TIMES OPINION

An organization formed to market the Gunnison Valley to prospective visitors is involved in much more than putting heads in beds as of late.

In recent years, the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association (TA) hasn’t backed down from new and different directions from its overseers — the board of the Local Marketing District (LMD), comprised of County Commissioners wearing a different hat.

That’s included doling out economic development grants and funding projects to mitigate negative impacts associated with increasing recreational use. More recently, the TA has agreed to pay gear-review company Blister, now based in Mt. Crested Butte, $600,000 over two years — money company owner Jonathan Ellsworth says will be used to hire employees. The TA also has offered to administer the business-development ICELab Accelerator program.

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