Laila Benitez

Laila Benitez

Professional Background/Occupation

Over the last five years, I have launched and managed numerous conferences and family-focused events in Mountain Village, including the Telluride Wellness Summit, Telluride Leadership Development Series, Kids Zone, and Movies Under the Stars. Prior to my time on Town Council, I worked for the Town of Mountain Village in the Administration Department, which afforded me a unique opportunity to learn and work hands-on with our local government.

Prior to moving to Mountain Village, I designed and directed clinical research studies focused on the use of ablative lasers in the treatment of coronary artery disease and liver cancer. I graduated from California State University at Fullerton with a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences, with an emphasis in tumor immunology.

Length of Time as Town Resident

9 years

Previous Political Experience/Specific Qualifications

I have served on the Mountain Village Town Council since July of 2015 and have served as Mayor since July of 2017.

In 2015, I worked with our colleagues from Mountain Village, Telluride and San Miguel County to draft and pass a ballot measure to form the new San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART). I served as the Chair of SMART from November 2016 through January 2019.

Additionally, I serve on the following Mountain Village committees: Parking and Transportation, Business Development, and Community Grants.

Reasons You Would Like to Serve

The last four years that I have served on Town Council, we have undertaken major steps to help us achieve the goals outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. I look forward to continuing to work on these projects including the recently launched construction of 49 new affordable housing units at VCA; regional planning for the future of the gondola; drafting a Master Trails Plan to improve the quality and quantity of Mountain Village trails; and continue working to bring new businesses and programs that promote a vibrant Village Center.

Additionally, I’m excited to continue the progress we are making to launch major broadband network upgrades that will provide 1G services to our community by 2020 and infrastructure improvements in the Meadows and VCA neighborhoods. It is important to me that we can continue these projects that have real and immediate impacts on residents’ quality of life.

Working regionally with our partners is important to me and has allowed us to make considerable progress in providing regionally-funded transportation through SMART; launching capacity upgrades at the Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant; and working closely with the Hospital District to build a new Medical Center.

Other Information You Want to Include (family, community involvement, other personal information)

My husband, Anton, and I moved to Mountain Village because we felt this is one of the most beautiful corners of the world. We moved here for the beauty of our trails and open spaces, outdoor recreation opportunities, and a transportation system which makes driving almost unnecessary. But after nine years living in the Meadows, it is the sense of community and our supportive neighborhood that makes us feel so lucky to call this community our home.

I want to continue to serve on Town Council to ensure that Mountain Village is a vibrant, economically-healthy community while continuing to preserve the beauty and charm that first drew us all here.


Fall Festival Happy Hour Monday, Sept. 23 4-6 p.m.