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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