Photo: The Town of Winter Park proclaimed Khumjung, Nepal its Sister City at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting. Donna and Philip “Toad” Pittz proposed the idea over coffee with Mayor Jimmy Lahrman and to Council in a workshop last month. A more formal ceremony and celebration will take place later this year.     Photo by Casey Malon 

Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting had barely a quorum, with Mayor Jimmy Lahrman, Mayor Pro-tem Nick Kutrumbos, Councilman Art Ferrari on site and Councilman Chuck Banks called in by phone.

SIA/WWSRA On-Snow Demo February 3&4

Winter Park Resort submitted a Special Event Permit application for the upcoming snowsports on-snow demo. Part of the Denver Outdoor Retailer trade show, over 5,000 representatives from the snowsports industry will take to the slopes to demo the latest in ski and snowboard equipment on Monday, February 3rd and Tuesday, February 4th. The resort has signed a contract with SIA/WWSRA to host the coveted event for the next three years. Most recently, the event took place at Copper Mountain. Hearing no public comment, council approved the Special Event permit unanimously.

Khumjung, Nepal proclaimed Winter Park’s Sister City

Mayor Jimmy Lahrman read an official proclamation which proclaimed the Village of Khumjung, Nepal a Sister City to Winter Park. The proclamation noted the similarities between the two towns, and stated that “friendship among people of different countries and cultures is a great force in creating peace, tranquility, harmony and understanding.”

After reading the full proclamation, Mayor Lahrman said, “For anybody who is unsure of what we are passing, we have worked with them closely. We are also trying to set up a nonprofit that will help support issues they struggle with and bring awareness.” He added, “We are approving the proclamation tonight and will have a more formal ceremony when it is complete.”

Unnamed Right of Way Vacated

Ordinance 529, and Ordinance vacating an unnamed public right-of-way located east of US 40 had been presented as a first reading at the January 7th meeting. Located north of the newly platted Ski Idlewild Road, adjacent to Roam Filing 1, Parcel A, council unanimously approved the request to vacate the 1,973 s.f. parcel.

Slate Communications 2020 Contract

In a memo to council, Town Manager Keith Riesberg gave background on the Town’s relationship with Public Relations firm, Slate Communications of Fort Collins. The Town of Winter Park contracted Slate Communications in 2017/2018 to help rebrand the municipality and help with communications. As a result, a new Town logo was created, and there has been increased communication between residents, guests, council and staff. Slate developed the monthly newsletter, the Scoop, which has been well received and successful throughout the community. Also, after every meeting, Slate puts out an eblast with Town Council updates to keep citizens informed. Riesberg noted the Town’s social media presence is stronger, as well as media coverage. “Slate’s work for 2019 helped continue and strengthen communications for the Town, and they worked on our website to freshen it up and make it more user friendly. Slate’s proposal for 2020 includes the launch of the new website, along with ideas and strategies to increase community engagement and participation.”

Town Clerk Dani Jardee stated, “Basically, for 2020, they will increase and keep communications going, including community engagement and participation, community storytelling and increase approval of Town direction. We will be launching the new website later this week or early next week. We look forward to a continued working relationship.”

The annual contract of $57,000 includes Slate’s management of 3 social media platforms, website management, e-blast and newsletter, photography and video production, major project support, designed reports and budget briefs, promotion of Town events, graphic design, media relations, talking points, press releases, communication reporting and measurement and community engagement.

Council unanimously approved Resolution 1747, the 2020 General Service Contract with Slate Communications. “Thank you for last year. I look forward to building on it,” said Mayor Lahrman.

Winter Park & Fraser Chamber 2020 Contract

Manager Riesberg presented council with Resolution 1748, the 2020 Contract for Professional Services of the Winter Park & Fraser Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber provides services that include marketing and special events operation and promotion, Visitor Center operation, support to Winter Park Resort for spring festival events, the annual Blues from the Top festival support and research/study services. The Chamber also manages reservations and programming of the Rendezvous Event Center Green Room and the new electronic message sign on US 40.

The 2020 contract provides a total of $1,361,800 in funds allocated as follows:

  • Marketing and Special Events Operations and Promotion: $1,033,000
  • Visitor Center Operation: $173,800
  • Security: $45,000
  • Office Space Rental: $18,000
  • Spring Festival Marketing: $50,000
  • Blues from the Top: $25,000
  • Research/Study Services: $17,000

The contract does allow the Chamber, if it is able to do so, to retain excess funds that may be received from Special Events to use in future years.

Council approved Resolution 1748 unanimously. Mayor Lahrman told Executive Director, Catherine Ross, “Catherine, I want to thank you for all the hard work, despite the weather challenges. I appreciate your efforts in everything you are doing.”

Chamber Update

Chamber Executive Director Catherine Ross gave an update to council. “We have been busy,” she said, adding, “I feel like the messaging is good.” Ross said that the website visits have shown proof that marketing is working. They saw a bit of a drop toward the end of 2019 when funds were cut to meet budget, but lodging and visit revenue was high.

“We are excited about the summer and have most of the concerts booked.” Ross said she hoped to have announcements on summer concerts available soon. The Chamber is also working with Winter Park Resort to create a multiple booking tool that would offer discounts for additional ticket sales. For example, tickets sold to JazzFest would spur messaging for other events such as Tacos and Tequila, Uncorked Wine Fest, or activities at Winter Park Resort, increasing exposure to different audiences. We are working through different ticketing outlets hoping we can make it work this year,” said Ross. She explained that over 60% of festival goers came just for an event, and the added marketing push had big potential for repeat visits. 

Kudos to Public Works

Mayor Lahrman took a moment to recognize the efforts of the Town’s Public Works department. “Gerry (Vernon) is doing is doing a great job. Over the last few months, they have moved from a facility to a tent. The snows started in October and have mostly fallen on the weekend. I want to recognize Public Works for pushing through challenges and keeping the roads accessible through all the challenges they have faced to get where we are mid-January this season.”

Deed Restriction input sought

Manager Riesberg told council the Town had been working with Fraser on the new Deed Restriction program, modelled after Vail’s Indeed program. “Part of announcing this effort is hearing back from property owners so we can appropriate the correct amount of funding for the program,” said Riesberg. Residents are asked to contact the Town if they are interested in participating, so they have a better understanding of the number of deed restricted properties available and can budget accordingly. 

Winter Park Town Council meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of each month and are open to the public. To learn more, visit