"The engine that powers the Estes Valley economy is tourism, and Rocky Mountain National Park has long been the anchor to that engine."
Mmm. Anchors hold things back. Maybe "fuel for that engine" would have been better?
Anyway, the main point of the editorial seems to have been that Estes Park is going to find it increasingly difficult to compete with other Colorado mountain towns that are putting more and more effort into attracting summer visitors in addition to the wintertime ski crowds. And there is really no big draw in the Estes Valley to compete with wintertime opportunities for outdoor recreation on the scale of, say, Copper Mountain.
But that's OK, because a real ski area would simply Summit-ize what is now a friendly small town, summertime traffic headaches notwithstanding.
So more tourism is fine, especially from November to May, and perhaps these arts venues would help. But we need other efforts as well, ones that would work to diversify the economy beyond tourism.
What, for example, would a factor of 1000 increase in the bandwidth of our internet link(s) do for the area? Might it attract companies that develop computer applications that need such bandwidth? Seems like those sorts of folks would enjoy living at 7,500' in America's Switzerland, no? Goodness knows they'd buy lots of climbing equipment.
Wouldn't a public investment in something of this nature make more sense than more subsidies for tourism? Let's get creative about this -- something that, I think, the mayor was suggesting.
Putting on shows (especially, as far as I'm concerned, concerts) is all well and good, and if Estes Park becomes a performance Mecca, I'll be the first to applaud. But it only goes so far, and we need to go farther yet.