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Old 03-12-2011, 09:03 PM
 
20,307 posts, read 37,790,850 times
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Concerts might work, everyone will need to bring their own RV or tents, byob and eats, an MMJ doc to write MMJ Rx and have some MMJ sellers on hand. Probably have to start with small acts, work up to bigger acts over time. Who knows....
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,011 times
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Hmmm, yeah, the MMJ and byob piece just wouldn't fly around here. It's a fragile balancing act, to respect an established local culture while also trying to shift things a bit in a new direction. This area is a different breed of cat altogether, and will need to take a different route than more liberal, hip places like Crestone or Salida or so many of the mountain towns. Anyone who is called to live here, needs to come with a big truckload of patience and respect for the way things have been, and are, even as we begin to introduce new glimmers of how things can be. Not sayin' it's easy. A long, slow dance. But like you say, who knows, as more and more people flee the metro/Front Range/suburban areas in search of a quieter, slower existence?
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Houston area, for now
948 posts, read 1,202,022 times
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You may want to see if you can interest Michael Martin Murphey's Westfest to host. It is a big attraction but last I heard they were having a hard time finding a place that they could be year after year. They used to do it at Copper Mountain then when that passed they tried Vail (that went over like a loud fart in church). After that they tried Granby, then last year they were in Grand Junction. GJ has since cut funding to the fair and that poses a new problem.
Here is the link to there site. Michael Martin Murphey's WESTFEST® :: A Western Cowboy Celebration
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,250,313 times
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How about renaming the town after Richard Branson and have him bankroll your expansion efforts? That name change would cost you nothing.

Too bad you have such an abstemious culture there as I was going to suggest putting in a biker bar. Another idea would be to offer free living space to artists who would then display and sell their works in a town gallery. Since your town used to have 1,000 people I'm assuming there are few structures sitting empty out there?

Last edited by CAVA1990; 03-13-2011 at 08:05 AM..
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,011 times
Reputation: 439
@dewmik, what a jewel of an idea. This would also be a big boost to Trinidad (already somewhat known for their annual Trinidaddio Blues Fest), since they have the lodging, restaurants, etc. And I think I recall a shop there hosting MMM for a visit a while back, and it drew a good crowd. Thanks!

@CAVA1990, we actually have lots of bikers (Harleys and dirt bikes) coming through town because we are on the TransAmerica Trail. Often they're about to run out of gas, and we have a few people here who sell out of their personal tanks, since the gas station is about 50 miles away.We worked with one Vets group of bikers and they stopped here for their Poker Run, which raised $$$ for the annual trip to the D.C. Wall. But alas, we could only offer ice cream, pop, water and candy. Bikers adore the scenery out here!

We do have a bit of empty housing, nothing spectacular, but affordable. Much of it is owned by the School District, gathered up over the years to provide housing to teachers and families who have kids attending the school. But, with their numbers dropping, we've got some empty places, to be sure. There are possibilities there for rent or perhaps purchase.

The bottom line always remains the same: We need to recruit some new residents who are contributors and forward-thinking and don't need to be 10 minutes away from a Wal-Mart or McDonald's. If someone wanted to come and help us with our community garden this summer, I bet we could work out something housing-wise. And, as we speak, the School District is looking for a new superintendent and also a registrar. Rare indeed for there to be two "real" jobs available here.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,250,313 times
Reputation: 6815
So how would you describe the culture of your town now? Are folks there mainly right wing homeschoolers, survivalists, ex-hippies, independent minded ranchers or what? It would help for people considering it to know what they'll find when they get there.
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,011 times
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Great question. I would say the overriding culture is hard-working ranchers and salt-of-the-earth regular rural folks. Most have deep roots here, except for a few transplants. Currently we've got Catholics, mainstream Christians, at least one Atheist, some Seventh-Day Adventists (lapsed and active), a lapsed Jew/Spiritualist, some conscious seekers, and who knows what else.

Some people are here because their ancestors were homesteaders, and they never left. A few grew up here, went to larger places, and then returned. Some were born here and will die here.

As I have been told and have now experienced for myself, the code in a very very very small town is that you don't necessarily have to be close friends with your neighbors, although you can count on them to be there when you need assistance. Admittedly, there is an air of polite reservation among some: these aren't your overly ambitious, driven, Starbuckian, Type A people you might find along the Front Range or other places.

I worked as an elections judge and we had both Democrats and Republicans voting(sometimes even from the same family). I'm not aware of anybody who would fall into the survivalist category -- unless they're hiding out on a ranch somewhere. Nobody scary, really, although folks take seriously the safety of their families, their land, and their animals.

A strong coalition of ranchers, environmentalists, and others have taken on the US Army with well-organized and effective grassroots opposition to the Army's escalating land-grab effort. (Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition).

Our school is a significant part of the community, though it's riding out some challenging times right now. We've got one homeschooling family now, but they are not motivated by separatist or extreme views.

