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October 22, 2014 - In This Issue:
"I love working in Basalt, colorful and pretty,
just what our state stands for:
Beautiful, Colorful Colorado!!
~ Allison Mayo, Member, Inplace Ltd. of Basalt 
~ From Basalt Chamber of Commerce Guest Book 10/9/14 ~
CabooseNEWS FROM THE CABOOSE - Tuesday Night...

An interesting thing happened on the way to the Town Hall

I walked toward the Town Council meeting a little after 6pm and people were lined up outside the door. There was a palpable heaviness in the air and faces were glum.  A comment on the radio over the weekend shattered the sense that the Town was moving through a participatory process to lay out a profoundly important path to our future.

The comment: words that gave the impression that a decision about how the Pan and Fork site would be developed - or not - was pre-determined. Members of the Town's appointed Downtown Area Advisory Committee (DAAC) were present, so were representatives from the Basalt Downtown Business Association (BDBA), architects, business owners, restaurateurs, and long-time residents. 

The "people" began to speak and the words were eloquent, impassioned and concerned. There was a virtual flood of common sentiment: Basalt residents are concerned for the future of our Town. They want to be part of the process. They want to be heard. And they're afraid they're being edged out.

DAAC is smack in the middle of an rigorous, intensive and serious emersion into the ideas and threads that will weave together a vision from hundreds of participants in the Our Town Planning Process. BDBA is working intently to find the path to downtown revitalization. The Chamber is launching new initiatives and taking steps to bring people together in a common economic vitality effort that embraces all the disparate commercial and residential centers that have grown up over the years.

Is all this grassroots effort and community process being "hijacked?" was the question in the air.

In response to the outcry, Mayor Jacque Whitsitt said the Council would hear comments all night if necessary. The agenda was set-aside with apologies to those with a time slot. And the Council members listened. When every person had their say, sometimes twice and thrice, the council members responded.

And their responses were equally heartfelt. To the person, each spoke to a commitment to this new "bottom up" process that the Town initiated, first with the Our Town Planning Process, followed now by the appointment of the 10-person Area Advisory Committee. The mayor, whose radio comments set off the firestorm, spoke to her commitment to building the human density and allure needed to restore vibrancy to the downtown core. All said that nothing has been or will be decided until the process runs its course.

The common thread within the citizen voices and our elected representatives is that Basalt will not continue as it has in the past. There is widespread recognition that informed action is essential to creating a healthy and balanced future for Basalt. Whether you feel that the pivotal site along the Roaring Fork River should be park or development, or somewhere in between, you can be sure that every step of the way will be paved in earnest and judged with scrutiny. Tonight, what came most resoundingly out of the discussion was that the parcel must be a microcosm of the best of Basalt - a balance between parks, community space and inviting business enterprises - valuing the river and this precious asset in our midst.

The Chamber has and will continue to support well-reasoned development that brings vitality to our community without sacrificing livability. We believe that the site in question is a nucleus for all that Basalt will eventually be, and are following the evaluatory process intently.

Setting aside the question of whether or not the mayor's comments were misunderstood, the virtual volcanic eruption of sentiment and unveiled uncertainty about the sanctity of the citizen process demanded discourse that evidently has been needed. It can't be said with certainty that all present were ultimately reassured and unfortunately some left before all the council members and mayor had spoken, but it did seem so.

Personally, and as the Chamber's staff director, I was deeply moved by the voices I heard tonight and grateful to be in a community where uncomfortable discourse can occur and resolution achieved. You'll read about this in the Aspen Times on Wednesday and hear it on Aspen Public Radio where the original interview took place. If you heard the weekend interview and missed the discussion tonight, it's important to know that it occurred in a meaningful way and to move on. Not only is action needed, but also positive support.

