This Colorado town is fighting to stay real, and still survive, as an anti-destination among corporate-run resorts – Aurora, Colorado

Aurora, Colorado 2022-07-22 08:00:20 –

The Colorado town of Granby, across from Rocky Mountain National Park, has launched an anti-corporate “independence” identity campaign. Tourists, recreational activists, house hunters and others are fighting to maintain local control and protect nature as the state is transformed.

And Granby’s leaders hired an advertising company to “rebrand” the credibility of the small town. The ad for the work is based on one shop’s slogan, “I have everything I need, but I don’t have everything I need,” with the goal of “turning what Granby doesn’t have into an asset.” increase.

The push began on July 4, after a survey by the Granby Chamber of Commerce found that residents were widely afraid to duplicate Summit County and other commercialized resort areas. Granby (population 2,200) is 86 miles west of Denver, 7,935 feet above sea level, near ski slopes, hot springs, golf courses and mountain hiking trails.

The town leader problem This has plagued popular resort areas in the mountainous regions of western Colorado for decades.

bright Light, Aggressive traffic, large amounts of money, and overwhelming demand for services transform the community. Tourism and organized recreation promoted by state government agencies in the highlands of Colorado call for as much spending as possible to 86 million visitors annually, consistent with the housing development boom and rising prices. Exiled workers can no longer afford to withstand rising prices and raise children. In Grand County and its surrounding Grand County, like other mountain counties, 57% of homes are vacant.

“You are in your hometown”

A “difficult conversation” is how to keep locals from selling out, as the broader economy accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic prefers to become a “destination” across western Colorado. Said John Stubney, director of the Colorado Northwest Government Council. An association run by leaders in 6 counties and 30 towns.

“You can say’no’to development,” said Stavney, a former construction project manager, mayor, and county commissioner, who was ridiculed as NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard). It may reflect the goodwill efforts of those who are. ” I’m really passionate about their place to protect them.

Granby remains credible and “they are taking advantage of the really good things about the place,” Stubney said. “It’s smart.”

Residents of Granby are worried about the transition to a “selected experience” at resorts where activities are professionally designed and prescribed, “large supercenters” and “resort-owned restaurants”. Combined with the economics promoted by. Commercial.

“I’ve heard over and over again that Granby doesn’t want to be a Summit County,” said a Granby official conducting the investigation. “We don’t want to be a corporate-owned town,” Huber said. Mentioned a busy resort along Interstate 70.

An ad developed by a Nebraska-based marketing company tells you that you’re in your hometown, she said. “This is where people live. There is a school here. Every time you come back, you will meet the same people. The owner will recognize you.”

But can a company that creates and promotes images like a company backfires on a real little town that wants to stay that way?

“It’s a good question,” Hoover said.

“Western style” feeling

The independence campaign partially acts as “tourism management”, providing an alternative to the resort’s “amusement park atmosphere” and staying in Granby by maintaining a “true nature connection” space in a quiet way. Encourage short stays and spending money, she said.

“Away from the artificially selected experiences, sit by the alpine lake, let the kids explore nature and enjoy a simpler time. We are a local town that welcomes visitors.”

With the exception of Seven-Eleven and gas stations, few foreign companies operate on Granby’s main streets. There is a city market grocery store in the suburbs. There is no Walmart. Granby Ranch, a non-governmental employer, operates a ski resort purchased by the St. Louis brothers two years ago, and officials say the ski resort will move to town. They have partnered with former US Olympic ski racer Bode Miller to develop and properly manage the ski academy.

Ranchers graze cows around Granby. There, lettuce cultivation in the 1920s declined after devastation damaged the soil. In June 2004, a dissatisfied car muffler repair shop owner fought with a town official, rampaged with a heavily armed bulldozer, and demolished the city hall before committing suicide. October 2020, 193,812 acres East trouble fire Destroyed 366 homes north of Granby, which burned down Grand County.

The main street, in contrast to the resort area near Interstate 70, retains a “Western-style” atmosphere for residents, such as motels in the 1950s. Brickenridge, Vail and other mountain “destination” relies on smartphone apps to search for parking lots and post electronically digitally. Information along the road to manage visitors arriving from Metro Denver.

Residents here say that family-owned restaurants in Granby are more likely to serve better food than chain restaurants. Granby’s companies featured in the “This is Independent” advertising campaign include Two Pines Supply. Customers looking for a tent are more likely to find about 10 varieties compared to the 75 varieties of Denver’s Recreational Equipment Incorporated, says Two Pines owner Chris Olivier.

“There are many resort towns of cookie cutters in Colorado. You don’t need them anymore,” Olivier said. “We are not a’mountain town’, we are a small town in the mountains,” he says, referring to agriculture and other non-resort businesses.

“This is not an easy task. You can’t stop’ongoing’. Your hope is to control it as much as possible. Granby is in a unique position to do that,” he said. Told. “We want to control” progress “as much as possible … I don’t know the town that did it. “

Preparing for change

The construction boom in western Colorado reflects growing interest as more and more shoppers, skiers, anglers, hunters, cyclists, campers and more chase after a good time in the state. Soaring house prices (Granby’s condo costs $ 500,000) have increased vacancy rates from 34% to 71% in 15 western counties, making evacuated workers affordable, according to census data. I have been commuting for hours since then. Housing handling has become “insanely complicated,” Olivier said. Because it seems that only companies have enough money to set up a sufficiently low-cost worker unit.

Like resorts, Granby relies on international student workers who enroll in the country on special visas to cope with the surge in tourism.

Town manager Ted Cherry has been monitoring changes over the last two years. Previously vacant homeowners began to stay longer during the COVID-19 pandemic as their employers discovered the benefits of remote work.

When Rocky Mountain National ParkComputerized timed admission and the transition to a reservation-only camp attracted a large number of people to Granby, 20 miles from the park’s west gate. “People have begun to realize that Estes Park (east of RMNP) is not the only entrance to the park. In the summer, traffic began to increase significantly. That definitely changed the situation.” Said Cherry.

“If changes are planned, we as a community need to be prepared for those changes.”

This Colorado town is fighting to stay real, and still survive, as an anti-destination among corporate-run resorts Source link This Colorado town is fighting to stay real, and still survive, as an anti-destination among corporate-run resorts

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