November 13, 2008

Destination Bailey unveiled
Tom Locke, Flume Editor

A presentation of possibilities for the enhancement of Bailey struck a chord of enthusiasm at the Platte Canyon Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Nov. 11.

A joint PowerPoint presentation by Susan Lambert and Mary Sasser, chamber board members who are on the Destination Bailey Committee, stressed a number of ideas to make Bailey more attractive and to bring more year-round business to the area.

The Destination Bailey Committee is a chamber-sponsored group of people who want to make Bailey a planned stop for visitors. The presentation helped introduce the group to the wider chamber.

"We wanted to open it up to the businesses in Bailey to put forth their ideas and get involved with the [Destination Bailey] Committee," said Lambert, the chair of the Destination Bailey Committee.

In the short term, objectives that she thinks can be accomplished by the end of next year include:

"CDOT's been great. The county's been great," said Lambert.

Indeed, for safety reasons and at the request of Destination Bailey, CDOT has already taken action to change the speed limit signs on U.S. 285 as traffic approaches the Coney Island hot dog stand, so that there is a more gradual change from 40 mph to 45 mph, to 50 mph.

"Finding out that CDOT is so eager to work with the community" has been a plus for the Destination Bailey Committee, according to Sasser. "All you have to do is ask. It is phenomenal."

Signage from CDOT for "food, gas, lodging, historic site," as well as U.S. 285 improvements, such as turn lanes, and landscaping improvements to the downtown median on U.S. 285, were all possibilities mentioned in the PowerPoint presentation.

There are three main areas that were addressed in the presentation, Lambert said. One was expanding outdoor activities to extend the busy season beyond April through October, she said.

The ideas under that heading include a river walk through downtown, a walking path from Platte Canyon High School to the Coney Island hot dog stand, reopening Geneva Basin, which was a ski area near Guanella Pass, and horseback riding.

In Morrison, an eight-foot-wide concrete walkway has led to "huge increases in revenue" fora area businesses, as the town has been identified as a good place to spend time and money, Lambert said.

"It took Morrison about seven years to get theirs done," she said.

In Bailey, a river walk would ideally stretch from the Coney Island to the Farmers Union. That would involve about 30 parcels of land, 10 of which are owned by the Denver Water Board and 20 of which are privately owned, she said.

The second major point in the presentation was attracting new businesses. Among those mentioned in the presentation were a microbrew, a bank, and an art and craft gallery.

The third major point was improving business infrastructure, specifically getting high-speed Internet access.

"I think it has some exciting, doable possibilities for enhancing Bailey, " said chamber member Steph Millard. The 30 or so members who were at the breakfast "seemed quite receptive," he said.

He was impressed that the committee has developed a mission statement and a vision statement and short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals, with the idea of benefiting businesses and beautifying the area.

A central idea is to get people driving through Bailey to stop and enjoy themselves.

Sasser stressed that "baby steps" are important, and that includes the recent effort to clean up the downtown area.

"I got the best feedback [about the presentation]," she said. "For one thing, they're glad that there's been achievable goals already met."

"It's so exciting, all the possibilities. It truly, truly is. It's within reach."

Incorporation

Making Bailey an incorporated town is listed in the PowerPoint among the "medium-term projects." Sasser said that if the town is incorporated it would be easier to get grants and it would also enable the community to raise money through sales taxes, much of which would be paid by non-Bailey residents.

According to the PowerPoint presentation, the county recommends incorporation for Bailey.

Other announcements

Among the other announcements made at the meeting were:

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