The Downtown Area Advisory Committee resumes its painstaking process on Thursday afternoons and I resume my original News From the Caboose. This is an especially long narrative but I believe what happened this evening is of fundamental importance to our belief in the potential for a positive, inclusive and well-designed future.
Progress in Downtown Planning
Back on track, the Downtown Area Advisory Committee (DAAC) continues the Our Town Planning Process in a way that reflects an intelligent, democratic and participatory process. This admirable group of 10 citizens were selected for and accepted a huge and possibly daunting challenge. How to promote vitality and sustainability, and support reasonable development while maintaining our small town charm. What steps can we take to highlight our many natural and cultural resources, and enhance our local identity as a (Two) River Town. This is a serious process; please join us in thanking the dedicated group who has stepped in to keep it going. DAAC meets on Thursday afternoons through November 20, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, at the Town Hall and the public are welcome to sit in. You can read more about the process and download meeting minutes at the Our Town Planning website.
This week the Chamber Board of Directors began planning for 2015. 

Tuesday, the Chamber Board looked at economic development opportunities and marketing for our member businesses and Basalt as a whole. We evaluated our networking events and considered how we might make them even more useful and dynamic. There was a lot of discussion about what our members want and how best the Basalt Chamber of Commerce can serve both businesses and the community. We all feel the new local energy and optimism as tangible signs of vitality, creative planning and development appear reflecting both thoughtful design and compatibility with our commitment to maintaining small, river town values.

The Chamber planning process will continue through the end of the year at which time we'll describe more fully the new program of work. Please share your thoughts. What can the Basalt Chamber do to better serve you? And in the classic reversal, what part would you like to play in creating a vital, collaborative business environment? Remember that the Chamber Board of Directors is a volunteer group with minimum staff. The realization of the goals we set depends on the participation and talents of our members. YOU are our greatest resource.

Businesses Are Signing up to Celebrate Small Business Saturday - November 29
Free advertising for local businesses through November

Small businesses are like apple pie. They're the soda shop on Main Street, the old-time hardware store, fishing supplies, and shoe stores where the shopkeeper knows your name. From historic downtown to Orchard Plaza, Basalt has an eclectic variety of shops, businesses and restaurants - so many that locals need never go beyond the two stoplights between El Jebel and Old Snowmass. On November 29 we celebrate and support small businesses and all they bring to our community. 

As a special thank you to Basalt small businesses, the Chamber will advertise Small Business Saturday and any business that offers a special promotion on November 29. This all starts next week and runs through November. To take advantage of this special free advertising opportunity, send us your business name and discount details (in about four words). If you have some shopping to do, please stay local and give a boost to our friendly and hard-working small business owners! More details below.

2015 Year-Round Member Promotion - "Live Local... Shop Local"

We're always looking for ideas to help bring our members together with future customers and clients. So while you're thinking of what discount you're going to offer on Small Business Saturday, please consider a year-round local discount that we can use to include you in our "Live Local... Shop Local" promotional campaign. Here's what's going to happen: in 2015, the Basalt Chamber will launch a new non-business, community membership. Each new member will receive a list of local businesses and their special "local discount." Plus, participating businesses will get an extra listing on the website and in this newsletter. We'll give you more details next month or you can look at the Sign-up Form and get started now.

More on the Board's New Directors

By now you've read about Charlie Spickert, and his interest in the small business community and restoring economic vitality, and Cathy Markel, landscape architect and land-use planning volunteer and intergovernmental liaison. Our third new board member is Jeffrey Campbell, whose background in finance and hospitality rounds out our important committee structure.

The new business development planning group has already begun sharing ideas about how to revitalize downtown and tie together our diverse commercial areas. Collaboration is top on our minds so the full Basalt community is well-represented and we'll be drawing in more participation as a plan takes shape.

If you read last week's newsletter you'd know that we put out a call to identify a handsome mystery man in an old Basalt photo. If you've been curious for news, and especially Joyce Walton, take a look below and see if you agree with the comments we received. 

Warm regards,
Robin Waters
President/CEO for your Chamber of Commerce

Check the calendar below for this month's business and networking events in Basalt and don't forget that the Aspen Ski Company's Early Deadline for the Chamber Discount Ski Pass is coming up on November 14. 
Jeffrey Campbell, International Resort Finance Director 

I've chatted with Jeff Campbell and his wife Petal around Basalt for the last few months. It's always interesting and always something to do with making sure that Basalt take positive steps to preserve its unique identity while assuring economic vitality and thoughtful development. Usually, he's surrounded by people equally committed and inspiring.

