Kremmling Chamber director reluctantly resigns |

Kremmling Chamber director reluctantly resigns

On Thursday [July 17], I announced my resignation as the Executive Director of the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce. It was a decision that stunned some in the community, but shouldn't come as a surprise to others. I accepted the position in December of 2013 after weighing the pros and cons of a lean, part-time salary with no benefits against leaving my husband's business. We decided together for me to take the job because we are passionate about Kremmling and West Grand's future. My husband and I chose to settle in Kremmling in 2009. We were not placed here via a job transfer — we made a conscious decision to raise our family here because we liked the community and the schools. We opened a business on Park Avenue, and our two children are very active in the schools and sports programs. I viewed taking on the Chamber role as an opportunity to share what I have come to love about Kremmling with the Front Range and others throughout the Western region. Hosting events was an opportunity to help our community and our people shine. As our tagline implies, Kremmling is untapped and untamed. In my opinion, both economically and recreationally. It turns out the town is actually stifled by the small-mindedness of a loud minority. With 20 years experience as a marketer and event planner, I know what it takes to make money and host successful events. I pushed hard to expand the beer gardens for Kremmling Days and the Fourth of July events because events that allow participants to responsibly enjoy alcohol and socialize is a standard expectation of mountain festival-goers. That decision sparked a very heated debate in Kremmling, which led to me being bullied and harassed, receiving hate mail and having obnoxious, mysterious notes posted on the Visitor's Center door. It is asinine to me that three days out of 365 caused such an uproar. The fallout from my push for more mainstream events to bring visitors to our town (to consume food at restaurants, purchase things from our stores and stay in our hotels) has been nothing short of astounding. Every decision I made while being director was with the intention of helping Kremmling thrive; yet every decision has been met with obstinacy and inane criticism. It saddens me that there are so many people who are against progress and want to "keep (Kremmling) the way it was." A picture of Kremmling from the early 1900s is making its way around the West Grand Facebook community: Ah, if only West Grand never would have changed … an isolated community surrounded by dirt and scrub with quaint utilitarian buildings. I'm sure the family ranches could have sustained the community indefinitely. Obviously said tongue-in-cheek. The world and economy have changed in the last 110 years. Growth for Kremmling means the infusion of people from other places, with different backgrounds, knowledge, education and experience — as it always has. Most communities would see this as a tremendous asset. It has been made clear to me through the actions and words of a few that Kremmling does not. (One only has to read posts and comments on the "You Know You're Kremmling If…" group on Facebook to have it made very clear that people not born in Kremmling are not welcome here.) It saddens me to leave the position, but I also have come to realize the Chamber is facing a battle up a steep, slippery slope. I wish my Board the best — they have been supportive of my actions and decisions. It is my hope that someday our Chamber Director will experience an open-minded, less hostile environment that allows for fresh ideas and forward thinking.

Kremmling " Wolford Mountain ice fishing contest features $11,000 fish

A fish worth $11,000 ” That’s what some lucky angler is going to win during the 11th Annual Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Contest on Saturday, Feb. 16. Hundreds of ice fishermen and women are expected to be on the frozen surface of the Wolford Reservoir, six miles north of Kremmling on U.S. Highway 40, for this year’s contest. Topping the list of prizes to be won during the 2008 Wolford Mountain Reservoir Ice Fishing Contest is $11,000 for the contestant who lands a specially tagged fish. In addition to that spectacular prize, a cash purse of $5,000 will be divided among the anglers landing the top 10 largest fish. Hourly big fish prizes will be awarded, too. Fish will be judged by adding the length and girth together. Competitors can also enter to win a huge prize drawing with incredible giveaways, including hand-held fish sonars, underwater cameras, fishing rods and much more. Children ages 15 and under can compete free of charge in the contest’s Youth Division. They will be competing for gift certificates from Bass Warehouse, EagleClaw, Target, WalMart and local businesses. The Feb. 16 contest runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The awards ceremony will be held in Kremmling’s Town Square Park at 4:30 p.m. Registration is $35 per person. Children 15 and under are free unless they want to compete for the prize money and the $11,000 fish. Competitors can register online at, at the Fishin’ Hole or the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce office (113 Spruce St. Kremmling), or at the Judges Tent on the day of the contest starting at 6 a.m. For detailed information about the event call the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce at (970) 724-3472 or visit its Web site,

