March11 - In This Issue:


Housing was the topic of the day in the Town of Basalt with occasion to celebrate a special new family in our midst, consider community needs, and review a concept proposal for the former Pan and Fork riverfront parcel.

The beginning and end of the sequence highlighted two projects on the Town's full slate of activities: one called "Heaven" by the family that will soon call it home, and the other a proposal to build residential condominiums and a boutique hotel on the swath of land between Two Rivers Road and the Roaring Fork River.

"An Emotional Roller Coaster, but a good Roller Coaster"

A feeling crowd gathered mid-afternoon for a ground-breaking at the former community garden on Homestead Avenue, signalling the beginning of  "construction" of Basalt's first Habitat for Humanity home. When finished, the modest home will give new life and hope to the family of Assaf Dory, a veteran sheriff's deputy in Florida who lost his leg in the line of duty. Since that day in 2001, he, his wife and four children have waged a life-battle described poignantly in an Aspen Times article this week.

"This is the first time we can say the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a light and not a train," Assaf told reporter Scott Condon. He described his journey to Basalt as accidental - a stop-over on a cross-country move to Oregon. Friends encouraged the family to look around Basalt.

"A couple of days later we found a place, signed a lease and found heaven," Assaf recounted to today's audience before he, his family, Mayor Jacque Whitsitt, Town Councilman Rob Leavitt, and others grabbed their shovels. "What makes Basalt special is the people. It's been an emotional roller coaster but a good (one). It shows that people really care for one another."

Lowe Enterprises Inspires a Vision for the Roaring Fork Riverfront

Later in the afternoon in the Town Hall, Lowe Enterprises conducted the first in a series of informational meetings to gather input from the Basalt community, Planning & Zoning Commission and Downtown Area Advisory Committee on the developing concept for the former Pan and Fork site.

After more than a year of citizens meetings, visioning, mapping, ideas development and concept refinement, this is the first time the town has seen a tangible product off the drawing board of a property owner-associated developer.

The standing-room only audience arrived perhaps expecting to see simple architectural designs for the new hotel and residences, along with their placement on the 2.6 acre parcel owned by the Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation. What was revealed was a panoply of structures laid out amid courtyards, walkways, green space, and a green amphitheater large enough for 1,000 people - all tiered in an intriguing progression down to the river. There were two clusters of residential housing in a line with the 60-room "boutique" hotel divided by Woonerfs or "living streets," which are essentially pedestrian plazas that provide both visuals and access to the river.

James DeFrancia, president of Lowe Enterprises, began the presentation by affirming that he and his associates endeavored to follow the principles laid out through the Our Town Planning process and DAAC meetings and integrate those recommendations into a financially-viable project. He reminded the audience that it was early in the planning process, barely 120 days since inception, and stressed the importance of public sector input.

"This is not an application, but a concept," said Chris Touchette, principal at CCY Architects, lead architects for the project. It's part of a process continuum, which draws from grassroots guidance and ideally progresses to a product consistent with community desires and values. The guidelines were laid out last December in final recommendations during the DAAC's December wrap-up:
  • Connectivity between downtown and the rivers through visual and physical access
  • Improvement of Lion's Park
  • Allowing density to drive revitalization
  • Putting "There There"
It was easy to imagine concerts in the amphitheater, evenings by a firepit (true, a firepit wasn't mentioned but perhaps that was the only omission), walks along the river, gatherings in the creative park spaces or inside in the brew pub, public and private events in hotel's 60-person capacity banquet room, and special occasions on the roof-top terrace.

The hotel was described as three-and-a-half stories. Acknowledging that building height is an important consideration for many, John Cottle, partner and principal at CCY Architects, illustrated a step-back upper floor concept from several angles, as well as a scenario were the fourth floor to be removed: more of a wall-like expanse with less open space. The existing concept retains 60% open space in the RFCDC portion and 80% open space overall.

Of the 52 condominiums in a mix of two- to three-story buildings, 40 will be permanent residences. Prices for the one- to four-bedroom units will range from $400,000 to $900,000. Parking will be underground, with both public and private parking in the hotel and public spaces on the street. If the developer proceeds and the project is approved, construction will likely be staged in segments over three years. The first stage will see development of one of the two residential buildings and the park, followed by the second residence complex, then the hotel. Mr. DeFrancia assured the audience that pre-sales would drive construction progress and alleviate concerns of a project stalled mid-development.

