American Shale Oil (AMSO) has not only pledged $10,000 to the city of Rifle for the New Ute Event Center, they also came to a City Council meeting to express their support for the project.Alan Burnham, chief technology officer and project manager, explained that in hiring employees, amenities like the New Ute Event Center help them attract and keep employees. They prefer to have their employees live in the community for many reasons, safety and efficiency prime among them. However, new hires often want to look at Glenwood Springs or Grand Junction because their families expect to have the availability of social, cultural, and entertainment activities that are not obvious to them in the community of Rifle.While we could all happily list the many wonderful activities and adventures that are available in the Rifle area, the New Ute Event Center would be a very visible indicator that the community supports and provides the entertainment and cultural opportunities that people want and expect to have close to home. The Sustainable Main Street initiative concluded that the New Ute Event Center would be a cornerstone to keeping people, money and activities in the downtown core, thus benefiting the entire town by generating business for local business owners and tax revenue for the city. AMSO's advocacy reminds us of the further benefit of attracting the employees and families of expanding industries by demonstrating that the community of Rifle has the amenities they want and need. Elizabeth Stuver is a board member of the New Ute Theatre Society. For information about the events center project, call (970) 414-0834 or go online to utetheater.com. Mailing address is P.O. Box 907, Rifle, CO 81650.
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