May/June 2012

Danish swim team trains in Leadville

HB 1272 connects the jobless with training to work for a Colorado employer or start a business

By: Crisanta Duran

House Bill 1272 is simple: if you teach a man to fish, you’ll feed him for a lifetime.
This bill ensures that Coloradans receiving unemployment insurance are eligible to receive training from a Colorado employer or receive training to start their own business.
As Colorado’s economy recovers, it is crucial that elected officials offer creative solutions and put all options on the table to help put Coloradans back to work. In making the investment in our workforce, we can lower long-term unemployment and help out-of-work Coloradans get back on their feet.
We are desperately in need of a qualified workforce in the state of Colorado to meet the needs of Colorado business. You heard that right: in the time where we have record-high unemployment there are Colorado businesses that are in dire need of skilled workers. The only problem is that many of the unemployed don’t have the resources to participate in training programs and Colorado employers may lack the necessary funds to provide such training. This bill will directly connect job-seekers with necessary training to obtain a steady income and is a meaningful step to getting our economy back on track.


How to Handle Negative Online Reviews of Your Business

BY Mikal E. Belicove

As an entrepreneur or merchant, you should become a vigilant watchdog about what's being written or said about your brand or product online. Reviews show up in a number of places, including sites like Yelp, Angie's List, and TripAdvisor, as well as in comments or full-on posts on blogs and social media utilities.

These reviews offer word-of-mouth advertising, and consumers are not shy about participating -- offering both positive and negative opinions about your business. There can even be an impact on a company's bottom line: according to a study released last summer by Boston-based strategy and communication agency Cone, 80 percent of consumers said they changed their minds about purchases based on negative information they found online.

Business owners now need to resolve any issues to get their marketing back on track. Here are my tips for resolving negative user-generated press:

    Respond quickly. A quick response is always the best way to diffuse a poor review of your company or product. Don't wait around for more readers to jump on the bandwagon. Nip the issue in the bud.
    Personalize your response. Introduce yourself by name instead of referring to a faceless organization. Doing so adds a human touch.
    Check your ego at the door. Take gripes to heart and look for common threads. Leave the finger pointing and excuses to your competitors.

If people are saying good things about you online, you have the added task of maintaining the high expectation new customers will have of you. Train your staff to live up to and exceed those expectations.

Similarly, take note of what your customers -- or your potential customers -- are writing about your competitors. While it's true you need to focus on delivering on your company's unique value, there's a lot to be learned from online comments about the competition.

Leadership Leadville Commencement

Heather Scanlon

The Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate all of the participants that completed the Leadership Leadville program on Monday May 21st, 2012.

Barry Dalton           
Tara Hosick      
Amanda Jensen       
Mary Johnson         
Conor Laing          
Dan Marshall  
Cher Melichar        
Kat Neilson  
Diane Smith          
Amy Tait  


We also would like to express our gratitude for the sponsors and partnerships that made this program possible:


and Bob Hartzell


Summer Traffic Season Underway

Bob Wilson, CDOT Public Relations

        DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is reminding drivers to anticipate heavy traffic in many areas of the state over the Memorial Day weekend due to the number of events taking place throughout the state to kick off the summer season.  
        To reduce potential delays, all CDOT construction projects will be suspended statewide by late Friday afternoon.  Projects can resume their regular schedules on Tuesday, May 29.  The only exception is for emergency operations.
        Heavier than normal traffic is expected today and tomorrow on Interstate 70, west of Denver.  Westbound traffic will be heavier than normal today and Saturday.  Heavier than normal traffic should be anticipated along eastbound I-70 on Memorial Day, May 28, especially between Summit County and the Denver area.


Stories of Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways Now Available through Smartphones

Bob Wilson, CDOT Public Relations

DENVER – Travelers now have another way to receive interpretive information about Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways.   
        Stories from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) now are available for all of the state’s 25 Scenic and Historic Byways in Tagwhat, a free mobile application for Google Android™ and iPhone/iPad™.  CDOT's channel in the application provides information about sites along each Byway, such as its history, additional interpretation about the route or location, recent site restorations and upcoming improvements.



Paul C. Jones Appointed NMHFM Chairman

Kat Neilson

For Immediate Release:
Leadville, CO… May, 24, 2012… The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum announced the appointment of Paul C. Jones of Golden, CO as Chairman of its Board of Directors.  He succeeds Stanley Dempsey, who served as chairman for three years.

