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Wanted: downtown catalyst

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Wanted: a “high-energy, super-organized go-getter.” In other words, a downtown catalyst for the city of Aspen.

The new position, created as a one-year, trial job to push forward various ideas for improving Aspen’s downtown core, hit the classified pages yesterday. Applications are due by March 26.

The City Council recently agreed to give the position a try, though it’s being advertised as an Aspen Chamber Resort Association post. The salary, of $65,000 to $75,000, will be recouped through a surcharge on business license fees to be collected at the end of the year.

The ambitious job description, though it’s not reprinted in its entirety in the advertisement, calls for “a high-energy, super-organized go-getter with strong interpersonal skills, who can work both independently and as part of a team, and who demonstrates abilities in communications, partnering, team-building, project supervision, and rapport with community members.”

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The individual will have an office in the former Aspen Youth Center, but there was debate about whether his or her desk will need a telephone. The catalyst isn’t expected to spend much time at the office. Rather, he or she will be downtown, assessing and addressing the divergent views within the business community about what needs to be done.

Though it’s not in the job description, cell phone skills will be essential, predicted Julie Ann Woods, the city’s community development director.

“This is a highly visible position that will be responsible for facilitating public property and infrastructure improvements, including working with city departments to provide a clean, safe, and vibrant physical environment for business; organizing existing civic groups and businesses in problem-solving; developing an effective communications and education program; brainstorming ideas for special events … and other administrative activities. This position will serve as the primary communicator with the city for downtown businesses,” according to the job description.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for someone who loves Aspen and wants to get things done,” Woods said.

The job is only being advertised locally, she said, but already there has been interest from outside the Roaring Fork Valley.

“There are a lot of people who have been watching this, obviously, because of who we are,” Wood said.

Resumes are only being accepted electronically ” at jobs@aspenchamber.org ” and an executive committee of three will interview candidates and select the individual who fills the post.

The committee includes City Manager Steve Barwick; Andrew Kole, a member of the city Commercial Core and Lodging Commission; and Shae Singer, a member of the ACRA board of directors.

A consulting team hired to assess Aspen’s retail environment recommended the job be created in order to follow through on a host of ideas to improve the retail environment and organize the business community.

[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com]


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