At the perfect time, Jeff comes to the Chamber with an extensive background in the hotel and tourism industry. For more than 20 years, he's worked as a finance professional focusing primarily on new international resort openings, domestic brand launches and mixed residential resorts for major market hotel companies such as Hyatt Hotels, Vail Resorts and most recently Destination Resorts, where he serves as Director of Finance.


Jeff moved to Basalt with Petal, a lovely dynamo who also works in the hospitality industry, and their two children in May of 2013. The prior six years, they spent in the Caribbean on the tropical islands of Curacao and St. Lucia. 


Jeff and his family enjoy being outdoors, hiking, fishing and exploring. They've traded in their tropical island paradise for a Colorado mountain paradise and are excited about the future of Basalt and look forward to being contributing members of the community which has so openly welcomed them in. Welcome Jeff! 

Compliments of the Basalt Chamber.

Saturday, November 29 is Small Business Saturday, a day when people across the nation celebrate and support small businesses and all they bring to our communities. American Express gives a special credit to cardholders. Newspapers highlight our small local businesses. And here at the Chamber, we want to give you an advertising boost to support your post-Thanksgiving holiday promotions.

It's easy.... and it's free. Any business member who wishes to make a discount promotion on Small Business Saturday will be listed in a special, on-going promotion encouraging the community to Shop Basalt. Just send me a quick note and describe your discount in four words or less (alas, there's only so much room) - for example, 10% off store-wide - and we'll advertise your offer in our weekly newsletter through the month of November. 

The more businesses that join in, the bigger the promotion and the better the town-wide appeal.

Contact us as soon as possible with your business name, location and special offer and join the celebration!

If you want to do even more to prepare for Small Business Saturday, download free Small Business Saturday marketing materials, and get a few Holiday Marketing Tips & Ideas, you can visit the Small Business Administration webpage. Enjoy!
Lunch & Learn - "Lung Health Awareness: How High Altitudes Affect Your Lungs & What You Can Do to Make Them Happy!"
TODAY, October 29, Wednesday 11:30-1pm 
Eagle County Building next to the El Jebel Theater
Dr. Akrum Al-Zubaidi "Dr. Aki" from the Lung Center at Valley View Hospital will discuss new technology and services available at VVH including the lung cancer screening and pulmonary rehab programs. Learn more about lung cancer awareness, how high altitudes affect lung health and what you can do to make your lungs happy.
The cost to attend, including lunch, is $15 for members of the Basalt or Carbondale Chambers of Commerce and $25 for non-members. (The RSVP deadline has passed for this event, but if you can't bear missing it, give us a call and we'll see what we can do, 927-4031)


Moonstruck in Historic Downtown Basalt
Thursday, November 6, 2014
With an Art Walk, live music, shopping discounts, community fire pits and s'mores. Plus food and drink specials, yoga, DJ's and dancing! 

The Basalt Chamber Business After Hours at the Bank of Colorado, Basalt
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Co-hosted by the Bank of Colorado, Names & Numbers and El Jebeverage
This is a super popular event so market your calendars and we'll give you more information next week.

"Mysterious Pumpkins keep on appearing in Fryingpan Valley" Aspen Times 10/23/14

"Basalt's economy takes uneven steps" Aspen Times 10/23/14

"Basalt foreclosure creates challenge for downtown revitalizationAspen Times 10/23/14

"Highway 82 underpass advances in Basalt" Aspen Times 10/22/14

"Draft plan envisions trail on Glassier RanchAspen Times 10/21/14 

Real Estate Transactions Recorded Sept. 29-Oct.20, 2014 Aspen Daily News 

And of course there's Town Manager Mike Scanlon's Weekend Update where you'll learn everything from how local development projects are coming along and what the new Downtown Area Advisory Committee is doing to when the Roaring Fork Apartments affordable house project is slated to begin construction (probably in the Spring), when and where the next Leaf Drop will take place, and how the Town's Public Works Department is keeping everything running smoothly. 

