Guest column: Parks bill ‘an investment in who we are’
The outdoor economy in Colorado is flourishing by nearly every measure. It has provided relief for many smaller communities, creating entire ecosystems of restaurants, real estate, insurance brokers, coffee shops and bicycle manufacturers like Revel.
Revel Bikes was started four years ago in Utah, but we moved the company to Carbondale three years ago before launching our first products in March 2019.
Carbondale is the perfect place for an outdoor industry company — we live in a mecca of bike trails, and the community here has an incredibly balanced focus on economic advancement and environmental stewardship. The two can go hand in hand, and we are proud to call this place home.
According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife, our state parks system attracts over 15 million visitors every year. State parks don’t just improve the economy in places like the Roaring Fork Valley, they provide outdoor opportunities for families.
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Maintaining and improving our state parks is an investment in our communities and the future of our state. The Colorado Legislature right now is considering just that — a $10 million investment in our state parks system. The money will go toward improvements in places like Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls and Harvey Gap and will also designate a new state park at Fishers Peak near Trinidad.
Until 2012, we steered $5 million per year into our state parks, knowing it will continue to pay dividends in tourism and quality of life. Now, without that funding for nearly a decade, we have fallen behind. The money included in SB20-003 this year will put us back on track to protect the places we love and the places that fuel our communities.
It is easy to talk about the economic impacts — that is our business. Equally important, however, are the community and cultural impacts — the immeasurable factors like how we feel, how we see our landscape and how we describe the beauty that surrounds us every day and that defines our cities and our state.
Our customers are from all over the world, and we could probably house our business nearly anywhere, but Colorado has given us an amazing opportunity to live and play where we work.
An investment in our state parks is an investment in who we are as Coloradans, and we need to ensure that our legislators understand its importance. Families, communities and businesses like Revel depend on it.
Please call, write and ensure our legislators know that we support our state parks, and developing and maintaining them is critical to the future of our state. And get out there and enjoy our world-class state parks.
Adam Miller is the founder of Revel Bikes in Carbondale.
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