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July 29, 2014 - In This Issue:

Heather Smith, President and CEO of The Basalt Chamber of Commerce


A Look Back...

Dear Members,


As the whistles begin to blow and the wheels start to slow from this wild ride over the last 6 � years, nostalgia is setting in and I've been able to realize all that we have accomplished together and wanted to share with you.

Coming into the Chamber as the first full time Executive Director and really first full time employee of the Chamber was a tremendous challenge.  I remember my first day on the job it was a rainy September day in 2007.  The caboose had no front steps or stoop as they had been removed during the exterior remodel and were not completed yet.  The roof was leaking, and I had to put plastic trash bags over the computers to protect them from the rain.

My initial charge was to "increase visibility and awareness of the Basalt Chamber and grow the Chamber's operating budget and membership."  Truly not much has changed from that initial charge, but my how the times have changed!  Little did we all know that within the year the bottom would fall and we would be in a full blown recession for the next half a decade or more.

While many Chambers throughout Colorado are struggling to hang on to their finances and membership base, our membership has continued to grow.  We now have over 425 members, a 25% increase during my tenure.  Over the past 6 years, I have succeeded in meeting/exceeding our budget each year and building our cash reserves from $0 to basically a 6 month emergency operating reserve. We have won 5 awards for our growth from the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI, The State Chamber).  Our overall operating budget has grown from $116,000 to $212,000.  We recently secured marketing funding matching grant from the Town of Basalt for the next 3 years for up to $50,000 per year.

We have implemented regular operating hours, enabled practices to work remotely when needed, send timely press releases, weekly newsletters, standard monthly networking and educational events, and more.  And most of this has been done with 1 part time assistant.  My first full time assistant was hired in July of 2011.

The Basalt Chamber has and continues to actively collaborate with other Chambers in the area.  We have worked on rotating radio spots promoting shop locally, joint marketing and networking opportunities, we are evaluating the potential to renew the Roaring Fork Valley Community Health Plan, and are looking at other ways we can join forces to better our local businesses.  We continue to offer significant discounts to our members through Aspen Skiing Company, various gyms, newspaper & radio advertising, and are always looking at how we can expand those benefits.

We have completely remodeled the interior and repainted the exterior of the caboose to create a cleaner and inviting environment that allows more room for displays and visitors.   For three years in a row, we have published a wildly successful magazine for Basalt that has other Chambers in the area in awe!  We continue to revamp our website and added new sections and features to coincide with our new directory.  

Our Summer Concert Series continues to draw people to Basalt each week during the season for free family entertainment.  We have developed this series so that local musicians find it an honor to be listed in our lineup and we always have a wait list of talented artist that wish to perform.  Our Business After Hours and Monthly Lunch and Learns are well attended and have a wait list for hosts and presenters.

We have moved from the small events driven chamber to more of one focused on our member's needs and demands of being an advocate for their business and supporting them in decisions before Town Council.

We continue with our signage charge to install better directional signage with our tagline of "Confluence of Rivers Recreation and Culture" as well as more prominent street name signage with a definable logo for the traffic lights along highway 82 within the Town of Basalt.  This has culminated in the design, approval, and installation of the brand new roundabout sign in Downtown.  The Chamber Sign Committee is expected to merge into the Town's Public Arts Commission over the next 6 months to work on bringing more public art including the additional satellite entrance signs to the other areas of Basalt. 

And there is so much more!  The television commercials, FAM tours and promotions, fishing tournaments and other events.  The list really is tremendous.  We have done a lot and you should all be very proud of how far we have come.

While I still have a few weeks left, I want to let you all know now what an honor it has been to serve you and to thank you all for joining me on this crazy ride.  I appreciate every supporter and critic out there as we all made the difference together.  I encourage you all to get involved over the next year and assist in the transition of a new CEO and help them feel welcome and encouraged to keep the Basalt train moving at full speed.  

I look forward to seeing you at our final 4 concerts and August BAH and invite you to join us for the Roundabout Monument Dedication tomorrow (Wednesday, July 30) at 4:00pm for a very short dedication ceremony before heading over to Lions Park to dance the night away under the big tent with Fifty 50.



