Routt County Economic Summit will talk banking, green business practices and more |

Routt County Economic Summit will talk banking, green business practices and more

John Bristol, executive director of the Routt County Economic Development Partnership, said this year's Routt County Economic Summit will address a number of timely issues.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

For the past 29 years, the Routt County Economic Summit has provided a platform where community members can listen to industry leaders, learn about trends and strategies, and bring focus to the opportunities and issues facing the local and regional economies.

“This event has a long legacy,” said John Bristol, executive director of the Routt County Economic Development Partnership. “It is a premier event for civic, private business and any community leaders to come together and really look at and learn about the economy and what’s happening and the direction we’re going. It is just a really good space to do that.”

Bristol said this year’s summit, which will begin at 8 a.m. May 12 at Colorado Mountain College, will focus on issues that are relevant to community leaders and businesses from Craig to Clark and Steamboat to South Routt. Bristol said this year’s event will have several highlights including panels addressing green business, banking and lending, and a legislative update from Jennifer Cassell, a partner with Bowditch and Cassell Public Affairs.

This year’s keynote speakers will be Katie Brown and Julie Germond from Steamboat Resort presenting, “Leading through Change: Lessons from Steamboat Resort.” The two will talk about Steamboat Resort’s leadership through changes as the ski area executes a $220 million base area redevelopment and on-mountain improvement project.

The Routt County Economic Development Partnership and Steamboat Chamber, as well as Colorado Mountain College and many other sponsors, have partnered up to bring the Economic Summit back to town.

“We’re really fortunate to have CMC hosting it there again this year,” Bristol said. “The college has been and continues to be a really strong partner, and it’ll be a great event.”

The summit is slated to begin with registration, coffee and networking before opening remarks and an economic update from Greg Totten, an economist with the Colorado State Demography Office.

“The economic summit always brings timely information on what’s happening both locally, regionally and even nationally on the economy. Greg Totten is an economist at the state demographer’s office, and he’s going be joining us for an economic update,” Bristol said. “We always have great economists speak for usually about a half hour to 45 minutes on the data, and that kind of frames the day.”

Bristol said he is looking forward to a panel at 9:15 a.m. led by Paul Bony, energy and transportation director at the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, and Ashley Dean, collaborative initiatives manager with the sustainability council, to discuss green business and address how the Routt County Climate Action plan might change and challenge businesses in the area.

Adonna Allen from Alpine Bank is going to moderate a discussion along with Adam Wilson from Vectra Bank and Cole Hewitt from Yampa Valley Bank about what’s happening in the banking industry in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley and Signature banks.

“With everything that’s happened in the banking sector over the last month and a half, it’s going to be a really fascinating conversation — and localizing it here,” Bristol said. “It’s going be a conversation that a lot of folks will be excited to tune in to and hear what our local bankers are saying.”

Other breakouts will include Childcare Workforce Solutions led by Alexis Wolf, recreation manager for the city of Steamboat Springs, and Meaghan Franges, program leader at First Impressions.

Tickets are still available for the 2023 Routt County Economic Summit. Prices for Chamber members are $80 and $100 for non-members through May 4. On May 5, tickets will increase by $10 to $90 for members and $110 for non-members.

“It’s so fun for folks to have that space to have those conversations,” Bristol said. “I think that in the end, and I’ve seen this over my mind years here, is that this event consistently leads conversations. For the next several months, you go to meetings or you go to other things and people will reference the Economic Summit … I think it’s cool to provide that platform to help inform and influence.”

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