Economic development council seeks assistance

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— Upper Yampa Valley Economic Development Council members will take time to eat, drink and have fun before getting down to business tonight.

The economic development council will hold a mixer with free pizza, a cash bar and even a drawing for money. After the mixer, the council members will meet to organize committees.

In February, economic development council members identified 10 projects that they wanted to get done and decided to form committees to tackle each one. Since then, a chairperson was identified for each project committee, but not much else was done.

"It's hard to get people. Everybody is working so hard at their business," economic development council President Charlie Taylor said.

Plus, the Taste of South Routt in June absorbed any free time that economic development council members had. Now it's time to regroup and get to work, Taylor said.

"It will be nice to get more people on these committees," he added.

That's because the council has some solid ideas to help promote south Routt businesses. For example, one committee is in charge of placing road signs to direct people to south Routt.

Economic development council member Dave Bonfiglio said food, lodging and gas is closer in south Routt for people traveling on U.S. 40 through Kremmling to Steamboat. That's why he and others want to put a sign up at Colorado 134 and U.S. 40 telling travelers to drive over Gore Pass to south Routt on their way to Steamboat.

"You can have all your food, gas and lodging here," Bonfiglio said.

Another strategic place to put a sign is in the Stagecoach area, because south Routt businesses are closer than Steamboat. "We have the bulk of what they need, and it's a different feeling than Steamboat," Bonfiglio said.

Typically, Stagecoach residents and visitors look to Steamboat for their needs, he said.

"It shouldn't be a competition of us against them," Bonfiglio said.

Instead, Bonfiglio sees it as an effort to open people's eyes to the convenience and enjoyment of shopping in a smaller town.

Another interesting committee will organize a list of all available jobs in south Routt, Taylor said.

"It's to get potential workers from the areas," he said.

Other committees are in charge of improving membership, updating the economic development council Web page, working on promotional events for south Routt and creating a directory of local businesses.

To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail dcrowl@amigo.net

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