Profile: Jamie Booth

By Dawne Belloise

It’s a long stride from archeology and anthropology to wedding catering, but Jamie Booth took that leap after she moved to Crested Butte, eventually creating her event planning company Belleview Weddings and Events. While she’s on sabbatical from her business, she’s discovering new interests and artistic outlets.

Jamie grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, just outside of NYC. She was only five years old when her father, who was piloting a small engine plane, tragically died in a crash, leaving her mom to raise her and an older sister.

The event profoundly affected the rest of her childhood. “Luckily, my mom had a lot of family in the area since she was born there. I was raised by strong, independent women and I’m really proud of my family,” she says. She tells the story of her grandmother who took her daughters and left an abusive marriage, putting herself through school to become a teacher to support her girls. It was uncommon to be a single mom in the 1950s. When Jamie’s father died, Jamie recalled, “Mom was a strong second-generation single mom. We were lucky in the sense that we had a good community and family to help take care of us. The people who inserted themselves into our lives were very meaningful.”

As a child, one of her favorite things was being allowed to play hooky from school every now and then when their mom would take them into the city for shows, mostly musicals. Most days in Jamie’s suburban neighborhood, she’d be playing with a pack of kids in the woods or going from one friend’s house to the next. “We had the only pool in the hood but we all had something to offer—one had the only trampoline, another had horses, so we had a good crew.” On her eighth birthday, Jamie’s mom got her the gift of weekly horseback lessons. During the winter, Jamie played indoor tennis and continued her piano lessons. “We also traveled and went skiing every year in Vermont.” Jamie’s dad had taught her to ski when she was three.

Jamie laughs that high school was “low drama” for her. “Which was unusual at that age. I floated in and out of different social groups, but I had good friends. I was a very good student,” she tells. She also played ice hockey, golf and trombone in band. She graduated in 2002 and enrolled at Gettysburg College because, she says, “In that east coast world, that’s just what you do. It’s expected of you to go to college.” She became a history major with a double minor in anthropology and studio art, graduating in 2006. “I think I loved college so much because I found the most wonderful group of girlfriends. We were all really different, but we were all really close. We still go away together every year, mostly we all want warmth, so someplace beachy and warm.”

Jamie’s interest in early nomadic peoples of two millennia ago led her to a field trip to the Central Gobi Desert in Mongolia with her professor in the summer of 2006. She was photographing the rock art left there by the wandering ancients who would stop and draw something of meaning to them about where they stopped. “There was one image etched into rock of a big horn sheep that was so spectacular and next to that we found the skull and horns of a bighorn sheep. The original artist was perhaps leaving a message that it’s a good place to hunt or maybe noting a typical path that sheep take.” 

Jamie spent two months in that desert, also performing field archeology. “We’d be looking down at the ground for 10 or more miles a day, to see rock blades, pieces of pottery, and we found a number of bronze arrowheads. Sometimes we’d find something that you’d know wasn’t natural, like rocks in a ring. The rule was that if we found three things in a close area, we knew we had a site and we’d start flagging everything and do a grid search. Sometimes three things would lead to quite a bit or nothing at all.” 

Jamie thought she’d continue down the archeology track but knowing that she’d wind up being a nomad herself for extended amounts of time is what dissuaded her. “I also had Jeff,” she says of her high school sweetheart hubby Jeff Dixon. Jeff told her that he wanted to move to a ski town that’s a real town. “And that’s how it all began,” she grins, and adds she thought it would only be a year-long temporary move. Jeff arrived in CB in August 2006 and she arrived in mid-October. “Scottie Moss hired me to teach at the Paradise Place right off the bat. It was not a job for me at all. It turns out I don’t have a deep love for the toddler age. I made it through a school year before leaving but I will say that job gave me the beginning of a community here. I made my first and closest friends at that job. I met people there who helped send me to a real amazing life,” she says.

“Jeff arrived in CB and the next day he was ready to buy a burial plot,” Jamie laughs, but she wasn’t quite convinced yet. “Winters are hard. I’m not a lover of cold weather so what I did was travel.” She moved on from Paradise Place in June, gardened for little bit, and traveled with a college girlfriend that fall to Switzerland and Italy. “I said to Jeff, I’ll come back to CB if I can get a real job that I’m proud of and I can keep traveling.” That real job happened when Pat Crow hired her as administration assistant at the Center for the Arts. 

Jamie then became the booking agent. “Within a year, I had learned quite a few positions, running the box office, booking the talent, everything about the facility. I sort of became the Jack of all trades, going from part-time to full-time.” She became the program manager, organizing all the Tour de Forks, all the shows, Alpenglow, fundraisers, all of which propelled her into the event world. She left the position in the late fall of 2012 to pursue her wedding and event planning business, Belleview Weddings and Events. Simultaneously, she was hired at Rocky Mountain Biological Labs (RMBL) as a development administrator. “It gave me some income while I was getting my business off the ground.” That first summer in 2013 of running her business was busy with 15 weddings. 

Jeff and Jamie married in Crested Butte in 2012. Their son Rhett came along March 15, 2017. Their second son Burke was born as COVID closed down the world on March 25, 2020. However, it gave her time to be home with her sons. 

After a decade of helping to make weddings and events perfect for her clients, Jamie says, “I’m on sabbatical and it might be a long one. I’d be working long hours on weekends with two kids to take care of on Monday. It was too much on all of us. After Burke came along there was just no way. My priorities changed, it was hard to leave my kids to go listen to Whitney Houston in a tent for a wedding,” she tells. And for years, she’s done the Tough Enough to Wear Pink (TETWP) summer fundraiser. Last summer she only did the fundraiser events and helped Adaptive Sports with decor for their big summer fundraiser. 

These days Jamie sets her own hours and has more time to enjoy her family and life and she grows microgreens in her pop-up greenhouse to sell to town businesses in the summer. She’s also discovered the joys of making pottery through classes she took at the Crested Butte Clay Studio with Luisa Naughton. Her pottery can be seen at craft fairs, and she’s been producing custom orders. “I make functional stuff and what I love to do is wildflower press pottery.” 

Like most Buttians, she loves her critters. “My creatures are the love of my life,” she says of her dogs, horses and cat. “Vida is my soul companion,” she gushes about her 12-and-half-year-old ranch cocktail dog. Neptune is a full border collie they adopted in 2022. “We were his fourth home in three-and-a-half years, and we will be his last. Dolly cat, named after Dolly Parton, was a stray in Pitkin.” It all somehow works with all the humans and animals on their 35-acre home named The No Hope Goat Ranch with 11 chickens and two horses, high above CB South. “We bought this place just before everything boomed in 2019. We put a coat of white paint on everything, finished up some things on it and called it home.” 

She continues, “I feel like Crested Butte has given us a life that we probably could not have created for ourselves. The people often say there’s one person in your life that will give you a shot, but I feel there are like a dozen of those here who have given us endless opportunities and trust. They’ve helped pave the way for us to have a remarkable life here. I think that’s part of the magic of CB, if you fight hard enough to be here, this place adopts you. This town and environment really shaped who we are as adults. I never thought I could have a life like this and I’m so grateful. Our wild boys are running through the woods and living their best feral life. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Check Also

Crested Butte, The Polka and Me

Crested Butte — a mountain wonderland characterized by its rich ethnic culture, the beautiful Elk …