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Thread: Resort Planning

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Resort Planning

    Well, it is no secret that I am a die hard skier, and growing up in Michigan, I have been with in a half hour of a ski hill most my life. Now that I am also a planner, I see all the challenges that resorts can bring to urban and regional planning.

    I was just wondering if anyone has done resort planning, or has worked for a community that has built a resort. I am also thinking along the lines of any major tourist resort such as water parks, ski areas, amusement parks, golf complexes, and anything else that I might be missing.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Have you looked at this APA Resort and Tourism Division website:
    http://www.tourismplanning.org/

    If I remember correctly this division was founded at 1990 APA conference in Denver, CO
    when I was there for Grad School.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I am also thinking along the lines of any major tourist resort such as water parks, ski areas, amusement parks, golf complexes, and anything else that I might be missing.
    In my fair city's Sunday newspaper's travel section was this information link:
    http://www.ticketforfun.org/

    go to - FunFinder,
    Select a country here to see a directory of amusement parks and attractions in your chosen destination.

    scroll down to - USA
    Click on a US state on the map, or choose from the menu to view the state's directory of amusement parks and attractions.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  4. #4

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    I have worked with or done workshops in a number of resort areas - Breckenridge (years ago, briefly), Grand County, CO, Grand County, UT, Summit County, UT (Park City), Red Lodge, Sun Valley, Teton County, ID, etc., etc. It can be fun, but you have to enjoy planning in a fishbowl. Resorts attract well-educated folks who love being involved in the local planning process and strive to make sure that it is more entertaining than whatever's on tv. So there's lots of participation, and also lots of folks who have a read a book or two by Andres Duany or JH Kunstler, or maybe an article in the New Yorker and are sure they know more about planning than you do.

    There also tends to be lots of money at stake, and lots of conflict between those who moved to a place in, say, the '70's because of how it was then, and those who are there to make money, and are prefectly willing to change everything around to do so.

    The affordable housing wars can become especially ugly in resorts. I remember quite clearly the testimony of a nurse who worked at a local hospital and who I know made no more than $35k, but who had bought a house in the early '70's for less than $100k, that was now worth $400k. She couldn't afford to have anyone who worked with her move into her neighborhood in affordable units because she couldn't afford to lose a dime of her house's value when she retired and moved on.

    So, it can be quite interesting and I heartily recommend getting a job in a resort community as a career builder for a young planner who likes to ski. If you want to build your resume for such a job, you need to work on housing and design-oriented projects.
    Last edited by Lee Nellis; 19 Jul 2004 at 8:29 AM. Reason: typo

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Yup, Lee basically nailed it. I have consulted a developer/architect who has done a lot of resort work, mainly in UT, ID and WY. It seems that the biggest issue resort towns face is how to keep people from loving it to death.

    There is currently a planning position open in Jackson Hole, FYI.

  6. #6

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    I work in a resort community and Lee about nailed it. He forgot to add that often you are dealing with the attorneys who represent the people who own homes there, but don't live there. Just because they only visit the place for a few weeks a year doesn't mean that they don't care about it. That is often one of the biggest conflicts - between those who live there, either making a living there or in retirement or from money somebody else makes elsewhere (meaning Daddy, often) and those who don't live there, but want the same voice as those who do. It can be challenging, but is also very rewarding.

    On bad days, I remind myself that I get to live and work in a place that people pay good money to visit and dream about.

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