Granby cancels June 30 fireworks

The Granby Chamber of Commerce canceled its June 30 fireworks show that was to follow the rodeo at the Flying Heels Arena. “We have decided to cancel,” said Granby Chamber Executive Director Laurie Findley, on Tuesday, June 19. “We just don’t want to be the entity that starts a fire.” The decision was made among chamber board members and upon consultation with Granby Fire Chief Dave Boyes, as well as the Grand County Sheriff, the Town of Granby and Flying Heels representatives, Findley said. Because the chamber had not yet signed a contract with fireworks company Stonebraker Rocky Mountain Fireworks, there is no penalty to the chamber for cancelling, she said. The fireworks company was understanding of the decision, Findley added. Meanwhile, as of Tuesday, June 19, Fourth of July commercial fireworks shows are still on for the Fraser Valley Sports Complex in Fraser, over the lake in Grand Lake, and from the cliffs in Kremmling. Winter Park and Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce is working closely with East Grand Fire to ensure safety and is monitoring weather patterns daily, according to Executive Director Catherine Ross. “So far, they have not told us we have to cancel them,” Ross said of fire officials. “We are waiting for rain.” Grand Lake Fourth of July Fireworks will likely be shot from the center of the lake, farther out than in years past, according to fireworks officials. “We’re still going forward with ours, just taking extra precautions,” said Grand Lake Chamber Executive Director Lisa Jenkins. But that doesn’t mean the fireworks, scheduled for 10 p.m. on the night of the Fourth, couldn’t be cancelled between now and then, she said, depending on fire conditions and weather. Same goes in Kremmling, where the annual fireworks show is scheduled for around 9:30 p.m. following the Fourth of July Barbecue and live band. The fireworks are sent into the air from the cliffs. Kremmling Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shannon Clark said she too is consulting with fire and town officials, and plans could “change at any time.” Meanwhile, a countywide fire ban on personal fireworks has been in place since last week. As late as press time on Tuesday, professional- and commercial-type fireworks sponsored by a sanctioned agency are still allowed under state, county and town fire bans.

Chambers start search for new executives

KREMMLING/GRAND LAKE ­— The chambers of commerce in both Kremmling and Grand Lake are looking for new executive directors this month. Kremmling Chamber executive director Shannon Clark announced her resignation in a press release on Thursday, Nov. 7. She said her decision was a financial one, and she'll be taking a job with Grand County Social Services. Her last day is Friday, Nov. 15. "I really enjoyed working here, I learned a tremendous amount," Clark said. "I'm sad to go, but I'm excited for the next step." During her two years at the chamber, Clark worked to increase marketing for businesses and helped develop a user-friendly and appealing website that will help attract visitors to the area. She expects it to officially launch sometime in January. The Kremmling Chamber will be accepting applications for the executive director position until Nov. 21. Grand Lake's chamber executive director, Kacey Beres, resigned suddenly on Saturday, Nov. 8. She had held the position since March. "She was great with events like the Buffalo Barbeque," said Samantha Miller, the chamber's interim executive director. "We wish her the best in her future endeavors." The Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce will accept application for the executive director position until Nov. 27. Leia Larsen can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.

