Scott Ford: The cornerstone of our community character |

Scott Ford: The cornerstone of our community character

Community character refers to the distinct identity of a place — the collective impression it makes on residents and visitors. People often choose the places they live and spend their leisure time based in part on their perceptions of community character.

What is Steamboat Springs’ character? Most folks find it difficult to explain which elements are essential. Put three people in a room and ask them to define Steamboat’s community character, and they will likely come up with three different answers. Rather than trying to define character it may be more useful to focus on what fosters it.    

Steamboat is unique because we have been able to provide opportunities for those who work here to also live here if they choose to do so. Of the approximately 9,600 people who work in Steamboat at year-round, full-time jobs, 43% also live in Steamboat, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

This is vastly different than our resort city/town peers in Colorado. In Telluride just 20% of those who work in Telluride also live there. For Breckenridge and Crested Butte, it drops to only 13% who live and work in town.

This ability to live in the community where you work results in Steamboat being highly interconnected. The dental hygienist you saw on Tuesday, you saw again on Friday night at the school play. You will likely see them again at the grocery store on Sunday. We share in each other’s daily lives because we live and work together. 

Being highly interconnected with one another is the cornerstone of Steamboat’s community character. Providing the opportunity for those who work in Steamboat to also live here and raise a family is essential to the unique character of Steamboat. The West Steamboat Neighborhoods annexation helps provide this opportunity. 

Vote “yes” to continue to foster and maintain our community character. Vote “yes” on Question No. 1 to annex.

Although I am a member of Steamboat Springs City Council, my opinions are my own and may not be those shared by my fellow council members.

Scott L. Ford

Steamboat Springs

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