Town Center parking garage buttoned up for winter Crested Butte Mountain Resort is taking a winter hiatus from the parking garage being built in the resort’s Town Center parking lot. Town manager Joe Fitzpatrick told the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council the resort’s contractor is drilling caissons November 19 before buttoning the project up for the winter. “It will be a project in process through the winter, only nothing will be going on,” he said. “It will be finished in the spring.”
CBMR vice president of resort planning and development Michael Kraatz told the council a portion of the lot would be available for parking this winter. Responding to a comment from councilman Danny D’Aquila related to the pace of the project, Kraatz said, “Yeah, well, it’s construction and sometimes it doesn’t go as fast as you like. The plan for next year as soon as the site is dry, is to get in there and pour the grade beams and then everything is pre-cast so it should go up pretty quick.”
Waste Management tries to give away money local groups count on The $7,000 Waste Management offered up last winter as a match to local marketing grants would be taken from Peter to pay Paul, councilman David Clayton told the council Tuesday. In a meeting held November 1 with the town of Crested Butte’s grant committee, Clayton said the towns learned that the money Waste Management offered to put up last year isn’t augmenting money it already offers to area organizations. It would replace it. “When we got there we basically found out that the money Waste Management was going to put into the program was basically all the money they give to all of the other non-profits currently—Art Festival, Alpenglow, Cattlemen’s Days and Western State. They were going to lump it all together so they didn’t have to deal with it—it would just be dealt with by this committee.” Clayton continued, “That doesn’t work because it’d be taking money away from programs that need it and expect it.” The two towns, which had each offered to put $7,000 of their own toward the effort, still plan to do that. The total going to whatever program is chosen to receive the money would just be $14,000 instead of the anticipated $21,000. Looking ahead, the towns exchanged their respective grant applications to see if a common form could be developed for Requests for Proposals going out this ski season. “Still, there will hopefully be $14,000 between the two towns to try to generate some activities to expand the activities that are going on,” Clayton said.
Town grantees give their reports The council also heard reports from the Crested Butte Music Festival and the developers of Explore Crested Butte, a mobile app containing information about area businesses and activities, which had both received grants from the town to help increase visitor traffic. The CBMF had another great year, according to festival director of development Kim Carroll Bosler, selling a total of 4,628 event tickets, which is a 14 percent increase over last year and a 106 percent increase over the number of ticket sales two years ago. Bluegrass in Paradise, which is Mt. Crested Butte’s signature event, saw attendance increase to more than 1,600, the most in the event’s three-year history. Bosler told the council the CBMF used the grant money to increase the Front Range marketing effort, targeting known symphony and opera supporters in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas with mailers. The result, at least in part, is that 71 percent of music festival event attendees came from outside Gunnison County last year. “The money from Mt. Crested Butte was important to that success,” Bosler said. Explore Crested Butte gave the council more good news, saying their project is in a good position to take off this winter. Last year the council gave the start-up $3,500 to market their product. Explore Crested Butte co-founder Chris Hanna told the council the company launched their app last February but waited to see how it would be used until the summer, when they filled it with information about businesses and events taking place in Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. After tracking who is using the app and how often, Hanna said, “We’re getting above national average on usage after [people initially download the app]. That tells me it’s a tool people are going back to time and again … For future funding, working with you in the future, it will help our marketing campaign and working with our software developer and staying on top of some of the new technologies.” This year they’ve brought in CBMR’s snow report, RTA bus schedule and other features that co-owner Steve Mabry hopes “will make this a tool locals use as well.” Visitors will also now be able to send a Crested Butte “postcard” with the app. And while the decision by the town of Crested Butte not to fund the start-up enterprise was discussed, with Mabry saying, “It’s unfortunate, but you know, we didn’t see the same foresight from them that you had and there was some different dynamics. I don’t think they fully understood the power of an app … that’ll change once we show some of the data and analytics.” Mayor William Buck said, “We joke around about calling it Explore Mt. Crested Butte, but honestly, I have questions about why you’re marketing it as a Crested Butte app … But it’s very powerful and a great program.” Buck said Explore Crested Butte would be a good candidate for future funding as well.
Councilman Gitin moving on Mt. Crested Butte town councilman Andrew Gitin is resigning his seat on the town council effective December 18. The town is accepting letters of interest from registered voters who have lived in Mt. Crested Butte for at least a year and would like to sit on the council. The term expires April 2016.