Responses to the presentation were largely positive:
  • "I think it is awesome and wish we could start tomorrow," said Kathleen Cole, former owner of the Veranda shop in downtown.
  • "It looks wonderful. I'd love to take my son to this park. Basalt needs this," one Southside resident commented.
  • "I'm 100 percent in support of anyone who puts boots on the ground in downtown Basalt," said another.
  • "When do pre-sales start?" was the final question. "As soon as we get our approvals," Mr. DeFrancia replied laughing.

Several staff from the Rocky Mountain Institute were in attendance. Marty Pickett, RMI's executive director and general counsel commented on the importance of the project to the new Innovation Center.

The general enthusiasm was tempered by cautions to safeguard other established community values. Mayor Jacque Whitsitt and Town Councilman Gary Tennenbaum stressed the importance of assuring that the open space was both generous and accessible in any final plan. Gerry Terwilliger, former DAAC member and steadfast advocate of a prominent riverside park, said he'd even consider taller buildings to enable more green. Concern about the impact of the development on the Town's two existing hotels was also voiced as were affordable housing considerations.

Long-time Councilman Rick Stevens described the evolution of the Town's planning over the past more than 17 years and the consistent focus on maintaining downtown vitality, increasing people traffic, and maximizing the river as a community asset. He referenced an article linked in the Chamber's January 14, 2015 newsletter on citizen-led or "stakeholder-driven governance." He urged all present to read this insightful article written for Downtown Idea Exchange, to consider the basic guiding principles described and the "social capital matrix" that has brought us to this point while evaluating the project and its place in Basalt's future.


Disclaimer: A lot was presented this evening, and I'm reasonably certain a few of the details I've provided can be improved upon. Fortunately, Scott Condon was in attendance and you can pick up an Aspen Times to read his article, or listen for Marci Krivonen on Aspen Public Radio. More importantly, there will be two more meetings for public viewing and comment:
  • Thursday, March 12, 4:30-6:30pm - Public Open House, Town Hall
  • Tuesday, April 14 (time TBD) at the Basalt Library

Information will be posted on the Our Town Planning website, and comments may be sent to Or share your views and start a conversation on our Basalt CO Community Page (FaceBook). I do encourage those opining to study up on the past year's Our Town Planning gatherings, Town surveys, DAAC meetings, summaries and recommendations. We're not just building a hotel. We're building a Town.


Reviewing Affordable Housing


Sandwiched between the still deeply-moving Habitat ground-breaking ceremony and the stimulating presentation made later, was an excellent affordable housing update from Economic and Planning Systems (EPS) and the Basalt Affordable Community Housing Commission (BACH). It covered employment trends over the last decade and particularly those since the 2008 economic downturn.


Among the major findings were:
  • slow employment growth compared to population growth
  • growth in a portion of low-wage jobs
  • escalating affordability gaps.
The upshot was a recommendation for at least 200 new housing units to meet existing demand. There was also conversation around the need for economic development to stimulate job growth and attract workers to downtown Basalt (a key focus area of the Chamber's new economic development partnership); increased marketing of the downtown, and parking considerations. There were fascinating statistics on population versus job growth, commuter trends, and worker preferences. But, it's after midnight and I must pack for a trip on Thursday. To view this full report, please take a look at this week's Town Council agenda. Affordable housing is another aspect of the Chamber's economic development planning, so look for a more complete update in the month's ahead.

In the final weeks of magazine prep...

You've heard it before, and will again for a short while more. The Basalt Chamber is bringing together the 2015 Community Guide & Business Directory. Terrific advertising opportunity and great prices aside, this is Basalt's one and only magazine and we need your participation to make it even more spectacular than it was last year. Support the magazine and you support economic vitality and your community. If you're operating a business in Basalt and you've not yet signed up for a space, please click here, and let us know that you're in. More information and links to ad rate are available below. Thank you!
Special Events Ahead in Basalt
  • TONIGHT! Open House in the River Park Center (formerly Bristlecone Sports), Catered by Ho Palace, Wednesday, March 11
  • St. Patrick's Day Basalt Chamber Business After Hours - Thursday, March 19
  • Basalt Chamber Annual Meeting & Luncheon - Thursday, April 16
Get all the details below and join us for fun and community building!

