Park City leaders head to Crested Butte to trade ideas in Colorado
A group of Parkites are headed to Colorado this week to learn about the mechanics of three communities — one a mountain resort competitor of Park City, another one of the outlying cities to a different Park City competitor and the other a regional hub for the Western Slope.
The annual City Tour is scheduled to depart on Wednesday morning and return on Sunday. The itinerary includes stops in Crested Butte, Montrose and Grand Junction. Crested Butte is a well-known mountain resort while Montrose is larger than the mountain resort but serves as a gateway to the skiing at Telluride, Colorado. Grand Junction is seen as the regional city for a wide swath of western Colorado.
The City Tour has previously visited Crested Butte three times, most recently in 2009. The outing has stopped at Grand Junction twice, with 2015 being the most recent. The trip has never been to Montrose.
The City Tour is designed to provide the travelers an opportunity to learn about the mechanics of the communities they visit. Organizers have long said some of the programs and policies in the other places can be considered for Park City. The travelers represent City Hall, the County Courthouse and not-for-profit organizations. The current class of the Leadership Park City training program also attends. The City Tour is estimated to cost $800 per person. Government officials typically travel at taxpayer expense while the organizations usually fund the trips of their representatives. The Leadership Park City class members fund their own trips.
All six of Park City’s elected officials are listed as participants while four of the five members of the Summit County Council are listed. Thirteen staffers from City Hall or the County Courthouse are also listed. Some of the organizations represented include the Park City Chamber/Bureau, the Park City Community Foundation and the Park City Summit County Arts Council.
The City Tour itinerary is jammed with meetings between the travelers and officials in the communities they visit. There are discussions with government officials, businesspeople, not-for-profit executives and activists. The travelers from Park City are provided an overview of topics in some cases and in others they engage in a detailed discussion with the host communities. They tour downtowns, government buildings and recreation facilities.
“In many instances things we learned have influenced how we do business in Park City and imbued us with a renewed sense of vision, energy and mission. We gained valuable perspectives and made many new friends along the way,” tour organizers write as an introduction to the trip this year.
The introduction notes the “aim is to encourage two-way communication and consequently, we travel to both learn and share.”
“Many times, we in Park City have particular expertise dealing with issues that a host community is experiencing and sharing our knowledge is seen as a valuable part of our visit,” the introduction says, explaining that the communities are often interested in Park City’s planning for large special events like the Winter Olympics and the Sundance Film Festival.
The City Tour organizers have set aside Wednesday primarily for travel followed by a busy Thursday in Crested Butte. The mayor and town manager of Crested Butte are scheduled to address the group alongside a county commissioner from Gunnison County and the town manager of Mt. Crested Butte, a small town at the base of the mountain resort. Tours of an arts center, open lands and the downtown are also scheduled.
The Friday itinerary includes a lecture and a tour of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, which studies ecosystems, and 4 ½ hours of free time for hiking, mountain biking or shopping. Colorado-based Vail Resorts, the owner of Park City Mountain Resort and Crested Butte Mountain Resort, is scheduled to sponsor a dinner on Friday.
The travelers on Saturday stop for several hours in Montrose, including a lunch with officials from that city, and then head to Grand Junction for tours before returning to Park City on Sunday after a debriefing that usually covers a wide range of topics that were addressed during the trip.
Route through the West
The annual City Tour over the years has traveled to mountain resorts and larger cities since the first one, an outing to Aspen, Colo., in 1987. The City Tour has visited some of the cities on several occasions. Some of the tours over the years have included:
• the Montana cities of Bozeman and Livingston as well as Jackson, Wyo., in 2018
• the Colorado cities of Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt and Carbondale as well as the Utah city Vernal in 2016
• the Colorado cities of Vail and Steamboat Springs in 2014
• the Idaho cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley as well as Ogden in 2013
• Las Vegas and Brian Head, which is in Utah, in 2012
• Moab and Telluride, Colo., in 2007
• the Arizona cities of Flagstaff and Sedona in 2000
• the Montana cities of Helena and Missoula in 1998
• the New Mexico cities of Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos in 1997
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