Town hires help on development

Chelsea Jones gets part-time job to champion economic growth

As part of the town's emphasis on economic development, the board hired a new part-time economic development coordinator.

Chelsea Jones started this month and will work 20 hours a week to connect businesses with resources.

"I want to help businesses grow, I want to let the local communities know they have an advocate and a resource," she said.

Part of her job will be walking new businesses through incentives such as tax rebates and breaks on fees the town may soon offer.

The town board has been discussing adding the position since the fall.

"Chelsea stood out because she is a go-getter with a background in real estate, sales, and graphic design. We are excited to have her on board," said Town administrator Andrea Phillips.

Some of the challenges that she wants to address include the absence of foot traffic and access to businesses along U.S. 160.

While changing access along the highway is a decision for the Colorado Department of Transportation, Jones would like to see better signage.

"If we are going to focus on tourists, we need to capture them better with signage out so we are not just a drive through town," she said.

Some of the opportunities she sees are marketing online with improved internet access that will be available soon as a part of an infrastructure project the town has been working on for several years. She also hopes to promote shopping and eating locally.

We are a rural town, so we want to be true to our roots and our history ... but we need to focus on economics so we can grow businesses and help the businesses here thrive. Otherwise, we will die," she said.

Jones graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in fine art and graphic design. She is a newcomer to government administration. But she has experience as a sales consultant in Denver and now owns her own graphic design business.

She moved to the area about a year ago after her husband was stationed here as a state trooper.