Boulder bound: Park City headed to progressive Colorado city
Trip designed to learn about issues like open space and transportation
THE PARK RECORD
A group of Parkites next week is scheduled to depart on an educational mission to a Colorado city where higher learning is the key industry.
The annual City Tour’s destination is Boulder, the home of the University of Colorado and a place widely known for environmental programs that stretch back decades. The City Tour is designed to provide the travelers with insights about the destinations and the opportunity to consider whether programs, policies and facilities in the other communities could be considered by Park City.
The trip leaves on Wednesday and returns on Sunday, providing five days of immersion as the tour-goers meet with government, business and not-for-profit leaders. There will be tours of Boulder and gatherings to exchange ideas. The travelers include City Hall and County Courthouses officials, business leaders, not-for-profit executives and members of the Leadership Park City training class.
The City Tour itinerary also includes stops in the historic gambling town of Black Hawk, Colorado, and the Colorado mountain resort of Vail. The brief stop in Vail will include social meetings with officials from Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts.
Most of the time will be spent in Boulder, though, as the group delves into the mechanics of the community. Boulder, with a population of approximately 105,000, is much larger than Park City, but the two communities have many of the same priorities. The downtowns are important to the two places, each has long been committed to preserving land as open space and the two cities are both combating traffic.
“Boulder is kind of the granddaddy of all the things most of the resort towns do,” said Myles Rademan, who directs the Leadership Park City program and has organized the City Tour for years.
The City Tour in 2013 was scheduled to visit Boulder, but terribly flooding forced a late change in the destination. Rademan has wanted to schedule a Boulder trip since the cancellation four years ago. He said topics of interest include the open space program, the historic district and a pedestrian mall. Other issues that will be highlighted include transportation, affordable housing and sustainability. Rademan said Park City years ago adopted some of Boulder’s issues, such as preserving open space.
The City Tour itinerary includes:
Seventy people are scheduled to travel to Boulder. The list includes all five members of the Park City Council and the entire Summit County Council. A roster of City Hall officials is also listed, including public works, special events, transportation and open space staffers. Others who plan to travel include housing, healthy food and arts activists.
The trip is expected to cost $800 per person, primarily for transportation, lodging and meals. Taxpayers typically fund the travel of public officials while the other travelers are usually funded by their organizations or themselves.
The mayor of Boulder, members of the City Council, the city manager and staffers in a range of departments are expected to address the Park City contingent.
The Boulder government has crafted a schedule that includes talks about alternate transportation methods like a bicycle program, a park-and-ride system, open space and the Pearl Street Mall. Patrick von Keyserling, the communication director for the Boulder government, said leaders there are pleased with the efforts to cut traffic. He said, as an example, car trips have not become lengthier over the years.
“We’ve been able to maintain vehicle travel time across the city,” he said, adding, “It hasn’t changed dramatically in the last couple decades.”
Boulder officials also tout the community’s open space program. Boulder was an early advocate of securing land for conservation purposes and has protected more than 45,000 acres. The protected land is wildlife habitat, agricultural acreage and recreational, von Keyserling said. Some of the community’s sales taxes are put toward open space.
“You’re preserving the backdrop,” von Keyserling said, adding that the protected land helps make “Boulder what it is.”
City Hall has scheduled an event on Tuesday, May 21, designed for people who are contemplating a bid for elected office in the municipal campaign.