Heather L Smith, CPA

President & CEO, Basalt Chamber of Commerce


July 2014

A Great Find
A to Z Business Services
All Valley Maintenance & Mechanical
Aspen Medical Care
Aspen Realty Exchange
Aspen Tile & Bath Gallery
Black Shack Architects
Custom Property Management
Double Diamond Moving & Storage
Four Dogs Fine Wines & Spirits
Frying Pan Anglers
Gateway Real Estate Investments
Heritage Builders
High Mountain Taxi
Kitchen Collage
Kristin Case Bookkeeping Services
Dr. Melinda Fouts
Mountain Greenery Plantscapes
New Image Training
Peak Visions
RJT Enterprises
Roaring Fork Dental Associates
Rudd Construction
Scherer Properties
Sezanne Arlitt aka Tener
Shane Aspen Real Estate
Shelly Cohen Interiors
Stanton Consulting
Sushi Ya Go Go
The Cabin at Ruedi Shores
Touchstone Business Advisors
Trijay Real Estate & Property Management
Two Rivers Chiropractic
UPS Store
Willits Town Center

Tomorrow - 5:30pm-8:00pm-July 30th in Lion's




Join us in Downtown Lion's Park tomorrow, July 30th for Fifty 50 is Western Colorado locally based band. They perform a blend of classic, modern, and original rock music! For more information about this band go to 


There is no beer garden this week so please bring your own beverages!




How to Handle Social-Media Criticism

"Keyboard courage" has some people posting cruel things they would otherwise not say to someone's face.  Hiding behind a screen is not a shield.  

As a social-media consultant and strategist, I have seen my fair share of rude behavior on various platforms and personally experienced this on several occasions.  Everything from gossiping, not following through with deliverables and jealousy has come my way.  While my first reaction is to fire back, I have learned this isn't an appropriate response.  By firing back in social media, this is exactly what feeds the beast.  Don't feed the beast!

When you are being criticized online, I have found the following advice has helped me.

Rise above it.  You cannot change people's behavior, but you can change the people you choose to stick around or follow on social media. You can choose a negative or positive attitude.  Pick your path wisely.

Remain neutral. Always take emotions out of the discussion to aid productivity and possibly provide the other person with a reason to shift his or her mindset. This will allow both parties to examine or re-examine both perspectives.

Stay data focused. Be professional and stick with the facts.  There are some discussions that will neither warrant your time nor your effort in your social media steams.  Be diplomatic, be fair and be factual.

Be courteous of people's time.  Just remember, social media provides us with a tool to access so many opportunities. Be cognizant that people have a life outside of social media. If you are going to make an argument or deal with critic, make it succinct. Don't get dragged in to a hour-long ordeal.

Try to take the conversation offline.  Before you do, you may want to peruse their tweets and posts to determine whether it is actually worth your time and energy.  You may even want to Google the individual.  There are only so many hours in the day, so pick your battle wisely.

Take action.  Do you ever block someone? What if someone is extremely rude and starts making personal attacks. What do you do?  I remain cordial because eventually you will run into the person at a tweet-up or a conference.  When you stay polite and courteous, you will not feel uncomfortable or awkward since you have not done anything wrong. 

To read the full article by Ann Tran go to

Entrance Sign Dedication
July 30th at 4:00pm

Our new monument sign is in place and the final pieces are 
coming together.  Meet the team that made this possible and join us for a brief dedication ceremony at 4:00pm tomorrow, Wednesday, July 30 next to the Basalt Store and the Roundabout in Downtown Basalt!


Exclusive Member Only Advertising Opportunity


We can help you get the word out about your specials or sales for only $20!  This is an affordable avenue to reach your fellow business associates as well as community members. We have over 1000 contacts and a high open rate on our campaigns.  All you need to do is send us up to 200 words of what you want included as well as a picture.  We can also insert a link to a pdf of flyers or invitations into the article, so send us as much as you can.  We need all information by Friday at Noon to be included in the Tuesday newsletter.
Have an extra special fundraiser or event and only want your item highlighted in an email?  We can send out an email campaign on your behalf for $100 (that's less than 10 cents per contact!)!  We do need 48 hours notice and cannot send one out on a day we already have a campaign scheduled, so get your request in early.

July 30th-August 3rd in Lion's Park!


{This Week In Basalt}


To view the calendar 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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