Retail workshop upcoming

Kent Burnes will discuss future of locally owned stores

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Small-business consultant Kent Burnes will be in Steamboat Springs this week to discuss the future of locally owned retail stores in a mountain resort community.

Noreen Moore, business resource director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, said Burnes' presentation at last spring's economic summit drew high praise from business owners. She has brought him back to conduct a series of focus groups with business owners in different parts of the city. In addition, Burnes will speak to the community at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Olympian Hall.

Moore said Burnes will be asked to discuss the future of locally owned businesses and the impact they can anticipate with the advent in Steamboat of franchises, chain stores, big box retailers and formula stores.

"We want to begin a discussion about how this community will address these concerns," Moore said. "Do we want to establish policy that regulates the kinds and forms of ownership that can do business in our community? What will the impact of those policies be?"

Burnes' visit to Steamboat will begin at 10 a.m. today at Lucille's with a focus group involving west Steamboat businesses. People interested in cultural tourism and historic preservation can join Burnes at 2 p.m. at the Depot Art Center. He'll work with representatives of local government and Economic Development Council members at 5:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall.

Tuesday's schedule begins at 10 a.m. in the Utterback Annex of the Tread of Pioneers Museum on Oak Street, where Burnes will talk to downtown business owners. East Steamboat business leaders are invited to meet with Burnes at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Alpine Bank.

Mountain business principals will meet with the consultant at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Champagne Powder Room in the retail section of the gondola building.

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