Task forces seek to help Kremmling thrive

KREMMLING – Townspeople have been busily organizing since the Kremmling Downtown Assessment, which took place in April of 2013. Already a new playground at town square, a new town motto, and pending new town signs should become one of many immediate responses to the assessment. A team of representatives from the Technical Assistance Program of Downtown Colorado, Inc., visited the Kremmling Community to suggest improvements the town could make to create more vibrancy in the downtown. The team proposed ways to enhance Kremmling while keeping the character of a small town. It also provided different strategies for a public-led improvement program. Kremmling Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Miller said he has a positive outlook for the community's direction right now. "It was a good turnout from the community." Miller replied of the downtown assessment meetings. Everyone is "wanting to see what's in store for the downtown area. We just need to keep the enthusiasm going and keep it on the forefront, otherwise we will lose touch of it." Kremmling Community members and the Chamber have been very receptive to this assessment, he said, and have come together — "a complete 180-degree turnaround." The chamber has since created committees, called "task forces." Within each task force there will be a member of the chamber, a town board member, and representatives from the community, who will fill remaining positions. Each task force has a duty to help revamp the town of Kremmling. The task forces include people who are specialized in areas of expertise, according to Miller. "They have more passion and more enthusiasm and hopefully (will) get things done a lot quicker," he said. There are six different task-force categories the chamber has put together; they include events, marketing, creative industries, economic development, design/beautification and volunteers. "The chamber is the umbrella," said Shannon Clark, chamber executive director, "but (the task forces) are for the community." Every day, residents of Kremmling work toward building their small town into a strong and thriving community. With the chamber and members of the community working hand-in-hand, Miller said, the public has faith now more than ever that Kremmling has what it takes to be a thriving, healthy community. Intern Kaitlyn Adams can be reached at

Fraser adopts budget, withdraws Chamber funding

The Fraser Town Council voted unanimously to adopt their 2017 annual budget Wednesday night. One major change in the budget was the Board's decision to no longer provide funding to the Winter Park & Fraser Chamber. This decision came after much discussion of whether Fraser was seeing any return in their investment from Chamber funding. Individuals and businesses can still fund the Chamber themselves; the only change is that the Town does not contribute any money from their budget. The Fraser board encouraged Fraser businesses to continue funding or join the Chamber. Since 2014, Fraser has funded the Chamber anywhere between $60,000 to around $80,000 each year. For 2017, this money is going to be used to expand Fraser's businesses and develop new businesses. According to their economic development plans, Fraser wants to develop their own business community with additions of more employee housing, restaurants, and shopping. Those in favor of withdrawing from the Chamber said they wanted to use the money that is normally spent on the Chamber to pursue other business development. The Town is looking into creating a business recruiter-type position strictly for the town of Fraser. While the details of the job are still in the early stages, most of the Board agreed it is the right move for Fraser. "I think we need to have someone in our town that is here to help develop Fraser and bring new businesses here," said board member Parnell Quinn. "I think the Chamber, in all, does a really good job. I think they are vital to the community and a good asset, but I don't think it's something we need to be funding when we have individual's who can fund it through their companies." Trustee Cody Clayton Taylor agreed: "We have been funding the Chamber for a long time and I would be interested to try something new to see the return on investment. I would like to see what Fraser could do with the same allocation of dollars specifically for Fraser. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work." Board members Andy Miller and Katie Soles stressed that they were not in favor of the decision. Miller stated that the towns of Winter Park and Fraser need each other, and it could hurt Fraser's reputation to withdraw funding. The Board held public discussion for the budget, but there were no public or Chamber representatives in attendance. The budget was adopted unanimously. Another notable change in Fraser's 2017 budget was the increase of the Town Board's salaries by about $20,000. The increase comes with the addition of two new paid committees: the Public Arts Committee and the Economic Development Advisory Committee.

Kremmling: Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Contest offers $11,000 cash prize

