The mission statement of the GSCRA is to provide leadership, promote commerce, encourage measured growth and continue to support endeavors which will enrich the quality of life in our community.
Our vision is to make Glenwood Springs the ideal mountain community.
Like exemplary chambers of commerce, the GSCRA prides itself on these core competencies:
The GSCRA believes that a strong business community leads to a strong community. Therefore, we advocate on behalf of business at local, regional, state and national levels. The GSCRA strives to make sure elected officials and other community leaders are aware of concerns of the business community.
As representatives of the major business sectors in the community, the GSCRA’s Business Advocacy Advisory Board (BAAB) has developed this legislative agenda. This purpose of this publication is to inform the membership and elected representatives of issues that are important to Glenwood Springs area businesses. It will also be the guideline the chamber board utilizes in taking positions quickly as needed.
The GSCRA holds membership in and works closely with various local, state, regional and national organizations. These partnerships are important to our success. However, the GSCRA is not obligated in any way to follow, approve or endorse any other organization’s positions or initiatives. In some cases, we do utilize positions of these and other organizations to help guide our own.
Located at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers, the historic resort town of Glenwood Springs is famous for the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Canyon, Hanging Lake, Yampah Vapor Caves and Sunlight Mountain Resort. Since the late 1800s, Glenwood Springs has been a prime tourist destination. Likewise, tourism continues to be the main economic driver in the community.
The most accurate indicator of how tourism has benefitted Glenwood Springs is its accommodations tax. This pass-through tax of 2.5% is added to room nights within the city limits. The Glenwood Springs lodging tax has increase 6.88% cumulatively over 2015s figures and has seen a 24% increase over the benchmark year of 2008.
The Tourism Promotion Fund, with oversight by the City of Glenwood Springs, is managed by the GSCRA’s Tourism Department. The tourism department receives 92.5% of the overall tax collected from September 1 through August 31 of the year prior to budget. A Tourism Promotion marketing plan and budget are presented to the City of Glenwood Springs annually by GSCRA tourism staff.
The Glenwood Springs Chamber supports continuing to market Glenwood Springs as an international tourist destination. Additionally, the GSCRA supports measures that continue to enhance Glenwood Springs thereby attracting additional tourists.
Glenwood Springs is situated at the confluence of Interstate 70 and Colorado Highway 82. I-70 is a critical transportation corridor connecting Colorado’s Front Range and the Western Slope. This interstate is the only major east-west highway to move tourists and residents, as well as goods and services. Additionally, much of our community’s workforce lives west of Glenwood Springs along Interstate 70. Colorado Highway 82 is also an essential corridor connecting our Glenwood Springs to communities throughout the Roaring Fork Valley to Aspen.
Congestion or closure of Interstate 70 and/or Colorado Highway 82 infuriates travelers, harms small businesses, impacts our tourism economy, impacts workforce, creates safety risks, and hinders intrastate and interstate commerce.
Glenwood Springs itself if situated in a narrow valley. Connectivity throughout the community is essential for traffic flow and safety.
The GSCRA believes that an efficient transportation system is an essential component in the creation and maintenance of a healthy business climate. The ongoing maintenance and upgrades of existing roads, as well as the construction of new roadways, are critical pieces of an overall transportation plan. Continued development of multimodal forms of transit should be considered where viable. Development should be balanced with maintaining Glenwood Springs’ small town character and preserving our cultural and natural resources.
The GSCRA recognizes that the health care system in the United States is a unique combination of employer-based plans, individually purchased plans, and a government-sponsored system.The rapidly rising cost of health care and health insurance represents a significant burden to Colorado businesses currently providing health coverage to employees, and a significant deterrent to businesses looking to provide health coverage to employees.
Health insurance premium increases are driven by a number of different factors, including but not limited to: financial incentives that encourage excessive utilization of health care, overuse of emergency room services and the use of an inappropriate level of care in general, lack of preventative care, inadequate funding for government health care programs (i.e., Medicaid, Medicare, CHP+), increasing prescription drug prices, a high level of defensive medicine, the medical needs and demands of an aging population, costly new medical advances, inefficient government regulation, lack of pricing transparency and comparability, increases in administrative costs, benefit design, and rapid increase in medical inflation.
Health insurance premiums are being driven by various federal and state mandates (e.g. mandated benefits such as the essential health benefits package, cost sharing limitations maternity coverage for men and pediatric dental) and changes to rating rules.
The private sector is incurring an increasingly disproportionate share of the costs of health care – in particular because of insufficient government reimbursement for health care services. This “cost shift” has a tremendous impact on the business community and the provision of health insurance.
The GSCRA recognizes the highly regulated nature of health care and the impacts that adverse regulation has on the cost of health care.
The GSCRA emphasizes the need to structure appropriate access to health care – especially preventive care – and to optimize the provision of high quality, cost effective health care services.
The Glenwood Springs Chamber supports the goal of a healthcare system that is affordable, accessible, and provides quality healthcare to residents.
The GSCRA is a proponent of the free enterprise system and opposes undue intervention by the government. However, the GSCRA understands the need to balance the rights of private property owners and ability of the community to provide a range of housing options.
The GSCRA believes that a strong education system is crucial to preparing young people for good jobs and bright futures and sustaining a 21st century workforce. Partnerships between business and education are essential to ensuring a quality education for children, and should provide retraining opportunities for adults. Both create a qualified workforce for employers.
GSCRA believes students should emerge from our public education system prepared for college or career; higher education is more accessible and affordable; employers can find workers with the right skills and qualifications; and our workforce will attract investment, drive growth and spur innovation.
Colorado Mountain College (CMC) is an economic driver for our community, and has provided access to the most affordable postsecondary education in our state for the last 50 years. CMC has a strong partnership with the Roaring Fork School District that provides the opportunity for high school students to participate in dual enrollment and earn college credits while in high school. CMC also offers custom and on-going trainings to help make businesses more profitable and safer.
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