And the survey says—people love living in town

Trails, rec center and a pool on people’s wish list

Those living in the town of Crested Butte really enjoy it. In fact, overall quality of life in the town of Crested Butte was rated as excellent or good by 95 percent of residents in a recent citizen survey.



The survey conducted for Crested Butte by the National Research Center was sent out last summer and initial results have been tabulated.
Most residents and second-home owners think the town staff is doing a good job, but only a little more than half think the town government does a good job at listening to its citizens.
People living in town really like the trails in the area and most wish there were a public swimming pool. In fact, they say they are willing to increase their taxes to pay for things like more trails and a swimming pool or recreation center, but only 1 percent of the people see additional volleyball courts as essential.
The first draft of the great 2008 Crested Butte town survey is in print. The comprehensive survey paints a detailed picture of the feelings of residents of Crested Butte. About half of the 1,200 surveys sent out were returned. Seventy-one percent of those responding were residents; the other 29 percent had second homes in town. That response rate is extremely good, with most such surveys normally getting a 25 percent to 40 percent return.
“We wanted to get a broader understanding of the needs of the community and see how well we were doing our job as a town government as far as providing services,” explained town manager Susan Parker. “It can also be used as tool for the elected officials to see a wider perspective of how the community feels about different issues.”
According to the report summary, the idea is to get some baseline data about the town from its residents and then take a “periodic sounding of resident opinion.” The data will then be used to offer staff, elected officials and other stakeholders an opportunity to identify challenges and to plan for and evaluate improvements and to sustain services and amenities for long-term success.
Town councilmember Skip Berkshire said he has glanced over the results and feels it is a good document. “But I’m not quite sure what the next step should be,” he said. “There’s a lot of good information to digest. It looks like we fared very well compared to other places.”
People living in Crested Butte apparently like to be green when heading to work, with 26 percent using a bike regularly to commute to their jobs and another 9 percent choosing to walk. But 35 percent still drive the car by themselves on a regular basis to get to work.
Work in the coming months appears to be a bit of a question mark for some residents. According to the survey, just 9 percent of the residents expected that the coming six months would have a “somewhat” or “very” positive impact on their family, while 56 percent felt that the economic future would be “somewhat” or “very” negative.
Eighty-one percent love how Crested Butte looks and 67 percent feel the animal control department of town is doing a good job. Less than a quarter of the people living in Crested Butte think it’s a good place for shopping, but more than half feel the businesses and service establishments in town do a good job.
Pretty much everyone living in town feels safe in Crested Butte. That translated to high marks for the Marshal’s Office and Crested Butte Fire Protection District. The vast majority of people in town appreciate the natural environment and preservation of open space in the valley.
According to the survey, most favorable ratings were awarded to quality of overall natural environment, ease of bicycle travel, air quality and the opportunities to volunteer. On the other end of the spectrum, the four characteristics receiving the least positive ratings were availability of affordable quality housing, employment opportunities, shopping opportunities and variety of housing options.
Residents of Crested Butte are civil minded. While 65 percent had attended a meeting of local elected public officials or other local public meetings in the previous 12 months, 95 percent had provided help to a friend or neighbor. A majority also have volunteer experience with a group or activity in town. The survey indicated “mild” trust in local government and less than half rated the overall direction being taken by town of Crested Butte as “good” or “excellent.”
But for the current snapshot, it looks good for Crested Butte. Almost 90 percent of those living here now expect to stay here for the next five years, while 88 percent say they would recommend living in Crested Butte to someone who asks.
For more complete survey information, contact the town hall. The results are posted on the town’s website at

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