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The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce will launch its #ShopBVFirst campaign the week of Thanksgiving, promoting local businesses in an effort to get shoppers to spend their money locally this holiday season.

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A groundbreaking ceremony at the Railyard development on Sept. 21 marked the first stage of the project’s vertical construction beginning with six residential structures.

Legacy Bank broke ground Oct. 7 on its planned 3,100 square-foot facility at 430 East Main Street, at the corner of East Main and Court Street, planning for an opening soon after Memorial Day next year.

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Sales tax returns are in for July, the highest-earning month of the year in Buena Vista, with receipts rising 8.85% over the same month in 2019.

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When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March this year, quickly leading to numerous cancellations of events and state mandates aimed at slowing the spread of the viral respiratory illness, staff and trustees in the town of Buena Vista were concerned about the effect Stay at Home would have on a tourism economy based on getting outside.

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Last week, the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce board of directors announced that events coordinator Melissa Traynham would be stepping up as the chamber’s executive director.

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Sales tax returns for June were up by 8.52% over that month last year, according to the latest report from town treasurer Michelle Stoke.

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The Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center’s Buena Vista clinic’s expansion will include a decontamination room for patients with infectious illnesses like COVID-19, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Department of Regulatory Affairs.

Spurred on by interest rates that have dipped below 3 percent – historically low rates – Chaffee County mortgage lenders say they’re seeing business as much as double compared to 2019.

Gov. Jared Polis officially extended an executive order requiring bars and restaurants to stop serving alcohol at a certain time Friday, but extended that time from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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Melissa Traynham has been promoted from events coordinator at the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce to the chamber’s executive director, the chamber’s board of directors announced in a press release Monday.

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Permits for building, mechanical, electrical or plumbing work issued in the county in the first half of 2020 are down from last year by 16.44 percent, according to a report from a July meeting of the Chaffee County Board of Commissioners.

Bret Picciolo with Charter Spectrum Communications, said that a third party working in the Buena Vista area cut a Charter Spectrum fiber cable shortly before noon Monday, causing the loss of internet and phone service in the Buena Vista area.

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“It’s a 2-year phased process, and for us actually its our third go at this one,” said Chip White, the vice-president of CCT. Fiber will reach the town by “going down the county road to going down the Sangre de Cristo Electric easement all the way from Buena Vista to an infrastructure starting point at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, then we go from that point all the way over their utility poles all the way into St. Elmo.”

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Valley-Wide Health Systems is set to open its integrated primary care clinic on U.S. 24 Monday, Aug. 3.

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"Would you rather work from downtown Denver, or would you rather work from downtown Buena Vista? Or anywhere in the area here?"

For Bill Lockett at Collegiate Peaks Realty in BV, that’s a rhetorical question. But it’s a question that many of his clients have been seriously asking themselves after COVID-19 moved many professionals out of the office and into the world of working remotely.

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The Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission voted unanimously to raise fees on river outfitter licenses at its meeting last week.

CPW boating safety manager Grant Brown said the fees have never been increased before and have been the same since 1995.

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"Would you rather work from downtown Denver, or would you rather work from downtown Buena Vista? Or anywhere in the area here?"

For Bill Lockett at Collegiate Peaks Realty in BV, that’s a rhetorical question. But it’s a question that many of his clients have been seriously asking themselves after COVID-19 moved many professionals out of the office and into the world of working remotely.

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The Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission voted unanimously to raise fees on river outfitter licenses at its meeting last week.

CPW boating safety manager Grant Brown said the fees have never been increased before and have been the same since 1995.

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The Chaffee County Visitors Bureau is offering a $10,000 matching grant for donations toward the purchase of branded bandanas to give to visitors as face coverings and to educate visitors about safe practices in Chaffee County.

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At its virtual meeting July 15, the Buena Vista Planning and Zoning commission will hold a public hearing on the major site plan for South Court Social, a proposed 3-story mixed-use development at Court and East Main streets.

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Chaffee County commissioners unanimously approved the final resolution amending the fee scheduled for vacation rentals by owners and short-term rentals during their meeting Tuesday.

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Q How would you describe what your business is/does?

A An experienced medical practice with a wide scope of caring for both acute and chronic problems. Also, I have a high priority for preventive medicine.

As Leadville and Lake County transition to allow freer access to businesses and spaces, city and county officials are working with the community to try to clarify the process and act as advocates for local business owners.

In an economic recovery meeting last Thursday, a mix of public officials, business owners and non-profit employees met remotely to discuss plans moving forward and what collaboration between public and private entities looks like in this new phase.

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Chaffee County’s bars can remain open for in-person service despite Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order closing bars to in-person service across the state after only a little more than a week of being allowed to open under strict guidelines.

In a Tuesday press conference, Governor Polis announced the closures.

Under Chaffee County’s variance, bars are currently allowed to remain open provided they can follow the same requirements as restaurants said Chaffee County Public Health Director and incident command for COVID-19 Andrea Carlstrom.

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As Chaffee County and the rest of the country begin to open up after months of shutting down to slow the spread of COVID-19, Buena Vista businesses are beginning to see a welcome rebound.

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The Buena Vista board of trustees have been concerned about what the economy in a town with a business community built around outdoor recreation would look like during a period of Stay at Home mandates.