Some lucky fisherman is going to be $11,000 richer after he or she catches the tagged grand-prize fish during the 11th Annual Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Contest being held this Saturday, Feb. 16 at Kremmling.Hundreds of ice fishermen and women are expected to be competing in this years contest. The contest, which will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, is held on the Wolford Mountain Reservoir located six miles north of Kremmling on U.S. Highway 40. Topping the list of prizes to be won during the 2008 contest is $11,000 for the contestant who lands a specially tagged fish. A total of 10 tagged fish will be released into the reservoir. The angler who catches the tagged fish with the winning number on Saturday will take home the cash prize.When someone catches one of the 10 tagged fish, they must bring it to the Judges Tent where the number on the tag will be recorded as well as the length and girth of the fish, said Kacey Beres, the events coordinator for the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce. The person will learn at the awards ceremony whether their fish had the winning number.In addition to that spectacular $11,000 cash prize, this years Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Contest has a cash purse of $5,000, which will be divided among the anglers landing the top 10 largest fish. The winners are determined by the girth and length of the fish.But the prizes dont stop there. This Saturdays Wolford contest also has hourly prizes for the biggest fish.During the contest, well be giving away eight hourly big fish prizes, Beres said. The contestants just need to bring in their fish and have them measured. Weve got some great hourly prizes donated by the Fishin Hole in Kremmling such as an Aqua-Vu underwater camera from Nature Vision.In addition to prizes for catching the tagged fish and biggest fish during the contest, those registered also are entered into the raffle contest for dozens of great door prizes which will be drawn during the awards ceremony.The prizes include another Aqua-Vu underwater camera from Nature Vision and a couple of packed ice shelters, also from Nature Vision, Beres said. Our other door prizes include gift certificates from Power World in Granby, Murphys Food & Spirits in Silverthorne, OAces Liquor in Kremmling, Melody Lodge Cabins in Heeney, Shake & Burger in Kremmling, Kremmling Merchantile, the Moose Cafe and Big Shooter Coffee in Kremmling, and the Middle Park Meat Company. We also will be giving away a hand-held digital sonar from Strike Master, and a 16-piece place setting donated by American West Taxidermy in Kremmling.Children ages 15 and under will also have the chance to win great prizes in the Youth Division of the 2008 Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Contest. The kids will also be eligible for the eight hourly prizes that include gift certificates and products donated by the Fishin Hole in Kremmling, Beres said. And every child will get a goodie bag when they bring in a fish to be measured at the Judges Tent. The bags are sponsored by Target, Wal-Mart and Eagle Claw. Saturdays contest runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The awards ceremony will be held in Kremmlings Town Square Park at 4:30 p.m.There is no fishing or drilling of holes allowed on the reservoir until 7 a.m., Beres said. We will shoot a flare into the air from the Judges Tent at 7 a.m. to announce the start of the contest. The competitors have to wait until the flare goes off to start drilling their holes.For those competitors who want some hot food and drink during the contest, a concession stand will be located at the Judges Tent. It is being run by the Middle Park Fair & Rodeo Committee. It will be offering breakfast burritos and chili.Registration is $35 per person. Children 15 and under are free unless they want to compete for the prize money and the $11,000 fish.Competitors can register online at until Friday. Registration is also taking place at the Fishin Hole in Kremmling or the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce office (113 Spruce St. Kremmling). On the day of the contest, anglers can go directly to the Wolford Mountain Reservoir to register at the Judges Tent starting at 6 a.m. The Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Contest will a great day to take the whole family outside, have some fun and maybe win some great prizes, Beres said. The crowds are getting bigger and bigger every year. Its great for the towns economy and is our second biggest event of the year behind Kremmling Days.For detailed information about the event, call the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce at (970) 724-3472 or visit

