small town chapter in their life book are coming here. Many of these newcomers probably care less about the history and old Crested Butte “values” than good teachers and “better” amenities. That’s probably one reason the idea of a pool keeps surfacing despite the prohibitive expense. Things never stay the same in a good place and I like the new energy we are seeing with a vibrant cross-section of community age and thought.

And finally, we all should be shocked that the local cops ended up in a scary late-night situation with guns drawn and poor choices the most obvious outcome (See page 7). That is not supposed to happen here and doesn’t often. Thank goodness. While I give the local law enforcement community a hard time sometimes because of their growing numbers, when they end up in a situation like they did Friday and no one ends up seriously hurt or dead—I appreciate them.

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