SUMMER MARKET … The New Year’s spate of snow storms has alleviated early-season jitters up on the slopes. And the towns seem reasonably busy. Still, I continue to mull the surprising information from Michael Martelon that our summer tourism market now exceeds our winter ski season. That’s a significant change. And it has implications beyond just marketing … I think it’s time to see Telluride Arts – what was known as the Telluride Council for the Arts & Humanities back in the day – begin the play a bigger role in working with events and festivals as advocates and incubator for successful shoulder-season niche events … Telluride’s Commission for Community Assistance, Arts and Special Events has grown into more than simply a board recommending summer arts and special events funding to community grantor, festival arbiter, calendar keeper, and event monitor. The recent date tussle between KOTO and the Mushroom Festival should have been resolved before it ever came before CCAASE. And that’s exactly where I think Telluride Arts could be of help, as well as assisting individuals or groups with ideas through the development and regulatory processes … Festivals celebrating the arts, or niche markets, or local extreme sports, special hobbies – there’s a lot that could be done to make the buzz about Telluride resonate throughout many segments of the nation’s population.
DAN JANSEN … Thanks in no small part to the Post-Bush Downturn, intergovernmental relations among the two towns & the county hit a few small bumps in the last few years. Still, many of us were concerned when we learned of Bob Delves’ resignation plans. He had been an able and intelligent mayor, whatever our differences … But there was no reason to worry. Dan Jansen has more than stepped up to the plate as the new mayor of Mountain Village. At our inaugural Tri-Gov get-together the other night, where electeds and staff got to introduce themselves, I resonated with Dan’s words. The size of our cyber pipeline. A renovated conference center. How important it will be for the three local governments to work together … My takeaway? … Imagine the savings if we could consolidate some of our operations, instead of having three different departments for everything … Imagine a second destination hotel and a true conference center, with break-out rooms, so we could actually book some business conferences … Imagine 4G and beyond … Anyway, I too hope we can start crafting some joint solutions to the many problems facing us as a faraway region in a super-competitive tourism market.
TRANSPORTATION … Kudos to Jenny Patterson and all her team who’ve worked tirelessly to address one of our biggest issues for government, how do we move tourists here and around, as well as facilitate the many workers who have to commute to work in the Telluride Region, if it’s too expensive for the private sector, alone, to compete … I know my colleague Thom Carnevale worries about proposing a funding ballot measure at this difficult financial time. It’s a legitimate worry … But I stood with Jim Craft and supported the creation of a Regional Transit Authority back in 1997, when I was first elected. We could have been planning and working together regionally all this time, if we’d started way back then. But there wasn’t the support for the concept, until now – again thanks to Patterson and the two towns & the county … None of us want to pay more for things, but you have to think long-term to stay ahead in a bear market. And long-term transportation organizing for a little price now will put us in line for bigger state and federal funding in the future.
REMEMBERING … It was great to read about the George Gardner Scholarship Fund in Ouray – I hadn’t known about it. But it’s a fitting tribute to one of the region’s great educators and an absolutely exemplary human being whom I felt honored to call a friend. I still miss his smile and infectious enthusiasm for life … Another one gone who’s remembered is Mark Fischer, the brilliant attorney and poet from Telluride, who’s honored with an annual poetry prize. Check out the prize rules and enter if you’re a writer with a wild bent
WEEKLY QUOTA … “I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.” – Ray Bradbury
THE TALKING GOURD
At the top of the pass
I arrive in a wind scoured
snowfield, a ring of stark
mountains, a barren gray sky
an emptiness so beautiful
that for a barest moment
I forget to grieve
all of my petals fallen.
- Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer