Mayor's Minute: COVID Edition Volume 2

Categories: Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

The COVID-19 health crisis and resulting Public Health Orders continue to challenge all of us. This ongoing crisis continues to touch the lives of many in our region while also taking a significant toll on our local and regional economy. And most significantly, this crisis has challenged the norms of how all our community members – full-time, part-time, business owners, visitors – experience this town we call home.

Mountain Village Town Council continues to meet weekly to ensure we are responding to this health and financial crisis quickly and responsibly. Our focus remains to have a measured approach that can be adjusted as data becomes available, as well as responding to evolving county and state guidelines. The initial cost-cutting measures we took in March and April are still in effect while we deal with the impacts of revenue shortfalls and the needs of our community. We continue to monitor the situation, and should we need to make up for larger revenue decreases, evaluation of additional service cuts and staffing levels will occur.

The Business Development Advisory Committee (BDAC) meets weekly and is focused on helping existing Mountain Village businesses during this difficult time. With initial feedback from our businesses, BDAC requested Town Council’s approval of up to $50,000 in funding for additional outdoor seating, umbrellas, heaters, and lighting in the Village Center. We have been actively partnering with TMVOA and the Town's Subarea Planning consulting partners, AECOM, to prepare the plazas for increased outdoor dining and retail opportunities that allow for proper social distancing. Additionally, we are creating a number of open-air seating zones to allow more safe spaces for family and friends to spend time together outdoors. The BDAC has developed a list of other economic stimulus actions that we will continue to work through in spring and early summer—share any ideas you have with or .

We are working closely with our businesses and San Miguel County to thoughtfully and diligently continue the process of reopening our town. While it is hard to know definitively when things will reopen and/or public health orders will be revised, I still want to share a few updates and key dates to pencil in:

  • Coming Home: All full- and part-time residents and visitors who have been outside San Miguel County for an extended period of time are asked to make every effort to isolate in their home for 14 days upon arrival. Please plan to be as self-sufficient as possible during this time and have groceries and other supplies delivered to your property. Once you arrive in Mountain Village, we ask that you be aware of and abide by all applicable county Public Health Orders. County Public Health Director Grace Franklin shared at the May 12 Board of County Commissioners Meeting that we could preliminarily anticipate some restrictions being revised and/or lifted by as soon as early-June.
  • Gondola reopening is tentatively slated for June 15, 2020. Once the gondola reopens to the public, the following protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of both passengers and staff:
    • The number of passengers per cabin will be in accordance with county health orders.
    • Riders will be asked and encouraged to wear masks while onboard and in gondola stations. Masks will be available upon request.
    • Hand sanitizer will be available at all stations.
    • Gondola cabins will be disinfected between passenger trips.

The Village Market, below Town Hall, will reopen this Thursday, May 21. Thank you to all involved in reopening this critical and essential service ahead of schedule.

Outdoor Recreation:

  • Mountain Village hiking and biking trails are open.
  • The Pryor Paddle Tennis Courts in Mountain Village are open and free to use. We would like to thank former Mayor John Pryor for this generous gift to our community.
  • Telluride Ski and Golf is planning to open the golf course for TSG members on June 12 and restart the Telluride Bike Park, with lift-service, on June 26. Both of these activities will have new safer distancing procedures; please be sure you are aware of them before beginning an outing.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have strived to be thoughtful and proactive community partners even in the face of much that has been beyond our control. As weeks roll into months, we must remain steadfast and committed to building a more resilient, robust, and healthy tomorrow in Mountain Village.

Please reach out to me, Mountain Village Town Council members, and town staff with questions, concerns, or potential assistance you may need or can offer.

Warm regards,
Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

For more information on other ways Mountain Village is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to submit your questions or concerns, please visit As the Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation continues to evolve locally, we will continue monitoring how we can help our community and local economy weather this crisis. We continue to commit to working closely with San Miguel County commissioners and the San Miguel County Department of Health and Environment to evaluate our procedures and operations in an effort to minimize our community’s risk while continuing to provide the vital services we need.

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