Frisco’s Chamber of Commerce poised to go volunteer-only

Beginning in January, Frisco’s Chamber of Commerce will become a completely volunteer organization. The decision was made at the December board of director’s meeting after a re-evaluation of funds forced the board to eliminate the position of paid director. John Buchanan held the paid director position over the past year. In a letter to existing Chamber of Commerce members, the board stated its appreciation for Buchanan’s efforts during his tenure. It noted various board and chamber members will be assuming his responsibilities on a volunteer basis and asks for member’s increased help to meet any social and economic challenges it might face. For Frisco businesses, chamber membership will become free to all resident holders of a Frisco business license for the upcoming year. Previously, members typically paid from $50 to $300 for a yearly membership, depending on the number of employees the business had. Membership fees helped pay the director’s salary. In its letter, the board notes it cannot afford a paid director under the current paid membership program. Paul Connelly, one of the board’s vice presidents and owner of The Mountains USA, a vacation planning service in Frisco, sees the decision as a positive move for the Frisco business community. “We wanted to eliminate dues to increase representation and involvement (of Frisco businesses),” he said. “The main decision was made to be all inclusive as far as representation. As a business owner, I’m excited about it. At the end of the day, (the chamber) will be more able to respond to the business community as a whole instead of a select few.” Kim Parker, manager of What’s Needling U, a knitting and crocheting store located on Main Street, said her business is not currently a member of the Frisco Chamber due to the yearly membership fees. Instead, her store choose to become a member of the Summit Independent Business Alliance. “We had to make a choice as to what we were going to spend our money on,” she said. “We can’t afford to pay for both.” Parker said she’s pleased with the chamber’s new free membership program and will probably take advantage of its benefits. A Modest Budget In its letter, the chamber noted the budget will be small for the upcoming year. Telephone, website and mailing costs will be supported. Any funds remaining from last year will be used very carefully. To raise additional funds, participation in town events, mixers and requests for donations are being considered. ” Obviously, the funding of the chamber operations will require some financing,” Connelly said. “We have several options for the creation of that funding, one of which may be to call for voluntary contributions or small donations, but those will be much less than the previous membership dues structure and will not be compulsory. However, the exact plan will be the responsibility of the 2011 board to decide,” Connelly said. The chamber noted in its letter that it plans to continue concentrating on areas of concern to the Frisco business community. Supporting town businesses to improve and market their products and services will still be the chamber’s focus. Mixers, sponsored by chamber members, will continue to be scheduled to keep businesses acquainted with each other. Open forums to address business issues will also be held. January 11 is the first scheduled mixer of the new year.

Kremmling committee seeks more donations to fund fireworks show

KREMMLING – The Fire Up The Cliffs Fundraising Committee has raised $13,310 in donations and commitments for the Fourth of July fireworks show, according to Marty Pexton of the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce. The committee needs an additional $3,690 to meet its goal of $17,000 to produce a show similar in length and quality to past celebrations, Pexton said. The committee is affiliated with the Kremmling Chamber and its sole responsibility is to raise money for the Fourth of July fireworks show. In past years, the Kremmling Volunteer Fire Department raised funds, set up and staged the show. However, due to lack of manpower they no longer feel they can adequately provide emergency services and produce the fireworks show and BBQ at the same time. So, the entire Fourth of July event, a tradition special to the community, has been adopted by the chamber. Those who wish to donate may send a check made out to Kremmling Fireworks Fund to the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 471, Kremmling, CO 80459. Questions may be directed to the chamber, 724-3472, or to committee members Chris Murphy, 724-3424 or 389-3000, or Peg Toft, 724-3505.

Letter: Kremmling Chamber director didn’t understand community

To the Editor: When I read the opinion piece in the July 24 Sky-Hi News offered by Christine Mahorney, who is the outgoing Kremmling Chamber director, she said she moved to Kremmling because she liked the community and the schools. While any reasonable person condones respectful debate on delicate subjects and not bullying, harassment, or hate mail, just what about Kremmling made her believe the community was largely in favor of expanding beer gardens at public events? Most people don't give a rip what one does privately behind closed doors and are generally in favor of business establishments that are regulated to encourage safe behavior. But Ms. Mahorney said "she knows what it takes to make money and host successful events." While the SnowBall in Winter Park last year made money and was successful, the lesson learned was the Grand County community, as a whole, does not favor excessive public displays of alcohol or drugs. And after living here for several years she should know the west side of the county is more conservative than the east side and that most people don't live here to make money but to make enough money to live here. Why is it that liberals think "forward thinking" and "progress" need to involve public displays of alcohol or drug use, and those who object wanting a more conservative lifestyle are, as she said, "obstinate" and "inane?" Chambers should reflect the ideals and work with the community. This type of forced liberalism will certainly bring backlash. While her opinion piece struck out against the "small-mindedness of a loud minority," one has to wonder if she really had a handle on the ideals of the whole community. It appears she did not, and that is obstinate. Ken Anderson Hot Sulphur Springs