We elected a new mayor last spring, which reflected a slight cultural shift and has opened up things a bit. Our forward-thinking group comprises about five households, which include an elder artsy couple with longtime roots here, two young families with a total of 7 kids, an empty-nester couple whose children graduated from the local school, and a liberal, go-getter single woman who ended up here via some aspect of divine intervention.

We're the ones who want to get the community garden going, who do most of the recycling in town, who want to explore wind and solar power options, who enjoy the idea of change, who have organized potlucks and special events (and brought some healthier food choices), and who get out of town enough to recharge our batteries in the larger world.

I've seen a few people come and go, mainly because they disrespected private property or were a bit pathological. If you burn too many bridges around here, you won't last. If you hang back and are a bit reclusive, that's okay. There's a sense of live and let live and it's not easy to keep too many secrets, since one of the most significant forms of entertainment here is old-fashioned, garden-variety g-o-s-s-i-p.

I have had the good fortune to engage in a labor of love here in a way that never would have been possible in a larger place due to restrictions around money, codes, regulations, or other obstructions. And I've benefitted from lots of good "neighboring."

Thanks for letting me soapbox a bit! Truly, individuals or families who would be the "right fit" here are those who are honest, resourceful, friendly, respectful, can bring some income with them, aren't too terribly thin-skinned, and arrive ready to pitch in. Come and visit. We'd love to show you around!
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,250,313 times
Reputation: 6815
I think it was a really good idea for you to post on here and I would encourage you to keep doing it, particularly when someone from somewhere else sounds like they might make a good prospect for your town.

Just a couple more questions: Do you have decent broadband and what's your water situation?
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,011 times
Reputation: 439
@CAVA1990,

Thanks for the encouragement; I was glad to stumble upon this site, though I don't remember exactly how that came about.

We are officially in the "Digital Divide" and I keep hearing mutterings about getting stimulus money so the entire town can go wireless, but nothing concrete yet.

In the meantime, the only way to get reliable Internet is via satellite (or perhaps via dialup, but I don't know anyone who is doing that). A number of us rely on WildBlue, either directly or through a telecommunications company over the line in New Mexico. I've been totally pleased with the bottom tier WildBlue offering and the tech support offered -- except for the time I exceeded the Fair Use Policy by watching streaming news of the Chilean miner rescue for hours and hours, and got my hands slapped royally with a massive download slowdown that brought me to my knees. I think some others use Hughes. For a time I didn't have Internet at home, so I would go to the computer room over at the school and was welcome to use their computers and printer, too.

Cell phone service is improving with installation of a new cell tower just 10 miles away. Verizon offers the best service; my T-Mobile requires me to drive a couple of miles out of town for service so I rely on my landline when I'm in town, and cell on the road. LOL; it's still surprising to be in town and hear a cell phone ring. Some cell users say they can get a signal, but it wipes out their battery in short order.

In other utility news, we rely on a rural electric co-op, read our own meters, and feel good knowing we are part owners in the system. Heating is either wood or propane primarily. Landline phone service is through CenturyTel, which just bought out or merged with Qwest.

Branson has its own town water system, using springs that were acquired by the town many years ago. The water does get treated, so some of us use some type of home filtering. The water tastes better than what I've had in other locales, though it is "hard." I've been told that sometimes in the summer, if a lot of people are watering a lot outdoors, residents will be asked to curtail their water use. Other times of the year, though, the Water Commissioner has noted that the flow of water was far more than the town needed. The town worked with the state and the US Dept of Agriculture (if I'm not mistaken), to upgrade the system, and has a hefty loan to pay off.

Ranchers in the surrounding area often have to haul their water in. This region has been drought-stricken for a long time, so you're not going to see but a scant few Kentucky Bluegrass lawns. Moisture around here is a celebrated occasion, and heck, mud is just part of the picture because only a few of our streets are paved. The main highway that gets you to Branson is paved, however, and the surrounding views plus the pronghorn (antelope), coyote, deer, birds of prey, and the grass-grazing cattle are always a joy to see.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,250,313 times
Reputation: 6815
Quote:
Originally Posted by bovinedivine
;18265205Ranchers in the surrounding area often have to haul their water in. This region has been drought-stricken for a long time, so you're not going to see but a scant few Kentucky Bluegrass lawns. Moisture around here is a celebrated occasion, and heck, mud is just part of the picture because only a few of our streets are paved. The main highway that gets you to Branson is paved, however, and the surrounding views plus the pronghorn (antelope), coyote, deer, birds of prey, and the grass-grazing cattle are always a joy to see.
Do you know by chance who owned the land the town is on in the 1870s-90s? My 4x great uncle owned a bunch of ranchland around there so am curious if your town might be on what was his spread. Was it formerly part of the Maxwell or St. Vrain grants?
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