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Supports Yes For Sale Of Lot 4 Vote No For Open Space

To The Editor

I write this letter as an Estes Park home owner and business owner. I moved here in 2006 to purchase The Spruce House on West Elkhorn Avenue. In 2010, when the national economic downturn dramatically impacted tourism traffic and sales, I was faced with a choice. I could either reduce expenses or try to increase revenue. An optimist who then as now believes in the future of my adopted town, I chose the latter. I opened a second shop on the east end of the downtown shopping district. Later, for much the same reason, I was fortunate enough to be able to open two more.

Now, less than four years later, following the fires of 2012 and the disastrous flooding of 2013, I find myself using every means available to maintain jobs for my year round employees and to cover the cost of operating while preparing for a season ahead that is very uncertain. And I am not alone. As a member of the Estes Park business community I can assure you that we are working together collaboratively to provide the vital help our businesses need in order to sustain the tax base that supports the entire community. We are pursuing state and federal grants and taking on additional debt to provide income for our own families and for employees families who work and live here in Estes Park.

As has been reported more than once, Estes Park is losing market share to other Colorado destinations. You may be tempted to think that visitors to RMNP alone can economically sustain our town. If so, you are betting the livelihood of those of us who are serving you and your community. From a business point of view, reliance on the status quo simply will not do. In order to prosper individually and collectively we must be willing to embrace new ideas and new ways of doing things. We must challenge our competitors by offering our guests new products and new experiences—things that are not being offered by other travel destinations.

Most people arrive in this community as residents having succeeded in careers somewhere else. And I believe you understand what I mean when I say that if we are not growing we are dying. As citizens we must, therefore, be willing to support those who invest in the financial success of local businesses and support the opportunities and challenges that come with economic development.

One such opportunity is currently before us. The EPMC/Anschutz Wellness Center offers an opportunity for growth for all our local businesses. At the same time it offers fiscal stability and growth for our hospital. It is a win-win situation for businesses and residents alike.

Others, of course, are free to disagree. But I ask my fellow voters to recognize and reject the tactics being used to make you suspicious and fearful of the future. On April 1 you have a clear choice between voting for how it has always been or of voting, in the best interest of our entire community, for what can be. Vote Yes for the sale of lot 4. Vote No for lot 4 to become open space that cannot be enjoyed for any practical use.

Diane Muno

Home owner & Business owner: The Spruce House, The Christmas Shoppe, The White Orchid, The White Orchid Bridal


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