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Following an amended county public health order, bars and other venues were allowed to reopen starting Monday, the latest development in Chaffee County’s cautious climb back from months of lockdowns to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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Chaffee County unemployment assistance applications have steadily declined going from late March to May, according to charts from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently released a report detailing Paycheck Protection Program loan approvals through June 6.

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Sangre de Cristo Electric Association announces incumbent Suzy Kelly has been re-elected to the electric cooperative’s board of directors, to a three-year term to the seat representing members in rural Lake and Chaffee Counties. Kelly has served on the board since 1990. Jo Reese challenged Kelly in the election. Kelly won the election in a 923 to 294 vote.

Kelly’s board tenure has included a term as president

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In the early months of 2020, before the COVID-19 was re-classified as a world pandemic and widespread quarantine measures began to be put into place, sales tax receipts continued the upward trend seen in Buena Vista throughout 2018 and 2019, with a particularly massive spike in February.

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As Chaffee County rolls into the first month of summer, the county public health department is continuing to move toward a full reopening with the announcement Monday that short term rentals would be able to begin taking guests again on June 1.

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LaGree’s Food Store is looking toward a probable opening in the second week of June of its location on U.S. 24 in Buena Vista, said co-owner Megan LaGree.

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A variance from the state of Colorado was granted and Chaffee County allowed restaurants to open for dine-in business last weekend.

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Gov. Polis today discussed the new state guidelines around in-person dining at restaurants, day camps and private campgrounds, as well as the decision-making process around implementing or loosening restrictions.

Beginning May 27, 2020, restaurants are allowed to re-open for in-person dining at 50% capacity. The restaurant industry has a significant impact on Colorado’s economy, employing almost 300,000 Coloradans, or 10% of the state workforce.

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The Chaffee County Community Foundation has opened the application process for organizations interested in applying to Sangre de Cristo Electric Association’s Community Grants program. The $32,350 will be awarded to organizations serving residents living in Chaffee, Custer, Lake and Fremont …

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Lake County government is bracing for immediate and long-term impacts as the Climax mine begins to reduce its production and workforce.

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The Collegiate Peaks Forum Series is bringing back Dr. Scott Tinker with his new documentary, “Switch On.” In January 2013, Dr. Tinker screened and discussed his first documentary, “Switch.”

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The Power of WE (Women Entrepreneurs) focuses on the critical “Dream Focused” aspect of being an innovative and effective entrepreneur/small business.  

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Last Friday, the Chaffee County Board of Commissioners approved a request for a variance to the State of Colorado’s Safer at Home public order on COVID-19 business closures, which, if approved by the state, would allow the county to pursue its own gradual reopening schedule.

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Last weekend, the first phase of Chaffee County’s reopening process went into effect following 6 weeks of Stay at Home measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Business owners in several industries resumed work after more than a month of being unable to do so.

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Chaffee County Public Health is partnering with local healthcare providers to pilot an innovative contact tracing protocol as the county begins reopening.

Participating local healthcare providers will begin the contact tracing process each time they perform a COVID-19 test by collecting a list of the close contacts of the patient. They will then pass that information to public health staff if the test comes back positive.

Eclipse Real Estate and Property Management has expanded into Chaffee County and added real estate and property management experts Jacy and Thomas Doumas to the Eclipse team. As of April 1, Jacy and Thomas are operating the Chaffee County offices.

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KW Construction & Restoration delivered an assortment of canned food, fresh meat and hand sanitizer to the Arkansas Valley Christian Mission Friday, as well as to St. George Episcopal Church in Leadville.

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About a month and a half after most businesses in Chaffee County were ordered to close or reduce the size of their workforce in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Chaffee County Public Health announced Friday that businesses would be allowed to reopen in May through a phased-in process.

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Across the country, hospital emergency departments have seen fluctuations in numbers and kinds of patients as COVID-19 unfolds.

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Before local businesses can reopen under Chaffee County guidelines, they must first receive a Safe Business Certificate, which can only be obtained by filling out the Chaffee County Safe Business Checklist.

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Chaffee County Commissioner Greg Felt said Friday during a town hall on Facebook Live and Zoom that we need “to open the can to restore some economic vitality to our communities and give our small businesses a chance to weather the storm,” to the extent that it can be done safely.

Felt said there are many reasons to be concerned about public health and safety of our more vulnerable populations and the desire to remain within a comfort zone as we move into the new safer-at-home policy, but people here are going out of business by the day.

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The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced in a press release Thursday afternoon that there had been a 1-day delay in paying benefit payments for those people who requested payment on their claims on April 19.

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Within the last month, Chaffee County Community Foundation has raised $280,000 and distributed more than $41,000 for financial assistance through its Emergency Response Fund (ERF).

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For a community that bases much of its economy on being a destination for outdoor adventure seekers and holds many businesses that operate during the summer months and hibernate through the slower winter, stay at home orders can feel like an existential threat.

Rafting outfitters on the Arkansas River are moving forward under the expectation that the valley will have a season, albeit a potentially quieter one.

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Zac Rogers, an assistant professor of operations and supply chain management in CSU’s College of Business, has spent a lot of time thinking about what it takes to get things from Point A to Point B.

Now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic as people stock up on the essentials to avoid repeated trips to the grocery store, many are stuck looking at near-empty shelves and wondering: Why it’s so hard to buy toilet paper?

Monarch Mountain recently provided much needed assistance to Columbine Manor Care Center which has been coping with an outbreak of COVID-19.