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City Tour participants return from Colorado with new ideas

Members of Leadership Class 28 and Park City and Summit County officials toured Sun Valley in 2022.
Leadership Park City
Members of Leadership Class 28 and Park City and Summit County officials toured Sun Valley in 2022.

The 66 participants of this year’s Park City City Tour traveled to two Colorado resort towns. And for tour director and Leadership Park City Founder Myles Rademan, it was a swan song trip.

The five-day annual tour that seeks to learn from the best, took members of Leadership Class 30 and other interested county residents to the resort towns of Telluride and Durango. Telluride is home to a namesake ski resort. Durango is just outside Purgatory ski resort and not far from the arts and culture community of Ridgeway, Colorado.

It was the 55th such tour that Rademan has taken in his career to learn from other resort communities about how they solve their local issues.

“Everyone does it differently," Rademan said. “But we all face similar problems and you can't just parachute someone else's solution into your town because they usually don't work that way.”

This was the last tour Rademan plans on attending as he is retiring from the position he’s held for the last three decades.

“It was a joyous occasion for me,” he said. “So sure, there'll be some elements of it that are bittersweet, because I enjoy all the people and all these towns and the people I traveled with, but no, it's time for me to pass the buck.”

Two of the participants who joined this year’s tour were Leadership Class 30 members Chantal Guadarrama and Gretchen Milliken. Both report learning some innovative ways to look at affordable housing and childcare.

Guadarrama says in the towns they visited childcare is treated like any other basic need like water and sewer. The cities create a line-item in the budget to ensure some affordable childcare is possible.

“Childcare became an infrastructure within their organization,” Guadarrama said. “So, they took it as a priority. They made sure that their staff had access to child care so they took in their town as a priority for child care.”

On affordable housing, Milliken says they heard about Durango’s decision to purchase an old, dilapidated motel and find a development partner to renovate the space.

“They started a public private partnership,” she said. “And they are now currently renovating this motel into one and two-bedroom units that are very small. But because the land that came with the motel had enough space on it, they're going to be building some two-and three-bedroom units on the property as well. And that comes with a whole bunch of very creative financing and with the city being sort of a throughway for financing.”

Former Park City Mayor Brad Olch and founder of Park City Lodging Rhonda Sideris both attended the first and final city tours with Rademan. They were on the first tour that visited Aspen in 1987. They say they wanted to book-end the experience by joining again this year. Sideris is a member of Leadership Class one.

The last time City Tour traveled to Durango was back in 2001. The last time a group from Park City toured Telluride was 2007.