Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Search Results for: resort town life

Clarkson named new VP of marketing and sales for CBMR

Twenty-five years in
the industry

Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) announced the appointment of Scott Clarkson as its vice president of marketing and sales. Clarkson comes to Crested Butte with more than 25 years of experience in ski industry marketing; he spent 15 of those years at Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, a sister resort of CBMR. Read More »

Aaron Huckstep’s full Answer

Economic Sustainability
This is a broad concept, with many different components.  The overriding theme of initiatives supporting economic sustainability is to feed the economic engines of Crested Butte and the upper valley:  tourism, recreation, the arts and education, and agriculture.  Initiatives within this area are as follows: Read More »

Sidewalk seating fees may increase for businesses next year

Elk Avenue was more vibrant this summer

An initial town review of the summer landscape that is Elk Avenue brought out questions of fairness and crowding with the Crested Butte Town Council at a recent meeting. In the end, the council appears headed toward raising fees on restaurants that elect to have outdoor seating on the sidewalks in the summer. Read More »

Briefs Mt. Crested Butte

July sales tax sets record
Mt. Crested Butte continues to see increases in monthly sales tax revenues over last year, with July collections coming in 8.7 percent above what they were 12 months ago. “We’re still not anywhere near winter collections, but for a summer month that’s pretty good,” Town Manager Joe Fitzpatrick told the council on Tuesday, September 20. “Last year was a good year and we ended up $10,944 above that.” Read More »

Rants and appreciation

Take a second to breathe in these days. The blue, the gold, the perfect temperatures are money.
Hold that breath for a day in January when it might be -30 with little snow, super windy and dark. That is the time to recall this week. These days are sanity in the bank. I would venture there has not been a better day anywhere on the planet than what we’ve experienced this week.
Take a moment (or more) to appreciate it. But life doesn’t stop in these gorgeous off-season days and there are few things that make me need to breathe.

* During a council work session this week, an idea was discussed about including a tiered pricing system to rent public property in Crested Butte. The idea, which has been discussed before, is to charge more for those that aren’t locals. The issue turns on what defines a local. In Councilman John Wirsing’s quick opinion, anyone not residing within the town boundary of Crested Butte wouldn’t qualify for the cheapest rent. It appeared Councilmen Escalante and Schmidt wanted to expand it to those who live in the valley. That seems reasonable.
The bulk of Crested Butte funding comes through sales tax as opposed to property tax. While I live a quick bike ride away from Elk Avenue but not in town, I contributed to the Crested Butte sales tax this week. Buying a beer counts, right? Hundreds of us living in Riverbend or Crested Butte South or Meridian Lake do the same. When we’re out of the valley and people ask us where we live, I’d venture to guess that 95 percent of us say Crested Butte. This is a positive for the broader community. To try to separate those who moved south of Red Lady Avenue is foolish and detrimental to a community of broader kinship and unity.
To be so parochial hurts the big picture for Crested Butte. The “us vs. them” attitude makes the hairs on my neck stand up. To look askance at a 10- or 20- or 30-year resident who has put in time living, working and volunteering here while rewarding the nubie ski bum who arrived on Whiterock yesterday and has a dream to spend a few winters here is shortsighted. Step it up, brother.
It can only help the community as a whole if you begin looking at the whole community.

* The Gunnison County Substance Abuse Prevention Project is teaming up with the ski resort to give local kids a chance to obtain discounted season passes if they stay “drug-free.” This is a good partnership and a nice outreach from CBMR to give a boost to some local families that want to purchase ski passes for the season. The program is set up to be a dynamic multi-faceted program that involves the participating kids in events, discussion groups and roundtables. It is a good chance for local kids to thoughtfully discuss a very serious issue that impacts their current and future lives. That in itself would seem a great step forward for many kids and families.
But there is a big but. The 14-year-olds will be subject to drug testing to get their discounted pass. The children must pee in a cup and their urine will be tested to make sure they are drug-free. If not, the pass is taken away and counseling offered. That seems to set up the program in a foundation of mistrust and punitive thinking as opposed to positivity. I love the opportunity for group discussion and honest debate that is a cornerstone of the proposed program. I think throwing in the demand to make kids pee in a cup produces a significant crack in the trust that could be nurtured. It also, in my opinion, teaches a poor lesson about Big Brother and citizens acquiescing to The Man to get something. Getting our next generation used to the idea that it is okay for those in charge to make them do something that is, frankly, demeaning and invasive is not a great life lesson.
Let me make it clear… it is a choice for individual families. No one has to do it. My kids won’t be doing it. And even being faced with the initial choice to participate in the program or not could start a useful discussion between a kid and his parents and that is a really good first step and a positive ramification of what otherwise looks like a pretty decent collaborative program.

* Starting a transparent discussion to rebrand or at least rename Western State College with a university tag is an interesting idea. To vet the idea thoroughly now is good start in a long process.
* Vinotok was its wild self and brought a lot of people in to see a wild side of Crested Butte. No wonder it is Crested Butte’s favorite festival.
* CBMR’s college appreciation day was a good idea. College kids had a chance to use the base area facilities for free last Sunday and 150 others in the community used the stuff for ten bucks. The best part is that the ten bucks went to local charities. Nice touch.
* Have you taken the time yet to look outside and appreciate the colors? Don’t let it pass by without holding on to it. Enjoy the rest of this fantastic autumn at 9,000 feet. Breathe it in.

