In a couple of months, this year’s Park City Leadership Class, along with several other community members, will be heading to Crested Butte, Colorado. The area is long familiar to Leadership program founder Myles Rademan.
Before he came to Park City in the mid-1980’s, Rademan worked in Crested Butte for many years. In fact, it was there, in 1973, that he began the Road Tours—gathering together community members to see other Western towns with similar problems.
“All these mountain resorts communities in places that are special have been grappling with growth, in many cases explosive growth, as we are, and they all have different solutions," Rademan said. "Some of them are the same. Some have gone further than we have. In certain areas, some of them have lagged behind.”
Vail recently acquired the ski operation in Crested Butte, and Rademan said he’s traveling there this week, but he said he hasn’t heard bad news.
“I think it’s gone pretty well," Rademan continued. "I think they’ve been pleasantly surprised from the people I’ve talked to. It’s not the big bad boogeyman that they might have imagined. Crested Butte, like Park City, is a very independent-minded town, in some ways a little bit more independent-minded than Park City, even. Very jealous of their brand and who they are and what that community is, but I think they realize that Vail has been good for them so far.”
The Tour will also stop by Montrose, Colorado—a town that has seen a different kind of evolution.
“Montrose was the typical cow town," Rademan explained. "Again, I’ve known these places for the last 50 years, but over the last 20 years, it generally has become a retirement mecca, because it has access to the Crested Butte area, and to the Telluride area and also the Grand Junction area. It’s well situated. It’s got a warmer climate. Crested Butte is at 9,000 feet, we’re at 7,000 feet here. So, it’s significantly colder, it’s a harsher climate there. A lot of people have been retiring to—just like people here say they will go down to Moab or down to Southern Utah, well it’s the same thing in Montrose.”