Elected officials and other community leaders from throughout Blaine County traveled to Teton County in eastern Idaho earlier this month to share ideas and discuss common issues with leaders from other resort cities in the Gem State.
Among the nearly 30 people who joined the fourth annual Resort Cities Coalition “city tour” were Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw, Ketchum City Councilwoman Courtney Hamilton, Sun Valley City Administrator Jim Keating, Hailey City Councilman Juan Martinez, Blaine County Commission Chair Muffy Davis and Carey Mayor Sara Mecham. Others who participated in the tour from April 12-14 included Sun Valley Economic Development Executive Director Harry Griffith, Wood River Land Trust Executive Director Scott Boettger, Sun Valley Resort and Blaine County housing officials, and representatives of Valley County and the city of McCall.
The Resort Cities Coalition comprises a group of Idaho resort cities with numerous common interests. The tour—organized primarily by retired Idaho legislator Wendy Jaquet of Blaine County—included numerous organized visits and discussions in Teton County and the small cities of Victor and Driggs, which face some of the same challenges as the resort areas of Blaine County and Valley County.
The tour was intended to learn more about Teton County governance, growth management, housing, tourism, recreation, transportation, business, arts and education. One panel discussion addressed increases in mental-health challenges for governments and another contemplated possible solutions for providing workforce housing in a tourism economy.
Officials met with Teton County Commission Chair Cindy Riegel, Driggs Mayor August Christensen, Victor Mayor Will Frohlich and numerous other planning, transportation, administrative and elected officials from Teton County, which is linked closely to the mountain resort of Jackson, Wyoming. Some representatives of Jackson also participated in panels.
In addition to issues such as workforce housing, growth and mental health, panels discussed issues such as economics, recreation, the environment and the role of nonprofit organizations. Tour participants also visited Grand Targhee Resort near Driggs and the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls.
Jaquet said one of her overall impressions was that public and pseudo-public entities in Teton County appear to collaborate better than in Blaine County and “we need to get better at it.”
Bradshaw said the trip strengthened Blaine County’s relationships with other resort cities.
“We continue to learn from other communities on issues from housing to tourism to growth,” he said. “Not only do these tours enhance our mutual understanding of the challenges we face, they help us formulate good policy for our respective jurisdictions. As the Idaho Resort Cities Coalition continues to blossom, it has helped bolster our collective voice within the state Legislature.” ￼
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Sound like a tax payer paid vacation. More political baloney. Having Neil Bradshaw involved in problem solving is ludicrous, people like him are the problem.
Welcome to the discussion.