Dear CB News Editor,
In the 20 years as a full time resident in Crested Butte and Mount Crested Butte community, I am surprised at the numerous community member’s response to the Brush Creek housing proposal. During my residency in the community, employee housing, and employee retention resulting from lack of housing has been a constant issue. The pushback I hear and read from some may need a better understanding and history to realize the positive results of the proposal.
Crested Butte is a seasonal sports town, and we can expect an increase in both winter and summer visitation. I have seen development happen on large scales in CB South and Pitchfork, which were developed as free market real estate. Not to mention single family homes in Skyland, Mt. CB, and apartments in Skyland and Buckhorn. With the recent VRBO market, many of the homes in those locations are not occupied by locals, but occupied by second homeowners, or VRBO renters, merely weeks of the seasons. Sadly, second homes on the VRBO market are not going to lessen, but continue to rise with VRBO popularity. VRBO is not going to go away. In addition to the VRBO market at this end of the valley, the Brush Creek housing proposal will relive the housing crunch in Gunnison and allow more employees to live closer to their work.
My interest is sincere and my experience is real in considering the positive impacts presented with this opportunity. So, I will start with this. I have been a hiring manager at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort from 2000-2006, and again from 2011-present. The positions I hire range from entry level, to managers. In both time frames, housing has been the number one deterrent for employees to accept job offers. I can’t speak for other employers, however I’m unable to imagine how this housing project could have anything but a positive impact on any other entity that has employees. I want to encourage fellow Buttians to support this project, and if you are unsure, go gather more data (www.thecorneratbrushcreek.com ) and offer your input on the proposal. Most of the non-supportive comments I have heard do not have all of the development plan information, nor a logical solution to the rental housing problem. In fact, we need to continue to look for and develop other projects throughout the valley, as the needs are far greater than even this one project is hoping to build. I hope to see you at the public comment meeting to the CB town counsel this Thursday, Oct. 5th.