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New Factory Towns?

Brief by Central Staff

Tourism – August 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

We were talking to someone from a neighboring town recently, who said he liked everything about Salida except that it had too many festivals: FIBArk, then Artwalk, then the Fourth, then the Brewers Rendezvous …

Well, at least it hasn’t reached the level of Telluride, where there’s a bluegrass festival, a film festival, a mushroom festival — indeed, so many festivals that they have even set aside a “no-festival weekend.”

But one of those gatherings always sounds interesting, although we’ve never managed to make it to the Telluride Ideas Festival, held in early June.

This year’s was about the sustainability of tourism, especially when it drives up real-estate prices so that workers can no longer afford to live in town.

It inspired a memorable observation from Ed Marston at High Country News: “Unless the people who work in Telluride can afford to live there, Telluride won’t be a town. It will be a factory floor, where tourists are processed.”

Now, all we have to do is figure out where the dividing line is, and then determine a way to avoid crossing it — or a way to get back to the right side, if necessary.