Basalt Chamber of Commerce
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Weekly Newsletter.

In This Issue
Welcome New Member!
Amanda Wagner
Lead Advisor, Pitkin county

For small businesses just getting started, Health Links™ provides support through the Kick-Start Program, which awards seed funding and provides free expert advising to qualified business for successfully building worksite wellness and safety programs

Email Amanda
(970) 379-9987
Upcoming Events

Annual Holiday
Mid-Valley Chambers Business After Hours
Nov. 19, 5:30-7pm
Eagle Crest Nursery 
0400 Gillespie Drive
El Jebel 


Basalt Business Center Association
1st Tuesday Each Month
Email Amanda for details

Midvalley Visionaries
Millennials & Gen-Xers
Meet monthly & more
Details below or
Email here
Coffee with Mayor Jacque Whitsitt - 8 to 9am
Every 2nd & 4th Wednesday
Saxy's in Downtown Basalt
Coffee with Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry
Every 2nd Wed - 8:15 AM
Cafe Bernards  

Quick Links
Featured Property
Post your Basalt Real Estate listing here 
Kick Off the Holiday Season Chamber Mixer  Today at 5:30 at Eagle Crest Nursery  Read More >> 
LeadStoryMore than 150 people filled the Middle School Auditorium last Thursday for the first Rural Colorado Health Insurance Forum in Basalt. Many people then and since have asked me if it was a success.

A Success by What Measure? 
A hugely important event that drew two senators (one past, one current), two Division of Insurance senior representatives, the finance director of one of our major hospitals and a rapt audience for an event crafted out of nothing but dismay and angst in barely three weeks. There were no major glitches and the attendance was considerable on such short notice. A successful gathering, yes.

But did people leave happy? No, not at all. Health insurance remains a serious problem for a large sector of people in our valley. Not only did reform not do "in the high country what it did for the rest of Colorado," as State Sen. Kerry Donovan said, it parceled out its benefits unevenly throughout. While some people are experiencing the security of health insurance for the first time in their adult lives at highly affordable rates others are finding their premiums rising by as much as 50 to 100 percent.

For those people there were few good answers. Yet, as people left and after, they thanked us for the event. For shining a light on major disparities in benefit and perception. For opening the discussion. For bringing key regulators and legislators to our valley to share and to listen. More important than the event itself is what happens next.

I've received numerous calls from not only the speakers, sponsors and attendees but from others who wish they'd been able to attend or who who'd like to help. I'm also getting calls from people who want to share their stories and their concerns. I must return to my primary Chamber member obligations but hope to continue to help facilitate this important effort. If you'd like to join a group of knowledgeable and committed people working to advance the cause of health reform and affordable health insurance, please contact me so we can work together to make this a reality for all.

Meanwhile, there are many people we want to thank for their help and support during this concentrated effort. Please take a moment to recognize them below. There you'll also find a link to the video of the Thursday night forum. Thanks Grassroots TV!

A Sad Farewell to the Country Store

A few weeks ago, the owners of the Basalt Country Store let us know that with the onset of winter and drifting away of summer visitors, the wonderful new downtown store was struggling. We met a few times with Zach Fischer, the owner, tossed around some ideas and eventually Zach made the difficult decision to close. Today (Wednesday) was their last day.

For any of you who stopped by the Country Store over the last few months, the layout and selection were nothing short of superb. Zach and his wife Megan did an incredible job creating a beautiful, well-balanced, quality shopping experience. Yet the timing - opening late in the summer - the thin margins in operating a boutique, home-town shop, the risks of stocking perishable items, the vagaries of local shopping and at last the dramatic seasonal fluctuation proved insurmountable. 

Zach made a phenomenal effort to seek suggestions, listen to and stock items that locals and well-wishers recommended - more than 100 in one early excited Facebook thread. It's a hard lesson to learn that just because people say they want fresh, organic produce doesn't mean they'll be lining up for sandwiches and coffee or be front and center shopping daily.

An effort is building in downtown Basalt and neighboring commercial areas to create a strong, sustainable, year-round economy. We'll report on that in the month's ahead.

For now, I want to thank Zach and all those who worked so hard to bring downtown Basalt a perfect little grocery story. Zach is so talented and creative, I've no doubt he will build on this experience and achieve far-greater successes beyond this day.

A Door Closes, Another Opens

In the Midland Avenue Mall space vacated by the Country Store an exciting new local artists collective is opening with in-house artists' studios connected to a beautiful retail-sales space. For details contact Colori.