              In 1987, Jones was one of the founders of the NMHF&M and is a Life Member of the organization.  He became a board member in 2007 and, in 2009-10, chaired the Strategic Planning Committee, which developed a long-range plan for the organization.  More recently, Jones was chairman of the organization’s Fundraising Committee.



Colorado’s Unbuckled Deaths Rose in 2011

Heather Halpape, CDOT

Click It or Ticket enforcement May 21-June 3 aims to save lives

        DENVER – Despite a continuous decline in the number of people killed in traffic crashes in Colorado over the past decade, the number of people who died without seat belts increased for the first time since 2002.  Last year, 187 drivers and passengers died unrestrained, up from 164 in 2010.  This is the highest level since 2007 when 193 people died in crashes that were not buckled up.
        Colorado’s seat belt use rate has also stalled over the past five years.  In 2011, 82% of observed drivers and passengers were wearing seat belts, compared to 81% in 2007.
In an effort to increase seat belt use and save lives across the state, the Colorado State Patrol and 72 law enforcement agencies are working overtime for the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period, May 21 – June 3. 
        “We’ve made progress in reducing the number of people killed on Colorado roadways, but we know more can be done to give people a fighting chance to survive a crash if we can convince them to wear a seat belt,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Sometimes it takes a ticket to remind people about the importance of buckling up.  Click It or Ticket is not popular, but we know seat belts save lives, and we’d rather issue citations than notify loves ones of a tragic death that could have been avoided with one simple click.”


May update from Representative Millie Hamner

The 2012 legislative session has come to a close but the work at the capitol is not done yet.  Governor Hickenlooper has called a special legislative session which convened on May 14th.  This special session will deal with multiple issues including funding of Colorado Water Conservation Board projects, Civil Unions, stabilization of unemployment rates for businesses, creating benefit corporations.  I look forward to working on these important issues during the special session. 

2012 Session

Civil unions. I support Civil Unions, which would allow any two consenting adults, regardless of gender, to enter into a civil union and be granted the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities currently granted to married couples.
For me, this is a question of equal protection under the law. I believe that people should have the right to make their own decisions related to their loved ones and that our laws should not discriminate against these partnerships. In Colorado around 60% of people believe that civil unions should be legal. 
SB12-002 provided a measure of equality under the law to same-sex couples. The bill moved into uncharted territory, having advanced through the House Judiciary, Finance and Appropriations Committees for the first time ever.   This bill died on the calendar when the House adjourned on May 9th.  In the special session HB 12S-1006 the Civil Unions bill was introduced and assigned to House State Affairs.

The state budget. It’s a rare event when 94 of the 100 state legislators agree on anything this important, but the state budget, HB12-1335, is one area where a true spirit of compromise prevailed in the statehouse this session. Everyone thought a big sticking point would be the senior homestead property tax exemption, nearly $100 million worth of tax credits for elderly homeowners. But the improving economy not only let us preserve the exemption, it gave us almost $200 million more, allowing us to cancel most of the new round of cuts that had been proposed for education spending.

Forest health. I sponsored HB12-1032, which continues programs to deal with changes to our beetle-ravaged forests. Life would be unimaginably different in Eagle, Summit and Lake counties without our forests.

Enterprise zone reform. Potentially one of the biggest job-creating bills of the session, HB12-1241 creates a task force to study changes to the state’s enterprise zone system, the state’s largest but least effective economic development program. If the system is fixed, it’ll mean jobs for more Coloradans. If it’s discarded or put on a diet, it’ll mean more money for other, more effective eco-development programs. 

Medicaid reform. Medicaid rolls are up more than 50 percent in Colorado since the Great Recession began, and the state’s costs have skyrocketed. HB12-1281 launches pilot programs that will begin to bend the cost curve downward while rewarding better health outcomes. With any luck we’ll be able to use the money saved to restore some of the wicked cuts we’ve had to make to K-12 and higher education.

Asset. Until House Republicans killed it, Colorado’s version of the federal Dream Act would have made college more accessible to the children of undocumented immigrants. Most of the students who would be affected by SB12-015 have been living in Colorado for many years and have gone to Colorado schools; all would be grads of Colorado high schools and on their way to obtaining U.S. citizenship. Forcing them to pay the out-of-state tuition rate means that in most cases we won’t finish the job of putting them into the ranks of the Coloradans who contribute the most to our state’s prosperity. 