Robin Waters
President/CEO, Basalt Chamber of Commerce
Attention Members: Important Notice!
We're preparing content for the 2015 Community Guide & Business Directory. Please check your listing in the online Business Directory here to make sure it is correct. If you need to make changes, please do so no later than March 20 to ensure that your information is correct in the magazine. Here are easy-to-follow instructions to keep your company information current.
If you're waiting for the perfect time to join the Basalt Chamber... this is it! With your new membership, your business will be listed in the Basalt Community Guide & Business Directory and online for 12 months until next Spring. Imagine all the people who'll see your beautiful ad and pick up the phone to call or walk through your door!
Membership applications are standing by.
Your photo could be showcased in the 2015 Basalt Community Guide
& Business Directory. Deadline: March 25, 2015

Calling all seasoned and wannabe photographers! The Basalt Chamber of Commerce is searching every nook and cranny for new and striking community and people photos for the upcoming Basalt Magazine. Do you have a favorite picture of outdoor/indoor dining, recreational activities, shopping, storefronts, gatherings or people enjoying events? They can be from old town Basalt, Southside, Willits, Mid-Valley, Emma and El Jebel areas. We're committed to building a community-inclusive and vibrant magazine for Basalt. We'd love your participation.

Photo submissions must be of good quality, focus and composition, royalty free and delivered digitally. The entries must be submitted by March 25 to Lorie D'Alessio at for consideration. Please describe your photo and location, and include your full name, email and daytime phone number. If your entry is accepted, we'll contact you for photo credit information. Thanks for sharing your are! 
magazine Looking for an outstanding opportunity to showcase your business?
The Basalt Community Guide & Business might just be your best dollars spent this entire year!
More than 20,000 magazine at hotels, restaurants, shops, tourist centers & the airport
in Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt, Carbondale & Glenwood Springs ~ ALL YEAR LONG!
Here's how our readers describe this beautiful, perfect-bound magazine:
"Outstanding, gorgeous. brilliantly written, delightful, informative and just plain fabulous!"

Be part of Basalt! Be part of Basalt's premier Community Guide & Business Directory!
Your advertising support enables the Basalt Chamber of Commerce to present a high-quality magazine
to showcase Basalt and your businesses throughout the Valley, all through the year. Sign up today.

What's the Next "Big Thing" in Basalt? It Could Be You! TONIGHT!
Wednesday, March 11, 4:30-6:30 pm ~ River Park Center
123 Emma Road (formerly Bristlecone Sports next to Ho Palace)
Walk about 5,600 sf of prime space in Basalt and imagine your business.
Chat about your ideas and possibilities with Town Manager Mike Scanlon and representatives from Alpine Bank, Bank of Colorado, Community Banks of Colorado, Vectra Bank & Colorado Lending Source or just tour the space & share your ideas.
Refreshments and Catering by Ho Palace. RSVP here and come as our guest. 

Basalt Chamber March Business After Hours
 "St. Patrick's Day in Basalt"
March 19, Thursday 5:30-7:00pm ~ 104 Midland Avenue #103 (in their newly remodeled building!)
Hosted by WJ Bradley Mortgage, Land Title Guarantee Company and Jimbo's Wine & Liquors which is donating a keg of green beer! There will also be corn beef sliders, potato salad and brownies from Heathers. Yum!!! Plus door prizes and good Irish fun.
This is a benefit for Basalt Chamber Members. Non-members: $15 (as a Chamber or Member Guest), after first visit.
RSVP here to let us know you're coming!

"Basalt: A Town of Innovation & Integration" 
THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 11:30 TO 1:15
Tempranillo Restaurant, 165 Midland Avenue
$25/members and $40/non-members by March 25
$30/members and $45/non-members after March 25
RSVP here. Seating is limited.

Recurring Events and Social Connections

Coffee With Mayor Jacque Whitsitt   
Every 2nd & 4th Wednesday at Saxy's in downtown Basalt 
Please check the Town Calendar to confirm.  