I'm heading out Sunday to visit my father in Florida. See you in two weeks for all the December festivities!
Robin Waters
President/CEO, Basalt Chamber 
Friday|Dec. 4
Holiday Tree Lighting-Lion's Park Downtown
Sunday|Dec. 6
Menorah Lighting - Lion's Park Downtown
Candle lighting at 5pm. Reception to follow at The Wyly. Traditional Hanukkah food, beverages and children's activities. 
Friday|Dec. 11
Holiday Tree Lighting - Willits Town Center
Thursday|Dec. 17 5:30-7pm
Basalt Chamber Business After Hours
Hosted by Alpine Bank Basalt
A special holiday Business After Hours in the old downtown train depot with Santa, refreshments & assorted foods from area business.
Thursday|Dec. 30
Basalt Chamber & Basalt Businesses Welcome the Rocky Mountain Institute's Innovation Center
An Open House for members and guests of the Basalt Chamber and RMI. Email for details.
Annual Basalt & Carbondale Chambers
combined Celebrate the Holidays Business After Hours
Thursday, November 19th, 5:30-7pm
Eagle Crest Nursery | 0400 Gillespie Drive | El Jebel

Co-Hosts: Eagle Crest Nursery | Bank of Colorado | Names & Numbers
Bangkok Happy Bowl
Down Valley Tavern | El Jebeverage
Epicurious Catering |European Caterers
LINX | Mariscos Playa Azul
Mary Kay/Jeannie Martellaro
Smoke Modern BBQ | Sopris Sun 
Sweet Coloradough 
Woody Creek Distillers
Lots of door prizes and the famous
Bank of Colorado Prize Wheel & a chance to win a Gingerbread House
(Prize drawing donations will benefit LiftUp)
15% off store-wide during the event!
Members and 1st time guests attend free. Non-member guests: $10
Be sure to bring your business card to enter for fun door prizes.
RSVP Here. See you at 5:30! 
Salvation Army Fill your heart and help someone in need.
Please bring winter clothing and non-perishable food items to tonight's  Business After Hours.
Basalt Realty will collect your generous donations
and deliver them  to LiftUp and the Salvation Army.
It's Not the Oscars, but... ForumThankYou
Thank You for Bringing the Rural Colorado Health Insurance Forum to Basalt!
I've worked on, volunteered with and orchestrated hundreds of events over the last couple of decades. I don't remember one that came together so quickly and with such obvious import. There are many people who helped make possible last Thursday's Rural Colorado Insurance Forum and Saturday's Enrollment Fair. They called in important speakers, contacted legislators, help to promote and pitched in funds to cover the costs, all this in the short time between the announced closing of Colorado HealthOP last month and the start of the open enrollment two weeks later. Please join me in thanking the following people and organizations for responding quickly, enthusiastically and with full hearts.

Alchemy Concert Systems
Aspen Daily News

Aspen Times
Aspen Valley Hospital
Community Banks of

Connect for Health
Vincent Plymell
& Tom Abel,
  Division of Insurance,
  Commissioners Office
Gail Schwartz
  Former CO State Senator 
Grassroots TV 
Larry Dupper
& Bonnie Wasli

  Valley View Hospital
Martin Insurance Group
Sculco Creative
Town of Basalt
Vectra Bank
And especially State Senator Kerry Donovan for making the call that kept the process going, Micheal Kinsley for moderating, and  Aspen Valley HospitalPremier Medical Center/Willits , and The Webb Family Fund of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation in Memory of Mrs. Barbara Webb  for sponsoring. Thanks also to the Roaring Fork Valley Chambers of Commerce, and especially Marianne Virgili  and Sarah Jane Johnson in Glenwood Springs, who helped to spread the word. I hope Sarah Jane doesn't mind my quoting her clear and impassioned statement: 

 "No one in this day and age should be worrying about health care costs and coverage!"

Thank you for enduring the week, Missy Hagen, and for helping to set up on a moment's notice, Bennett Bramson, Tracy Bennett and Friederike French who said these words: "How can I help?" And to Aspen Public Radio, KSNO, KSPN, KDNK and to everyone else who reached out to communicate about the issue and the event.

