CRESTED BUTTE, Colo., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In an attempt to ensure that a region dependent on tourism doesn't inadvertently kill the goose that laid the golden egg, a group of citizens in the Gunnison-Mt. Crested Butte area of Colorado have joined together to initiate an economic study that will determine the potential impact of a large-scale molybdenum mine on its existing "amenity-based" outdoor recreation and arts economy.
The study is in reaction to US Energy Corporation's interest in establishing a molybdenum mine on Mt. Emmons, the stately peak that dominates the western skyline above this historic mining town at 9,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains.
As popular in summer as it is in winter, Crested Butte is a mecca for outdoor recreation. Fishing, hiking, hunting, skiing, river rafting and mountain biking are enjoyed along with music and arts festivals in what has been officially dubbed "The Wildflower Capital of Colorado." But can this amenity-based way of life continue to thrive in the shadow of an encroaching industrial estate?
While new economic activity and jobs are highly desired, what impact will a mine have on the existing economy? Will the character of the area be significantly altered to the point of discouraging tourism?
To drill down on these questions, a three-part economic study is being conducted by the Denver-based Center for Applied Research. The first phase, completed in 2010, estimated that more than 65 percent of the basic jobs in the area are attributable to amenity resources.
The project's second phase, a survey to begin shortly, will target a cross section of the population from full- and part-time residents to businesses and tourists.
"What's unique in this study is our comprehensive approach in determining an economic baseline," says Robby Robinson founder of the Center for Applied Research. "We're looking at what a potential mine would do to people's economic behavior and how that might change after the onset of a mine. Believe it or not, it's often this big, unbiased view that gets missed in traditional impact analysis."
Media Contact: Andrew Flack, 303-960-3773, [email protected]
SOURCE Center for Applied Research