April 1 - In This Issue:


Basalt is a lively, passionate Town with an inspiring trove of talent, experience and opinion.

Last Tuesday, at a Basalt Town Council work session, Mayor Jacque Whitsitt again set off a rapid fire exchange of citizen comment over the future of the Two Rivers Road riverfront parcel slated for park and commercial development.

Heartfelt comments ranging from full open space preservation to a mix of commercial and park burst out on the sidewalks, through emails and in the local media. I typically don't include "letters to the editor" among the Basalt in the News entries, but on this occasion the letters document an age-old dynamic, not just in Basalt but in communities throughout the country, throughout time.

On the surface, it is a tug-of-war between development and anti-development advocates. The reality in Basalt is much more nuanced, and founded in a history both troubled and brilliant. Some long-timers remember with dismay decisions made over intersections, bridges and the location of City Market now in Orchard Plaza. Some feel the entire Willits Town Center development should be a straight ride across Highway 82 from historic downtown.

What I see is a Town that, like others, has made mistakes but also has implemented thoughtful, progressive programs seldom discussed or appreciated. I see a vital multifaceted commercial center just minutes from our downtown, providing essential revenues that better enable the Town to make improvements, invest in open space, and support community development. I also see lovely historic downtown still struggling from the 2008 economic downturn and a hodgepodge of other factors.

It's true that some businesses have moved from downtown to Willits, just as others have closed down for reasons too varied to mention here. What I seldom hear is that the Willits Town Center may have created an opportunity for downtown businesses still wobbly from the impact of time, economic fluctuations, and a fundamental need to get together, create a common front, market collaboratively to sustain a strong and vital economic pulse.

Last year, the Basalt Downtown Business Center formed to do just that. A good handful of business owners have persevered and are working to revitalize the downtown. I've just joined the Board of that association, cementing a commitment to unite efforts, as the Chamber has done with the Basalt Business Center, Willits management, and the diverse commercial areas of the full Basalt community.

What does this have to do with the current "discussion" over the development of the former Pan and Fork Trailer Park?

Around the same time that the Basalt downtown business owners decided they needed to pro-actively protect and promote their shops, restaurants and property, Town staff and citizens began the year-long "Our Town" Planning process, a creative "placemaking" endeavor that calls upon citizens to step in at progressive stages to map out the course for the Town's future. This process has been comprehensive and inclusive, resulting in hundreds of maps and thousands of ideas, fine-tuned at the end of last year by the citizen Downtown Area Advisory Committee (DAAC), made up of 10 representatives appointed by the Town Council including the Mayor who serves as one of seven council members with equal vote.

Jim DeFrancia, president of Lowe Enterprises, the real estate organization that stepped in six months or so ago to consider if their business model was a fit for the Town of Basalt, attended those meetings as did Michael McVoy, president of the nonprofit Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation which owns the 2.4 acres at the corner of Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue. Stretching from this site to the Roaring Fork River is 2.8 acres, owned by the Town and set aside for a riverfront park. Further down Two Rivers Road, we see the walls of the Rocky Mountain Institute's new Innovation Center rising upward, and close beside we anticipate the Roaring Fork Conservancy's new River Center. What Basalt will see in barely a year is already a thrilling mix of progressive design, internationally-renowned thinkers, finely landscaped park area and hopefully a cluster of something that will support the revitalization efforts of the Town, Chamber and BDBA and the long-term health and livability of the community.

The Basalt Chamber of Commerce believes wholeheartedly in what the citizens, staff and elected officials have implemented over the last year. The Chamber's Board of Directors doesn't have a formal statement on the project itself, so the following observations arise solely from my close observation of this process, attendance at nearly every Town Council meeting, conversations with citizens and business owners alike:
  • There is general unanimity that the parcel that stretches from Two Rivers Road to the Roaring Fork River is a gem in our midst;
  • Basalt is guaranteed to have substantial park area along the river via the Town's 2.9 riverfront acres. In addition, approximately 60 percent of the Lowe Enterprises development site is currently slated for open space. Throughout the parcel, green space preservation is projected at around 80 percent.
  • The Lowe Enterprises conceptual plan, presented by Cottle Carr Yaw Architects of Basalt, show faithfulness to the DAAC's strong recommendation that "open view planes" to the river be maintained; it goes beyond simple bricks and mortar, offering a vision of gathering places, walking paths and connectivity to downtown;
  • Plans for affordable housing in Basalt continue, and Lowe Enterprises president Jim DeFrancia is working with the Town to contribute to these efforts as is the Willits Town Center and others;
  • This is an interactive process that has enabled an unprecedented amount of community participation, ample opportunities for which are still ahead.

Is 80 percent park space enough? Is the current development proposal too little for needed revitalization or too much for the balance we seek? These are decisions unique to each of us, and ultimately the members of our Town Council must decide what is in the best interests of our overall community.

Let's not get distracted by personalities or fall into intransigent positions. In keeping with the "bottom up" process that has carried our town to the this moment, Lowe Enterprises has invited the full citizenship to participate and provide input. Mr. DeFrancia, not his vice-presidents or PR people, has been at each meeting. He's prepared carefully and listens thoughtfully. The company has 40 years of successful and responsible development behind them. Let's listen just as carefully and imagine the true possibilities of what's before us. 

Here are a few links to help each of us strengthen our perspective and participate responsibly:  

The next public hearing is Tuesday, April 14th in the Basalt Library Community Room.

Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting & Luncheon ~ Thursday, April 16, 11:30 at Tempranillo Restaurant

The Basalt Chamber of Commerce's 2015 Annual Meeting and Luncheon will feature a round table presentation by several immensely successful and contributory members of our community: Town Manager Mike Scanlon to speak on what makes a Town; Tim Belinski of Willits Town Center will describe the creation of the most unique development community in the valley and what he see's ahead for Basalt; Michael Kinsley, longtime consultant and spokesperson for the Rocky Mountain Institute will discuss the new Innovation Center and why RMI chose Basalt; long-time Aspen Public Radio journalist and broadcaster Marci Krivonen will discuss the changes she's seen in Basalt over the last year. You'll get the Chamber's update and financials, of course, and you'll also have an opportunity to ask questions and mingle with local business owners. Most importantly, you'll be able to share our excitement about what's happening in Basalt and the bright future ahead.

The luncheon will take place Thursday, April 16, from 11:30 to 1:15 at Tempranillo Restaurant in Basalt. Seating is very limited and filling up fast. RSVP soon to be ensure a place. More information is available below.

The Basalt Community Guide & Business Directory ~ A Phenomenal Success... so Far!

I meet today with our design team to wrap up the production schedule for the 2015 Basalt Community Guide & Business Directory. It's thrilling how much support we've had for the magazine this year. Thirty percent larger and classier than ever, I know you'll be proud of this testament to the beauty and allure of Basalt. I'm not sure but I think we have a few ad spaces left, after the recent page increase. If you've not yet reserved, and would like to grab one the last spaces or be on the waiting list in case we expand further, give Lorie a call at (970) 948-6501 or send her an email. You'll find all the information below.

Hoping you give as good fun as you get this April Fool's Day!

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.
Welcome New Members!
Next week we welcome nearly a dozen new members to the Basalt Chamber of Commerce.
For a complete list of members, visit our online Business Directory.

BASALT PHOTOS NEEDED for the 2015 Basalt Community Guide
& Business Directory. Deadline: March 27, 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 27 to Lorie D'Alessio at lorie@cmykdesign.com 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 Last few spaces available in the Basalt Community Guide & Business Director?
30 percent larger and better than ever!
More than 20,000 magazines at hotels, restaurants, shops, tourist centers & the airport
in Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt, Carbondale & Glenwood Springs ~ ALL YEAR LONG!

Be part of Basalt! Be part of Basalt's premier Community Guide & Business Directory!

Your advertising enables the Basalt Chamber of Commerce to present a high-quality magazine
to showcase Basalt and your businesses throughout the Valley, all year long. Sign up today.


Basalt: A Year of Ideas, Innovation & Integration"
THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 11:30 TO 1:15
Tempranillo Restaurant, 165 Midland Avenue

Guests Speakers
Mike Scanlon, Basalt Town Manager
Tim Belinski Willits Town Center
Michael Kinsley, Rocky Mountain Institute
Marci Krivonen, Aspen Public Radio/KAJX
& the Basalt Chamber of Commerce CEO & Board Members

There will be a round-table discussion
and guests will have an opportunity to ask questions.

$25/members and $40/non-members, paid by March 31
$30/members and $45/non-members after March 31
Price includes attendance, meal & refreshments.

Reservations are required & seating is limited.
RSVP here or by calling (970) 927-4031

Public Open House - Lowe Enterprises Hotel Presentation
April 14th, Tuesday 
Basalt Regional Library Community Room  
Basalt Chamber April Business After Hours

April 23rd, Thursday 5:30-7:00pm
(This event has been postponed; please make a note on your Business After Hours schedule)



Friday, May 8, 8:30-11 a.m. ~ 155 Park Avenue, Unit 115 

Celebrate the expansion of Rock Canyon Coffee into a new, bigger Roastery space. Arrive at 8:30 for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Stay for coffee, delicious food from local chefs, and door prizes! Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Open house from 9-11 a.m.  

Jas Band Battle Returns to Basalt! 

May 9th, Saturday 1-6 pm at Lions Park
Come out and support up to 20 local student bands as they battle for bragging rights and this fun annual event. Free to all. 

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 .
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"
Colorado Water: Regional water efficiency plan ready for public comment" Aspen Times 3/31/15

"Basalt hotel developer senses hotel support" Aspen Times 3/30/15

Assessor: Property values soaring in El Jebel and Basalt 3/30/15

Basalt will try to set world record for largest painting with foot and paw prints 3/30/15

Analysis compares Basalt hotel project with committee's advice 3/27/15

Basalt mayor opposes hotel, condo project; offers alternative

Letter: Park will bring more tourism Aspen Times 3/30/15
Letter: Park is right choice for Basalt 3/30/15
Letter: Mayor opposes hotel on park 3/29/15
Letter: Letter to Mayor Whitsett (letter author Cole Sjoholm is a former Chair of the Basalt Chamber of Commerce)
Letter: Be the mayor you were elected to be
Letter: Basalt, a river town with a development problem

Letter: Science Center searches for alternative site 3/30/15 
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.
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.
Ripples are spreading across the country this week from the Roaring Fork Valley as news of the loss of Kea Hause spreads. Kea was born in Hawaii and moved here to the Valley as a youngster after his parents began teaching at Colorado Rocky Mountain School. Fly fishing really didn't enter the picture for him until the mid-1980s. At that time... 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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