ATV's. A House Republican sponsored HB12-1066, a bill to relax restrictions on ATV access. I respect the right of off-roaders to responsible use of their vehicles, but I cannot support a measure that would have meant further encroachment by ATVs on our wildlands. Fortunately, enough Republicans agreed with me that we were able to kill the bill on the House floor.  

Buy Colorado/Hire Colorado. SB12-001 and its House companion, HB12-1113, would have provided a slight preference to Colorado companies that employ Colorado workers to execute state contracts. Twenty-nine other states have implemented state contract preference bills to ensure that state tax dollars are going to provide jobs within the state. But both bills were killed in the House, where Republicans have been united in their opposition to any measure that would put the state’s money where its mouth is in terms of job creation.

Vonnie's Law. A bill of special concern to my constituents in Lake County, because it’s named for Vonnie Flores, a Leadville woman who was killed in 2010 by her next door neighbor, a man who had been stalking her for years and had been issued a restraining order. I was proud to sponsor HB12-1114, which tightens protocols to help prevent recurrences of such senseless violence


Health Care Reform – What Employers Should Be Thinking About Now

Maureen M. Maly

As employers anxiously await the Supreme Court's decision on health care reform (expected by late June), there are many things employers should be thinking about now. The Supreme Court will most likely make one of four decisions on health care reform. Below, we describe how each of those possible decisions may affect employers.
Constitutionality Not Ripe or Law Upheld as Constitutional
First, although unlikely, the Supreme Court may decide that a decision on the constitutionality of health care reform is not ripe for review. Second, the Supreme Court may decide to uphold the entire law as constitutional. Under either of these scenarios, employers need to be ready for "business as usual" — that is, they should continue their efforts to comply with health care reform. Among the many new health care reform provisions that take effect in 2012 and 2013, employers will need to be ready to (1) issue new summaries of benefits and coverage during open enrollment for the 2013 plan year, (2) issue Forms W-2 that report the value of employer-provided health coverage provided in 2012 beginning in January 2013, (3) provide notices to employees beginning in 2013 about the new health insurance exchanges that will become available in 2014; and (4) administer the new statutory health flexible spending account contribution limits and new Medicare taxes on high-income employees beginning in 2013.
Portions Unconstitutional But Severable
A third possible outcome is that the Supreme Court may find the Medicare or individual mandate portions of the law unconstitutional but will strike down only those portions of the law, and perhaps, for the individual mandate, the insurance reforms that were tied specifically to the individual mandate (guaranteed issue and community rating). This scenario would also not change much for employers in the short term. Health care reform compliance efforts, including those described above, would need to continue.


New Members for 2012 so far.....

Lisa Galletti
Lisa Galletti Designs
Join Date: 01/18/2012

Jen Schenk
High Country Conservation Center
Join Date: 02/17/2012

Patty Brooks
Guardian Insurance Services
Join Date: 03/07/2012

Scott Camp
High Altitude Cooking
Join Date: 03/07/2012

Maribeth Stencel
Assurance Partners
Join Date: 03/10/2012

Matthew Robinson
Ice Palace Vacation Rental
Join Date: 04/15/2012

Director's Corner

Heather Scanlon

Submit your classified ad for FREE on at the following link:
Check out the ads while your there!

We are looking for a non-profit to assist us with parking security for Ride the Rockies on June 12th, 2012. We have $200.00 in our budget and need 4-5 volunteeers to assist from 10 am until 4 or 5 pm. Please give us a call at 486-3900 if you are interested.

Please mark your calendars for Ride the Rockies on June 12th, 2012. Be sure to have extra staff on hand and if you are in the dining sector...please be sure to order extra food. We are expecting approximatley 3000 extra folks into town on that day! We will be provding you with more information in the next week.


I would also encourage your organization to take advantage of the Events Calendar on Please submit your event to activated.

We are currently working on details for our 2nd Business Over Breakfast in June 2012. Be on the look out for those details in the coming week.

As always, we look forward to promoting your business far into the future. We thank you for being a small business in Leadville/Lake County and have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Chamber E-News - May/June 2012

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