Coffee with Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry
Every 2nd Wednesday around 8:15 am at Cafe Bernard's in downtown Basalt. Please check to confirm schedule. (Cancelled for today ~ to be rescheduled or join us next month!)
To view a more complete calendar of Basalt events, visit the Chamber website
To download an updated list of the Chamber's monthly Business After Hours, click here
For the Town of Basalt's meetings & events schedule visit their website here and click "Calendar"

"Basalt council outlines issues with hotel, condo project" Aspen Times 3/11/15

"Aspen-area jobs still lag far behind pre-recession era" Aspen Times 3/11/15

"Mayors, business leaders detail their issues to Pitkin County commissioners" Aspen Times 3/10/15   

"Developer ready to discuss Basalt hotel plan with council, public in March" Aspen Times 3/10/15   

"Habitat house in Basalt will help family out of dire straits" Aspen Times 3/9/15

"Aspen, Pitkin and Snowmass officials green light $2 million in transportation funding" Aspen Times 3/9/15   
$750,000 more to Basalt. Congratulations Town Manager, Town Council & team!

Town Manager Mike Scanlon's Weekend Update 
Find information on happenings around the Town including the housing needs survey, Downtown Area Advisory Committee, development projects, parks and trails activities, and more. 
If we've missed anything or you have new news to report, please send it to us. If it's good news, and hasn't yet made the headlines, we'll see if we can get our local papers interested.
Innovation Center
Especially for you construction buffs...

As the Rocky Mountain Institute's new Innovation Center continues its progress on Two Rivers Road, that second floor structure we'll see installed this week is made of a product called Cross Laminated Timbers (CLT's). Cross laminated timbers are constructed of wood similar to typical wood studs used for wall framing. Like a glu-lam beam, the wood is laminated together. The direction of each layer is alternated to be 90 degrees from the layer below, which adds strength and rigidity to the structure.  The use of CLTs reduces the overall thickness of the floor assembly.

Find out how and why social media, or "new media" as it's now called, can be part of an effective marketing and business development strategy. Let's start at the beginning.

Introduction to Social Media for Business
  • Wednesday, February 25, 5:15-7pm
  • Thursday, March 5, 8:30-9:45am
Introduction to Social Media for Business - LAB
The labs are designed to help participants apply their learning in a practical way. 
  • Wednesday, March 4, 5:15-7pm
  • Thursday, March 12, 8:30-9:45am
If you'd like to join any or all of these classes, please send a note confirming the dates you will attend. All classes are free of charge.

These are the first in a ser ies of classes designed to help Basalt-area business owners and employees maximize your business success using traditional tools as well as those afforded by social media and newer online tech-centered platforms. The program is presented by the Basalt Regional Library and the Basalt Chamber of Commerce. We welcome collaboration. Please let us know if you'd like to be involved in planning or teaching and what types of classes are needed and times of day most convenient.
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.
This time of year brings our lowest and clearest fishing water, and this can cause trout to become more "spooky" than selective. Stealth and accuracy become quite important during low-flow months as the fish can see and feel more than they will in the high water levels of summer. The insect menu in winter is dramatically downsized from the summer... read the rest of the story here


SGS Real Time Flow Chart for the Frying Pan River
USGS Real Time Flow chart for the Fork at Basalt (Emma)
The Chamber community Facebook page is growing daily, and provides an easy way to share your business news, views and announcements. JOIN the BASALT CO COMMUNITY PAGE on Facebook, then add your "friends." Imagine being able to share news with the entire town at the click of a button . As a group member you can create your own event listings, invite the group and take RSVPs. For info on how to join and add group members, click her e

This Month In Basalt

For a full listing of Basalt activities click on the calendar

Basalt Chamber of Commerce members receive complimentary advertising, free attendance at great networking events, educational programs, and discounts a local stores, athletic clubs and media outlets.

And this is just the beginning. Members tell us that the most rewarding part of their involvement is the sense of community and collaboration. Basalt Chamber memberships begin as low as $250 per year.

For more information and a membership application, visit the Chamber website. Applications also can be found online under the "Chamber" tab here

Our Mission: To advocate for, promote, and serve our members
Our Vision: To grow Basalt as a destination for businesses, locals, and visitors.

Memberships as low as $250 a year with valuable benefits. For more information and a membership application, click here

Red Caboose in Lions Park - PO Box 514 - Basalt CO 81621 - 970.927.4031
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