Here is the view-on-demand video of the event, live as of Wednesday night. This video will run through out the next few months, distributed around the state and soon be posted on YouTube.
Let's keep the conversation going. Basalt and our valley can make a difference
Four Valley Businesses Named "100 Best Places to Work in 2015"

Four valley businesses made OUTSIDE ONLINE's list of "The 100 Best Places to Work in 2015."

Congratulations to Basalt Chamber members CCY Architects (downtown Basalt), Bluetent (Basalt/El Jebel) and Aspen Skiing Company (everywhere) and to Charles Cunniffe Architects of Aspen.

Thanks for making our community and lives better!
The companies were recognized for their outdoors employee gatherings, microbrew fridges, wellness packages, ski passes, flex hours, decor and eco-consciousness.

Not a one boasts cozy office accommodations in a Caboose though. Maybe we got dinged for lack of indoor bathroom and an old waterless sink.

For more member news, watch for the Member Mondays eNews
For more Basalt Chamber member news, views and special events watch your Inbox for the Member Mondays eBlast or visit the
Basalt CO Community Page on Facebook

To be included in the Member Mondays just send us your ad or announcement in jpg format a few days ahead. It's free for Chamber members once a quarter, with a nominal fee thereafter.
Join the Midvalley Visionaries for Fun and Business Visionaries 
The  Midvalley Visionaries, a newly-formed group of Millennials, GenX-ers and creative thinkers invites like-minded valley residents to join them for fun and lively discussion at two upcoming events:

November Social
Friday, November 20th at 6:30pm
El Jebowl ($4.50 per game and $3 per pair of shoes)
An opportunity to let loose and chit-chat with other members about what you'd like to see in Basalt. Bring the kids!

December Meeting
Thursday, December 3rd, 6-8pm
The Wyly in Lions Park Downtown Basalt
Focus: Getting things done.
Speaker: Skippy Mesirow, Aspen NextGen Chair, will discuss affordable housing and their experience with the Aspen political process. This is an opportunity to learn from others, provide input and share your own creative ideas.

Midvalley Visionaries Mission Statement
Our mission is to inspire the younger demographic to get involved with the Basalt community through fun, enlightening and family-friendly meetings and events. We aim to educate our members on local issues and work with Town Council to make Basalt sustainable, affordable and enjoyable for future generations. We will act as a short-cut to Town Council working with issues that are relevant to our demographic. We strive to increase the vitality of Basalt by generating revenue for local businesses utilizing creative solutions. We will promote Basalt as a wonderful place to work, live, and play.

The Basalt Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to watch this dynamic group grow and happy to support its thoughtful and promising mission. For more information and to get involved, please  contact the Midvalley Visionaries.
We have a terrific bunch of applications for 2016 Basalt Business After Hours mixer hosting. A half-dozen more or so of you planned to send in your applications. We'd like to put all the information together and create a schedule in the next few weeks.  Please submit your application this week so we can include your business in the mix for this or other networking events.

We're also collecting names of non-bricks and mortar business owners who'd like to get the extra visibility and build community connections. If you don't have a storefront and would like to co-host an event, let us know and we'll help you find the perfect match.

Applicants must be members of the Basalt Chamber in good standing. Preference will be given to those who've not hosted an event in the last 12 months and for creative and collaborative themes.

Business After Hours are an important Chamber networking benefit. Hosts have an opportunity to showcase your businesses and connect informally with other members. Download your application here and email it by November 1 or mail it to Basalt Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 514, Basalt, CO 81621.
The Basalt Chamber of Commerce seeks proposals from  qualified design firms with a top-notch team able to produce the 2016 Basalt Community Guide & Business Directory.

The ideal candidate(s) will take the magazine from sales and design through printing maintaining the high standard for which it has become known. The purpose of the RFP will be to provide candidates with the scope of expectation and evaluation criteria against which their applications will be judged. 
To receive a copy of the Request for Proposals, please click here. If you have any questions, please write Basalt Chamber CEO. Deadline for RFPs: Monday, December 7.
About the Basalt Area Chamber of Commerce
Red Caboose in Lions Park
PO Box 514
Basalt, CO 81621
(970) 927-4031
The Basalt Area Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)6 membership organization dedicated to supporting the healthy and vibrant development of Basalt's businesses and community. Members enjoy lively networking events, educational programs, peer support, member-to-member discounts, and complimentary and discounted advertising, club memberships, ski vouchers and more.

Memberships are affordable and offer high value. To inquire about the rate for your business to join, please call (970) 927-4031.
To submit and online application, click here.  
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