Arts Alliance teams up for the arts

“Across America, cities that once struggled economically are reinventing and rebuilding themselves by investing in art and culture. Both are proven catalysts for growth and economic prosperity. By creating cultural hubs, non-profit art businesses help cities define themselves, draw tourists, and attract investment.” Read More »

CB real estate sales starting to look up this year

List prices dropping

Real estate sales in Crested Butte appear to be gaining momentum. Sotheby’s real estate agent Channing Boucher reported in his July newsletter that 101 homes and condos have sold in the north end of the valley this year, from Crested Butte South to Mt. Crested Butte.


Read More »

Econ 101…thoughts

A few weeks ago, Chamber of Commerce director Richard Bond stated that they’d like to bring in more high-paying jobs to the county.
“…it’s not going to take a lot to create $8 an hour jobs. We could do that today without a lot of energy, but to create $80 an hour jobs is really where we want to be.”
Let me know if you have an opening for one of those $80 an hour jobs. That six-figure salary would make my life easier for sure.

Summer Forecast
According to those at last week’s Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce report to the community, we can expect a busy summer. All sorts of bike races and events, an expanded music fest, zip lines, and the chance for an abundance of wildflowers given the water situation, will all contribute to a lot of people visiting the valley this summer. It starts now with Restaurant Week, spills over into Ride-the-Rockies and goes into high gear from there. Down at WSC, they are expecting an additional 5,000 visitors this summer between conferences, camps and orientations.
Buckle up.

Holy Moly mining…not
For those who tout the economic benefit of a mine bringing in high-paying jobs that don’t exist in Crested Butte, don’t bank on it. According to last Sunday’s Denver Post, mine company giant Freeport-McMoRan is gearing up to re-open the Climax molybdenum mine in Leadville. The Post article states, “Freeport-McMoRan won’t disclose wage scales, but townspeople have been told that entry-level jobs will pay about $15 an hour.”
FYI—Mountain Express bus drivers make between $14 and $22 an hour.
A mining company will certainly pay bigger bucks for skilled specialty workers who can operate machines made for the mine. But if you’re that dude running the Painter Boy lift, don’t expect to get hired to run the VSI5x Impact Crusher and suddenly find yourself pulling down $100K. Not gonna happen.

Oil and Gas
Similar arguments are made in the region and the state about another extractive industry in our county. Oil and gas wells are starting to pop up on the other side of Kebler Pass near the coal fields. Gunnison County is looking at regulating them with a shorter leash. While the county appreciates the money brought in by these extractive industries, the regulators want to keep an eye on the industry as it expands in the region. Given our tourism and lifestyle dependence on clean water, clean air and clean scenery, this seems more than fair. After all, the oil and gas industry isn’t always known for being squeaky clean and its low impacts.
In fact, a meeting will be held with the county commissioners on June 14 to discuss regulation of the industry as it creeps into the region.
The public may want to circle that date and participate in the democratic process and tell your commissioners it isn’t a bad thing for us to be able to keep a closer eye on something that could have a big impact on our current economy and lifestyle.

Economic development meetings
Not to sound all cynical but as I observe the evolution of this latest economic development process it is déjà vu all over again. The latest effort appears to tap the same areas as other reports from the past. Buzzwords and phrases like “sustainable economy,” “promoting a positive brand,” “diversifying the economy,” and “attracting lone eagles” all rise to the top. Of course, like a Rorschach test, these things mean very different things to different people.
So as the committee proceeds, I’d ask that it give us something real.
Start by being honest; Manufacturing doesn’t work easily here but tourism can. Western State College is a huge asset and should be a big factor in the future. Don’t ignore Crested Butte Mountain Resort, as it is a primary draw for people both living and visiting here. Those lone eagles you want to attract will settle here for lifestyle and convenience, so funding the arts matters as does convenient airline schedules, top-of-the-line wireless technology and good schools. The month of May can suck so don’t waste time and discussion trying to argue it is better to spend money attracting “shoulder season” tourists for May 8 instead of figuring out how to attract skiers on January 8 when an amenity is up and running in place.  
Perhaps try a new approach and focus on one thing, be it boosting student numbers at the college, increasing winter tourism or creating the highest altitude, fastest, most efficient wireless network in the country. And then focus on it, explain why growing and supporting this one element can benefit the overall community, and do it. It is all intertwined—boosting one good ingredient can help make the whole recipe great.

So to summarize Econ 101 this week:
* Mines don’t necessarily bring in high-paying jobs for residents.
* Oil and gas ventures in our backyard should be watched and regulated so as to protect the lifestyle and economy we already depend on.
* Economic development organizations have to create more jobs than the executive director position to be considered successful.
* In the short term, expect a good, busy summer.
* I want one of the $80 an hour jobs.

Bike team Alpine Orthopaedics ups the ante for 2011

Posting podium results at early races

The Gunnison Valley bike team of Team Alpine Orthopaedics (AO) enters its second year of existence adding some more local iron legs/lungs to its roster.
The team came together after some brainstorming sessions between Dave Ochs and orthopedic surgeon Rhett Griggs of Alpine Orthopaedics while Ochs was receiving treatment last spring. Read More »

A fresh look at economic development in the County

From the bottom up

Stand around the Crested Butte post office on Elk Avenue for a day, and it doesn’t take long to figure out that the Gunnison Valley is a community of ideas. We all know the best way to care for our community and energize the Gunnison Valley economy. More flights into the airport. Better partnership between the ski resort and town. Greater focus on marketing for the college. Read More »