If we've missed anything or you have new news to report, please send it right over. If it's good news, and hasn't yet made the headlines, we'll see if we can get our local papers interested.
Pick up your voucher and purchase your pass by November 14

As a Chamber member you and your eligible employees may choose among several categories of passes for up to $370 in savings (more than the cost of a Chamber membership). Each pass offers a variety of great benefits and additional savings, including the popular Premier Pass which now includes 50% off lift tickets at six more world-class destinations. Have a look at Aspen
SkiCo's letter for all the details and following these easy steps:
Step 1: Pick up your voucher at the Basalt Chamber office
Step 2: Purchase your Season Pass at SkiCo's ticket offices
Step 3: Gather your gear and get ready for the snow!
The Early Deadline Discount is only available through Friday, November 14 
so stop by soon to get your voucher.
Please call first to let us know you're on your way (970) 927-4031.
We got an answer.... or two.

Last week Joyce Walton wrote us to see if we could help her identify the man in the photo above sitting next to her grandmother Margaret Irene Clarke-Ould. Bill Hegberg, who was instrumental in creating Basalt's fabulous history tour, wrote that he looks like Jimmy Dean of the "pure pork sausage" Deans. Tony Vagneur suggested a resemblance to a Fender or Wieben. What do you think? Joyce writes: "What fun! I will be anxiously waiting... I love Colorado and the history of Basalt!" How true!


One of Basalt's most engaging qualities is its incredible and fascinating history, from the Midland Railway to the farmers and ranchers who still build a lifestyle on the fields of green. If you haven't yet taken the magical history tour, let's plan a group walk and picnic early next summer. Anyone in?


In case you forgot, to Margaret's right, is Clarence L. Danielson, co-author of "Basalt: Colorado Midland Town." Thanks to the Basalt Library, we now have this and other books in the Caboose in for visitors stopping by.

Joyce has more photos which we'll post from time to time for your viewing pleasure.


volunteerVolunteer to Support Your Business Community
Choose an activity you'll enjoy! Decide how much time you have to give..

We need help in the caboose in a variety of ways: phone outreach, list development (cross-checking and updating lists), mailings and general in-office support. We'd also love to have a weekend tourism outreach coordinator and ambassador. Do you know someone who'd like to join a happy team, hang out in a historic Colorado Southern caboose and meet great people. If so, invite them to fill out this form and send it by fax to 927-2833, by email to or by hand to the Caboose.

We're also launching several working groups and are looking for experienced, committed participants to help enhance business vitality and quality of life in our community. Opportunities are available in the following areas:
  • Membership Outreach & Training
  • Economic Enhancement
  • Downtown Revitalization
  • Events Planning
  • Marketing
  • Scenic ByWays Presentation & Planning
  • Chamber Membership & Program Development
  • Ambassadors
  • And more...
We invite you to join us. Make new contacts, network with other professionals and business owners, develop your leadership skills, and have a great time. For more information on volunteer opportunities, click here then send in the attached volunteer form or call us at (970) 927-4031.

You can reach a broad, targeted audience with your sales, specials and latest news. Send us either typed information and a photo, or your ad in .jpg format and we'll post it in our next newsletter. Plus, we can insert a link to your website, email address or any type of .pdf flyer, invitation or document. Contact us when you're ready for that extra boost.

Looking for even more direct exposure? Take advantage of our exclusive member e-blasts? The member rate is $100 (that's less than 10 cents per contact!). Just email us with with your ad details and we'll have it out within 48 business hours (just not on a day when another campaign is scheduled). As a bonus, with your e-blast, we'll include an ad in the newsletter for free.

Flows are low and clear on the Fryingpan this week in Basalt, prompting excellent midge, caddis and blue winged olive hatches throughout.  For those who live to float, the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers are close to a 10 out of 10 rating, especially if you live and die by the streamer.

More extensive river reports are available for:

USGS Real Time Flow Chart for the Frying Pan River
USGS Real Time Flow chart for the Fork at Basalt (Emma)

From Scott Spooner at Taylor Creek Fly Shop 

This Month In Basalt


To view the current and future calendars click HERE
Basalt Area Chamber of Commerce
The Red Caboose in Lions Park
POB 514
Basalt, CO 81621

Our Mission:  To advocate for, promote, and serve our members.


Our Vision:  To grow Basalt as a destination for businesses, locals, and visitors. 
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