City Tour to Colorado canceled as Boulder region starts recovery
September 17, 2013
The City Tour will occur later this week, with a new destination for the travelers.
Shortly after canceling an outing to Boulder, Colo., as that community recovers from devastating floods, the City Tour organizers scheduled a trip to the Ketchum, Idaho, area for later this week. Myles Rademan, the City Tour leader, said the trip will run from Wednesday until Saturday. City Tours normally run from a Wednesday to a Sunday.
The group will make stops in Ketchum, the mountain resort of Sun Valley and the nearby community of Hailey. The City Tour will also visit Ogden. Rademan said the last time the City Tour visited the Ketchum-Sun Valley area was six or seven years ago.
Rademan said upward of 85 people planned to travel to Boulder on the City Tour. The group headed to Idaho will likely number approximately 50, he said.
"This is what I call a City Tour pivot," Rademan said.
He said people who were booked to travel to Boulder and who will not participate on the Idaho trip will be refunded. The upcoming trip involves one fewer day than the one planned to Colorado, leaving open the possibility of a partial refund, he said.
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The organizers of the planned trip to Boulder on Saturday afternoon canceled the trip, saying that "it would simply be irresponsible and counter-productive" to travel to the flood-stricken region as it copes with the disaster.
In a message to people who planned to attend, Rademan said the cancellation decision was made after consulting top-level City Hall staffers in Park City as well as the city’s emergency operations manager. As late as Friday afternoon, the trip was still scheduled. It was scheduled from Wednesday until Sunday, with the arrival in Boulder planned late in the afternoon.
"I know this City Tour cancellation creates a great deal of disruption in your lives for which I am truly sorry, but as you can imagine this hardly compares to what Boulder is now facing in terms of recovery and restoration efforts," Rademan said in the message.
The message points people to the Foothills United Way in Boulder if they wish to contribute to a flood relief fund. The website is: http://www.unitedwayfoothills.org. It also says the City Tour organizers have "offered Boulder any positive and constructive assistance Park City can contribute without overwhelming their capabilities or getting in their way."
The City Tour is an annual outing in the West to learn about the mechanics of other communities. City Hall leaders, officials from other government entities, businesspeople, not-for-profit executives and the members of the Leadership Park City training class attend. The travelers hear from a roster of their counterparts in the communities they visit.
Rademan said in the message he was researching whether an alternate destination for the City Tour can be found for the same dates next week "in the hopes we can still salvage a City Tour experience . . . " Rademan said in the message he would like to reschedule a City Tour to Boulder in September 2014.
In choosing the Ketchum-Sun Valley area, the City Tour is headed to one of Park City’s traditional mountain resort competitors. Sun Valley has for decades been one of the hallowed names in the ski industry, harkening back to the early days of the ski-resort industry.
A tourism official in Sun Valley said the Park City group will experience a "down-home feel" in Ketchum. Greg Randolph, the public relations director at Visit Sun Valley, touted plans to create a whitewater park on the Big Wood River just outside Ketchum and spoke about Ketchum’s pedestrian-friendly downtown. The Sun Valley Harvest Festival, a food and wine event, is scheduled this week.
Rademan said some of the topics the travelers will learn about include emergency planning, noting the large wildfire that occurred in that area recently. He said other issues that will be addressed include trails and economic development. A detailed itinerary was not available early in the week.
"They were nice enough to drop everything they were doing," Rademan said.